Oregon State University's high residency MFA program in Corvallis has a long tradition of excellence in producing and teaching creative writing, going all the way back to the 1950s when the future distinguished novelist William Kittredge was a student here, and Bernard Malamud won a National Book Award while teaching in the English Department.

This is a distinguished past, but our present is even more remarkable.

Creative Writing has never been more vital or successful at OSU than it is right now, with a nationally competitive pool of applicants in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, full funding for all our students through GTA and GRA positions, full tuition waivers, and a vibrant Visiting Writers Series.

Program Highlights

Founded in 2002, the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing has produced a superlative track record, bringing regional and national attention to OSU.

  • The faculty have published more than 40 books, several of which have been New York Times and New Yorker Notable Books, and have received prestigious prizes, such as the National Jewish Book Award, the award for Best Poetry of the Year from the Poetry Foundation, and 6 Oregon Book Awards. Their work appears regularly in top national magazines such as The Paris Review, Poetry, McSweeney’s, and The New Yorker, and in anthologies such as Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart PrizeBest of the Small Presses. The faculty’s many national prizes for writing, such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Hemingway Short Story Award, the John Ciardi Prize, and the Whiting Award are complemented by a commitment to teaching and one-on-one mentorship. 
  • Our graduate students come to us from top-ranked universities all over the country, competing for 6 seats in fiction, 4 in poetry, and 4 in nonfiction.
  • All accepted students are fully funded through Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantships, tuition waivers, and stipends to defray half of student fees. We submit our top candidates for prestigious university-wide fellowships and scholarships.
  • In addition to teaching courses in composition, most GTAs have the opportunity to teach an introductory creative writing course during their second year.
  • Our vibrant Visiting Writers Series brings 4-5 nationally known writers and poets to campus each year. A Literary Northwest series celebrates the burgeoning literary scene in the Willamette Valley and the Northwest. The biennial EdFest brings in a panel of editors, publishers, agents, and writers to address a range of topics related to professional development and literary citizenship.
  • We also offer internships in literary editing, publishing, arts administration, and alternative pedagogies (e.g., teaching in youth correctional facilities) to name just a few.
  • In 2011, thanks to the generosity of OSU alumni Patrick and Vicki Stone, the biennial Stone Award in Lifetime Literary Achievement was established – one of the nation’s most generous literary prizes. Joyce Carol Oates was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2012, followed by Tobias Wolff in 2014 and Rita Dove in 2016.
  • Our current and past students have published books and chapbooks with publishers including Simon & Schuster, Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan), Hawthorne Books, Engine Books, West Virginia University Press, Forest Avenue Press, CutBank Books, and Gimmick Press. Their essays, stories, poems, and hybrid works have appeared in over 100 print and online literary journals, magazines, and anthologies including The Oxford American, Atticus Review, Prairie Schooner, The Greensboro Review, American Poets, The Normal School, Crazyhorse, Passages North, The Collagist, Brevity, Chicago Quarterly Review, Essay Daily, Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Delta Review, PANK, Seneca Review, The Collagist, Crab Creek Review, Witness, TriQuarterly Online, DIAGRAM, Entropy, Ninth Letter, The Minnesota Review, North American Review, Ninth Letter, Five Points, Iron Horse, Quarterly West, Sonora Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, Indiana Review, Pleiades, and Sycamore Review.

If you are interested in applying for our MFA program, please see the MFA Application Guidelines.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing News

School of Writing, Literature & Film Events

School of Writing, Literature & Film Events

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Literary Northwest Series at The Valley Library

Join us as we hear from Peter Nathaniel Malae and Clem Starck, authors of Son of Amity and Cathedrals & Parking Lots.…

The Literary Northwest Series Presents Peter Nathaniel Malae and Clem Starck at The Valley Library

Peter Nathaniel Malae is the author of three novels: Son of Amity (Oregon State University Press, 2018), Our Frail Blood (Grove/Atlantic, 2013), and What We Are...…

The Visiting Writers Series Presents Tomás Q. Morín at Withycombe Hall

Tomás Q. Morín is the author of Patient Zero and A Larger Country, winner of the APR/Honickman Prize and runner-up for the PEN Osterweil Award. He translated Pablo Neruda’s...…

The Literary Northwest Series Presents Keith Scribner and Gary Fisketjon at Learning Innovation Center (LINC)

Gary Fisketjon worked at Random House, Vintage Books, and the Atlantic Monthly Press until 1990, when he joined Alfred A. Knopf, where he is now Vice President and Editor at...…
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