MFA in Creative Nonfiction Graduate Student Handbook 2020/21


Welcome to King’s and to the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program.
This handbook is a guide to the various regulations and policies that govern your participation in the MFA. It also introduces people and services that can help you get the most out of the program. The handbook is meant as a guide only — official documents take precedence.
The MFA in Creative Nonfiction is a degree offered jointly by the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. The program is governed by Dalhousie’s Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). So you are a student at both universities and member of both the King’s Students’ Union (KSU) and the Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students (DAGS).

Your Program

The MFA in Creative Nonfiction is a two-year low-residency program geared to providing you with the structure, instruction and support required to develop your skills as a nonfiction writer and your understanding of the business side of nonfiction book publishing. You will attend two June  residencies in Halifax (nine days each), and in alternating years, a winter residency in New York and a winter residency in Toronto (one week each). During the residencies, you take part in writing workshops, lectures and meetings with editors, agents and publishers. Each term, you work one-to-one with a mentor on your book-length nonfiction manuscript. By the end of the program, you are expected to have completed a polished book proposal and a substantial portion of your book manuscript.
As of Spring 2020, more than 25 graduates of the program had published or were under contract to publish books developed in the program. Graduates have made national bestseller lists and been nominated or won awards such as the RBC Taylor Prize, Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction, Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Nonfiction), Evelyn Richardson Award, Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Nonfiction and others.
Program structure
Each year of this two-year program is structured around two residencies and four courses. The program begins with a nine-day June Residency in Halifax. In the Summer Residency/Fall Term, you take a Mentorship course and a Writing Craft course. In the Winter Term, you attend the Winter Residency and take a Mentorship course and a Publishing course. The second year follows the same pattern.