Free audit of MFA courses offered through Pine Manor


Jeffrey Barr

Elizabeth Powell

The Solstice low-residency MFA in creative writing program located at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. has formed a partnership with Johnson State College to provide graduate courses for BFA students interested in pursuing their degrees further.

Elizabeth Powell, assistant professor of writing and literature, collaborated with Meg Kearney, Solstice MFA program director, to provide JSC students with the opportunity to audit courses in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and writing for children and young adults for free during summer and winter residencies.

“Meg Kearney gave a reading here last semester and talked with my Women and Literature class,” said Powell, “and she was very impressed with the creative writing students here and suggested the partnership to me while we were having dinner and talking shop about our respective programs.”

According to Powell, this is a notable opportunity for students to expand on their knowledge of writing for young adults. “We do not currently have creative writing classes in writing for the young-adult market [at JSC],” said Powell, “Our students could study this at the residencies. It is an emerging market that some of my past students have had financial and publishing successes, namely Rachel Carter, who came to speak to our Editing and Publishing class last semester.”

However, Powell said that this experience would be one beneficial to any student studying creative writing, since it is a “nurturing, creative, top of line program,” and she commends its embracing environment.

“Auditing these classes will give our students a leg up in applying to other programs as well, and will give our students a strong sense of the professional writing world,” said Powell, who added that students are also welcome to apply for internships with the Solstice MFA program, which are available in the spring, summer and fall.

Students are then encouraged to apply to the MFA program at Pine Manor College, and will be able to do so for free through this partnership. Those who are interested in teaching creative writing after graduation will also find use of the Solstice program’s pedagogy track. Application materials include a transcript, three letters of recommendation, an essay and a creative writing manuscript that meets the program’s guidelines.

For more information on how to become involved with this partnership, contact Powell at [email protected] or Kearney at [email protected]