Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art

MFA in Writing

“On the one hand, NHIA’s Writing program is a possibility space for hybridity and cross-pollination with other genres and art forms; on the other hand, a place where writers come to a deep understanding about what they need in today’s publishing landscape.” ~ Monica Bilson , Program Director


Storytelling is the fundamental principle of all forms of writing, whether it’s poetry, playwriting, non-fiction, marketing, transmedia, a tweet, or writing for virtual reality; it’s also at the core of who you are outside the studio. In our low residency MFA in Writing program, we ask you to examine your relationship to language outside of the studio in order to claim language more fully in your creative work.

Our two-year MFA in Writing program is inherently non-genre specific. Tracks including poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, digital writing, and immersive storytelling generatively coexist. We provide emerging writers with experimentally open creative spaces, where students are encouraged to borrow formal and conceptual tools from multiple genres and art forms. Experimentation is a means to make discoveries in writing, whether the end product is traditional or form defying.

Our graduates write books, but they also write for digital and transmedia platforms, become journalists and reviewers, and write for TV and film. The intersection of art and technology is exploding with new possibilities for what a writer can become.

About the Program

Our two-year MFA program is built around 10-day residencies every January and June. In residence, you participate in workshop and craft sessions with a diverse range of visiting writers, publishers, agents, and critics. In the Concurrent Curriculum, you join peers from the Visual Arts and Photography programs for cross disciplinary critique, as well as for group readings, presentations, and artist talks. During the six-month semester between residencies, you work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, who guides your creative and analytical work. Over your two years in the program, you build a rich network of mentors and colleagues who sustain and support you well past graduation.

Monica Bilson

Meet the Program Director: Dr. Bilson’s primary interest as a writer lies in crossing the disciplinary boundaries of fiction writing, philosophy, aesthetics, and popular culture. Originally inspired by existentialism and modernism, she has published work on topics ranging from Foucault’s theory of the panopticon as it relates to anorexia nervosa to hermetic fantasies found in Beckett’s plays and David Lynch’s films. She has served as Chair of Chester College of New England’s Writing and Literature program; Co-director of Turnstyle: the Alternative Writing Program for High School Students; and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at New Hampshire Institute of Art.

October 19-20 | NH Art Educators Conference | French Hall, 148 Concord Street, Manchester, NH
October 20 | Graduate Programs Visit Day | French Hall, 148 Concord Street, Manchester, NH | 1-4:30pm
January 12 | MFA Residency Visit Day | French Hall, 148 Concord Street, Manchester, NH | 8:30am-1pm

October 3 | Colby-Sawyer Graduate Fair | Colby-Sawyer College | 2-4pm
October 31 | Graduate Programs Writing Contest Deadline
November 13 | Pecha Kucha | Stark Brewing Company | 6:30-8:30pm
November 17 | Cleveland Institute of Art Graduate Fair | Cleveland Institute of Art | 11:30am-1pm

October 3-4 | Future of Storytelling | Staten Island, NY
September 28 | Vermont Art Education Association Conference | Lake Morey, Fairlee VT
November 8 – 10 | Texas Art Education Association Conference | McAllen, TX
November 17 | Connecticut Art Education Association Conference | Trumbull, CT
February 13-16 | College Art Association Conference | NYC
March 7-10 | Society for Photographic Education | Cleveland, OH

October 27 | Mass College of Art and Design | Boston
October 28 | Parsons School of Design | NYC
November 3 | SAIC | Chicago
November 30 | Virtual Event

QUESTIONS, 603-836-2588
Facebook: @NHIAGraduatePrograms
Instagram: @NHIAGraduatePrograms

For details about all of our events, click here.

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