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 Alumni 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

Event: Reading with Ayad Akhtar on September 26th, 6pm

Author, playwright, and President of PEN America, Ayad Akhtar, will read his latest work, followed by a book signing and reception at the Harry Ransom… Read more

Event: Class of 2023 Reading – April 22nd, 7pm

Our 2023 cohort will be reading selections of their work in fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting. Check out the livestream here. Read more


The Michener Center aims to be an inclusive, 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 are equally diverse, and the pages they produce are likewise 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 a diverse roster of 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.