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MFA in Creative Writing at WKU clears CPE

On Feb. 13, Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education approved Western Kentucky University’s new Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Pending approval by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the program will admit its first class of students for fall 2015.

“I believe that this program, the first MFA for Western Kentucky University, has enormous potential to be a game-changer for the campus,” said Dr. Gordon Emslie, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. “This full-residency program builds on several well-established strengths in the Department of English to provide a terminal-degree opportunity to cohorts of advanced students, who will liaise closely with their faculty mentors during their sojourn with us. Our MFA students will not only contribute to the scholarly and creative activity of the University, but will also, through their role as advanced graduate teaching assistants, contribute very meaningfully to the educational experience for our undergraduates.”

The program will provide students pursuing vocations in creative writing the opportunity to acquire the background to become leading citizens in the arts community. WKU’s MFA will primarily prepare students for lives as writers of novels, short fiction, creative nonfiction, scripts, and poetry and related pursuits such as teaching, literary editing and publishing.

“The MFA offers exciting new opportunities to our students,” said Dr. David Lee, Dean of Potter College of Arts & Letters. “It’s an affordable, innovative degree that underscores WKU’s commitment to nurturing the creative arts in Kentucky at the highest level.”

One of the program’s distinctive features is that students will complete a secondary concentration in literature, composition/rhetoric, or teaching English as a second language in order to give them additional options for employment after graduation. Students will enroll in two internships related to creative writing and/or their career interest to better position themselves for professional work and to create opportunities for community engagement.

Unlike many MFA programs in creative writing, WKU’s program will also offer courses in scriptwriting.

“This track will complement WKU’s strong and growing film program and will yield opportunities for internships in Nashville’s burgeoning film and television industry,” said Dr. Rob Hale, Head of WKU’s English Department. “Genre fiction and creative writing pedagogy will also be distinctive areas of emphasis not found in many MFA programs.”

For additional information about the new program, contact Dr. David Bell, Director of Creative Writing, at mfacw@wku.edu, or visit the department’s web page at http://wku.edu/english/mfa_creative_writing.php

Contact: David Bell, (270) 745-4406.

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