• MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults

    Hamline Distinctive's Program

    At Hamline we have been teaching graduate-level creative writing for over twenty years. We are unique in offering three fine arts programs in creative writing: a BFA, an MFA (writing for adults), and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (MFAC). We also have two national, award-winning literary magazines: Water~Stone Review and Runestone Journal.

    When we started the MFAC program in 2007, we wanted it to be a stand-alone, creative writing MFA devoted exclusively to writing for children and young adults. We are proud to be one of three such MFA programs in the country. We offer depth and breadth in all areas of writing for children: Picture Book, Early Reader, Middle-Grade and Young Adult Novel (this includes realistic; historical, speculative fiction—fantasy, science fiction, hybrid; mystery), Nonfiction, Poetry and Verse Novel, Graphic Novel and Comics.

    Working one-on-one with MFAC professors, students in our program will complete the coursework from 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 working remotely throughout your four semesters, you will be guided in an attentive, one-on-one relationship with a faculty advisor. Most of you will stay deeply connected with your fellow students, who live across the United States, throughout the program and beyond.  

    Why Hamline?

    At Hamline we want to offer you the best of all possible worlds, integrating the most successful aspects of the low-residency model with lessons learned from over two decades of teaching in a traditional MFA program. Thus, we have the following:

    • a rigorous core curriculum;

    • required and recommended reading lists and regular residency lectures and seminars on the field of children’s and YA literature;

    • a strong diversity program integrated throughout the degree experience;

    • access to the famed Kerlan Children’s Research Collection at the University of Minnesota Library; an award-winning faculty that includes two recent Newbery Medal winners, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a Caldecott Medal winner, three winners of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature, six National Book Award finalists, an Eisner Award winner, two Orbis Pictus Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize in YA Literature, and more.

    In addition—
    our beautiful campus is located fifteen minutes from an international airport, in the heart of the “literary” Twin Cities, a metropolitan city with multiple publishers for children and young adults, the highly regarded Loft Literary Center, two independent children’s bookstores, and scores of children’s and YA authors and illustrators.

    Learning Outcomes

    The purpose of learning outcomes at Hamline University is to ensure that our mission and values are realized in what our graduating students know, value, and can do. View all learning outcomes for MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

  • MFAC Program News


    Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams, MFAC alumna ‘13 receives a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award, and is a finalist for the William C. Morris Award.

    Bardoe 250

    Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain, written by alumna Cheryl Bardoe (MFAC ‘10), is out now from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

    Kelly Barnhill Dreadful 250

    MFAC faculty and 2017 Newbery Medal-winning author Kelly Barnhill’s collection of short stories and a novella, Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories, is out now from Algonquin Books.

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    Book Publications

    View the vast list of Hamline MFAC student and alumni book publications in field of children's and young adult literature.

  • The Storyteller's Inkpot

    The Storyteller's Inkpot Blog

    Join the discussion as faculty, students, and graduates of Hamline’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program talk about books, writing, and the writing life.

  • 00 Muse News Feature

    Muse News

    Visit "Muse News" for an impressive list of the many awards and accomplishments of CWP students, alumni, and faculty. Updated constantly.

  • 00 Federle Feature

    From the Archive

    Award-winning writer Tim Federle delivered a hilarious and moving graduation keynote to the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults grads, July 2015.