Graduate Bulletin

Spring 2022

Creative Writing and Literature

The Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton emphasizes creative work in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. However, the program also extends its emphasis beyond the familiar categories of creative expression to treat all forms of writing as equally relevant to understanding and mastering a world constructed out of words. Students are free to take workshops in all genres, in the belief that writing outside the lines informs their primary areas of interest.

Courses are taught by a full-time core faculty of three, joined by a part-time faculty of distinguished visiting writers whose teaching and lecturing assignments rotate among the fall, spring, and summer sessions. These distinguished visitors provide creative breadth to the writing program, offering coverage in areas of writing that are essential in contemporary society, in particular fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, and writing for children.

The MFA in Creative Writing and Literature

The 46 academic credits for the MFA program is divided among required courses that introduce students to the profession and discipline of writing and the skills necessary to teach writing to others; advanced writing workshops in a variety of writing genres; seminars designed to focus closely on an issue or type of contemporary writing; graduate-level literature courses; and an MFA thesis intended to be a publishable, book-length work. The program is offered in two academic semesters, two six-week summer sessions, and a credit-bearing writers conference.

The Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing

Designed for working adults who have completed a BA and who are interested in master’s level instruction, the Certificate Program in Creative Writing is distinguished by the fact that it allows students flexibility in choice of courses and genres. The Advanced Certificate is a sixteen credit hour concentration available upon successful application to degree-seeking students who have been admitted to any Stony Brook University graduate program, as well as to non-degree seeking students who meet the requirements outlined by the Graduate School.

The Advanced Certificate in Children's Literature

The Advanced Certificate in Children’s Literature accepts up to12 serious children’s book writers each year for a part-time, year-long, 16-credit course of instruction that is customized, affordable, comprehensive, and professionally useful. Certificate students work independently with outstanding faculty mentors in spring and fall terms. During summer and winter terms, they come together as a cohort, in July at the Southampton Writers Conference and in January for a special Children’s Literature Publishing and Editing Practicum. The Advanced Certificate in Children’s Literature is unique in its design, suited for the types of writers who are interested in children’s books—librarians, educators, and parents with young children. These student writers are not able to take time off or relocate to enroll in a full-time MFA program. Unlike the few children’s literature MFA programs throughout the country and in the New York metropolitan area, the Stony Brook Advanced Certificate in Children’s Literature is a flexible but coherent pathway to completion of a creative project, in only one year.

Special Programs


The MFA in Writing and Literature sponsors the Southampton Writers Conference, an intensive program of three-credit workshops in contemporary writing that includes lectures, readings, workshops, and panels featuring nationally distinguished authors who join the department's summer faculty. Graduate students in the program will assist in planning and running the Conference, and will have the option of taking a Conference workshop for credit. The Writers Conference also encourages participation by visiting students – new writers, established writers, teachers of writing and editors – who will be admitted by application and may receive academic credit upon request.


MFA courses are regularly taught in the fall and spring semester at the Manhattan Center. The Manhattan center is conveniently located at 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The campus is easy to reach by bus, train, and subway.


The Southampton Review (TSR), sponsored by the MFA Program in Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton, is a carefully-edited, beautifully-designed journal dedicated to publishing fine fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. TSR focuses on work by students and graduates of the MFA program and from the Southampton Writers Conference, but we do open our pages to writers from across the globe whose work is compelling. Our pages are equally devoted to writers whose voices are fresh as well as to those whose are well-established.