MFA & Creative Writing Certificate Programs

Overview

 

Writers’ Village University currently offers three certificate programs: Fiction MFA, Short Story MFA and Creative Writing.

 

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. It includes four 16-week semesters.

 

Creative Writing Certificate

Our Creative Writing Certificate program is for beginners and includes two 16-week semesters.

 

MFA Program Certificate Requirements

Credits are given when course requirements are met.  This includes completing all assignments and class participation. Giving feedback is a key part of the learning process, and each class has its own quantity and quality requirements for exchanging feedback with fellow students. Unless a facilitator specifies otherwise, a minimum of 4 feedback responses per assignment is required to qualify for credits. If the class has less than 4 students, then give each student feedback. If help is needed, we recommend taking B112: Constructive Feedback, either with a class or independently. You can also learn by reading feedback given by others in the MFA Program. Also helpful is B101 Orientation, which runs weekly.

 

Credits

A traditional university credit system is based on a 14 to 16-week semesters. Each completed course in a semester earns 3 credits. Because WVU courses vary in length, we’ve simplified our system. Credits are equivalent to weeks. For example, one 16-week course earns 16 credits, two 8 week courses earns 16 credits and eight 2-week courses earn 16 credits. 

 

 

1 YR Creative  Writing Certificate

2 YR Short Story MFA Certificate

3 YR Fiction MFA Certificate

MFA PROGRAM CORE COURSES

48 CREDITS

80 CREDITS

112 CREDITS

MFA FOUNDATION COURSES

32 CREDITS

32 CREDITS

16 CREDITS

SHORT STORY COURSES

16 CREDITS

16 CREDITS

16 CREDITS

WESTERN LITERATURE

 

16 CREDITS

32 CREDITS

WORLD LITERATURE

 

16 CREDITS

16 CREDITS

WORKSHOPS

 

16 CREDITS

48 CREDITS

ELECTIVES/INDEPENDENT STUDY

 

16 CREDITS

16 CREDITS

MODERN LITERATURE

 

 

32 CREDITS

Total Credits

96

192

288

 

MFA Program Core Courses

Each program has required core courses. Typically they are either 8 or 16 week courses such as MFA700 Narrative Design and MFA110 Syntax, Style and Grammar, which are required for all three programs.  The two and three year programs have additional core courses, either required or as electives.  Core Courses in the MFA700 and MFA800 series are exclusive to students in the MFA Program.  

 

MFA Foundation Courses

All courses that begin with “MFA” other than core courses are MFA Foundation Courses. For example: MFA05 The Contemplative Essay or MFA216 Voice and Style.

 

Short Story Courses

Each program requires at least 16 credits of short story courses. All literature courses, including short story courses begin with “L.” For example: L211 Poe and Hawthorne Short Works. Most short story courses are 2-weeks long.

 

Literature Courses

There are three categories of literature courses, Western, World and Modern. WVU literature courses include novels, novellas and surveys. Survey courses may include grouped excerpts, essays, novels, novellas, and short stories.

 

Western Literature is generally works from the European legacy dating back to the ancient Greeks. This includes works from Australia, Russia, the United States, and Canada. A complete list is available here.

 

World Literature, for our purposes, is a practical term for works not included in Western Literature. It includes Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American authors.

 

Modern Literature includes novels, novellas and survey courses. This roughly includes works of all origin published within the last 30 years.

 

MFA Workshops

There are three levels of MFA Program Workshops: 100, 200 and 300. Each has different requirements.

 

MFA 100 Workshops

MFA 100 Workshop is reserved for students who have completed MFA700 Narrative Design and MFA110 Syntax, Style and Grammar.

 

MFA 200 Workshops

MFA 200 Workshop is reserved for students who have completed 64 weeks of core courses, including MFA700 Narrative Design and MFA110 Syntax, Style and Grammar.

 

MFA 300 Workshops

MFA 300 Workshop is reserved for students who have completed 80 weeks of core courses, including MFA700 Narrative Design and MFA110 Syntax, Style and Grammar.

 

Electives

Electives include all MFA Foundation or MFA Core courses. 

 

Independent Study

Students wishing to specialize may create their own 16-week course. This option is only available to students in 2 and 3 year programs, and only in the final year. The course plan must be submitted then approved in advance by an MFA Adviser. This option will be available in 2016.

 

No Time Limits

Though programs are designated as 1,2 and 3 years, there are no time limits to complete a program.  Students may take courses at their own pace according their schedules. For example, a one year program requires 96 credits, which is equivalent to a full-time student completing 3 16-week courses a semester for 2 semesters. A part-time student will take longer to complete program courses.

 

1 YEAR CREATIVE WRITING CERTIFICATE SAMPLE TRACK

weeks/credits

MFA CORE COURSES

MFA700 Narrative Design

16

MFA110 Syntax, Style and Grammar

16

MFA702 Subtext

8

MFA703 Maps of the Imagination

8

TOTAL MFA CORE COURSES

48

SHORT STORIES COURSES

L106: Anton Chekhov Short Stories

2

L116: Virginia Woolf Short Stories

2

L200 Proust - Short Works

2

L211 Poe and Hawthorne Short Stories

2

L230 Italo Calvino Short Stories

2

L231 Paul Yoon Short Stories

2

L232 Kevin Moffett & Nam Le Short Stories

4

TOTAL SHORT STORY COURSES

16

MFA FOUNDATION COURSES

MFA214 Describing and Withholding

2

MFA215 Inflection, Tone and Pitch

2

MFA216 Voice and Style

2

MFA217 Magical Realism, Breaking Rules

2

MFA218 Adding Humor to Fiction

2

MFA219 The Purpose and Practice of Revision

2

MFA220 Editing and Polishing

2

MFA231 Art and Artifice

2

MFA232 Backstory

2

MFA233 Cliffhangers and Thrusters

2

MFA250: How to Hook the Reader

2

MFA251: Story Focus

2

MFA252 Emotions and POV

2

MFA253 What Protagonists Want

2

MFA254 Protagonist Inner Issues

2

MFA255 Story Is in the Specifics

2

TOTAL MFA FOUNDATION COURSES

32

TOTAL WEEKS/CREDITS

96

 

Sample Program Comparison

 

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MFA FAQS

 

How to Keep Track of Completed Courses in Course Manager

1.     Select Add Record

2.     Complete Form

3.     Submit

Editing Course Records in Course Manager

1.     Select Edit Record

2.     Make changes

3.     Select Save and Close

Note: Records may be modified but not deleted. If you need a record deleted, change the Course ID to “DELETE.” This will notify administrator to delete the record.

 

MFA Advisers and Facilitators

WVU Facilitators and Advisers are volunteers. Facilitators help guide courses and answer questions about the assignments and readings. Advisers assist students with independent studies.

 

Courses

All courses repeat at least twice a year. Students may take multiple courses at the same time, though no more that 3 is advised unless you have the stamina and over 20 hours a week to devote to studies.

 

What classes qualify for MFA credits?

All MFA courses and literature courses qualify for credits. Course number begin with either MFA or L, e.g. MFA210 or L200.

 

Class and Workshop Sizes

It’s impossible to predict how many will participate in each class, so adjustments are made for each session. Classrooms and workshops are added as needed.

 

Changing Programs

All three programs have common MFA Core courses, so you can step from one to another at any time.

 

What Happens After We Register?

There is no application process other than filling out the form. All members qualify.

Register and take MFA courses as you normally would. Most courses are in the same classrooms. The MFA workshops, Narrative Design, and the advanced courses will run in the MFA Program area. All registered for the programs have access to this private area.

Be prepared to work. If you’re an absolute beginner, this will not be easy. Taking a few of standard courses and workshops first is recommended. Get involved with a WVU Group. It makes a difference.

 

MFA Workshops 

MFA 100 Workshops require a higher level of competence to be effective, so there are prerequisites: Narrative Design (16-week course) and Syntax, Style and Grammar (16-weeks). MFA 200  and MFA 300  Workshops are for 2 and 3-year programs, each with its own requirements.

 

Initial Texts Needed for All Programs:


Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form by Madison Smartt Bell (Kindle)

Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form (Print)

______

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose by Constance Hale (Kindle)

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose (Print)

______

Many of the texts we use are also available to Scribd.com subscribers.

 

 

Writers’ Village University - April 21, 2015