The Graduate Writing Program

About the Program

The Department of Writing began its MFA program in September, 2008. The two objectives of the program are to create a publishable or producible body of work, as a Major Writing Project, in one of five genres (fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, film and poetry) and to train students in the teaching of writing at the post-secondary level. Students will work with such core faculty as Bill Gaston, Lorna Jackson, Lee Henderson (fiction), David Leach (creative nonfiction), Joan MacLeod, Kevin Kerr (playwriting), Maureen Bradley (film) and Tim Lilburn (poetry).

Admission to Master's Program

For admission to the program, an undergraduate degree in any discipline and from any accredited college or university will be necessary. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative B GPA and an undergraduate degree.

Persons wishing to apply for the MFA program should submit a portfolio consisting of samples of writing in the genre in which they wish to study. One of the following will be required: 10-15 pages of poetry; 20-30 pages of playwrighting, screenwriting, fiction or creative nonfiction. Professional experience and publications will also be taken into account. These should be summarized in one to three pages. Submissions in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction must have a minimum 1.5 line spacing.

You also should submit a 400-word statement of purpose, which will include an account of what you hope to accomplish in the graduate program and a rough description of the work you wish to pursue in your major writing project.

The Department of Writing and Graduate Admissions require two letters of reference which will include the following: an assessment of the student’s academic standing, talent as a writer, critical ability, capacity for doing self-directed work, and teaching potential. Letters are submitted electronically as part of your application to Graduate Admissions and information about letters of reference can be found here:

Prospective students apply directly to Graduate Studies, University of Victoria. Applications and guidelines for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies are online here:

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