In addition, faculty members may give readings of their work, offer a short class or a one-hour formal lecture on a literary topic or on some aspect of craft.
Workshops are required; participants are further required take 20 hours of a combination of mini-courses and lectures, attend additional activities, and meet with their mentor to design a personal course of study for the following academic year.
In consultation with the mentor, each participant will devise a reading program and submit critical responses (short response papers or more discursive essays) to these books along with original work in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. The program may require some further study of literature for those whose backgrounds are primarily in other fields. By the time of graduation, participants will be expected to have read a substantial number of books concerning such topics as aesthetics, craft, genre, and the works of individual writers of achievement in the participant's chosen genre.
Our program also features a distinguishing “outside experience” intended to foster an independent writing career and to introduce participants to broader aspects of the writing life: national and international opportunities for writers, voices and approaches other than those of our faculty. The program will help arrange for an independent residency at writers' centers and retreats in all regions of the country and/or study abroad in a variety of programs in literature, writing, or language. We also encourage innovative internships, community service, teaching, or other projects that might serve this aspect of the program. (For examples, see outside experience link.)
Participants are expected to devote approximately 15 hours each week to their writing and reading. Over each period, the participant will continue to work on original writing, will read and analyze at least 3 books or articles, and will compile a “mailing” of these activities. The faculty mentor will respond within two weeks, making comments and suggestions for the work and monitoring the participant’s scholarly improvement.