Thank you for considering the NEOMFA for your creative writing graduate studies. The NEOMFA accepts students in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting. Applicants should have completed an undergraduate degree in English, theater, or a related field. Students applying for the MFA degree who do not have any of these undergraduate majors may be admitted on the basis of writing excellence. While the NEOMFA Program does not require the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or consider GRE scores during the admissions process, individual gateway schools may require it, especially for assistantship consideration, and applicants should consult the Gateway’s Graduate Coordinator for further information.
There are two steps to applying to our program: 1. Apply to a graduate school at a consortial university, and 2. Apply to the NEOMFA.
1. APPLY TO A GRADUATE SCHOOL AT ONE OF THE FOUR CONSORTIAL UNIVERSITIES:
Apply for admittance to the Department of English through the Graduate School at one of the four consortium universities--Cleveland State University, Kent State University, The University of Akron, OR Youngstown State University. The MFA program is located in the Departments of English on each campus.
The online application system for each university will give you directions for submitting materials required by the English department at your gateway of choice. Follow the links below to get more information at each university's English Department graduate admissions page, then use the "click here" links for online application forms by university:
Required application materials to the gateway school may vary by campus. Be sure you know what you need to send and where. Be sure to indicate that you are applying for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA not MA) program in Creative Writing.
NOTE: ALL GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION MATERIALS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE GRADUATE SCHOOL OR ENGLISH DEPARTMENT IN THE LINKS ABOVE, NOT TO THE NEOMFA OFFICE.
Application deadlines may vary for each individual gateway university.
If you are not sure which school you should apply to, contact the NEOMFA Campus Coordinators for advice on what each particular school has to offer. You need only apply to ONE of the gateway universities.
NEOMFA Campus Coordinators:
o CSU: Prof. Imad Rahman email@example.com
o KSU: Dr. Robert Miltner firstname.lastname@example.org
o UA: Prof. Eric Wasserman email@example.com
o YSU: Prof. Chris Barzak firstname.lastname@example.org
2. APPLY TO THE NEOMFA PROGRAM:
Send three (3) letters of recommendation, a one-page statement of goals and a portfolio of your creative work in your genre to the NEOMFA Office at email@example.com
Letters of Recommendation
We prefer that those who are recommending you e-mail their letters directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also possible to have hard-copy letters sent via U. S. Mail to NEOMFA Admissions Coordinator/Department of English/Cleveland State University/Cleveland, OH 44115.
Statement of Goals:
We are interested in knowing more about your background in creative writing: What authors have had an important influence on your work and why? Who have you studied with and how has their influence been important to you?
Your one-page statement of goals may include:
* Your current career goals, and
* Compatibility of these goals with the purpose and design of the NEOMFA.
* Specific reading and writing projects in area of specialization.
* Degrees, special workshops attended, or other relevant experience.
* Honors and awards.
* Publications in your chosen genre (including date, publisher, page numbers).
* Relevant work experience.
The creative portfolio is a sampling of your creative work in your specific genre: 15 pages of poetry, or 30 pages of fiction or creative non-fiction. Playwriting applicants should submit a full-length play and a twenty-page selection from another work.
The statement and portfolio should be sent as 2 separate attachments (in .doc, .docx, or .rtf) and emailed to the attention of the Director:
Prof. Mike Geither, NEOMFA Director
Please be sure to label each document that you send with your name and full contact information including an email address. We will contact you when we receive your portfolio and again to let you know the decision of the Admissions Committee.
NOTE: PORTFOLIO AND STATEMENT OF GOALS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE NEOMFA OFFICES AT THE email@example.com EMAIL ADDRESS, NOT TO THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT OR GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE CHOSEN GATEWAY UNIVERSITY.
The deadline for portfolios is February 1st!
The NEOMFA only accepts applicants for Fall matriculation.
If you also intend to apply for an assistantship please check with the Campus Coordinator at your gateway university. Deadlines for assistantship applications vary by university and may be different than that of the MFA portfolio deadlines.
Why apply to the NEOMFA?
The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (NEOMFA) is in line with well-established, high quality degree programs in both Ohio and across the nation in terms of faculty credentials, general requirements, and enrichment opportunities. The NEOMFA degree is distinguished from other MFA degrees by its collaborative regional design and by its unique curricular offerings.
As a student in the NEOMFA, you will have the opportunity to take classes at four different campuses—the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, and Youngstown State University—with four different sets of faculty that all offer their own unique perspectives. Taking workshops on all campuses with different writers will expand your possibilities for feedback and for learning a variety of processes and aesthetics, not to mention the chance to meet and connect with other highly motivated and talented students from different gateway campuses.
In addition to the faculty at our four universities, the NEOMFA also sponsors readings and workshops with nationally recognized and celebrated fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and poets throughout the year. In the past few years, the NEOMFA has sponsored visiting writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Phillip Lopate, Heather McHugh, Fredrick Reiken, and Michael Martone, among others. Additionally, the reading series and workshops sponsored by the individual campuses (the Wick Poetry Center at KSU, the Youngstown State University Poetry Center, the Cleveland State Poetry Center, and the University of Akron Department of English Literary Arts Series) offer more opportunities to meet and work with visiting writers. On all campuses, and in all cities, there are also open readings and student readings that showcase and highlight our graduate students’ work.
The NEOMFA also provides students with the opportunity to attend and present at regional and national conferences as part of the students’ professional developments. The NEOMFA holds institutional membership in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, which will qualify you as a student for access to the AWP job list, the opportunity to enter the annual AWP Intro Journal Awards competition, and free registration to AWP’s annual conference that occurs in cities like Chicago, Denver, and, most recently, Washington, D.C. In addition to AWP, a number of NEOMFA faculty and students travel every year to Bowling Green State University for the annual Winter Wheat Literary Festival, which offers a number of readings, panels, and other literary events, as well as the chance to meet other writers and MFA students from Ohio and elsewhere. In addition, NEOMFA students may have the opportunity for fellowships to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. There, students will work in intimate, intensive workshops, led by an award-winning and critically acclaimed faculty, with writers and MFA students from around the country. If students don’t want to travel too far, Cleveland State’s Department of English also sponsors the Imagination Workshop and Conference, which gives NEOMFA students the opportunity to earn credit while working with fiction and nonfiction writers and poets such as Sam Lipsyte, Salvatore Scibona, Jess Walter, Sandra Beasley, and Olena Kalytiak Davis, among others.
The NEOMFA provides students many opportunities for creative and professional development amid the homey settings of rustic northeast Ohio. We think you’ll like it here.