The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

The Murray State MFA Program is pleased to announce the 2018 Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer-in-Residence.  

January 2018 Residency Visiting Authors

Proposed 2018-19 Graduate Programs Tuition & Fees



Celebrating over ten years of excellence, the Low-Residency MFA Program at Murray State University allows student writers to work on their craft where they live, under the guidance of prize-winning writers. Twice a year, in July and January, students attend a nine-day residency at Murray State to join a community of writers for intensive study, workshops, readings, and lectures. The select and eclectic students that make up this program come seeking a competitive, supportive, and affordable alternative to the traditional MFA program and end up finding much more.


The Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency

The Murray State MFA Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce the establishment of The Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency, created with gifts from Shirley Moore Menendez, John C. Moore, Tom Moore, Nancy Moore Waldrop and Jayne Moore Waldrop in honor of their late parents and their family's eastern Kentucky roots. The Moore Residency was created to strengthen literary connections between Appalachia and western Kentucky, while enhancing the creative and professional growth of students pursuing their MFA at Murray State. You can read more about the residency and Robert Morgan, the inaugural recipient, here.

MFA Alumnus Wins Georgia Poetry Prize

Christopher Collins, a 2013 graduate of the Murray State MFA program, has been awarded the prestigious Georgia Poetry Prize from the University of Georgia Press. His full-length poetry collection, My American Night, will be published in February 2018. Read the full announcement here.

New Madrid Joins Distinguished Pushcart Prize Index

New Madrid contributor April Ford was named a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner for her short story "Project Fumarase." As a result, New Madrid will join the list of distinguished presses featured in the official index of the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. Fiction Editor Dale Ray Phillips chose Ford’s story for inclusion in the Winter 2015 issue.

Publishers Weekly has called the Pushcart anthology “among the most influential projects in the history of American Publishing.” According to Bill Henderson, Publisher and Editor, “Many new presses and dozens of new authors emerge annually and are honored in classrooms, bookstores and libraries around the world. And so the Pushcart Prize has been renewed since our first edition in 1976. We celebrate this renewal every year. This is our joy."

The Pushcart anthology has also been awarded the Writers citation from Poets and Writers/Barnes & Noble as well as the National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2016 anthology features 69 stories, poems, essays and memoirs. Other presses honored in 2016 include Paris Review, Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry and Ploughshares.

Walk Till the DogsFaculty Anthology Publication

With poet Adrian Blevins, MFA creative nonfiction faculty member Karen Salyer McElmurray co-edited a collection of essays titled Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia, released by Ohio University Press in September 2015. The anthology also includes an essay by MFA fiction faculty member Julia Watts.

See more about our faculty and the work they've published

MFA Student Awarded Stuart Fellowship

Taylor Emery from Clarksville, Tennessee is the winner of the 2016-17 Jesse Stuart Fellowship Award. This marks the eighth year running that one of our MFA students takes home the Stuart Fellowship, which comes with an award of $7,000.

More about this fellowship and other scholarship opportunities

Jeffrey Skinner

MFA Faculty Wins Arts and Letters Award

Jeffrey Skinner of our program faculty is a recipient of the 2015 Arts and Letters Award in Literature. This prestigious $10,000 prize is given annually to eight writers nationwide for exceptional accomplishment in a literary genre. Skinner is the author of six poetry collections, including Glaciology. His advice book, The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets, earned wide attention and acclaim after its 2012 publication. He has been on the Murray State-MFA faculty since 2009, and is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Louisville.

For more information, contact MFA Program Director Carrie Jerrell at 270-809-4723 or email

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