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Residencies & Semesters


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. Sample Residency Calendar


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. 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.

Upcoming Residency Dates

  • Spring 2021: January 2-11, 2021
  • Fall 2021: July 9-18, 2021