The American College Dublin, in association with the Irish Writers' Centre, has launched an MFA in Creative Writing, focusing in particular on writing prose fiction. Further details on the course and how to apply can be found on the American College's website.
Based in the childhood home of Oscar Wilde at 1 Merrion Square and delivered in association with the Irish Writers’ Centre, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing offers aspiring or published writers a one-year course of study which examines the process and practice of producing prose fiction. Within a critical workshop and mentoring format students are provided with tuition and advice in completing either a novel or a short story collection. Consideration is given to the intellectual, psychological, economic and cultural influences that underpin and drive the creative writing process. The course also emphasizes the business and professional environment of writing, with seminars presented by agents and publishers and master classes by established writers. The programme provides the student both with expert guidance in producing a substantial written work of publishable standard, and with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and practical requirements of successful participation in the activity of writing, whether as a professional career or as part of a lifelong personal commitment to creative endeavour.
A graduate of the programme will be in a position to consider submission of a complete and polished work to a literary agent or publisher. He or she will also be prepared for participation in a range of complementary fields such as journalism, publishing, editing, online writing, advertising, marketing and teaching. The degree develops a broad spectrum of transferable skills, including advanced and adaptable writing techniques, informed responsiveness to critical and editorial commentary, self-management and organizational competencies, and a high level of expertise in understanding and locating creative work within a historical and critical context. These skills are applicable not only in careers that draw directly on the ability to write creatively, but also in a wide array of related business, cultural and social activities such as keeping a web page, blogging, advocacy and grant writing, criticism and commentary. Finally, the degree highlights the beauty and, amid such suffering as is necessary, the joy of creative expression. Regardless of the particular path a graduate follows, he or she will leave the programme with an enhanced, lifelong appreciation of the manifold intellectual and emotional benefits and consolations to be found in the practice of creative writing.
The Irish Writers’ Centre
The MFA in Creative Writing is delivered in association with the Irish Writers’ Centre, based at 19 Parnell Square. The Irish Writers’ Centre has long been a hub of literary activity in Dublin, supporting established and aspiring writers throughout Ireland from its location in what Joyce called 'the heart of the Hibernian metropolis.' It is a non-profit organisation, aimed at promoting literature and writers in Ireland. Since it was founded in 1987, the Irish Writers’ Centre has welcomed many award winning writers through its doors, including Nobel, Costa, Man Booker, IMPAC, and Pulitzer Prize winners. It has also served as an important platform for breakthrough talent, with many young writers giving their first public readings at the Centre.
The Irish Writers’ Centre has considerable experience and expertise in teaching and promoting creative writing. These qualities, allied with American College Dublin’s long background in liberal arts higher education, have informed the development of the programme and provide ongoing support for it. The Centre serves as a space for programme events and presentations, facilitates MFA students in establishing contacts with agents, publishers and other key figures in the publishing industry, and provides a context for students to engage and interact with the Dublin and Irish writing community.
All MFA students are required to be members of the Irish Writers’ Centre during the year of their registration on the programme and are encouraged to enter into its culture and activities, both during the course and in the years beyond. Additionally, as a general principle, students are encouraged to draw on the observations and other writerly enjoyments and inspirations that attend the experience of travelling the paths, by-ways and spaces that link Merrion and Parnell squares.