UPCOMING RESIDENCY DATES
- 2020: Friday July 24-Sunday August 2
- 2021: Friday July 23-Sunday August 1
- 2022: Friday July 22-Sunday July 31
- 2021: Friday Jan. 8-Sunday Jan. 17
- 2022: Friday Jan. 7-Sunday Jan. 16
BEFORE THE FIRST RESIDENCY
After being admitted to the program and being registered for Residency I (MFA 601), but before arriving for their first residency, students will read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and one book on the theory of their particular genre (see below):
Lee Gutkind, You Can't Make This Stuff Up
FICTION (including YA)
Stephen King, On Writing
Jane Hirschfield, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry
RESIDENCY WORKSHOP SUBMISSIONS
Students are required to submit their first workshop sample one month prior to the start of each residency via email to their residency instructor. Residency instructors will email students specific guidelines about the first day of workshop prior to this deadline. Writing samples should be work students want to edit and get feedback on during the residency workshop.
Workshop Sample Page Length:
- Poetry: 5-10 pages
- Fiction: 12-20 pages (double-spaced)
- Creative Nonfiction: 12-20 pages (double-spaced)
Workshop Sample Formatting: Work should be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, 12-point serif font (e.g., Times New Roman or Garamond.) Put your name and genre on the upper left corner of the first page of your submission. For excerpts, include a brief paragraph that contextualizes the work.
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.
During 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 that mentor) finalize a semester study plan.
A month prior to every residency, students will submit a sample of their work (12-20 pages of double-spaced prose and 10-15 pages of poetry) 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.
- Morning workshops
- Afternoon craft seminars and panels
- Writing Breaks/Social Hours
- Evening readings
- Visiting Writer readings and chats
- Student/Faculty Semester Study Plan meetings
- Intermezzo/Student Night
- Thesis Defenses
- MFA Degree Ceremony
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 of the eight workshop classes to receive credit for the workshop portion of 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” projects (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 and publishing. Students will attend a minimum of ten craft seminars and/or panels 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 finalize their semester study plan, attend a thesis defense, 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.
SEMESTER STUDY PLAN MEETINGS
Before the end of each residency, students will meet with their faculty mentors (either in-person or via Skype) to finalize their writing plan and reading list for the semester. The purpose of the reading list, and of the annotations and MFA Program Assignments 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.
OVERVIEW OF STUDY PLAN MEETING STEPS
1. Students meet with their mentor (in-person of via Skype or phone) during or before the residency to set writing semester packet & MFA program assignment deadlines & to discuss and finalize the required texts for their reading list.
2. Students should come with a reading list draft, completed description or their writing project and/or critical essay and in semester III, a completed Thesis Proposal for review and approval by the Faculty Mentor.
3. Following the study plan meeting, students will email the program coordinator and their mentor the COMPLETED electronic PDF study plan form. The FINAL DEADLINE for submissions of Semester Study Plan forms is by NOON on the FINAL DAY OF EACH RESIDENCY.
After dinner, students will kick back and enjoy readings by the Mile-High MFA faculty, by visiting writers, and by 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.
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), 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 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.
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 at least once over the duration of the program.
Every residency will feature public thesis defenses, when our graduating students will formally defend their theses.
MFA Degree Ceremony
At the end of each residency we will celebrate our graduating students in an MFA Degree Ceremony. All students, as well as family and friends of the graduates, are invited to attend. 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; excerpts from the graduates’ theses; and gifts from the program administrators, followed by champagne and other refreshments.
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS/MAGIC NUMBER (7-10-7)
To receive full credit for residencies, students are required to attend at least seven workshop meetings, at least ten afternoon craft seminars and/or panels, and at least seven evening readings.
SAMPLE RESIDENCY SCHEDULE
1:00-2:15 Craft Seminar
2:15-2:30 15 min. Coffee Break
2:30-3:30 Afternoon Panel or Seminar
3:45-4:30 Thesis Defense
4:30-5:30 Break: Writing Time, Social Hour, Mentor Meetings
6:00-7:00 Core Faculty or Visiting Writer Reading/Q&A
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.