MFA in Creative Writing

Putting Your Best Words Forward: Applying to Alma’s MFA Program

A few tips on assembling a stellar application package for the Alma College MFA in Creative Writing.

Assembling your application to the Alma College MFA in Creative Writing program can seem like a daunting task. After all, you’re trying to communicate so much with the package—your writing skill, your personality, your commitment to pursuing the degree. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process while making smart choices so your application best represents you and your work. Here are a few tips to help you put the pieces together:


  • For your writing sample: Write in the genre in which you feel most comfortable. Your piece should be well edited and free of typos. If you’re applying in fiction or nonfiction, you can send more than one piece as long as you don’t exceed the 25-page limit. If you’re working on a novel or longer work, consider sending the first chapter. It may be the best text to represent the whole. You want the poetry or prose in your application to demonstrate skill but also potential—we want to see you have room to learn and grow throughout the program.

  • For your personal essays: What’s your story? Why have you been writing—or not writing? These essays are a chance for you to share who you are and what writing means to you—what you read, what impels you, what inspires you, what you hope to achieve in earning an MFA. Be as straightforward and authentic as possible.

  • For letters of recommendation: The people who provide these letters for you don’t necessarily have to know your writing, but that would be a plus. The letters can come from your manager at work, colleagues, your former teachers, basically anyone who can speak to your ability to work well within a community and to balance the responsibilities of the program with the rest of your life obligations.

Once you have submitted your application and we have all your materials, including transcripts and recommendation letters, you can expect to receive a decision in about two weeks. Good luck with the process. We look forward to reading your application!

Want to know more? Read the full blog.

Story published on January 25, 2021