The summer residencies usually take place in August on Goucher's scenic campus in north Baltimore. They are approximately two weeks in length and include writing workshops, seminars, panel discussions, craft lectures, faculty and student readings, and the development of a contract of work for the upcoming semester. The contract includes a reading list, a correspondence method for packet exchanges, and a description of writing projects. The final summer residency is approximately five days in length and includes commencement.
The summer residencies offer MFA candidates the chance to interact with distinguished writers, as well as with representatives of the publishing community. Recent guest writers and editors have included Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Phillip Lopate, Ted Conover, Adam Hochschild, Nan and Gay Talese, Vanessa Mobley of Crown Books, and agent David Black.
The spring semester begins with a weekend mini-residency in late January. The students arrive on Goucher's Baltimore campus on Friday afternoon for a weekend of writing workshops and one-on-one conferences.
Students also have the option of completing an internship of at least 45 contact hours at a literary journal, a national or regional magazine, a daily or weekly newspaper, a recognized publishing house or a web-based publisher, or with a published writer, agent, or editor. These internships are intended to broaden the students' experience and understanding of the professional aspects of writing and publishing. Past students have read manuscripts at the David Black and Carol Mann agencies in New York and at Tin House in Portland, OR; conducted research for published authors; taught writing workshops; and worked at such publications as Harper's, McSweeney's, Sierra magazine, Creative Nonfiction, and Antioch Review.
A Link to Publishing
Goucher's MFA in Creative Nonfiction strives to provide career direction by offering editor-agent panels at the summer residencies and annual trips to New York for second-year students to meet with some of the top editors and agents in the publishing world. The trips include visits to such places as The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, Paris Review, Anchor/Vintage, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the David Black and ICM literary agencies.
Students in their final semester will submit an MFA manuscript of publishable-quality original work of at least 150 pages, from which they must give a public reading. These manuscripts will be developed with the help and advice of faculty mentors. Many have become the basis for books, including The New York Times Bestseller The Murder Room, Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home, and Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.