Eastern's Inland Northwest Center for Writers offers an undergraduate emphasis in Creative Writing within the English major, as well as a Master of Fine Arts that is recognized as one of the outstanding programs in the country. Our faculty of eight, all practicing writers with numerous and national book publications, are committed, passionate, and accessible teachers. Prospective graduate students, please visit our MFA Program Website to learn more about us.
Students may obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing or a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a Creative Writing option. The program offers writing workshops, literary studies, and form and theory courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Individual thesis instruction makes up close to twenty-five percent of the coursework at the graduate level.
Writing workshops are purposefully small and enable students to hone their writing skills through instruction and peer feedback and critique. The program sponsors several readings each academic year by distinguished writers. Recent guests include Marilynne Robinson, Thomas Lynch, Patricia Hampl, Tomaz Salamun, Linda Bierds, Thomas Lux, Alison Baker, James Welch, Valerie Martin, John Edgar Wideman, Dorianne Laux, Yusef Komunyakaa, Phillip Lopate, and Samantha Chang. Each year several writing workshops are taught by one or more of our guests, providing students with valuable guidance and advice.
The Inland Northwest Center for Writers fosters creativity, diversity, and individual style, allowing students to fully explore their visions of writing, publishing, and teaching. Students have opportunities to give public readings at local bookstores, coffee shops, taverns, and clubs. For-credit Internships are available in EWU's literary journal, Willow Springs, and in its counterpart small press, Willow Springs Editions, providing valuable editing and publishing experience. Students can also earn credits interning as hosts and event planners for Spokane's annual Get Lit! literary festival.
Creative Writing graduate students can also intern as teachers for Writers In The Community (WITC), a program in which they visit area schools, correctional facilities, shelters, and other community organizations as volunteer creative writing teachers. WITC makes creative writing accessible to the public, provides EWU students with teaching experience, and promotes community awareness.Graduate students may be awarded Teaching Assistantships that provide opportunities to teach freshman composition or introductory creative writing courses. Assistantships carry a stipend and a tuition waiver. Please note: Only incoming first-year students may apply for Teaching Assistantships. Returning students are eligible for merit scholarships and graduate assistantships.
Our graduates often go on to pursue careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching, and other professions where writing and critical thinking abilities are valued. Graduates of the program have published books with various presses, including Yale University, University of Texas, St. Martin's, Copper Canyon, Sierra Club Books, Gallery, Daedalus, Simon and Schuster, and Putnam.
Short work has appeared in an array of journals such as Hawaii Review, Poetry Northwest, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Permafrost, Northwest Review, New York Times Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Columbia Southern Poetry Review, Chariton Review, and many anthologies. Former students have received such literary awards as the Yale Younger Poets Award, the Irish Prize, publication in Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Award Stories, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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