• MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults

    Working one-on-one with MFAC professors, you will complete the coursework from your home (via email or snail mail) and travel to Hamline's Saint Paul campus twice a year for intensive, 11-day writing residencies.  

    In just two years, you will gain knowledge and skill in writing for young readers; you will develop an effective writing practice; and you will deepen your background in the history and literature of children's and young adult literature. While you will work remotely for much of the time, you will not work alone. Despite living all over the country, our MFAC students are a close-knit group that stays connected throughout the program and beyond. Additionally, students work one-on-one with a faculty advisor each semester. 

     Sparrow Griffin 80 See a listing of the many publications by our MFAC students and alumni

    Hamline's Distinctive Program

    Our program is one of only a few in the country that focuses exclusively on writing for children and young adults and earns you a master of fine arts degree in just two years. We offer breadth and depth in multiple writing categories—picture book, early reader, middle-grade and young-adult fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic novel, and comics. You will be immersed in the process and craft of writing and supported by a community of accomplished authors, mentors, and colleagues. And you will graduate prepared to navigate the literary marketplace.

    Rather than rely on specific required courses; our program examines the following subjects in depth over the period of five residencies:

    • Elements of the craft
    • The writing process
    • Forms of writing (e.g., picture book; novel--realistic, fantasy, science fiction, historical; nonfiction; poetry; graphic novel; comics)
    • The history of children’s and YA literature (including classic texts)
    • The business of publishing
    • The writer’s life (e.g., keeping the work going, finding and then working with an agent and editor, promoting one’s work, teaching, etc.)

    Nowhere but at Hamline will you find a program that integrates the best aspects of the low-residency model with effective learning strategies developed over thirty years of teaching graduate programs in creative writing.


    At A Glance

    The low-residency model accommodates working adults and those who do not wish to or cannot relocate to attend college. Learn more about the Low-Residency Advantage.

    Program Founded:


    Part Time/Full Time:


    Credits Required:


    Time to Complete:

    2 years + 1 residency


    $719 per credit

    Degree Structure:

    4 semesters, 5 on-campus residencies (January and July, 11 days each), monthly correspondence with faculty advisors. Critical & Creative Thesis. Critical Thesis lecture & reading.

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    Alum Speaks on Being a Writer

    Lauretta Elsworth talks about Hamline's MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults and becoming a published author.

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    Meet a Student

    Andrew Cochran discusses his experience in the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adult program.

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    A Look Inside

    See behind the scenes into the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program in a KARE 11 feature.