Lesley University Creative Writing MFA Ranks Sixth in Low-Residency Programs Worldwide

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Lesley University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is one of the best low-residency programs in the world, according to new rankings by Poets & Writers magazine, a premier publication for aspiring writers. Lesley’s program, which meets in Cambridge, Mass. in January and June, offers tracks in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for stage and screen, and writing for young people.

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Our location in Cambridge – one of the most prestigious literary communities in the nation – makes the residency a one-of-a-kind experience for our students.

Lesley University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is one of the best low-residency programs in the world, according to new rankings by Poets & Writers magazine, a premier publication for aspiring writers.

The MFA in Creative Writing program was ranked sixth on the magazine’s low-residency list. Low-residency creative writing programs, which have gained popularity in recent years, bring students to campus typically twice a year for workshops, seminars, readings and meetings with established writers and publishing professionals. The remainder of the year is spent working independently with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Lesley’s program, which meets on campus for nine days in both January and June, was among the highest in “Genres Available,” offering tracks in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for stage and screen, and writing for young people. The program also offers a unique interdisciplinary component which allows students to work in other areas, such as creative writing pedagogy, publishing internships, teaching assistantships, and writing in a second genre.

Poets & Writers rated 46 low-residency programs in its September/October issue.

“Through polling of applicants and analysis of the program, Poets & Writers has recognized Lesley’s Creative Writing program to be of the highest quality,” said Vivien Marcow Speiser, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. “Our distinguished faculty and guests are among the most successful writers in the country, and our location in Cambridge – one of the most prestigious literary communities in the nation – makes the residency a one-of-a-kind experience for our students.”

The high ranking is the latest in a string of successes for Lesley’s Creative Writing program, which has brought writers including Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are"), Andre Dubus III ("House of Sand and Fog"), poet Louise Gluck ("The Wild Iris"), playwright and screenwriter Theresa Rebeck ("Law and Order: Criminal Intent"), and David Rakoff (contributor to "This American Life") to campus.

“Our students have found success both with publishing and in teaching positions,” said program director Steven Cramer. “To have Poets & Writers validate the entire program is a tribute not only to the hard work of our faculty and students, but to their collective talent, as well.”

Lesley University is a 9,000-student, multi-site university for women and men, and is one of the nation's largest providers of graduate professional education opportunities to K-12 educators. Anchored by a strong liberal arts curriculum, Lesley offers undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts, human services and the environment at its Cambridge and Boston campuses, online, and in 150 locations in 23 states. Lesley's four schools include the School of Education, the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, The Art Institute of Boston, and Lesley College, an undergraduate residential college. Lesley University prepares individuals for lives and careers that make a difference, and serves the evolving needs of students and a diverse society through innovative programs and pedagogy, high quality instruction, scholarship, advocacy, and outreach.

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