Solstice Alumni Association (SOLA)
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 professional development programming at our biannual residencies. We also host a reception for Solstice alumni, students, and faculty members at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference.
SOLA, the official Solstice Alumni Association, represents all alumni and helps to ensure that Solstice graduates stay engaged and involved. SOLA’s leadership and working committees host an annual Alumni Reading at AWP and coordinate an Alumni Event at summer MFA residencies. 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.
Publications by Solstice Graduates
Our graduates have published books in all four genre concentrations: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and writing for young people, in addition to placing their work in myriad literary journals (both print and online publications). For a photo gallery of book covers (with links) by Solstice graduates, click here. For a list of literary journals featuring work by Solstice graduates, please go to: Graduate Publications
"Several of the essays in my first chapbook, What’s in a Butch’s Purse and Other Humorous Essays, began at Solstice when I was a student. The push to write and the motivation from students and faculty gave me the courage to keep working on these little essays until they ended up in this collection! The MFA Director and Associate Director have promoted and highlighted my work on Facebook, in press releases, and in the MFA newsletter. The continued support I’m getting from my MFA program post-graduation is amazing to me."
—graduate Cindy Zelman
"The staff at PMC offers a nurturing environment for aspiring writers. They were instrumental in getting my first novel published. The support I received as an alumni made me think I was still a full time student. It's an environment you would be hard pressed to find in other graduate programs."
—graduate John Theo Jr.
Careers for the MFA Graduate
Solstice graduates have gone on to teach writing professionally; published stories, poems, essays, and book-length works; started literary journals, e-publishing imprints, and community outreach programs; and used the skills they gained in the MFA Program to explore writing in other genres, including writing for the screen. At each step of the way, our alumni receive encouragement and support from program staff, SOLA staff, and their peers. Graduates who opted to take our Applied Track in Pedagogy gain additional skills that prepare them to teach writing at the college level.
Opportunities for Graduates
Professional Development Courses
In keeping with the MFA program’s mission of encouraging diversity and community-building, professional development courses address both the practical nuts and bolts of the business of writing and the ways in which the literary arts can be an instrument of cultural change. To read descriptions of recent classes, go to: Professional Development courses.
"Solstice gave me a confidence to actualize my dream of creating a ground-breaking literary anthology of the edgiest YA fiction—I credit the supportive and positive environment of this program for fueling me to create Sucker Literary."
—graduate Hannah Goodman
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 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 gain valuable skills in arts administration and event management, to reconnect with the MFA community — for newer graduates, easing the transition from working within a structured, mentored environment to working independently — and to meet and work with nationally acclaimed writers.
"The grad assistantship was a great way (one of many) for me to maintain my connection with Solstice after graduation. In my case, it felt a lot like a cool writer's retreat where I paid dues by way of making myself useful."
—graduate Laura Jones
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.
"I went into my post-graduate semester with a completed draft of my manuscript, and therefore, faculty member Amy Hoffman and I were able to focus more on the smaller things – images, sentences, figurative language. This process was enlightening and extremely productive, and my manuscript has blossomed as a result. I highly recommend the Post-Grad Semester."
—graduate Kassie Rubico
Donating to the Solstice MFA Scholarship Fund
The Solstice MFA Fund provides need-based scholarships to eligible students; donors don’t need to wait for our annual Writers Helping Writers online fundraiser to make a tax-deductible gift! These contributions ensure that Solstice can continue to support talented writers of limited means.
As a charitable non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, contributions to the Solstice MFA Fund are fully tax deductible according to U.S. law.
*Checks should be made out to Pine Manor College; please put “Solstice Scholarship Fund” on the memo line and mail to:
Attn: Tanya Whiton, Associate Director
Solstice MFA in Creative Writing
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
To make a donation by credit card, call (617) 731-7697