MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults

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The first MFA program in the country to focus exclusively on writing for young readers, the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults was founded in 1997 and quickly attracted the attention of accomplished writers and publishers around the country.

Students convene twice a year on our beautiful campus in the heart of historic Montpelier, Vermont for intensive ten-day residencies. Akin to a ten-day retreat for writers, each residency offer workshops, lectures, and panel discussions, as well as readings by award-winning faculty, graduating students, and visiting writers.

A hallmark of the program is its diverse and dynamic community of writers who form lasting relationships during their two years in the program and continue to challenge, encourage, and inspire each other long past graduation. 

After the vibrant exchange of ideas that takes place during residencies, students embark on the work of the semester, self-designed courses of study crafted with faculty guidance to address specific writing goals, interests, and passions. Throughout the semester students maintain a continual correspondence with faculty mentors via letters, email, and telephone conferences.

Our one-on-one mentorship model means students take an active role in shaping their own education, while participating in a sustained dialogue with experienced writers of international reputation. 

Students are encouraged to study across the scope of writing for young readers, to take risks in their work.  A semester’s study may focus on a particular area such as picture book, middle grade, or young adult and include in-depth reading and critical writing of the wider field, including poetry and nonfiction.

The flexibility of our model allows students to follow their particular interests and passions while developing lifelong artistic practices, all the while learning from the success of their VCFA colleagues; faculty and alumni from the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults are New York Times bestselling authors, National Book Award Finalists, and Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners.

Program Faculty

Visiting Writers

David Almond

Visiting Writer

Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead

Visiting Writer

Elana Arnold

Visiting Writer


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