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Welcome Note|MFA Program Director

The University of Wyoming MFA is a small, supportive, intense, and playful program that provides you with the time to write and the power to create the context in which you work. We'll ask you to think boldly about what you want to do while you're here—conduct research in Uzbekistan,  pursue a dual degree in Environment & Natural Resources, or teach a workshop for incarcerated youth (these are real and recent examples)—and we'll do our best to make it happen. 

We're serious about writing and we're dedicated to making this a safe place to take risks and vibrant place to succeed.  And we're serious about enjoying one another's company and savoring meaningful conversations.  We want you to try out the rangy and unusual cross-genre and interdisciplinary offerings.  We encourage you ask not only “how?” but "why?"  The faculty are devoted to our writing and our students.  We don’t seek to make you into reflections of ourselves; we aspire to draw out your artistry and to mentor your journey.

We've cultivated an atmosphere of vicarious success.  We are genuinely jazzed when someone in our community succeeds.  And we also share in each other's tribulations. The life of a writer can seem defined by competition, but inside our community we work assiduously to foster mutual support. We don't put students in competition for funding or approval. We fund everyone equally and as generously as we can.  Our varied and innovative workshops are about fostering growth, not winning or losing. 

When we offer a spot in the program to an applicant, it's because we believe in your promise and we're excited to commit to your work. We recruit a fantastic and diverse group of students each year from across the country (diversity in all of its meanings matters to us), and our students publish widely (see our web newsletters, student blog, and alumni news page for recent examples).

We encourage our students to think broadly about what comes after the MFA degree. Our publication workshops put you into conversation with editors, agents, and publishers. Our Eminent Writer in Residence program and our Visiting Writers Series put you in close contact with an array of brilliant writers, both emerging and established, who exemplify richly varied manifestations of the writing life. For students who wish to pursue teaching careers, we offer strong pedagogical training and take pride in our record of placing graduates in PhD programs. Because the great majority of MFA graduates across the country won't become faculty, we’re also excited about bringing writers into our program who have no plans to stay within academia.  In short, our ultimate goal is to help you find and realize your deepest intent as a writer.

Laramie is a pleasant surprise to many of our applicants, who sometimes worry that they're moving to a remote place with a conservative culture. The town is comfortable and quirky, with vegan restaurants and yoga studios steps away from cowboy bars and western clothing stores.  The austerely enchanting wind-sculpted valley is an extraordinary place in which to write. The mountains above town are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, camping, and restful solitude.

Our website and handbook are designed to help answer questions such as how to apply to the program and how to fulfill the requirements once you're here.  But if you have a question that these do not answer, please contact us.

Jeff Lockwood

MFA Program Director

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