FB Pixel Skip to Main Content
Several GPCW students pose with their newly published books.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Master of Arts in Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Degree Type

Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts

Department

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

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

Faculty & Staff

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.

Ligiah Villalobos Rojas

Ligiah Villalobos Rojas

Faculty

Melissa Dalton Martinez

Melissa Dalton-Martinez

Alumna

Lara Richardson

Lara Richardson

Alumna

Careers

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

News & Research

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
Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Read More about Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
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
Karen Auvinen

Renown Author Karen Auvinen to Join Western Faculty

Read More about Renown Author Karen Auvinen to Join Western Faculty
Fuhrman teaching at whiteboard

Western Instructor Named to Top Writer’s Honor

Read More about Western Instructor Named to Top Writer’s Honor
GPCW growth

Graduate Program Pushes Caps on Enrollment During Pandemic

Read More about Graduate Program Pushes Caps on Enrollment During Pandemic
CO Hall of Fame: Kevin J. Anderson

Western Professor Named to Authors’ Hall of Fame

Read More about Western Professor Named to Authors’ Hall of Fame

Additional Resources

Admission Requirements & Application

Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing considers applications in four waves throughout the year: Early Admissions, from July 1 through November …

Learn More

Tuition & Fees

Full-time enrollment in the MFA extends over 25 months, spanning four non-residency semesters and three Summer Residencies. Students may also attend half-time or take a leave of …

Learn More

Scholarships & Financial Aid

The GPCW is deeply committed to raising funds to support our students. Each year we offer substantial direct-funding scholarships. The GPCW is currently …

Learn More

Summer Residency

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

Learn More

FAQs

How can a low-residency format create a sense of community among students and faculty?…

Learn More

Publications

Publications in the Creative Writing Graduate Program Explore the publications below to discover the depth and breadth of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing: Think Journal Christine …

Learn More

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 and is supported within inclusive environments established both virtually and at yearly residency gatherings.

Learn More

Learn More about the GPCW

Interested in learning more about the Graduate Program in Creative Writing? There’s no better way to get to know our program than through the voices of our faculty and students. Tune in to watch this informational video about everything you’ll look forward to as a student in our program.

Learn More

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

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Western
Students pose for a photo on top of Mount Crested Butte in the summer

Apply to
Western

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.

Visit
Western
Colorado Hall with the Palisades in the background on a bluebird day.

Visit
Western

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.

Alumni
Community
A group of four alumni look at an old photo that one of them picked up from a selection of photos that were printed and laid out for the Ski Team Social event.

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.

Request
Information
A few students pose for a photo behind the Multicultural Center table at the Admitted Student Day Club Fair.

Request
Information

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