Red Earth MFA  

The Red Earth MFA is a low-residency program, which means that as a student in our program, you will attend ten-day residencies (twice a year, in January and July) filled with workshops presented by working writers, literary arts professionals, literary scholars, and pedagogy experts.You’ll also meet with your faculty mentor, a professional writer working in your genre (creative non-fiction, fiction, screenwriting, young adult fiction, or poetry). During residencies, you and your mentor will work closely together to design your course of study for the following semester.

You'll begin each of your four semesters with a residency and, at the end of your fourth semester, you'll attend a fifth residency to present your thesis--a manuscript-length creative work in your genre which you will have prepared during your time in the program.


During your semesters (between residencies), you'll work from home, reading and writing in your genre, reading books and articles on craft, in the history of your genre, and on writing practices. You'll be supported in your writing and reading by a close professional relationship with your assigned faculty mentor; our faculty mentors work with no more than five students at a time. You will send your mentor a series of five packets that will contain your creative writing, annotations of books and articles you've read, and a process letter which will serve as a conversation starter for your mentor's reply. Mentors will, in turn, comment on your writing and your annotations, and will send your packet back to you with a letter of reply that might cover anything from establishing a writing practice to handling specific craft elements in your writing to suggestions for further reading.

During your semesters, you will also participate in online workshops, fostering a community of writers that is sustained beyond the residencies. The online workshops will be designed around craft questions in your genre or in one of our “strands” in writing pedagogy, professional writing (which includes editing and producing our literary journal, The Red Earth Review).

Upcoming Residency Dates
  • Fall 2014: July 5-14
  • Spring 2015: January 2-11
  • Fall 2015: July 10-19
  • Spring 2016: January 2-11


All Red Earth MFA public events are free and open to the general public.


Monday, July 8, 7pm

Venue: Circle Cinema, Tulsa, OK

Booksmart Tulsa Variety Hour: Art, Crime, & Politics Join The Red Earth faculty members Allison Amend (A Nearly Perfect Copy), Lou Berney (Whiplash River), and Kat Meads (For You, Madam Lenin) as they discuss their recent novels and respond to questions about the novels and about the writing life.

Saturday July 13, 10 am-12pm

Venue: Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, OKC)

Writer in the Archive A free public workshop featuring The Red Earth MFA faculty mentor Kat Meads who will discuss how a writer uses archives, as she did for researching her recent novel, For You, Madam Lenin. Following Meads’s discussion, a workshop on available resources at OHC will be presented by the OHC staff.

Monday, July 15, 6pm

Venue: Ralph Ellison Public Library, 2000 NE 23rd, OKC

Adult Writing Workshop Mentored by Red Earth MFA faculty member Quraysh Ali Lansana, Red Earth creative writing pedagogy students will present a free adult writing workshop at the Ellison library. All interested participants welcome and encouraged to attend, whether or not they have creative writing experience or training. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Ralph Ellison Centennial.

Tuesday, July 16, 6:30pm

Venue: Edmond Public Library, 10 S. Boulevard, Edmond

Faculty Reading The Red Earth MFA faculty mentors Allison Amend, Lou Berney, Kerry Cohen, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Kat Meads, and Jeanetta Calhoun Mish will give a free public reading of their work. Books will be available for purchase and signing. For information on our faculty, see

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Venue: The Great Hall in the University Center, Oklahoma City University Campus

Reading by Visiting Writers Visiting writers Dawn Lundy Martin ( and Margo Rabb ( will give a free public reading followed by a Q&A session. Books will be available for purchase and signing.




Sample Residency Schedule