Genre Fiction

Faculty & Staff


Russell Davis, MFA headshot
Director, Genre Fiction Concentration
Phone: 970.943.2163
Office Location: Remote
Candace Nadon, Ph.D. headshot
Genre Fiction Concentration Faculty
Phone: 970.943.2163
Office Location: Remote
Richard Wilber, Ed.D. headshot
Genre Fiction Concentration Faculty
Phone: 970.943.2163
Office Location: Remote
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Arts
  • Overview

    The Genre Fiction Concentration at Western Colorado University trains sophisticated, skilled storytellers who graduate with a mastery of their craft. Why the emphasis on skill? Because a storyteller is not just someone with stories to tell, but also someone who has the skill to tell those stories in a way that matters to other people. The rules and structures of genre come first for all storytelling, and that is what we teach, always with an eye on helping our graduates to write works that will find a public and sell. To realize these goals, we have designed a curriculum that celebrates the art and skill of such popular genres as science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, YA and many other mainstream commercial genres. Through an intensive and innovative program of study, we provide writers with the support and industry knowledge needed to expand their writing and their careers beyond the academy.

    The Program

    Western’s MFA and M.A. in Genre Fiction is a low-residency program, meaning faculty and students interact online and through conference calls during the academic year and then gather for two weeks in July on the Gunnison campus for classes, lectures, readings, discussions, and of course, writing.

    • MFA students attend three summer residencies: one prior to the first semester, one between years one and two and one in the third summer.
    • During the academic year, full-time MFA students take two courses each semester. These six-credit courses make use of videoconferencing and Blackboard for online work.
    • To complete the MFA, students work on a thesis throughout their final year. Completed theses are bound, registered and placed on the shelves of Western’s Leslie J. Savage Library.
    • M.A. students pursue an identical curriculum to MFA students, but only come for two summers and one academic year. M.A. students do not write a thesis.

    Opportunities and Partnerships

    • Learn under successful, currently publishing authors with scores of book credits.
    • Make network connections with industry professionals to help launch your career.
    • Get experience in the world of publishing and learn how to get your work published.
    • Expand your horizon by taking a course from the program’s other concentrations: Screenwriting for Film and Television, Poetry, Nature Writing and Publishing.
    • Add a second concentration to your degree and create a unique combination, such as Genre Fiction and Screenwriting, Genre Fiction and Publishing, or Genre Fiction and Nature Writing.

    Learn More

    Reach out to Lisa Swarts for more information.