Twice a year, in January and July, students will attend nine-day residencies, from Friday evening to the following Sunday afternoon, with an “Intermezzo” on Wednesdays. Residencies are inspiring, invigorating gatherings of like-minded writers that provide students with the opportunity to learn their craft, workshop their writing, attend readings by award-winning writers, and immerse themselves in the writing life. Our brilliant yet down-to-earth faculty mentors will eat, drink, and converse with students, providing lessons and advice on writing and the publishing world.
Toward the end of each residency students will meet (either in person or via Skype) with the faculty mentor they will be working with during the succeeding semester and (together with their mentor) develop a study plan, including a list of eight books that will constitute their Semester Reading List, along with at least two other books students decide to read on their own. In addition, students will write Critical Responses to any two books on their Reading List, except during Semester III, when they are composing their Critical Essay, and Semester IV, when they are completing their MFA Thesis.
A month prior to every residency, students will submit a sample of their work (3500-7500 words of double-spaced prose (fiction, narrative nonfiction, YA fiction, or writing for performance), and 10-15 pages of poetry or flash fiction, that will be distributed to the other students in their workshop. Thus it is required of all students that they communicate with their workshop instructors and program coordinator before each residency via their Regis email account.
Out-of-town students will work with the program coordinator to arrange for housing in a hotel or on-campus residence hall.
Afternoon craft seminars, business-of-writing panels, and writers’ chats
Writing Breaks/Social Hours
Visiting Writer readings and chats
Student/Faculty Semester Study Plan meetings
The Mile-High residencies offer concentrated periods of time when students can hone their writing in small peer workshops orchestrated and facilitated by our faculty. The workshops will take place every morning and include some writing lessons/prompts by the faculty member, critiques of student work by faculty and peers, and group discussions of a variety of writing issues. Students will attend a minimum of seven workshop classes to receive credit for their residency.
AFTERNOON CRAFT SEMINARS/BUSINESS OF WRITING PANELS
>In the afternoons, students will attend seminars on the theory and craft of writing, as well as, business of writing panels on interpretations of canonical and contemporary works, on examples of “Writing in the World” (ways in which one may make use of their writing talents for the public good), on the teaching of writing, and on the business of writing/publishing. Students will attend a minimum of five
craft seminars and five
to receive credit for their residency.
WRITING BREAKS/SOCIAL HOURS
Every residency day will feature a “writing break”—at least one hour in the afternoon when students can follow up on a workshop assignment, meet with semester mentors to create their semester study plan, take a break from the intensity of the day, and/or enjoy happy hour at the Gold Spot, a local brewery located just steps away from our campus entrance.
After dinner, students will kick back and enjoy readings by the Mile-High MFA faculty, by visiting writers, and by graduating MFA students. Students will attend a minimum of seven evening events to receive credit for their residency.
During each residency the Mile-High MFA will host visiting writers of all genres. Each visiting writer will give a reading, followed by a Q&A session and a book signing.
SEMESTER STUDY PLAN MEETINGS
Before the end of each residency, students will meet with their faculty mentors (either in-person or via Skype) to shape a writing plan and reading list for the semester. The purpose of the reading list, and of the annotations and critical responses required of students in addition to their creative work, is to ensure academic rigor, develop critical-thinking skills, and provide students with models of writing that will help them to develop their work to their fullest potential.
A unique feature of the Mile-High MFA, our Wednesday “Intermezzo” is an opportunity for students to pull back from their busy activities and enjoy what our campus, the Mile-High City, and the Rocky Mountains have to offer: some quiet writing time, a two-mile-high skiing experience (January residencies only), or ice-skating in downtown Denver (January residencies only), a whitewater rafting trip (July residencies only), a hike on one of Colorado’s great mountain trails, or an excursion into downtown Denver—followed by dinner and student readings (and/or other student-centered entertainment). Revitalized by their Intermezzo experience, and with a strengthened sense of community among students across genres, students will dive into the second half of their residencies with renewed fervor and focus.
STUDENT READINGS Every Wednesday is Student Reading Night—another of the many ways in which Mile-High MFA students practice their craft and build a community of support and inspiration. Students will help to plan this event, and the program administrators will ensure that every student of the Mile-High MFA is featured in a student reading once during their program duration.
Beginning in 2017, every residency will feature public thesis defenses, when our graduating students will formally defend their theses.
At the end of each residency we will celebrate our graduating students in a Commencement ceremony attended by all students as well as family and friends of the graduates. The ceremony includes a formal welcome from our university president, provost, or dean; an excerpted reading of the best Critical Essay of the graduating class; the presentation of the best Writing in the World Action Plan; excerpts from the graduates’ theses; and a conferral of degrees, followed by champagne and other refreshments.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS/MAGIC NUMBER (7-5-5-7)
To receive full credit for residencies, students are required to attend at least seven workshop meetings, at least five afternoon craft seminars, at least five afternoon business of writing panels, and at least seven evening readings.
SAMPLE RESIDENCY SCHEDULE
1:00 - 11:30 Workshops
1:00-2:30 Craft Seminar
3:00-4:00 Business of Writing Panel
4:00-5:30 Writing Time, Social Hour, Mentor Meetings
6:30-7:30 Core Faculty or Visiting Writer Reading/Q&A
7:30-8:00 Core Faculty or Visiting Writer Book Signing
Mile-High MFA students may occasionally be offered the option of attending a remote residency in lieu of a residency on campus. Remote residencies will take the place of a campus residency in that the student attending a remote residency will earn the same number of credits towards the MFA degree and fulfill the same requirements. Remote residencies will feature visiting writers from the region or country where the residency is held; a smaller number of students and core faculty; and additional expense. Students will be notified about a year in advance regarding the details of an upcoming remote residency. To be considered for a remote residency students will be required to submit a short essay on why the remote residency will be beneficial to their writing practice. Students will be selected based on seniority in the program, genre representation, and their short-essay applications.