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 distributing our monthly e-newsletter for students, faculty, and alumni, we host a gathering at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference, invite alum to attend our twice-yearly commencement ceremonies, and offer a reduced course audit fee to graduates at our biannual residencies. Alumni are invited to contribute to our monthly e-news via a guest column, and have written on topics ranging from pursuing work as a freelance writer to presenting papers at an academic conference.
As part of our ongoing effort to keep alumni engaged and involved, we have appointed an Alumni Coordinator, who helps to organize an annual panel on the topic of “Life After the MFA,” spear-head recruiting efforts by alum, and generally serve as a spokesperson for our graduates.
Our staff is also always on hand to discuss questions and concerns.
To read about our first-ever Solstice Alumni Celebration, click here.
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 will be available at each of our biannual MFA Residencies, held in December/January and 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 MFA Graduate Publications & Awards
Third and fourth-semester students are invited to attend seminars on the practical aspects of a writing career, including: submitting work for publication, promotion and publicity, and finding an agent.
Our graduates have published their work in myriad literary journals (both print and online publications), selected for honorable mention in national literary competitions, and secured book contracts for academic publications. Below is a partial list of journals and anthologies that have recently featured Solstice graduates:
- 2010 First of the Year
- Arts & Letters
- Barrow Street
- Cape Cod Noir
- Creative Nonfiction
- Damselfly Press
- Eastown Fiction
- Eleven Eleven
- Feminist Studies
- Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.
- Hamilton Stone Review
- Kweli Journal
- Lilith Unbound
- Limp Wrist
- Many Mountains Moving
- New York Quarterly
- PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art.
- Pear Noir
- Poet Lore
- Poetry International
- Prime Number Magazine
- Quisqueyanas: Contemporary Writings by Dominican Women
- Sinister Wisdom
- Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices
- Tar River Poetry Review
- Tawdry Bawdry
- The Caribbean Writer
- The Daily Beast
- The Paris Review
- The Pulp and Degenerate Flash Fiction Offensive
- The Spoon River Poetry Review
Careers for the MFA Graduate
A number of our graduates have gone on to teach writing professionally, either at the continuing studies or college level. As a graduate of our program, however, you will have a sense of the many career options available to you as a writer. While some of our alumni pursue teaching positions, others continue in their chosen professions or choose other literary paths outside of academia. Our Elective Seminars & Studies sessions and our applied track/internship program provide opportunities to explore such fields as arts administration & community outreach, pedagogy & literacy studies, and publishing.
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:
“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.” Erika Sanders
“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.” Kimberly Mitchell
Read Kimberly's essay about her experience in the program
“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.” Alison McGrath
Donating to the Solstice MFA Fund
As a graduate program dedicated to providing writers of all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue their creative goals, the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing of Pine Manor College offers affordable tuition, one-to-one mentoring, and small class sizes.
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:
*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.