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

Michener Alumn Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig Wins Whiting Award

We’re proud to announce that Michener Center Alumnus and playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (MCW 2009) is the recipient of a 2024 Whiting Award. The Whiting… Read more

Announcing a New Dynamic Space at the Michener Center!

We can’t stop staring at our beautiful new building! The Dobie House garage has been transformed into a gorgeous, spacious, and ADA-accessible room. We recently… Read more

Event: Ross Gay Reading & Book Signing, February 29th, 6pm

We’re thrilled to welcome award-winning poet Ross Gay, who will read and sign his latest work, The Book of (More) Delights,  at the Harry Ransom… Read more

Event: Spring Faculty Reading: Jennifer Foerster & Manuel Muñoz on January 18th, 6pm

The Michener Center’s Spring 2024 Visiting Faculty members Jennifer Foerster and Manuel Muñoz will read their work at the Harry Ransom Center Prothro Theatre at… Read more

Michener Fellow Gavin Yuan Gao Wins Australia’s Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry

Michener Center Fellow Gavin Yuan Gao’s collection of poetry, At the Altar of Touch has won the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry, one of Australia’s… Read more

Michener Fellow Lara Palmqvist Receives Humanitas Screenwriting Award

Michener Center Fellow Lara Palmqvist has been awarded the 2023 Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award from Humanitas for her feature screenplay, The Garden. The award… Read more

MCW Alum Lauren Green Selected for Forbes 30 Under 30

Author Lauren Green (MCW ’21) has been selected for the Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” Media Cohort for 2024. From Forbes Magazine: “Lauren Green is… Read more

Event: Reading with Carolyn Forché on November 2nd, 6pm

Poet Carolyn Forché will read her work at the Harry Ransom Center, with a reception to follow. Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Carolyn Forché… Read more


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.


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.


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.


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.