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Greeting from the Director

Welcome to the Bluegrass Writers Studio.  We’re a low-residency program dedicated, above all, to helping our students fulfill their dreams of becoming better writers with more focus, speed, and support than self-study can typically provide.  Through our courses and residencies, we also present rare opportunities to connect with accomplished writers, agents, and editors.

We offer an education in craft and form, and real-time workshops that provide focused feedback on your writing.  Your progress through the program culminates in a guided thesis project in the genre(s) of your choice.  The Bluegrass Writers Studio also offers unique benefits not often found in one program, including:

  • Real-time workshops.  Because we believe you can learn as much from your peers as your mentors, students and professors regularly engage each other’s writing in real-time online audio sessions, much like a traditional workshop.  Of course, you also get valuable written feedback from your peers and instructors, as with any other low-residency program.
  • Opportunities to cross genre.  We believe students learn from jumping out of their comfort zones, so we don’t limit you to a single genre.  We regularly offer workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, novel writing, and even “hybrid” courses.  Of course, students are also welcome to keep their studies focused on one genre.
  • Craft courses. Essential to any writer’s development is a deeper understanding of craft and contemporary literature, so we offer you opportunities to delve into the study of both.  In our reading courses you’ll find inspiration and discover valuable insights in the work of creative writers who have come before you.
  • Dynamic residencies.  Our Summer Residencies give you a chance to interact and learn from many professional writers, editors, and agents.  Our Domestic Residency (just over two weeks in July) offers workshops, craft lectures, and readings that put our students in touch with the Bluegrass Writers community.
  • Overseas experience.  Our unique Overseas Summer Residency experience, one of the hallmarks of our program, provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for student writers to be immersed in another culture, become steeped in history, and view their home culture and sense of identity in a new light. 
  • Accomplished, dedicated core faculty.  Our five core faculty members are all full time, tenured, or tenure-track assistant and associate professors who hold office on the Eastern Kentucky University campus.  Our MFA students therefore benefit from the continuity, professionalism, and centrally-located efficiency of our program.
  • An atmosphere friendly to popular/genre fiction.  As with most other programs, we are deeply engaged with creative writing as a form of transformative literary art.  We are very much a program of “literary” writers. However, our core faculty members and visiting writers embrace the popular genres as legitimate and compelling forms of literary art, and we are dedicated to helping all our students, including genre writers, reach their highest level of achievement. We are not, of course, interested in “formula” writing of any kind, but we are open minded.
  • Editing opportunities.  Our in-house literary magazine, Jelly Bucket, is a journal that seeks material internationally, and is produced entirely by the Bluegrass Writers StudioJelly Bucket is distributed nationally to major outlets such as Barnes & Noble, and the work of our contributing authors has been nominated several times for inclusion in the Best Of series.  Editing positions are available for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, text-as-art, and as editor-in-chief. 
  • Affordability and Concision.  The Bluegrass Writers Studio™ is one of the most affordable MFA programs in the country.  Our single purpose is helping you improve your writing, and students who attend full time (including Domestic and Overseas Summer Residencies) normally complete the degree in two years. 
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