Master of Fine Arts in Writing
SAIC’s two-year Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFAW) program celebrates the unique potential of writing in an art school affiliated with a world-famous art museum. Unlike other workshop-driven programs, SAIC’s graduate projects are the heart of the curriculum. Adapted from studio art training, this old-world style mentorship, rigorous workshops, interdisciplinary seminars, and one-on-one extended dialogue with faculty leaves room to imagine longer, wilder, and more ambitious work.
Crossing freely between the genres of poetry, fiction, playwriting/screenwriting, nonfiction, and across the school (into painting, performance, film, sculpture, fashion, art history, sound, etc.)—writers design their own track of interests and learn to trust the authority of their own intuition. They get excited about micro-fiction, text-based art, epic verse, and artist books, and also write commercial novels, plays and screenplays.
Acclaimed Faculty Mentors
MFAW faculty are highly regarded as leaders in their disciplines with award-winning expertise. They maintain vibrant local, national, and international profiles, published recently by Random House, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Vintage, Pantheon, Broadview, Europa, Dramatists Play Service, Poetry Magazine, Seattle Review, Sara Ranchouse, New Yorker, McSweeneys, Penquin, Innova Records, and the New York Times. Equally extraordinary in the art of intuition, they offer challenging critique and insights that fold and unfold what is possible in the field.
Though the focus is on process, writers prepare to lead and sustain a healthy career with an array of skills and connections gathered from critique panels, visiting artists such as George Saunders, Justin Torres, and Cristina Henriquez, and student-curated lectures, performances, salons, readings and exhibitions.
Trustee merit and dean scholarships are awarded by the Admissions committee based on exceptional promise. MFAW offers five writing fellowships for assisting Sophomore Seminars each semester as well as four teaching assistantships for undergraduate writing classes and a limited number of incentive awards and small project grants.
The program recently launched a one-year full-time teaching fellowship award for one distinguished alumni, and offers two MFAW fellowship awards for graduating writers. Writing students who demonstrate a studio practice can be included in the SAIC MFA Show and can apply for studio space. All graduating Writing students are featured in the artisan publication Collected and many gain editorial and performance experience with SAIC’s award-winning F Newsmagazine and other presses, journals, and theaters in the greater Chicago area.