Creative Writing

The University of Missouri’s Creative Writing Program is known for its commitment to literary study as an essential component of literary production. The department offers the M.A. and Ph.D. in English, with a concentration in creative writing.


All of our graduate students receive assistantships or fellowships and teach composition, literature or writing workshops. As a result, graduates do well in competing for teaching positions, which increasingly seek versatility. The program is under the direction of Professor Trudy Lewis.


Professor William Peden founded MU’s Creative Writing program in 1946, with the vision of combining creative writing and serious literary scholarship. His mission continues today. Our M.A. program has been in existence since the 1970s, and the Ph.D. with an emphasis in creative writing was established in 1988.


The program has a thriving visiting authors’ series. Early visiting writers included Katherine Anne Porter, Joseph Heller, and John Gardner. More recent visitors have included Robert Pinsky, Deborah Eisenberg, Katha Pollit, Mark Doty, Lorrie Moore, Agha Shahid Ali, Mary Gaitskill, Rosanna Warren, Amy Bloom, Peter Ho Davies, Adam Zagajewski, Linda Gregerson, Elizabeth Strout, Edmund White, Pam Houston, Carl Phillips, Rodger Kamenetz, Moira Crone and Natasha Trethewey.


Creative Writing Students benefit from internships. The Missouri Review was founded in 1978 and is one of the most successful and reputable literary journals in the country. TMR offers publishing internships, and other internships are also available with Unbridled Books, The Missouri Press, and Persea Books.


Ph.D. students in the creative writing program are required to complete nine workshop hours in their respective genres at the 8000-level; if they wish, they may take an additional three-hour workshop in another genre at the 8000-level.


M.A. students in the creative writing program are required to complete 12 workshop hours in their respective genres at the 8000-level.


For more information, please visit our graduate page Home.