“I realized how lucky I had been to have experienced a program where everyone (women and men) can find a place to take creative risks, to allow themselves to put their writing first, and to find a place where Community is at the heart of the program.  I realized that not everyone has had an opportunity to experience what seems to unfold so organically at Solstice.”


Graduate Sara Cameron, July '09

Life After the MFA

Life After the MFA

As a graduate of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College, you will find that both program staff and the community of writers you discovered and helped to nurture as a student will remain supportive and communicative. In addition to promoting publications and professional achievements by Solstice graduates through our monthly e-newsletter and press releases, we invite graduates to audit classes and participate in programming geared toward alumni concerns at our biannual residencies. We also host gatherings at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference, and at our summer residencies.

As part of our ongoing effort to keep alumni engaged and involved, we have created an Alumni Committee that helps to keep graduates in regular communication with each other and the program, coordinate events at AWP and the summer residency, and maintain connections between alums and current students. This group also helps raise need-based scholarship funds for incoming students through our annual Writers Helping Writers Campaign.

Our staff is also always on hand to discuss questions and concerns.

Solstice Graduate Assistantship Program

Alumni of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program are invited to apply for Graduate Assistantships twice a year. One position for a Graduate Assistant is available at each of our biannual MFA Residencies, held in December/January and June/July on the Pine Manor College campus. Alumni are considered for these positions based on seniority and responses contained in the letter of interest submitted with our application form.

Assistantships offer our alumni a chance to reconnect with the MFA community — for newer graduates, easing the transition from working within a structured, mentored environment to working independently — in addition to furthering professional development.

Solstice Post-Graduate Study Program

Many Solstice alumni have an interest in continuing to work one-on-one with our faculty members following graduation in order to put the final touches on the book-length manuscripts that comprised their creative theses. Interested alum must complete an application form and submit a manuscript, a synopsis (if applicable), and a proposal in which they outline their specific writing goals for Post-Graduate Study, and how they foresee a mentor helping them to attain these goals.

Publications by Solstice MFA Graduates

Our graduates have published their work in myriad literary journals (both print and online publications), been selected for honorable mention in national literary competitions, and secured book contracts for academic publications and creative works.

Books by Solstice Graduates

Alison Stone, Parallel Press, 2012

Alison Stone, Parallel Press, 2012

Annette Marquis, Skinner House Books, 2013

Annette Marquis, Skinner House Books, 2013

Angela Foster & Candace Simar, River Place Press, 2013

Angela Foster & Candace Simar, River Place Press, 2013

Alison Stone, Many Mountains Moving, 2003

Alison Stone, Many Mountains Moving, 2003

Donna Coffey, Finishing Line Press, 2013

Donna Coffey, Finishing Line Press, 2013

Alison McLennan, Twisted Roots Publishing, 2013

Alison McLennan, Twisted Roots Publishing, 2013

John Theo, Jr., Astraea Press, 2013

John Theo, Jr., Astraea Press, 2013

Created and edited by Hannah Goodman, 2013

Created and edited by Hannah Goodman, 2013

Teresa Sutton, Finishing Line Press, 2012

Teresa Sutton, Finishing Line Press, 2012

Kim Suhr (current student), Red Bird-Red Oak Writing, 2012

Kim Suhr (current student), Red Bird-Red Oak Writing, 2012

Careers for the MFA Graduate

A number of our graduates have gone on to teach writing professionally, embarked on ventures in the publishing world, or gotten involved in community outreach through nonprofit arts organizations. As a graduate of our program, you will have a sense of the many career options available to you as a writer, along with new skills gained through Elective Seminars & Studies, a network of colleagues and fellow writers, and the terminal degree for teaching writing at the college level.

Recent Solstice Graduates on Life "Post-MFA"

It can be challenging to make the transition from an intensive course of study with regular deadlines to motivating and managing your own writing practice. We asked our alumni to share their experiences and offer some advice for future graduates. Here is what they had to say:

Erika Sanders:“The ONLY thing that worked for me was to reach out to my colleagues from the program. What the Solstice program taught me is that — though the act of writing is a solitary process — being a writer is not. I need community: people to cheer me on, people to ask how it is going, and people to brainstorm with me.” 

Kimberly Mitchell:“Take the time you dedicated to working on annotations and monthly deadlines and translate it into personal writing time. Don't give yourself the chance to get out of the habit of writing. I've also found it helpful to stay in touch with fellow grads and share work from time to time. Peer and mentor critiques are sorely missed, but having fellow grads who are willing to exchange work has helped and encouraged me a lot.” 

Alison McGrath: “Stay connected to your classmates. No matter how much other people in your life support you, only your classmates know exactly what it's like to be a writer outside the MFA safety bubble! Use their support. Even a simple email of encouragement from a classmate can make it a good day.” 

Donating to the Solstice MFA Fund

The Solstice MFA Fund provides need-based grants to eligible students, supports the purchase of books for Pine Manor College’s Annenberg Library, and contributes to program development. We encourage individuals to make “sustaining gifts” on a bi-annual or yearly basis — these contributions ensure that Solstice can continue to support talented writers of limited means, expand on our library holdings, and offer inspiring and engaging programming. However, we do recognize that many writers face financial constraints of their own; gifts in any amount are appreciated.

As a charitable non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, contributions to the Solstice MFA Fund are fully tax deductible according to U.S. law.

Make your tax deductible donation by sending a *check or money order to:

    Attn: Tanya Whiton, Assistant Director

    Solstice MFA in Creative Writing
    Pine Manor College
    400 Heath Street
    Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

    *Checks should be made out to Pine Manor College; please put “Solstice MFA Fund” on the memo line.

          To make a donation by credit card, call (617) 731-7697