New Orleans has long been home to writers, outsiders, and artists of every stripe. Now it is the setting for a literary renaissance, with a whole new generation of writers calling New Orleans home. For the last 25 years, many of these writers have begun their journey in the Creative Writing Workshop (CWW) at the University of New Orleans. Hailed as a “Program to Watch” (Publishers Weekly, 2015), the CWW continues to gain national recognition as a lively, supportive, and highly productive MFA program. Named a “Top 25 Underrated Program” by The Huffington Post, the CWW offers degrees in fiction, poetry, creative non fiction, playwriting and screenwriting.
Famous for its quirky characters and tales of excess, New Orleans is, nonetheless, a place where writers finally sit down and turn life into art. As the only MFA program in creative writing in New Orleans, the CWW remains highly active in the local literary scene. Whether it be through our monthly reading series The Gold Room, our visiting writers’ series (recent guests include Katy Simpson Smith, Keith Lee Morris, Hannah Pittard, Laura Mullen), our literary magazine Bayou, or our involvement with the Tennessee Williams Festival, the CWW in integral in helping support the literary landscape in New Orleans and beyond.
With a highly regarded and active faculty, as well as a tremendously successful alumni base (over 100 books published), the CWW continually attracts a wide range of students from all over the world. In turn, the CWW does its best to offer a wide range of educational experiences. As a studio/research program, students are required to work at high level in both workshops and graduate literature seminars. They are also encouraged to take workshops in multiple genres during their time here, to branch out and pursue their broader interests while they also hone their writing skills in their particular area of interest. With the recent introduction of courses like the Publishing Institute through UNO Press, as well as internship opportunities such as teaching at Orleans Parish Prison, teaching with Big Class, or working at the Theatre at St Claude, the Creative Writing Workshop provides an exciting array of opportunities for all of its students.
- Average workshop size: 7-10 students (capped at 12)
- Average literature seminar size: 8-12 (capped at 14)
- Average incoming cohort: 5 Poetry, 5 Non Fiction, 8 Fiction, 4 Playwriting, 4 Screenwriting
- Average time to complete degree: 3 years (6 semesters)