Our Students

We are consistently proud of the bright, dedicated, and kind students that make up our MFA cohort each year. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and respect among our students, which creates an atmosphere ideal for writing your best work. The students in our program range in age from people straight out of college to older, non-traditional students, some of whom have careers in other fields. Every year’s incoming class is different in its makeup. It is consistently inconsistent in this regard, however the trend as of late has been that the bulk of our students are between 24-34, with a handful of older, non-traditional students. Partners and family members who move to Spokane with our students also enjoy the strong sense of community that we have created.

Though the majority of our students have some formal, academic background in the study of literature and/or creative writing, such a background is not mandatory. The desire to write coupled with some inherent ability to do so, as well as a desire to read penetratingly — these are our only real requirements. Some of our most interesting and successful students have come to the program with formal training in completely unrelated disciplines, including medicine, law, philosophy, anthropology, history, and many others.

Our students often go on to pursue careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching and other professions where writing and critical thinking abilities are valued. Graduates of the program have published books with various presses, including Yale University, University of Texas, St. Martin’s, Copper Canyon, Sierra Club Books, Gallery, Daedalus, Simon and Schuster, and Putnam. Their work has appeared in an array of journals such as Tin House, Southern Review, StoryQuarterly, McSweeneys, Conjunctions, Poetry Northwest, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Northwest Review, New York Times Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Chariton Review, and many anthologies. Former students have received such literary awards as the Yale Younger Poets Award, the Irish Prize, publication in Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Award Stories, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Many of our alumni have gone on to teach in universities and community colleges, work for literary magazines and small presses, and pursue PhDs.

Please check out our alumni page for more information on the exciting accomplishments of our graduates.

Contact a current student

We believe that choosing an MFA program is a life-changing event, so we invite you to contact some of our MFA candidates with any and all questions about the program, the city, and their experience as writers.

You can contact a current (or former) student by emailing us at prussell@ewu.edu with your questions and the best way to reach you in reply. Feel free to let us know if you would like to talk to a student who is working in a particular genre, or who is involved with an internship that you would like to know more about and we would be happy to put you in touch.