Department of English 3353
M.F.A. Creative Writing Program
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
The MFA program at the University of Wyoming is attracting marvelous students from across the country. They are extraordinarily talented, vivid, and committed artists.
First and foremost, what we want to give our MFA students are the most precious resources any writer can receive: time to write, and a nurturing, challenging environment in which to do it. This means supporting them as best we can with assistantships and summer stipends; and it also means nurturing their adventurous spirits and their ambitions to put their work before a wider audience. We need help to do this. Any gift to the Excellence Fund, large or small, helps our students realize their talents, and helps to ensure the stability, continued excellence, and longevity of the program.
Assistantships are the most crucial way we support our students and our most crucial need. But gifts to the Excellence Fund also allow us to support our students in additional, innovative ways:
Summer Stipends give students the opportunity to devote their summers to writing.
Student Publication Budgets assist publishing efforts. Each of our MFA students receives an annual publication-support budget. For graduate students, the expenses of printing and mailing manuscripts, applying for residencies and retreats, and making inroads with agents, contests, and publishers, mount quickly. Our students are publishing widely and winning contests, and the Excellence Fund helps make that happen.
The Travel Grant Program provides funding to students so that they can pursue writing and research-related travel that they otherwise could not afford. Because of the Excellence Fund, our students have traveled to locations around the world, including China, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, England, Uruguay, and Bermuda. Without the Excellence Fund, these students wouldn't have such opportunities to enrich and enhance their work with on-the-ground research, with immersion in the places and communities about which they wish to write.
The Shortgrass Steppe Residencies give thesis-writing students time and space for their writing in a quiet and distinctively beautiful western landscape.
Our Visiting Writers Series brings emerging and renowned authors to campus and gives our students the chance to learn about the writing life from a diverse range of contemporary writers.
An endowment fund supporting the Creative Writing MFA program was created through the generosity of UW alum Mel Cox, Senior Vice President of Sun Chemical Company in New Jersey. We asked Mr. Cox for a statement explaining why he established the fund:
by Mel Cox
During the recently concluded Distinction Campaign I asked Dean Walter how I might best help to provide a continuing source of funding in an area of A&S that had not then seen many benefits from the endowment giving. He identified, among others, the Creative Writing Program within the English Department as deserving of support.
I knew Janice Harris from my participation in the A&S Board of Visitors. She had made it known that she wanted to create a MFA program in creative writing and I knew she would welcome my support to help toward that goal.
Although lawyers are not often thought of as being in the same category as creative writers in their use of the English language, I have always valued the ability to express ideas powerfully and passionately through the written word. No other medium of expression, in my opinion, is quite so malleable to the creator's will in its ability to transmit the complexities of mood, thought and description. I then considered, "Why Wyoming?" when there are so many competing established programs available. One answer was found in my long-held belief that in this place there is a unique stress between isolation and stimuli which creates time and opportunities to develop ideas somewhat free from the distractions of an urban environment. That ought to offer the creative writer the quiet and distance needed to form and develop their work plus the academic environment at UW is exciting and vibrant enough to stimulate and nurture creativity. And finally, over arching all of this is my strong personal commitment to support the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences in providing superior opportunities for study in the fine arts. The MFA in Creative Writing, without doubt, qualifies by definition and purpose.
For more information on how to donate e-mail email@example.com.