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Creative Writing and Literary Arts Program

  • How to Apply

    Our MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Arts is a wonderfully unique program. Do you love to read? Do you dream of living the writing life? We are currently accepting applications for the incoming summer cohort. The application deadline has been extended to February 17th for summer admission.

    Learn About the Application Process


Say it, before it melts like hoar in the winter sun. - Eva Saulitis

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Alaska Anchorage is a low-residency program in creative writing that emphasizes a literary approach to exploring and redefining relationships between people and place. We take advantage of the North's boundless terrain to help writers discover their own place in the world. This philosophy encompasses a landscape of memory, family, and culture, making it possible to imagine anything and to write about it—from the local to the global, from the personal to the communal, and from the unlimited mind to the infinite universe.

The MFA is a 45-credit degree program taken over a three-year period. One course, worth five-credits each, is taken each semester for nine semesters. The course work culminates in a book-length thesis of creative work accompanied by a critical essay and an annotated bibliography. The accredited degree program offers studies in three genres: Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, and Poetry that will teach students how to master craft, read the classic works that define the evolution of their genre, and develop skills to balance the demands of life with the discipline of writing.

CWLA Summer Residency

The Residency allows students and faculty to immerse themselves in the work of writers: reading, writing, and sharing ideas. The classes and workshops are informative, intensive, and inspirational. Students have the opportunity to learn from every faculty member, in every genre, while discovering which mentors are best suited for their own work. Everyone, faculty and students, gathers informally at most meals and the entire group shares several meals including the informal "graduation" ceremony.

The Residency is the exhausting and exhilarating highlight of the year.  It is during the Residency that students and faculty establish a sense of community that sustains them throughout the rest of the year. 

Creative Writing MFA Students & Faculty in the News!


Ernestine Saankalaxt’ Hayes

UAA M.F.A. alumna wins Alaska State Writer Laureate honor

Learn More : Ernestine Saankalaxt’ Hayes
David Stevenson

Sneak peek at ‘Letters from Chamonix,’ new book from UAA’s creative writing program director

Learn More : David Stevenson
The cover of novel The Fairest of Them All, by UAA's MFA in Creative Writing Former instructor Carolyn Turgeon

Writing teacher for UAA’s MFA program publishes twist on classic stories of Rapunzel and Snow White

Learn More : The cover of novel The Fairest of Them All, by UAA's MFA in Creative Writing Former instructor Carolyn Turgeon
Listen to Podcasts from the Northern Renaissance Arts & Sciences Reading Series 

Kachemak Bay Conference


Bright magenta fireweed in the foreground with snowy mountains towering over hazy blue ocean in the background

For insight into our MFA community, feel free to visit the unofficial blog.

Commonplace Blog