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Apply to the Solstice MFA Program

**In response to COVID-19, applicants should know that we are waiving application fees.**
The summer 2021 residency, which begins our fall semester, will take place from July 9 – July 18, 2021.

The winter 2022 residency, which begins our spring semester, is set for January 7 – January 16, 2022. 

Please see our deadlines page for information regarding when applications are due.

The Admissions Committee looks for the willingness to work hard and evolve as a writer or visual storyteller; evidence that the applicant is a reader; evidence that the applicant is not just a writer, but a reader; and creative work that (by way of command of language, freshness and originality of prose or verse, depth of understanding and clear explication of the subject(s), development of dramatic material, and demonstrated knowledge of the relationship between form and content) warrants admission to a graduate-level program. Comic Graphic Narratives applicants please note: limited drawing skills are acceptable if the student is committed to growing as a visual artist as well as a writer.

How to apply:

Applicants must submit a writing sample, a personal essay, a completed application form, and the $50 application fee, in addition to transcripts and three letters of recommendation. Writing samples, essays, and application forms may be attached as PDF or Word documents through the online application portal. Please label all attachments this way: last name, genre to which you’re applying, and either “writing sample” or “essay.” For example, if your last name were Smith and you were attaching your poetry manuscript, you’d label the attachment “Smith, poetry, writing sample.”

For applications sent via regular mail, please ensure that ALL materials are clearly labeled Solstice MFA Office to ensure proper on-campus delivery.

The manuscript:

Your manuscript must represent work in the genre in which you plan to concentrate (material in excess of our stated page limits will not be read):

Poetry — no more than 10 pages; singled spaced, 12-point font; one poem per page; longer poems okay, simply indicate continuation onto next page

Fiction or Creative Nonfiction — no more than 25 pages; double spaced, 12-point font; may include multiple short pieces

Writing for Children Young Adults —no more than 25 pages; double spaced, 12-point font; applicants may submit a combination of picture book and prose narrative genres

*Comics/Graphic Narratives(fiction or nonfiction) — no more than 8–12 pages of sequential fiction or nonfiction

All manuscripts should include the writer’s name and page numbers. *Comics/graphic narrative manuscripts must not exceed the 12-page limit and should be attached as a PDF file, no larger than 8MB.

The personal essay:

The personal essay should state: highlights of what you’ve been reading during the last two years, what you have learned from any literary influences (new or old), and how you have applied that knowledge to your own work; what you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of your own work; experience with critical evaluation of your work; what you hope to gain from an MFA program; and possible obstacles to carrying a 25-hour-a-week workload. The essay should be formatted as per above, and must not run over the limit of five typed, double-spaced pages using a 12-point font.

Other requirements:

*Three letters of recommendation, sent directly (not enclosed with your application) to: Meg Kearney, Solstice MFA Director, Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. (NOTE: Letters can be emailed, provided they include complete contact information, to

*Letters of recommendation need not be from a published author and/or former professor. We are looking for letters that vouch for the applicant’s seriousness and dedication to the art of writing (and comics/graphic narratives, if applicable), as well as his/her ability to get along well in a community of writers. We will accept letters of rec past the deadline. Please don’t hesitate to apply if you don’t have these yet. We will expect them to arrive subsequently.

Official college transcript(s) from any school(s) where you received a degree (we accept hard copies or emailed copies sent by the degree granting institution). Note that we only need proof of a degree; transcripts showing partial credits are not necessary. Note that the Admissions Committee will not delay its decision based on a missing transcript, but you should have your transcript sent as soon as possible.

A completed application form, and the $50 application fee, payable by check or credit card.

GREs are not required.

If you are reapplying within 12 months from your last application, the MFA Office will still have your original file, including transcripts and letters of recommendation. In this case, you need send only a new or revised manuscript, a one-to-three page personal essay updating us on your life as a writer since you last applied, a new application form, and the $50 application fee. If you are hoping for a Need-Based Scholarship, you will need to begin this process again; see our Financial Aid page for details.

The MFA Office will confirm receipt of your application, letters of recommendation, and transcripts by email; our office cannot return applications or provide copies of applicants’ evaluations or letters of recommendation.

Applicants can expect a response within three weeks of receipt of their complete application by the Solstice MFA Office. If you have any questions, please contact the MFA in Creative Writing office at:

Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617) 731-7697 / 7684
Fax: (617) 731-7631

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