The graduate program is divided into the poetry workshop and the fiction workshop, and it offers two kinds of courses: writing workshops and seminars.
Probably the most well-known of our courses are the Graduate Poetry Workshop (CW:7875) and the Graduate Fiction Workshop (CW:7870), in which groups of 10 to 15 students critique each others' work. These courses are open only to those students who have been admitted for the M.F.A. degree program or for course work.
Currently there are five sections in fiction and four in poetry, with each section taught by one of the faculty members. During each of the four semesters of residence, students are required to take a Graduate Fiction or Poetry Workshop.
The seminars offered by the program are designed to provide the student with a thorough knowledge of the form in which he or she works and the related aspects of craft. Form of Fiction (CW:7810), Form of Poetry (CW:7820), and seminars in modern fiction and poetry (CW:7830 and CW:7840) are 3-semester-hour courses offered each semester. These seminars focus upon a single aspect of modern poetry or fiction, perhaps upon a single writer's work or a body of work with a common theme or purpose.
The Translation Workshop (TRNS:7460) is offered in conjunction with the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. During fall semesters, participation by visiting writers in the International Writing Program may be expected. Recent work in the course has produced translations from French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Ethiopian, Pashto, Turkish, Swahili, and Urdu. Further information on the Translation Workshop is available from the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
Students in the Writers' Workshop may take graduate classes in other departments and count those credits toward the M.F.A degree. Many Workshop students also pursue course work in the interdisciplinary Center for the Book.
During the fall semester, the International Writing Program offers weekly seminars and panel discussions on the literary scene in other countries. Panelists include visiting writers in the International Writing Program as well as visitors to the Writers' Workshop.
The Department of Theatre Arts offers playwriting courses. Playwriting I and Playwriting II (THTR:2301; THTR:3301) have open enrollment. Admission to the Playwrights Workshop (THTR:7300) is competitive, that is, based on acceptance of manuscripts submitted for approval. The Cinema and Comparative Literature department usually offers screenwriting courses.