The American College Dublin, in association with the Irish Writers Centre, runs a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, focusing in particular on writing prose fiction. The MFA 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 business and professional environment of writing, with seminars presented by agents and publishers and master-classes by established writers.
expert guidance producing a substantial written work of publishable standard.
- comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and practical requirements of successful participation in the activity of writing
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.
- be prepared for participation in a range of complementary fields such as journalism, publishing, editing, online writing, advertising, marketing and teaching.
- will have advanced and adaptable writing techniques, informed responsiveness to critical and editorial commentary, self-management and organisational competencies.
- will have gained 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, life-long appreciation of the manifold intellectual and emotional benefits, and consolations, to be found in the practice of creative writing.
The Irish Writers Centre
The Irish Writers Centre has considerable experience and expertise in teaching and promoting creative writing. 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.
- 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.
I cannot say enough about the quality of this program. For a small liberal arts college they have managed to bring together two of the best writing talents in Ireland in Sean O'Reilly and Mike McCormack as tutors.
There is a personal touch in ACD, a warmth and intimacy that I did not find in any other college I attended, nor would I expect to. This same feeling was extended in the Irish Writer’s Centre where we were made to feel very much at home.
The greatest gain has been something more intangible. It has to do with the personal. I feel as though doors have opened in my mind, and, although I might struggle often, there is a different quality to my subjective experience of writing: there is more clarity and spaciousness, my intuition is freer, and I am not as dependent on the hard slog of squeezing out words as I was. Now, more often than not, I am writing for the sheer joy of it and this feels like a gift.
Further details on the course and how to apply can be found on the American College's website.