The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing 

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 2018 Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency Recipient Announced

The Murray State MFA Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce Crystal Wilkinson as the recipient of the 2018 Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency. She will read from her fiction on Friday, July 6, at 7:30pm in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery on the Murray State campus.  The Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency was 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 Crystal Wilkinson in the full announcement.

MFA Alumnus Wins Georgia Poetry Prize

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

MSU Faculty Publishes Fiction Anthology

With fiction writer Larry Smith, MFA faculty member Julia Watts has co-edited a collection of short stories titled Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South, released by Bottom Dog Press in May 2017. The anthology also includes a story by MFA fiction faculty member Lynn Pruett.   

MFA Faculty Publishes New and Selected Poems

MFA faculty member Jeff Skinner has published his eighth collection,  I Offer This Container: New and Selected Poems, with Salmon Poetry (February 2017). His previous collection, Chance Divine, was awarded the 2016 Field Poetry Prize. In 2015, Skinner received the prestigious Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a $10,000 prize given annually to eight writers nationwide for exceptional accomplishment in a literary genre. 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.   

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

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.

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

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