The Flex Res MFA in Creative Writing
Mills offers a new kind of MFA in creative writing that enables you to earn a degree in poetry or prose your way. Whether you’re interested in traditional classes, individualized mentoring, or both, we offer the flexibility to decide how you want to learn each semester. Our one-on-one learning experiences are unmatched by other MFA programs. Our graduates go on to publish books that shift the narrative. They teach the next generation, attend top-tier PhD programs, and build dynamic careers in publishing, content production, and arts administration.
About the Program
Students anywhere in the world can earn an MFA in creative writing at Mills College. We're proud to be one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, and we invite you to join our community. We offer a range of options you can select from to create an individualized educational experience that fits your goals. You can enroll in classroom-based workshops and craft classes that hone your writing through faculty and peer feedback. You can complete some or all of your degree through one-on-one work with a faculty mentor in our portfolio-based Flex MFA curriculum which lets you be on campus as much or as little as you desire. Our expanding online offerings allow you to attend class on your schedule during summer and January terms.
Concentrations in education, literary arts administration, PhD preparation, and young adult fiction prepare you for the next step, or you can create your own unique concentration with electives in podcasting, performance, and pedagogy. Our literary editing and production course gives you hands-on experience editing the annual issue of our graduate journal, 580 Split. Every Tuesday at 5:30 pm you have the chance to meet nationally renowned writers, literary agents, and editors at readings, talks, and performances.
Our faculty of renowned writers are committed to your growth. You'll work with exciting new voices; recent visiting faculty include Ari Aber, Tongo Eisen-Martin, and Shanthi Sekaran. Our two-semester thesis process is rigorous and supportive. You'll be pushed as a writer and encouraged to write a thesis that is risky, investigative, and confident. Your thesis may be the first draft of your first book, as alumnae publications show. Melissa Valentine began her memoir The Names of All the Flowers at Mills. Aiden Thomas’s thesis Lost in the Never Woods led to their second book Cemetery Boys. mai c. doan’s thesis became her first poetry collection, water/tongue, as did Andrea Abi-Karam’s EXTRATRANSMISSION.
Many of our students want to give back to the communities that have nurtured them, and our program provides the tools to do this. For those interested in pursuing careers in teaching, our flagship course, Theories and Strategies of Teaching Writing, connects you with an extensive network of teachers at local community colleges, and many of our graduates go on to teaching positions after graduation. Graduate assistantships provide invaluable experience in the classroom, as a tutor, or working in literary events programming. You are also encouraged to apply for a community collaborator position through We Are the Voices initiative that connects students with local and national poets, performers, writers, and scholars, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Each year a cohort of collaborators are mentored as they implement a project that explores the transformative power of literature in East Bay communities. Current community collaborator projects include indigenous zinemaking workshops and the creation of diverse young adult narratives with middle school students in east Oakland.