Are you considering an MFA in Creative Writing? Does the 5% acceptance rate at most MFA programs give you pause? Did you know that the Writers’ Program can increase the odds that you’ll be accepted to the MFA program of your choice?

As the popularity of MFA programs grows, so too grows the competition, which means that today’s MFA-hopefuls need an edge in order to stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s no secret that your writing sample can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, and one of the best places to fine-tune your sample is at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. At the Writers’ Program, you’ll be able to choose from more than 50 creative writing courses each quarter, all taught by published writers, many of whom have an MFA of their own.

Lou Mathews, a long-time Writers’ Program instructor and a Vermont College of Fine Arts graduate, is a huge proponent of the Writers’ Program as essential preparation for an MFA program. “Students who want to get into the top MFA programs need to understand that their writing sample is the most important part of the process. The best way to refine and sharpen your sample, says Lou, is “by taking classes at the Writers’ Program with instructors who are very familiar with what MFA programs are looking for and who can help you select and rewrite the story that will represent you best.”

Paul Mandelbaum, another veteran Writers’ Program instructor and a graduate of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, takes it one step further. “Writers’ Program classes are valuable not just for getting a writing sample in shape, but also for honing one’s workshop technique and etiquette.”


Paul’s sentiment is echoed on page 8 of the MFA Survey in the May 19 issue of Publishers Weekly, where the Writers’ Program is featured as a pre-MFA program whose classes can help students “hone their skills and prepare them for the intensive environment of the MFA.”

Former Writers’ Program students are every bit as eager to sing the praises of the Writers’ Program and its role in their MFA trajectory. John Mitchell Morris, who will begin his MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College in the fall, says the Writers’ Program “transformed my writing life and equipped me with the skill and confidence to pursue an MFA.” Diana Woods who is currently pursuing her MFA at Antioch University says, “the Writers’ Program immerses the student in the writing experience and builds writing skills. It’s intense, but I see my writing improving every month.” Janet Hilliard Osborn, a graduate of the UC Irvine MFA program says, “The Writers’ Program allowed me the privilege of reading the work of other gifted writers and provided valuable insight into my own work.” And then there’s Darri Farr, a former Wp’ student and 1 of only 12 applicants chosen from a pool of 1,000 to be awarded a prestigious James A. Michener Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin this year. When asked about the role the Wp’ played in her Michener acceptance, Darri told us, “There’s literally no way I would have been able to get in without having participated in the Writers’ Program.”

For anyone who is still unconvinced, the track record of our students will leave little room for doubt. Here are just some of the competitive MFA programs where Writers’ Program students have been accepted:

Antioch University

Bennington College

Boston University

California State University, Long Beach

Columbia University

Cornell University

Fairfield University

Goddard College

Indiana University

Iowa State University

Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Kingston College, UK

Lesley University

Louisiana State University

New York University

Pacific University


Sarah Lawrence College

Spalding University

University of California, Irvine

University of California, Riverside

University of Florida

University of Michigan

University of Mississippi

University of Nebraska

University of North Carolina Wilmington

University of Oregon

University of Southern California

University of Texas at Austin

Vermont College of Fine Arts

Warren Wilson College

For information on how the Writers’ Program can help prepare you for acceptance at the MFA program of your dreams, call (310) 825-9415 or see our list of courses here.

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