Genre Fiction

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Master of Arts

Degree Type

Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts


Graduate Program in Creative Writing

If you want to elevate your writing practice, deepen your understanding of different genres and learn how to become a professional writer, you’ll find your niche in Western’s Genre Fiction Concentration.

Program Overview

Turn your passion into your profession.

For over a decade, Western’s Genre Fiction Concentration has offered one of the few genre-specific MFA/M.A. degrees in the country, and one of the only such programs west of the Mississippi. In our low-residency MFA program, you’ll gain a mastery of your craft, a familiarity with different genres—from romance and science fiction—to comics and graphic novels and how to engage different kinds of reading audiences. Our faculty—award-winning, internationally published professionals in their fields—will teach you how to write for your audience, how to teach in the field and how to engage professionally with the publishing industry.


Western Colorado University’s Genre Fiction Concentration offers one of the few genre-specific MFA/M.A. degrees in the country, and one of the only such programs west of the Mississippi.


At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Code Title Credits Description
CRWR 600 Summer Orientation 1 View
CRWR 601 Fundamentals of Writing Genre Fiction I 2 View
CRWR 602 Fundamentals of Writing Fiction II 2 View
CRWR 604 Career Planning for Genre Writers 2 View
CRWR 608 Genre Writing I- Romance and Mystery Fiction 6 View
CRWR 609 Genre Studies I-Romance and Mystery 6 View
CRWR 618 Genre Studies II- Western, Speculative, and YoungAdult Fiction 6 View
CRWR 619 Genre Writing II- Western, Speculative, and Young Adult Fiction 6 View
CRWR 620 Short Forms Genre Fiction Writing 6 View
CRWR 621 Business Fundamentals for Genre Writers 6 View
CRWR 694 Capstone 1-3 View
CRWR 695 Professional Development in Nature Writing 6 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

The Program

Advance your career in our flexible, low-residency program.

Through online classes and virtual meetings during the academic year, and three two-week residencies each July, students work closely with nationally-recognized faculty on their writing.

  • Residency: Three summer residencies, each two weeks in length. The first prepares students for the first academic year; the second residency focuses on coursework; and the third residency prepares graduates to present their work.
  • Academic Year: During the academic year, full-time MFA students take two courses each semester. These six-credit courses make use of virtual meetings and Canvas for online work.
  • Matriculation: To complete their MFA, students produce a thesis project in their final year.
  • Alternate Courses of Study: M.A. students pursue an identical curriculum to MFA students, but only come for two summers and one academic year and do not write a thesis.

Developing the writers of tomorrow

Our graduates gain a mastery of their craft, a familiarity with the many forms genre takes— from romance and science fiction to comics and graphic novels, and encompassing reading audiences from middle grade and young adult to adult.

Opportunities, Careers and Partnerships

  • Study with successful, currently publishing, award-winning authors.
  • Meet and ask questions of industry professionals, including some of the best editors and agents in the industry.
  • Gain an insight into the industry by reading submissions to magazines and publications.
  • Grow independently by taking on personal projects including creative journaling and mixed media.
  • Build relationships through mentorship and community support.
  • Keep up with the times by connecting with your audience via social media.
  • Discover the best methods for crafting and pitching your novels as well as constructing a long-term career beyond your first book.
  • Expand your horizons by adding coursework in Screenwriting for Film and Television, Poetry, Nature Writing and Publishing.

Award-winning faculty

Our award-winning faculty comprised of internationally published professionals in their fields—help students learn how to write work that will find its audience and engage professionally with the publishing industry.

Department Information

Graduate Program in Creative Writing


Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Program Support Coordinator

Corinne Sublette

Program Support Coordinator

Contact Information


Campus Location

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