With the recent acquisition of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe, the University’s College of Liberal Arts gained the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing, a uniquely designed program built by writers, for writers.
“We know many writers are employed full-time, raising children or have other responsibilities that make it difficult to enroll in a conventional MFA program,” June Sylvester Saraceno, director of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing, said. “We designed our low-residency program with that in mind.”
To work around students’ busy schedules, writers in the program correspond with faculty mentors and receive focused, in-depth feedback, followed up with virtual meetings scheduled at mutually convenient times. Those in the program meet on ground at Lake Tahoe twice a year for intensive 10-day residencies in early January and August.
Additionally, the program’s faculty roster features some of the most renowned writers currently publishing who are committed to cultivating and guiding students on their own writing journeys.
“Students work closely with faculty mentors including Gayle Brandeis, Rebecca Makkai, Faylita Hicks, Lee Herrick, Brian Turner and other dedicated writing coaches,” Saraceno said. “They’ve achieved a lot of success and they’re holding that door open for our students.”
The low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program also features a literary speaker series, “Writers in the Woods,” that brings in additional guest authors for readings and workshops.
“These readings and workshops enhance the program, giving students even more expansive opportunities to engage with writers, editors and publishers,” Saraceno said. “‘Writers in the Woods’ guests have included Kaveh Akbar, Carmen Maria Machado, Pam Houston, Tobias Wolff, Patricia Smith, Nick Flynn, Kim Addonizio, Luis Alberto Urrea and many others.”
In November, “Writers in the Woods,” will feature Steven Dunn, a 2021 Whiting Award winner shortlisted for Granta magazine’s “Best Young American Novelists.” His reading will be at the Wolf Shop on the University of Nevada, Reno campus from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The Nevada Museum of Art will also host his creative writing workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 5. These events are free and open to the public.