Many writers who’ve earned an MFA in Creative Writing have an interest in continuing to work one-on-one with a mentor in order to put the final touches on the book-length manuscripts that comprised their creative theses, or to obtain feedback on newer writing projects that are well on their way to being polished but aren’t quite “there” yet. To meet this need, we offer the Solstice MFA Post-Graduate Semester Program. Details are below.
How it Works:
→The MFA Program has cadres of faculty members who love to teach and are willing to mentor individual writers for a sequence of three or five packet exchanges over the course of a semester (approximately 22 weeks). The list is provided at the end of this document.
→Interested writers must complete an application form and submit a manuscript (see application form for page limits), a synopsis (if applicable), and a proposal in which they outline their specific writing goals for Post-Graduate Semester, and how they foresee a mentor helping them to attain these goals. Non-Solstice MFA graduates must also submit one letter of recommendation from a former mentor and email it to Program Director Meg Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Details are provided on the application form.) Please note that applicants are sending proposals that might need amending before a given mentor is willing to take on the project.
→It is anticipated that creative work undertaken by post-graduates will involve the honing of relatively finished material, and include such projects as the revising and ordering of poems or stories in a collection, completing a final draft of a novel or series of essays, etc. Inthe proposal, the writer should identify problems that have arisen in the revising/rewriting process and clarify/ identify revision issues. Although a mentor can offer criticism and suggestions for polishing a manuscript, one should not expect the mentor to act as a line or copy editor.
→Some writers are working in genres other than what they concentrated in during their time as MFA students; we welcome applications in all genres no matter what a writer’s MFA concentration as long as the work is well honed and nearly “finished.”
→Writers whose proposals are accepted for the Post-Graduate Semester will receive mentor assignments by mid-July or mid-January (near the end of our winter or summer residencies). Unless special arrangements have been made, their packet exchanges with a mentor must be scheduled within the approximately 22 weeks of the semester immediately following that residency, following the schedule of the graduate program. A semester plan will be submitted as per the undergraduate program, including the schedule for packet exchanges and the number of pages the mentor agrees to review with each.
→Attendance at a Solstice MFA residency is not required.
→At the mid-semester point and at semester’s end, Post-Graduate Semester students and the faculty members with whom they are working will be asked to submit evaluation forms.
→No academic credit is available.
What it Costs:
Post-Graduate Semester Program, 5 packet exchanges: $2,250 (duration, 22 weeks); $2,000 for former Solstice MFA Program Grad Assistant
Post-Graduate Semester Program, 3 packet exchanges: $1,550 (duration, 21 weeks);$1,300 for former Solstice MFA Program Grad Assistant
Proposals for participation in the Solstice MFA Post-Graduate Semester (fall 2021 term) must be sent to the Solstice MFA Office no later than Monday, June 21, 2021. Apply for the program online.
Solstice Post-Graduate Semester Program: Participating Faculty Members
Select up to your top two choices of mentors. If mentors cannot take all post-grad students wishing to work with them, assignments will be made based on faculty input and the date on which the student applied. If we cannot assign you the mentor you wish to work with during the coming semester, you will be able to re-apply for the following semester knowing your chances will be much higher in the next “round.”
Note that participating faculty members who are teaching during the semester in question will be taking Solstice graduate students first, and will only take post-graduate students if they have not yet met their individual quotas for mentees.
NAME / GENRE(S): View our faculty bios!
Kathi Aguero | poetry
Venise Berry | fiction
Laure-Anne Bosselaar | poetry
Amy Hoffman | fiction; creative nonfiction
Randall Horton | poetry; creative nonfiction
Brendan Kiely | writing for children and young adults; fiction (spring semesters only)
Laura Williams McCaffrey | writing for children young adults; fiction
Anne-Marie Oomen | poetry; creative nonfiction (3-packet exchanges only)
Iain Haley Pollock | poetry
Sandra Scofield | fiction; creative nonfiction
Sterling Watson | fiction (summer/fall semesters only)
David Yoo | writing for children young adults; creative nonfiction; fiction
WORDS FROM SOLSTICE MFA GRADS:
“When I started the Solstice MFA Program, I had no idea what I was going to do for my creative thesis. I spent the first two semesters writing new stories, but had no idea how they were going to come together. Luckily, my mentor worked her magic, and somehow I finished the program with a collection of interconnected personal narratives. This brings me to my post-grad experience: I went into this semester with a completed draft; therefore, Amy 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 (IMHO) has blossomed as a result. I highly recommend the Post-Grad Semester.”
—Kassie Rubico, fall 2012
“My experience was great this semester. The only suggestion I have is that Post-Grad students could benefit their old Student Handbook. I found myself referring to one of mine.
I would also suggest to future students to be very clear and focused about what you want to accomplish during the semester. I chose to complete three packets which was perfect pacing for my project, but it also meant long stretches of independent work. I had a good understanding of what I needed to get done each week and each month. I scheduled work on my writing project just as I would a long-term project at my day job.”
—Cathy Cultice Lentes, fall 2014