Seaside, Ore. welcomed  many writers with the beginning of this new year, or more importantly new semester. Each semester the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program begins by offering their students a 10 day residency on the coast during winter, or at Pacific University’s Forest Grove campus during the summer.

This year’s winter residency began on Jan. 10 and wrapped up on Jan. 20. Per usual the residency is featuring readings, workshops, panels and lectures by award winning authors of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. All craft talks and panels are also open to all students or faculty interested and have registered.

Featured guest speakers include R.O. Kwon, author of the novel “The Incendiaries” and many other pieces; Patricia K. Meyer, screenwriter and producer of both film and televisions series’; and Bonnie Nadell, president of the Hill Nadell Literary Agency in Los Angeles, Calif.

Beyond enjoying the guest speakers presentations, students are given the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with them as well as free time for thinking, writing and less formal hangouts.

To ensure each student and participant has a specialized and helpful writing residency they are assigned to a workshop within their preferred genre. These workshops meet for six different sessions, with multiple faculty members leading each session so each student has the chance to work with many different writers. At least one depth critique is given to each participants manuscript and they are encouraged to lend constructive criticism themselves.

It is this one on one, specialized help that sets Pacific’s MFA in Writing program apart from other institutions.

According to their page on Pacific’s website, students cite working with other serious and talented writers as an incredible experience that allowed them to set better goals, reignite their passion for writing and diversify their work. It pushes them out of their comfort zone while honing their pre established skills.

Students and faculty who find themselves interested in knowing more about the program or attending a residency are encouraged to visit their webpage, found under the College Of Arts and Sciences academic programs section on Pacific’s homepage.

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