Creative Writing MFA


The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of South Florida is a funded three-year degree.  MFA students receive a full tuition waiver and the teaching assistantship comes with a stipend and health insurance. Each year we accept an average of nine students who write comics, creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Our award-winning faculty include John Fleming, Julia Koets, Jarod Roselló, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Heather Sellers (program director), and Jake Wolff. We value children’s literature, YA, eco literature, speculative fiction, historical fiction, documentary poetics, poetry of mindfulness, formal poetry, memoir, lyric essay, and hybrid and experimental work, alongside traditional genres.

Our program is tightly knit and sincerely supportive. Workshops are positive and generative. We offer many opportunities for students to read their work publicly, to participate in writing groups and internships, and to work in literary editing and publishing. Saw Palm, our literary magazine, gives students hands-on editorial experience.

As part of the Literary Editing and Publishing course, students have started literary magazines, edited anthologies, written book reviews and weekly columns, and started freelance copyediting and writing businesses. The Spoonbill Reading Series allows MFAs to read alongside faculty. A monthly Nonfiction Salon is open to all writers. The USF Lecture Series and the USF Humanities Institute bring in guest speakers. Recent visitors to the creative writing program include Jericho Brown, Terrance Hayes, Chen Chen, and Naomi Nye.

MFAs typically take three courses and teach two courses. Our teaching training is superb. First year MFAs teach first year writing in our thriving and diverse undergraduate program; they are supported by a pedagogy practicum and official mentoring. Second year students have the opportunity, as courses are available, to teach creative writing courses. A creative writing pedagogy practicum, one of the few in the country, prepares students to design and deliver high quality introductory creative writing courses.