MFA in Writing

The Michener Center for Writers is the only Creative Writing M.F.A. program in the world that provides full and equal funding to every writer—yet it is our extraordinary faculty and sense of community that most distinguishes us. Our program is a three-year, fully-funded residency M.F.A. with a unique multi-disciplinary focus. Writers apply and are admitted in a primary genre—fiction, poetry, playwriting or screenwriting—and study in both their primary and a secondary genre(s). There are no teaching duties, a luxury that allows our Fellows to commit themselves fully to their writing. And because only twelve writers are admitted each year, our faculty can devote ample time and energy to every writer. With unparalleled support and the deeply held belief that literary art matters now more than ever, the Michener Center offers writers 3 years of unencumbered space to make the work that only they can make.

News & Events

MCW Alumn Rachel Kondo to Receive Austin Film Festival New Voices Award

Rachel Kondo (MCW 2016), co-creator of Shōgun on FX, has been awarded the 2024 New Voice Award from Austin Film Festival. Kondo is being honored alongside… Read more

Alumni Work Streaming This Summer

Look out for MCW alumni work in your feed this summer: TV series Shōgun (FX) and Fallout (Prime Video), and podcast Pack One Bag (Lemonade… Read more

MCW Fellow Darius Atefat-Peckham is Keene Prize Runner-Up

Michener Center Fellow Darius Atefat-Peckham has been named a runner-up for the 2024 UT Keene Prize for Literature, for an excerpt from his forthcoming book… Read more

Alumn Abe Koogler’s Play Opens to Positive Reviews

Michener Center Playwriting Alumnus Abe Koogler‘s play Staff Meal has opened to rave reviews, with recent coverage from The New York Times, Vulture, Observer, New York Theatre… Read more

Fellows

The Michener Center aims to be a welcoming, inspiring, and invigorating community where writers feel safe and supported to take chances on the page. We are extremely proud that there is no hierarchy here—all students receive equal funding—and we firmly believe that our egalitarian approach fosters a higher level of work that more competitive environments suppress.

Our MFA candidates have come from places as varied as western India, South Korea, eastern Europe, and northern Idaho. Their backgrounds and experiences lend to the pages they produce, which are unique and uniquely vital. We aren’t seeking writers of any particular aesthetic, but rather we are looking for writers whose work is distinct, urgent, and arresting.

Apply

Each year, we receive hundreds of applications for twelve seats in the cohort. We accept only full-time, in-residence candidates for the three-year program. There is no low-residency or part-time option.

Applicants must meet the UT Graduate School’s minimum requirements for consideration, which include completion of a Bachelor’s Degree prior to enrollment. The Michener Center no longer requires GRE scores.

History

James Michener was the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of over 40 books, including Texas, Hawaii, and Tales of the South Pacific. In his final years, he and his wife, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa, moved to Austin, TX, where they endowed the Texas Center for Writers, a three-year MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas. The first cohort of Michener Fellows graduated in 1996. After Mr. Michener’s death in 1997, the Center was renamed in his honor.

Faculty

To ensure both continuity and fresh perspectives, the Michener Center faculty is built with fixed and moving parts. Writers from UT’s departments of English, Theatre and Dance, and Radio-Television-Film comprise our Resident Faculty, and each year we also welcome an exciting roster of distinguished Visiting Faculty. That our faculty members—resident and visiting—are as passionate about their teaching as they are their writing is of the utmost importance. Like our students, our faculty afford the program a wealth of varied experience, an abiding sense of shared enterprise, and deep commitment to the making of literary art. For more on our outstanding faculty in each genre, visit our Faculty page.