Public Engagement

The Writer's Life in New York City

  • MFA Creative Writing students come to The New School from across the United States and around the world to live the writer's life in New York City. To study at The New School is to join a prestigious community of writers who are experimenting and evolving together.

    Access to New York City Publishing

    Evenings with agents and editors, exclusively for MFA students, provide informal opportunities to meet publishing professionals. Courses and internships provide students with hands-on experience in publishing. In The Writing and Publishing Lab, students use new and traditional technologies to produce works that combine text and images, while also taking part in project-based internships. In Freeman's Journal Seminar, students help produce a professional journal distributed by Grove Press. Students also serve as editorial staff members and work with alumni on The New School's nationally distributed literary journal, LIT.

    Recent student internships include

    • PEN
    • Guernica
    • The Academy of American Poets
    • Scholastic
    • The Center for Book Arts
    • Interview magazine
    • Tin House magazine

    The publishing and literary worlds are changing quickly. Graduates, faculty, and partners of the program are at the forefront of the reinvention of literature. Novels and poems aren't going away, but it is increasingly important for writers to be able to tell stories with images as well as words. Courses in the MFA program as well as Parsons and Media Studies give students the tools to become leaders in a transformed industry.

    Writing at the University

    The poets, essayists, memoirists, and novelists who have studied and taught at The New School have been among the most essential writers in American literature, including James Baldwin, Grace Paley, Mario Puzo, Robert Frost, and Frank O'Hara. More recent alumni of the MFA in Creative Writing Program include Stephanie Danler, author of the national best-selling novel Sweetbitter (Knopf); Sarah Gerard, author of the highly acclaimed essay collection Sunshine State (Harper Perennial); Jennifer Benka, poet and executive director of the Academy of American Poets; and Patricia McCormick, two-time National Book Award Finalist for Young Adult Literature. Recent alumni have also done groundbreaking work in digital publishing — Frederick McKindra and Jennifer Hope Choi were selected as 2017 Buzzfeed Emerging Writers fellows, and Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, YA co-authors and co-founders of Cake Literary, serve on the executive committee of the advocacy organization #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Today MFA students continue to approach writing as a living art. Our master teachers are themselves preeminent authors. Our graduates are making significant contributions to contemporary literature.

    We host one of New York City's preeminent reading series, featuring forums with a diverse lineup of emerging and established writers as well as partners including Cave Canem, the Poetry Society of America, and Freeman's.

    Annual events hosted by the MFA Creative Writing program include

    • National Book Award Finalists' Reading
    • PEN Awards Ceremony
    • National Book Critics Circle Readings and Awards Ceremony
    • The Story Prize
    • Best American Poetry Reading
    • Literary Writers Conference, co-sponsored with The Council of Literary Magazines and Publishers
    • Comadres y Compadres Latino Writers Conference

    Write Your Book

    Each year, we hold a party in the spring at which we celebrate the publication of books by our graduates. In 2016, alumni published 42 books. A large number of essays, poems, and short stories are published in literary journals and magazine. Along with being published writers, our graduates also go on to become celebrated teachers, editors, publishers, and media professionals. They are attuned to the effects of technology on traditional literature and the new ways readers experience storytelling. Read more about our alumni.