What Can You Do with a Degree in
UMF Creative Writing graduates have done lots of exciting things with their degrees—worked in radio, public relations, teaching, journalism, library science, and editing, and have gone on for MFAs and other advanced degrees. Check out the latest issue of the BFA Newsletter for more information on graduates who’ve gone on to jobs in writing-related fields.
What Can You Expect in Your Creative Writing Classes at UMF?
Creative writing classes are limited to 15 students! We follow a workshop model. Students bring original written work to class to be read and discussed by the whole class. The student then revises the work based on peer and professor comments. Creative writing classes also may include professor-student conferences for discussion of your academic progress.
Get Started Right Away!
All first-year Creative Writing majors will take a special majors-only course called ENG 150, Introduction to Creative Writing, during their first semester at UMF. In this class you’ll be introduced to poetry, screenwriting, nonfiction and fiction, and get your first taste of what it’s like to be a Creative Writing major.
Poetry: In beginning poetry, you’ll complete writing prompts designed to introduce you to diverse poetic styles and techniques. Plan on writing and revising 6-8 poems. In advanced poetry, your course might include an in-depth investigation of an individual poet or poetic subject, with poems and revisions focused around that subject. Plan on 6-8 poems with revisions.
Nonfiction: In beginning nonfiction (memoir, the personal essay, travel writing, journalism), expect to do weekly short assignments aimed at developing craft, along with one longer essay and revisions. In advanced nonfiction expect weekly short essays, one or more extended long essays with more intense revision, and maybe a radio or video essay
Fiction: Beginning fiction students complete weekly writing exercises, along with two short story drafts, one of which you will revise. In advanced fiction students can expect greater emphasis on longer and more carefully revised work.
Screenwriting: Beginning screenwriting students will be introduced to the art and craft of the screenplay while working from a pitch, to an outline, and eventual completion of a feature length screenplay (100 pages) by the end of the semester. In advanced screenwriting students are expected to do a full revision of their first screenplay while completing a second full script through multiple workshops.
The Seminar in Writing is the capstone course in the BFA Program; students take it in their final year, after all other writing requirements are complete. One goal in the Seminar is to collect the student’s best writing from earlier classes and present it in a final portfolio. In the seminar, students mainly focus on work-shopping and revising old and new work. That writing, along with an artist’s statement, self-assessment and annotated bibliography, makes up the portfolio. A copy of each student’s portfolio is kept in the Creative Writing House library as a resource and archive for future students. The seminar also introduces students to such important issues as methods of manuscript submission, choosing and applying to graduate schools, finding writing-related jobs, and building a career as a writer.
All graduating BFA candidates participate in a senior reading, a special event where every student reads a short piece of his or her best work, and where the annual Creative Prizes are awarded. This event, held in the spring of each year, is a celebration for students, their friends, and families.
In the exit interview, BFA candidates present their completed portfolio to representatives of the Creative Writing faculty. The student and his or her “exit committee” discuss the candidate’s work, his or her progress as a writer, any ideas he or she may have for the future of the BFA program, and his or her plans for after graduation.
How Do You Apply?
First-year or transfer students who want to join the Creative Writing Program at UMF should:
- Submit 10-12 pages of their own written work with their UMF application. This written work should include excerpts or samples of work in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
- Submit a short statement about why they want to declare Creative Writing as their major.
CHANGING YOUR MAJOR TO CREATIVE WRITING:
Once you are enrolled at UMF, you may apply to change your major to Creative Writing by preparing an application to the BFA Program. The application should include:
- A cover sheet containing your phone number, address and current major.
- A current UMF transcript (available from the Registrar).
- A writing sample from two or more of the following genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction. No more than 15 pages of prose, or six poems.
- A one-paragraph assessment of yourself as a creative writer and why you want to declare Creative Writing as a major.
Please leave the application with Shari Witham, Humanities Department Administrative Assistant, in 209B Roberts. You may also send your application to her at Department of Humanities, 209B Roberts, 270 Main Street, Farmington, ME 04938. If you have questions please call her at 207-778-7425.
The creative writing faculty normally notifies candidates about admission during pre-registration each semester.