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Graduate Program in Creative Writing

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Genre Fiction, Nature Writing, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting – an advanced degree in any of our five areas of creative writing provides you the opportunity to hone your craft, elevate your art, and inspire the world. Join our welcoming and inclusive community and become the writer you are meant to be. To learn more about our program directly from our faculty and students, check out our program video.

Program Overview

A student reads her creative work on stage while raising her fist at the I Bar Ranch Open Mic Night

Pursue your dream of becoming a published author.

If you’re looking to get serious about your writing and you’re eager to join a thriving and diverse community of writers, then you’ll find your niche in Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Our five innovative areas of study—Genre Fiction, Nature Writing, Poetry, Publishing, and Screenwriting—offer cutting-edge courses, and our dedicated faculty of award-winning writers will ensure that you achieve your full potential as a writer.

Our low-residency model makes a graduate education accessible. During the academic year, students work closely with faculty and fellow students through videoconferencing and online courses. Each summer, all students take intensive courses that culminate in a one-week residency on Western’s beautiful campus in late July. These residencies are packed full of exciting courses, inspirational workshops and lively social events.

Sharing work in community

Screenwriting student Tia Phillip giving a reading at the 2023 Open-Mic Night

Areas of Study

Genre Fiction

Genre Fiction

Master of Arts | Master of Fine Arts

Genre Fiction
Several GPCW students pose with their newly published books.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Master of Arts | Master of Fine Arts

Graduate Program in Creative Writing
A close up shot of a student writing in her journal on Taylor Lawn

Graduate Program in Creative Writing (GPCW) 3+2

Accelerated Degree Programs

Graduate Program in Creative Writing (GPCW) 3+2
Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Nature Writing

Master of Arts | Master of Fine Arts

Nature Writing
Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Poetry

Master of Arts | Master of Fine Arts

Poetry
Students in a class listen to a lecture

Publishing

Master of Arts

Publishing
Students make short films with an iphone during a screenwriting class

Screenwriting

Master of Arts | Master of Fine Arts

Screenwriting

News & Research

A girl sits underneath a tree writing in a notebook.

New Scholarship Supports Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Read More about New Scholarship Supports Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Taylor Hall photographed on a spring day with flowering trees in full bloom.

Western Graduate Students, Faculty Member Receive Distinguished Achievement Award

Read More about Western Graduate Students, Faculty Member Receive Distinguished Achievement Award
Headshot of Laura Pritchett

Western’s MFA Director Laura Pritchett’s latest novel is born from a world on fire

Read More about Western’s MFA Director Laura Pritchett’s latest novel is born from a world on fire
Author and publisher Kevin J. Anderson poses with an award for his novel "Dune" at the 2023 DragonCon event.

Western professor wins Dragon Award for his latest contribution to sci-fi series Dune

Read More about Western professor wins Dragon Award for his latest contribution to sci-fi series Dune
Headshot of the poet in black and white

Western Poetry Faculty Member Chosen for Prestigious Poetry Prize

Read More about Western Poetry Faculty Member Chosen for Prestigious Poetry Prize
Firetower in Oregon

Teaching into the Firetower

Read More about Teaching into the Firetower
CMarie Fuhrman presenting in front of audience

Western’s CMarie Fuhrman Releases New Anthology & Public Radio Podcast

Read More about Western’s CMarie Fuhrman Releases New Anthology & Public Radio Podcast
Creative writing students working in classroom

Nature Writing and Western Press Books to Produce Inaugural Book

Read More about Nature Writing and Western Press Books to Produce Inaugural Book
CMarie Fuhrman, Director of Poetry

Fuhrman Appointed to Director of Poetry

Read More about Fuhrman Appointed to Director of Poetry
Kevin Anderson Dune

GPCW Publishing Concentration Director Celebrates the Release of DUNE

Read More about GPCW Publishing Concentration Director Celebrates the Release of DUNE

Spotlight

Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett

Faculty

Laura Pritchett, who directs the MFA with a concentration in Nature Writing, has two novels coming out in 2024, and they could not be more different.

Lara Richardson

Lara Richardson

Alumna

Additional Resources

Admissions Requirements and Application

Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing considers applications on a rolling basis from August 1 through May 22, and all admitted students begin their coursework in early June, with online courses.

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Tuition and Fees

Click below to learn more about the tuition and fees in the MFA and M.A. in Creative Writing programs/

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

The GPCW is deeply committed to raising funds to support our students. Each year we offer substantial direct-funding scholarships of up to $5,000/yr., depending on available funding.

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Summer Residency

The highlight of each year is the Summer Residency, held near the end of July on Western’s beautiful campus in Gunnison, Colorado.

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FAQs

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about our program

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Publications

Explore the publications below to discover the depth and breadth of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

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GPCW Mission, Indigenous Commitment and DEIA+ Statements

The Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western Colorado University seeks to create transformative learning experiences for our students, built from a strong foundation that honors our students’ unique voices.

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An Inside Look at Our Program

The Graduate Program in Creative Writing boasts expert faculty, a low-residency learning model, a supportive learning community and abundant networking connections in each of our concentrations.

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Department Information

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Director

Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Associate Director

CMarie Fuhrman, MFA

Associate Director; Director, Poetry Concentration; Faculty, Nature Writing Concentration

Executive Assistant

Anna Stileski, M.A.

Executive Assistant

Program Coordinator

Sarah Goettsch

Graduate Program in Creative Writing Coordinator

Contact Information

970.943.2014

gpcw@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 117
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

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The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

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Alumni
Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

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Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.