The University of Tampa low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program is designed to help poets, fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers advance their command of craft through exposure to literature from a writerly perspective and with supportive critique and mentoring. The two-year, four-term course of individualized study encourages the rich interplay of participation in an extended literary community, and it seeks to deepen the understanding of writing as an ongoing engagement with discovery and transformation.
Students attend four ten-day working residencies, capped off by a fifth, culminating residency, on UT’s historic campus in downtown Tampa, on the banks of the Hillsborough River. Each residency is followed by a five-month one-on-one tutorial with a faculty mentor focused on the student’s written work and readings as negotiated in an individual plan of study.
As part of the requirements for the degree, the student completes many drafts and revisions, resulting in a substantial manuscript of original work in the selected genre. Along the way, the student reads and comments on works that have shaped the genre, completes a 25-page critical essay in the third semester and assembles an annotated bibliography that conveys the importance and influence of great writers on their own work. In the fifth, culminating residency, the student teaches a seminar on a pre-arranged topic of interest and gives a public reading of his/her own work. Each semester grade is pass/fail accompanied by a narrative evaluation composed by the student’s mentor.