The Low-Residency Model
The Low-Residency model allows students to pursue their writing aspirations while maintaining their commitments to career and family. In late June, on three occasions over the course of their study, students come to the Reinhardt campus for the 10-day Residency. In the intervening semesters, they are enrolled in an independent study with a writing mentor and in four online courses with instructors and their fellow students.
There are three residencies in the student’s MFA Program, at the beginning, middle, and end. Prior to the first residency, incoming students also arrive on campus for a one-day orientation program and practice workshop. At their final residency, students conduct a craft lecture and give a public reading before graduating.
At the residencies, students stay in the dorms and eat in the cafeteria. They attend numerous writing workshops in their genre each morning, craft lectures, readings, seminars, and one-on-one consultations. Throughout the residency, there readings each evening from the visiting writers, who also teach various craft lectures. Students They meet and interact with the visiting writers, as well as participate in late night informal Question & Answer sessions. There will also be several off-campus excursions during the residency to generate writing prompts.
During the Fall and Spring semesters, students work one-on-one with a writing mentor in the independent-study classes entitled Creative Writing I, Creative Writing II, Creative Writing III, Thesis Part I (Critical Essay), and Thesis Part II (Creative Writing Project). This apprenticeship with a well-known and award-winning writer is the heart of the Low-Residency MFA experience. Students receive detailed feedback and critiques that enable them to perfect their craft as a writer. They also receive instruction and advice on how to submit work for publication and appropriate publishing venues. The culmination of the independent studies is a book-length Creative Thesis, which can provide students with their first full-length manuscript for publication.
During the Fall and Spring semesters, students also take a set of online courses called Reading Image, Reading Voice, Reading Story and Reading Dialogue. The classes are offered in an 8-week format with students of all genres participating together, where they read and analyze texts to study craft elements. A weekly online session will students to interact with one another and with the instructor. Additionally, there is a Study Abroad program where students can travel in May to Ecuador (2019) and London (2020). This is in conjunction with a cultural and literary survey class of the destination.