• MFAC Admission Requirements in Detail


    The questionnaire asks for your basic demographic information and your educational history. You will then be asked to answer the following short answer questions:

    1. Please list any workshops or non-credit writing courses you have attended.
    2. Please list any other writing programs to which you have applied, or intend to apply.
    3. What are your writing goals for the next 3-5 years?
    4. Graduate students can expect to spend between 12 (part time) and 30 (full time) hours per week in our program. Will you be able to make this time commitment?
    5. Have you had experience in a writing workshop setting? Did you find the process helpful? Please explain.
    6. Please describe your current writing practice. How often do you write? What forms do you write in? How do you decide what to write about?
    7. What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
    8. Please list two books that have most influenced you as a writer and very briefly explain why. For Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, please list two books written for children or young adults.
    9. At Hamline, we are committed to creating a learning environment in which cultural differences are valued and respected. We challenge ourselves and our students to grow intellectually and artistically with regard to issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and physical challenges. How comfortable will you be in this environment?

    Critical Essay

    Please write a 3 to 4 page, double-spaced, critical essay, focusing on an element of craft or a particular subject in a children's or young adult book that has impressed you.

    Some sample topics successful applicants have explored in the past include:

    • Development of story in Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue by Maurice Sendak
    • Development of point of view in The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
    • Development of theme in Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    • Successful plot structure in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

    The critical essay asks applicants to examine an element of craft in a book written for children or young adults and the effect the author’s use of that craft element has on the reader. Applicants have written successful critical essays about picture books, easy readers, middle grade novels, young adult novels, graphic novels, and more. The critical essay is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their ability to read as a writer.

    Applicants may submit a 3-4 page essay from previous relevant coursework, such as a literary analysis or craft essay from an undergraduate English or writing course. Applicants may choose to submit their critical essay with their questionnaire, or to submit it separately at a later date via mail or email.

    Creative Sample

    Please submit a sample of your best creative writing for children and/or young adults. This can be 20 double-spaced pages of prose or poetry, or the text for two picture books. Students may submit in multiple genres as long as the total number of pages does not exceed 20 pages. We are not looking for samples of professional or technical writing, research papers, or articles. While you may submit more than one piece of writing, we encourage you to submit only fully realized pieces—a full story or chapter, a complete poem or sequence of poems, a complete picture book manuscript, etc.

    Supplemental Materials

    Any additional materials you wish the admission committee to consider. These may include additional letters of recommendation or lists of previously published work.