Creative Writing MFA Program Moving Summer Residency to Scotland

Photo of Creative Writing Students

Eastern Kentucky University is moving its Master’s of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program summer residency to Edinburgh, Scotland for 2011.

The summer program had been held in the Spanish colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, each of the past three years.

“The program has grown exponentially, plus we were looking for a fresh venue with an exciting literary history,” said Dr. Young Smith, program director.

EKU’s brief-residency creative writing program blends online courses and two intensive 11- to 30-day residencies each year. This past winter residency, in Lexington, featured such noted visiting writers as Joyce Carol Oates and Kentucky native Chris Offutt.

If the Scotland residency resembles the Mexico events, the students are in for an eye-opening experience.

“My life has been enhanced because of the experience and because of the EKU MFA program,” said Rebecca Sivori, a first-year student in the program.

Another first-year student, Lindsey Stockton, said the San Miguel experience “was one of those things I will never forget. I really feel like it’s changed me forever. I can’t wait to experience Edinburgh.”

Program Director Smith is the author of “In A City You Will Never Visit,” collection of poems, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council, as well as a Tennessee Williams Scholarship for Poetry from the Sewanee Writers Conference.

Other permanent faculty in the program are Derek Nikitas, author of “Pyres,” nominated for an Edgar Award in 2008; Julie Hensley, a Pushcart Prize nominee whose stories and poems have appeared in many journals and a winner of the 2007 Everett Southwest Literature Award; and R Dean Johnson, also a Pushcart Prize nominee whose essays and stories have appeared in many national literary journals.

In addition to their coursework, students in EKU’s Creative Writing Program edit and produce Jelly Bucket, a national literary journal. The first issue is due out later this fall.

“Besides being one of the most affordable brief-residency programs in the nation,” Smith said, the EKU program “is also a small and very intimate writing community, devoted to the creative and professional success of each of our students.”

Applications for the program are accepted year-round, and students may enter the program during any fall or spring semester. For more information, call 859-622-5861, e-mail, or visit

Published on September 13, 2010

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