• 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. 

    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.

    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

    Kelly Barnhill 250

    The CWP is thrilled to add Kelly Barnhill, 2017 Newbery Medal winner for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, to the faculty in our low-res MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. She will be starting in January 2018.

    Sherri L. Smith Pasadena 250

    MFAC faculty Sherri L. Smith's young adult novel Pasadena is the winner of the 2017 Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Book Award, in the Young Adult category. Great work, Sherri!

    Verdick Small Walt 250

    Congratulations to CWP alum Elizabeth Verdick (MFAC '13) on the publication of her newest picture book, Small Walt, out this week from Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal. Great work, Elizabeth!

  • 00 MFAC publications feature box

    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

    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.