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MFA Projects & Student-Run Publishing|Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

MFA Projects

Registration for MFA Projects is done via ENGL 5990 (title: MFA Internship) on an S/U basis.

The MFA Project is designed to enable students to pursue a project relevant to their creative/career goals, or to acquire skills relevant to their creative/career goals, that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to accomplish within the program's curricular requirements. Planning of MFA Projects will be decided by individual students in consultation with the MFA director and require the director's approval.

The MFA project invites you to ask: what are my aspirations for my time in the program—what kinds of creative work do I hope to make while here, and/or what kinds of experiences and skills do I hope to acquire in service of my future goals?  You can answer those questions in a variety of ways.  You may tap student support funds to support you project. We invite you to consult the program’s statement of principles when composing your project plans and any accompanying funding request (if needed).  The MFA project should be a separate endeavor from the MFA thesis.

Projects can fall under the following categories:

  1. A substantial creative project in a second genre or other medium that the student would not otherwise be able to accomplish via MFA workshops and/or the thesis.
  2. A substantial research project.
  3. A relevant professional internship.
  4. A teaching internship, apprenticeship, or similar teaching experience beyond the normal expectations associated with the GAship.
  5. A publishing venture (the creation of a journal, blog, or other activity meant to foster the creativity of others—see below for more information).
  6. A relevant community-based/service venture.

After consulting with the MFA director, the student will identify a project supervisor (who may be UW faculty or not, dependent upon the particular nature of the project), with whom the student will complete an MFA Project Agreement form. At the project's completion, the student will supply the MFA director with a portfolio that includes a report/reflection about the project and representative samples of work. The project supervisor must also submit a brief confirmation by email or letter indicating that the project agreement was satisfactorily fulfilled by the student. These requirements must be fulfilled before the MFA director can submit a grade for the project.

The MFA Project is worth an initial 3-4 credits, and will be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis by the MFA director. With the approval of the director and project supervisor, a student can extend the project for further credit (for a total of 8 credit hours maximum). MFA Projects can be pursued during a single semester, across more than one semester, and/or during the summer between the first and second year of the program. Students can register for credit only during a semester in which the project work is being pursued or in a subsequent semester. No credits will be awarded for experiences undertaken prior to matriculation.

**MFA students pursuing a simultaneous, second, recognized graduate degree (ENR, etc) may with permission of the MFA advisor waive the MFA project requirement in order to pursue the completion of the dual degree in a timely fashion.

MFA Project Agreement Form (ENGL 5990)

Examples of previous MFA Projects

Student-Run Publishing Projects

The UW MFA program hopes to foster diverse publishing projects dreamed up and sustained by our students on their own terms. We invite our students to ask: what kind of audience do you wish existed for your work, or for the work of other writers, or for the subjects that you believe deeply matter?  How can you go about creating that audience?

The answer can include the creation of a wide range of publishing activities: journals, blogs, websites, etc.  In building these projects from the ground up, students (individually or in collaboration) gain experience that joining an already-existing magazine doesn't necessarily cultivate.

To support students who wish to pursue such opportunities, the program allows students to earn coursework credit (through the MFA Project) as they work, and to tap their MFA support funds in service of the venture.

Students who wish to use their support funds towards a publishing project should prepare a proposal with a projected budget (form here) and present it to the MFA director for approval. We encourage students to consult the program’s statement of principles contained in this handbook when preparing their proposals. See the handbook section regarding student support funding for more information about possible uses of student resources. To see concrete examples, check the MFA website for links to publishing projects created in the past by MFA students under the auspices of the program.

 

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