Features 49 programs and 150+ interviews

The Low-Residency MFA Handbook offers prospective graduate students an in-depth preview of low-residency creative writing MFA programs. Interviews with program directors, faculty, alumni, and current students answer many questions prospective graduates have, including: What happens during the non-residency semester? What are the residencies like? What community is established between faculty and fellow students? The guide also considers program structures, funding, and unique opportunities that extend beyond the degree.


Chapter 1: An Introduction to Low-Residency MFAs
Chapter 2: Is the Low-Residency Model Right for Me?
Chapter 3: The Selection Process
Chapter 4: The Application Process
Chapter 5: Funding
Chapter 6: The Programs
Chapter 7: The Residency Experience
Chapter 8: Non-Residency Semesters
Chapter 9: Pedagogical Preparation
Chapter 10: Learning from Experience
Chapter 11: Life After the MFA
Chapter 12: AWP Membership & Services
Appendix A: Extended Interviews
Appendix B: Quick Reference
Appendix C: Additional Resources

The Low-Residency MFA Handbook:
A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students

ISBN 978-1-4411984-4-0
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"What an invaluable handbook! Lori A. May has done her research, knows her stuff, and, what's best, lets the programs speak for themselves through her extensive interviews. There's a chorus of quotes from faculty, students, and graduates in
The Low-Residency MFA Handbook. Anyone making the decision to apply for an MFA should consult this wise guide. May's clarity and authority make it a gold standard."   - Molly Peacock, author of The Second Blush

"The Low-Residency MFA Handbook is an important book, not only for prospective students, but for program faculty and administrators as well. This guide will prove invaluable for students preparing to apply for low-residency MFA programs and will inform them of what to expect once they gain acceptance. The low-residency MFA in creative writing is increasingly popular, and there has been a lack of resources available to students, faculty and administrators. The Low-Residency MFA Handbook fills that void."   - Derick Burleson, author of Melt

"Anyone looking for an excellent resource on low-residency programs should read
The Low-Residency MFA Handbook by Lori A. May. May presents an incredibly thorough overview of low-residency programs…. Lori A. May's Low-Residency MFA Handbook is a rare and valuable resource."   - Sheila R. Lamb, The Creative Writing MFA Blog

"The Low-Residency MFA Handbook is a must for anyone trying to push their creative writing educational credentials to the next level."   - Midwest Book Review

"Highly and strongly recommended to anyone considering a low-residency MFA program. Kudos to Lori May for putting together such an informative, concise piece of work!"   - Rhonda S. White, amazon.com reader review

"Lori May does an excellent job at providing objective information about each program, and because the programs are described by insiders, you really get a feel for each program and whether you want to learn more about the school."   - Jaime Herndon, blog review

"May has taken a daunting, and sometimes frustrating, process for prospective students and compiled it into a comprehensive, fact-filled book that should be considered vital information for prospective students and advisors alike."   - Joan Hanna,
Author Exposure

"May gives a blueprint for success with the low residency format in mind."  - Renée K. Nicholson, The Los Angeles Review

Related Articles...

  • JaneFriedman.com: "Education in the Digital Age: The Low-Residency MFA" Dec 2013 link
  • The Writer: "Is a low-residency MFA right for you?" Jan 2011 PDF
  • Writer's Digest: "10 Tips for Maximizing Your MFA Experience" Sept 2010 link
  • The Writer: "Boost your career with a low-residency MFA" April 2009 PDF
  • Guest blog: "Nurturing Long-Term Connections" @ Whidbey Writers link
  • Interview about writing, programs, and more with Karin Gillespie on Girlfriends Book Club link
  • MP3 recording of radio interview with Katerina Stoykova-Klemer on Accents: A Radio Show for Literature, Art and Culture on WRFL, 88.1 FM, Lexington, Kentucky listen here
Past Conference Sessions...
  • CCWWP 2012, Toronto ON: "The Low-Residency MFA: Coast to Coast and Across the Border" with Stephen Kimber and Andrew Gray
  • MCEA 2012, Grand Rapids MI: "The Low-Residency MFA--in Michigan?"
  • AWP 2012, Chicago IL: "Low-Residency Approaches to Pedagogical Training and Preparation" with Danita Berg, Clark Knowles, and Jim Warner
  • AWP 2011, Washington DC: "Closing the Distance: Innovations in Low-Residency MFAs" with Kathleen Driskell, Tod Goldberg, Meg Kearney, and Michael Kobre

The Writer (Jan 2011) includes an excerpt from Chapter 2:
"Is a low-residency MFA right
for you?" View PDF

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