How To Apply


Applications will be considered on a year-round basis, though our evaluation process will be most intensive in the periods after these key priority deadlines:

  • Early Action Deadline – November 30
  • Final Application Deadline – February 15

All admitted applicants become part of the cohort that begins the program on June 1st, at the start of the summer term. The summer term culminates in the summer residency.

“I’m absolutely loving this program. not only do I feel like it’s taking my talents to a new level, it’s giving me the creative passion I so greatly needed at this point in my writing life.”


Applications are processed through GradCAS, a nationwide centralized application service for graduate programs.  Here are the steps to submit your application.


  1. Create your application account via the online application portal (preferred browsers are Google Chrome or Firefox)
  2. Select the following items to start
    • Term – The term you plan to start the program
    • Institution – Pacific Lutheran University
    • ProgramMaster of Arts in Creative Writing – Rainier Writing Workshop
  3. Complete all required application questions.
  4. Provide two references via the online application portal. This will send an email notification to your recommenders to follow a link and submit their letters of recommendation. Academic recommendations are encouraged.
  5. Upload personal statement: This two-page statement should describe your background in writing, and your goals and reasons for wanting to enroll in the program.  All pages should be double-spaced, using 10 or 12 point font, with the pages numbered, and your name at the top right.
  6. Upload a creative writing sample representing your best work (15 pages of poetry or 30-40 pages of prose, or a genre mix not to exceed 40 pages). You may submit scanned copies of published work. In manuscript form, poetry may be single-spaced; prose should be double-spaced. All pages should be in 10 or 12 point font, with the pages numbered, and your name at the top right.
  7. Upload a 500-word literary critique with critical response to a literary work you have recently read. The response should be an illustration of your writerly intelligence and your critical abilities. All pages should be double-spaced, using 10 or 12 point font, with the pages numbered, and your name at the top right.
  8. Pay the nonrefundable $55 application fee.

If you need to submit additional documents after submitting the online application, you can email them to

Note: Official transcript(s) of the highest previous degree earned do not need to be sent with your application. Transcripts will be requested of you upon notification of pending acceptance.


If you or your recommenders have any questions or technical problems with the online application portal and recommendation process, status, navigation, missing credentials, etc., please contact GradCAS Customer Service at:  857-304-2042 /