Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction: Program Goals

Program Goals

  1. Students will learn good writing skills by:
    1. Mastering skills based on accuracy and facts.
    2. Using techniques employed by fiction writers to make nonfiction more creative and readable, while adhering closely to the facts. Such tools may include but are not limited to the use of dialogue scenes, and character development. Students will learn that, how something is said is almost as important as what is said.
    3. Critiquing fellow students’ nonfiction writing samples.
    4. Critiquing assigned nonfiction writing samples.
    5.  Reading a set of exemplary nonfiction sample writings. 

  2. Students will become proficient in writing critical essays on some element of craft.

  3. Students will complete, under the supervision of faculty mentors, a publishable manuscript in nonfiction, which may take the form of a personal essay, memoir, autobiography, narrative nonfiction, immersion journalism, literary journalism, or any other form of nonfiction writing.

  4. Students will gain experience in an area of nonfiction, by working 45 hours at a literary journal, a national or regional magazine, a daily or weekly newspaper, a recognized publishing house or web-based publisher, or work with a published writer, agent, or editor. The choice of the internship will be based on students’ particular interests and needs and must be approved by the program’s Internship Coordinator.