Join Writers' Village University with full benefits
- All courses are free to members.
- Get 24/7 access to over 200 writing courses, including our popular MFA Series in Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry.
- Join one of our many Writing Groups and Workshops.
- New interactive classes begin every week, including our 2-week MFA courses for busy people.
- Participate in Writers' Village University's Creative Writing and MFA Certificate Programs.
- Make lasting friendships with writers around the world.
Annual Memberships are $99 for the first year, then $69 to renew.
3-Year Memberships are $175.
Lifetime Memberships are $350.
30-Day Trial Memberships are $30.
Installment plans are available.
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MFA700 Narrative Design
Begins Jan 2, 2017
Course length: 16 Weeks
Course Description: MFA700 Narrative Design is an in-depth study in story evaluation with an emphasis on form. The first 13 weeks of the course works with example stories and evaluations. The course concludes with a 3-week short story workshop. Study includes: General Story Analysis, Plot, Character, Tone, Time Management, Dialogue, Suspense, Point of View, Imagery, Description, Design, and Symbolism. The course is a prequisite for participation in MFA Level Workshops.
Required text: Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form by Madison Smartt Bell
Facilitated by: RJ Hembree and [TBA]
MFA750 Writing Literary Fiction - Part One
Begins Jan 9, 2017
Course Length: Eight weeks
Course Description: You know the basic elements of fiction. Now what? Whether you’ve only written a few short stories or dozens, this course is designed to help you push your writing to the next level. To do that, we will concentrate on the craft and vision needed to write the literary short story. Alice LaPlante calls this the method and the madness. This course is one of three consecutive courses using the LaPlante book. It is a prerequisite for the other two courses in the series.
Required Text: The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante
Facilitated by: Carol
MFA706 The Difficult Imagination - after innovative writing
Begins Jan 9, 2017
Course Description: MFA706 theorizes and questions the often unconscious assumptions behind such traditional writing movements as temporality, scene, and characterization. It offers various suggestions for generating writing that resists, rethinks, and/or expands the very notion of narrativity. We will visit a number of important concerns/trends/obsessions in current writing (both on the page and off); discuss marketplace (ir)realities; hone critical reading and manuscript editing capabilities; and strengthen problem-solving muscles from brainstorming to literary activism.
We will take a look at some classic texts and how their authors propelled us into what we know as contemporary literature today.
The exercises and supplemental readings challenge authors to push their work into self-aware and surprising territory.
Study includes: The Balzacian mode vs the Difficult Imagination, Conventional writing and alternative traditions, the McDonaldization of the literary marketplace, Why we write, Automatic writing, Writer’s Block, Narrativity, Setting, Characters: Round and Flat, Engaging with Deep Attention, Scene, Dialogue, Flashback, Tense, Point of View, Word Worlds, Endings, Methods of composition in today’s media, Hypertext, Hypermedia, New-Media Writing, “Re-Visions”, Publishing in a tribal ecology and more.
Many of these topics may sound intimidating, but put simply, this course is about taking chances, trying to compose in alternative surprising, revelatory directions, about trying to move out of your comfort zone to discover what might lie on the other side.
Required Text: Architectures of Possibility – After innovative writing by Lance Olsen
Facilitated by: Karen
Writers’ Village University currently offers four certificate programs: Fiction MFA, Short Story MFA, Nonfiction MFA and Creative Writing. MFA Program courses are facilitated by experienced volunteers. All courses and workshops are included with WVU Memberships at no extra charge.
WVU Fiction MFA
WVU’s Fiction MFA is modeled on graduate-level university programs. A full-time student typically takes three courses per semester for 3 years (six 16-week semesters). WVU works differently; our courses vary in length according to the subject. For MFA students, courses are grouped by the semester. For example, eight 2-week courses equal a one-semester course. Likewise, two 4-week courses plus one 8-week course equal a one-semester course.
Part time students may take classes according to their schedules. There is no time limit to complete the program.
WVU’s Fiction MFA program includes advanced workshops and a balance of craft and literature courses. This is our most comprehensive program with six 16-week semesters
Short Story MFA
Our Short Story MFA is a 2-year program with a balance of craft and literature courses.
Our Nonfiction MFA is a 2-year program with a balance of craft, research, marketing and literature courses. It begins January 28, 2016.
Creative Writing Certificate
Our Creative Writing Certificate is a 1-year program is for beginners.
Congratulations to Philip Bernhardt (PhilipM) on being the first to complete a One-Year Creative Writing Certificate from Writers’ Village University. “I began pursuing the Certificate as soon as it was offered,” sais Phil. “Not only has it helped my writing, but it has opened the door to a huge number of authors I never would’ve read.”
A Hoosier, Phil’s been a Virginia resident since 1976. He and his wife of forty-seven years raised two sons and a daughter and, over the years, have called California, Illinois, Georgia, and Maryland ‘home’. The youngest of their granddaughters will graduate from college this spring.
Phil retired from the Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) after twenty years of service, including duty on board an aircraft carrier, two amphibious assault ships, and a submarine. “The submarine was the best sea duty,” he says. And the best shore duty? “Being on Presidents Carter and Reagan's staff at Camp David.”
Phil holds BA, MBA and MS degrees in accounting with, he says “an average time between completion of thirteen years.” Following his military duty, he spent three years as a legislative assistant to a state delegate, two years selling booze at Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control--“a great job for a former sailor”-- and several years working as a contract writer working on proposals, financial estimates, and conducting financial analyses.
When he’d had enough of the Federal contracting system, Phil taught college accounting and became a university administrator, and eventually dropped out of the workforce to try his hand at writing.
In 2011, an online ad for F2K landed him in the WVU halls. He credits his first mentor (or ‘tormentor’, as he insists she called herself), Janet, for leading him in the right direction and showing him “how little I knew about fiction.” Fortunately, that didn’t deter Phil, though he adds that “Writing well may be the most difficult job I've attempted.”
When he’s not reading all those new authors, or writing, Phil spends his time working through the ‘honey-do’ list as a priority, he claims. He’s also managed to go back to golf after a thirty-year hiatus, and is now taking photography classes through Great Courses. “Photography is learned and practiced, much like writing,” he says.
Congratulations, Phil, on leading the way!
At the heart of WVU is an active, supportive writing community representing all levels of writing skills and interest. Our members represent over 100 countries from across the globe; the majority have been with us 5 to 15 years. Most join for the courses, but stay for the groups.
WVU Site Guides are available to help members get started. Our site guides are knowledgeable WVU Volunteers who love helping other writers.
Within WVU are many writing groups and workshops. Each has its own specialty, personality and writing goals. New members will always find a home in our community. WVU currently has 30 active writing groups for from beginning to advanced writers.
Over 200 writing courses and workshops are included at no extra charge to members. New courses start weekly. Classes may be taken at scheduled times with fellow members, or as self-study courses anytime.
Unique Courses: WVU has the largest selection of online writing courses. While many of our classes cover traditional elements of the writing craft, we also teach advanced concepts not found in other schools, giving our members the edge needed to excel in their craft. A large percentage of our members have become published authors since joining WVU.
Our interactive classrooms are easy to use, intuitive and require no special software. Quick help is always available if needed.
Included is an extensive array of communication tools for members, including forums, private messaging, inter-community mailbox, chat rooms, and personal profile pages where members may share photos and videos.
Quick, friendly support is readily available whenever needed. Help requests are often responded to within minutes by WVU volunteers. Our FAQs, Knowledge Base and Support Forum cover most questions, so answers are always easy to find.
We offer a wide variety of resources for writers, including reference tools, a bookstore and our Character Building Workshop.
Currently, we're introducing a new line of advanced courses inspired by traditional university MFA programs, but without the expensive tuition. Our MFA courses are included with memberships. The course are 2-18 weeks long, are flexible, and fit busy schedules. New courses are added and updated regularly to meet the demands of changing markets.
Join WVU Today: Annual Memberships are $99 for the first year & $69 to renew.