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WV Wesleyan MFA to Move Winter Residencies to Blackwater Falls

Blackwater Falls State Park in beautiful West Virginia
Mar 11, 2019

PLACE is a major focus of WV Wesleyan’s MFA in Creative Writing Program, central to its ethos and pedagogical approach. Twice a year, the program’s ten-day residencies have drawn the community together on the college’s beautiful campus in Buckhannon since the program’s founding. Beginning this year, the program will expand its residency gathering spaces to include one of West Virginia’s loveliest state parks. Summer residencies will continue to be held on campus, and, beginning with the 2019-20 winter residency, the MFA program’s winter sessions will now be held at Blackwater Falls State Park, only a 1.5-hour drive from Buckhannon. Students, faculty, and auditors will stay in lodge rooms and cabins and will enjoy the unique offerings of the nearby artsy towns of Thomas and Davis. The residency curriculum will stay as strong as ever and will be consistent across summer and winter residencies. Visit the program website for full details:

Excited about this new partnership with Blackwater Falls, MFA Director Jessie van Eerden says, “Our winter move has involved an encouraging visionary process undertaken collaboratively by faculty and students. This partnership not only offers our students a beautiful and inspiring place to create and learn together, it will also enable us to expand our Visiting Writers Series to the communities of Tucker County. It’s a wonderful development.”

WV Wesleyan’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing offers an apprenticeship model that enables students to earn a graduate degree without having to uproot their lives. Students come together for an intense residency period of ten days each summer and winter and complete their semester course work through correspondence with a mentor. Launched by Irene McKinney, who served as WV’s Poet Laureate until her death in February 2012, the program continues to honor her vision: the dynamic faculty is committed to fostering the creation of fine literature, particularly literature that explores place and identity. This program is the only one of its kind in the state.

The deadline for this summer-fall has been extended to April 15. For more information about applying to WV Wesleyan’s creative writing program, contact MFA Director Jessie van Eerden:, 304.473.8329, or visit the MFA website: