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Vermont MFA in Creative Writing

The world’s first low-residency International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation is now open for applications


The latest academic programme at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), the International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation, is open for applications. This global programme for writers and writing, with a focus on transnational literature in English and world literature in translation, is the first of its kind in the world. Up to two full-ride scholarships are available annually.


Applications for the September 2018 residency in Reykjavik, Iceland, are now being accepted until June 1, 2018. Subsequent residencies include March 2019 in Hong Kong; August 2019 in Montpelier, Vermont, USA; September 2019 in Banff, Canada; and March 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. The programme welcomes applicants of all nationalities, countries of residence, ethnicities, religions, and genders.


VCFA’s International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programme offers three areas of study—fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation—taught at brief residencies and by distance mentoring. Students attend four residencies over the course of their degree—three international and one at the VCFA campus in Montpelier, Vermont. Students also complete four semesters of creative and critical writing, during which they will work one-on-one with a faculty mentor by distance, followed by a final creative thesis in the fifth semester. The tuition for the programme covers all academic studies as well as the room and board at all residencies; travel expenses are separate.


To apply, the requirements include submission of a creative sample in the desired genre, a personal essay and a critical essay. The most important element of the application packet is the creative sample in writing or translation. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited university anywhere in the world. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant without a bachelor’s degree but with significant publications and professional experience may be considered. 


Up to two full-ride scholarships are awarded each academic year, covering all tuition for the degree. Students awarded the scholarship need only pay travel expenses to residencies. To apply, an applicant must submit an additional personal essay to say why he or she would be the right candidate for the scholarship.   


The International MFA is co-directed by author Xu Xi, a former faculty chair of VCFA’s MFA in Writing programme; and novelist, translator and VCFA alumnus Evan Fallenberg (’01), and features a global community of faculty and translators, including:


  • Sybil Baker (fiction/nonfiction)
  • Jason Grunebaum (literary translation)
  • Robin Hemley (nonfiction/fiction)
  • Tabish Khair (fiction/nonfiction)
  • Mark Polizzotti (nonfiction/literary translation)
  • James Scudamore (fiction)
  • Ira Sukrungruang (nonfiction/fiction)
  • Madeleine Thien (fiction)


For more information, visit the programme's website or send them an email with any questions. To apply, click here.



About Vermont College of Fine Arts


Vermont College of Fine Arts is a global community of artists continuously redefining what it means to be an arts college. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and offers Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Graphic Design, Music Composition, Visual Art, Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, and Writing & Publishing; an International Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Literary Translation; and a Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Arts in Art & Design Education.

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