The history of the creative writing program is long and distinguished, beginning in 1947 with the arrival of Theodore Roethke, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize while teaching at the University of Washington . The current faculty are as distinguished and number among them three MacArthur Fellowship winners, a National Book Award winner, and an American Book Award winner. Recently, the program was ranked among the top ten in the country.
In 1987, the MFA degree was established, and the current two-year program provides a working community for students in fiction or poetry and affords them the time to concentrate on their writing and develop their skills. While the first year is devoted to participation in workshops and literary seminars, the second year allows for concentrated work on a thesis and masters essay under the supervision of one of our regular faculty. Teaching assistantships exist in creative writing and composition, and internships provide the possibility of carrying the knowledge gained in the program out into the Seattle public school system. Opportunities also exist to gain experience in publishing with the Seattle Review, the literary journal associated with the program, and in event planning as we have two reading series curated by graduate students. The relatively small size of our program (approximately 30 students) allows for close associations to develop among students and faculty.
Students also enjoy Seattle 's lively literary and arts scene. Seattle is home to numerous reading series, Northwest Bookfest , the Seattle International Film Festival, and many highly-acclaimed theater companies. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, Seattle is minutes away from hiking, skiing, and boating.