Low-Residency MFA Writers Workshop in Paris


The NYU Creative Writing Program has distinguished itself for over thirty years as a leading national center for the study of writing and literature, inviting promising new writers to work closely with a faculty of the finest contemporary poets and novelists.

That tradition continues with the low-residency MFA Writers Workshop in Paris, which offers students the opportunity to develop their craft under the guidance of internationally-acclaimed faculty—including Catherine Barnett, Robin Coste Lewis, Mark Doty, Geoff Dyer, Nathan Englander, John Freeman, Myla Goldberg, Aleksandar Hemon, Katie Kitamura, Nick Laird, Meghan O'Rourke, Matthew Rohrer, Helen Schulman, Zadie Smith, Darin Strauss, and Matthew Thomas—while writing and studying in one of the world's most inspiring literary capitals.

Recent visiting writers and editors include Charles Bock, Dan Chiasson, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Lydia Davis, Percival Everett, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nick Flynn, Linda Gregerson, Marilyn Hacker, Matthea Harvey, Edward Hirsch, Ann Hood, Marie Howe, Ishion Hutchinson, Leslie Jamison, Etgar Keret, Karl Ove Knausgard, Hari Kunzru, Ben Lerner, Robin Coste Lewis, David Lipsky, Valeria Luiselli, Dinaw Mengestu, Paul Muldoon, Julie Orringer, Claudia Rankine, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Danzy Senna, Brenda Shaughnessy, Charles Simic, Tracy K. Smith, Hannah Tinti, Craig Morgan Teicher, and Rachel Zucker, among many others


The MFA Writers Workshop in Paris constitutes an intimate creative apprenticeship that extends beyond traditional classroom walls.

Over two years, students and faculty convene regularly in Paris for five intensive ten-day residency periods held biannually in January and July (click here for a sample residency calendar). While in residency in Paris, students participate in a vibrant community engaged in all aspects of the literary arts, including workshops, craft talks, lectures, individual conferences and manuscript consultations, as well as a diverse series of readings, special events and professional development panels. The city of Paris itself—with its literary history and rich cultural attractions—provides an ideal opportunity for students to learn the art and craft of writing, immerse themselves in the creative process, and live the writer’s life.

During the intervals between residencies, students pursue focused courses of study, completing reading and writing assignments under the close supervision of individual faculty members. These ongoing dialogues with faculty are tailored to specific student interests and needs; students are mentored by a different professor each term and work closely with four different writers during the two-year program.

Unlike the traditional MFA, the low-residency program offers both freedom and rigor, balancing the intense and stimulating community of each residency and the sustained solitary work completed in the intervals between. Students are expected to complete substantial writing and reading assignments each term, regularly submitting packets of work in exchange for detailed feedback and critique. Graduating students leave the program with four new literary mentors and a portfolio of letters written by acclaimed writers in response to their work.


In order to receive the MFA, students must attend five residencies, successfully complete 32 credits of coursework, and submit a creative project of at least 75 pages of fiction or 25 pages of poetry. This project  consists of a substantial piece of writing—a novel, a collection of short stories, or a group of poems—submitted before the final residency. The project requires the approval of the student's faculty advisor and the program director.

Catherine Barnett (Poetry) is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and a Pushcart. Her most recent book, The Game of Boxes, published by Graywolf Press in 2012, won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets for an outstanding second book. She is also the author of Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced, which received the 2003 Beatrice Hawley Award and was published in 2004 by Alice James Books. Barnett has taught at Barnard, the New School, and NYU, where she was honored with an Outstanding Service Award.

Mark Doty (Poetry) is the author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. His eight books of poems also include School of the ArtsSource, and My Alexandria. He has also published four volumes of nonfiction prose: Still Life with Oysters and LemonHeaven's Coast, Firebird and Dog Years, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2007. The Art of Description, a handbook for writers, appeared in 2011. His work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards, and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. He is Professor/Writer in Residence at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A new volume of poems, Deep Lane, was published by W.W. Norton in April 2015.

Geoff Dyer's (Fiction) was born in Cheltenham, England and educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He is currently living in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at USC. He is the author of four novels, Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; a critical study of John Berger, Ways of Telling; and six genre-defying titles, including But Beautiful, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, and The Ongoing, among others. Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, a collection of essays, was published in the U.S. in 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. He has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and in 2015 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H W Bush was published in 2014. A new book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World, will be published in May 2016.

Nathan Englander (Fiction) is the author of the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, the novel The Ministry of Special Cases, and the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (Knopf, Spring 2012). His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post, as well as The O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories. Translated into more than a dozen languages, Englander was selected as one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He’s been a fellow at the Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and at the American Academy of Berlin. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

John Freeman (Fiction), writer and literary critic, was the editor of the literary magazine Granta, until 2013 as well as the former president of the National Book Critics Circle. He is an executive editor at the Literary Hub. His writing has appeared in almost 200 English-language publications around the world, including The New York Times Book Reviewthe Los Angeles Times The Guardian, and The Wall Street JournalHe is the author of The Tyranny of E-mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox (Scribner, 2009), and, most recently, How to Read a Novelist (FSG, 2013). He is the founding editor of Freeman's, a new biannual literary journal.

Myla Goldberg (Fiction) is the bestselling author of The False FriendWickett's Remedy, and Bee Season, which was adapted to film, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2000, winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, the NYPL Young Lions award, and the Barnes & Noble Discover award. She is also the author of the essay collection Time's Magpie and the children's book, Catching the Moon. Myla’s short stories have appeared in Harper's. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence and Brooklyn College.

Aleksandar Hemon (Fiction) is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and ObstaclesThe Making of Zombie Wars, his most recent novel, was published in 2015. His first nonfiction title, The Book of My Lives, appeared from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2013. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. 

Katie Kitamura (Fiction) is the author of the novels Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. The Longshot is currently being developed into a feature film. Katie has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, and Wired, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.

Nick Laird (Poetry) Born in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1975, Nick Laird was educated at Cookstown High School and Cambridge University. He is the author of the novels Utterly Monkey and Glover's Mistake, and three books of poems, Go Giants, To a Fault and On Purpose. The recipient of many prizes for his poetry and fiction, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, the Betty Trask Prize, a Somerset Maugham award, and the Geoffrey Faber Prize, he has lived in London, Warsaw, and Rome. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Robin Coste Lewis (poetry) is the author of the book of poems Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015), winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. She has had various work published in numerous publications, including The Massachusetts ReviewCallalooThe Harvard Gay & Lesbian ReviewTransition, and VIDA. She obtained her MFA from NYU's Creative Writing Program.

Meghan O'Rourke (Poetry) is the author of the memoir The Long Goodbye (Riverhead, 2011), as well as the poetry collections Once (2011) and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for both the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain's Forward First Book Prize. She was awarded a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, the Radcliffe Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism, among other prizes. She is the poetry editor of T Magazine and formerly an editor at The New YorkerSlate, and The Paris Review. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New YorkerPoetryAtlantic MonthlyThe Kenyon ReviewBest American Poetry, and more. A graduate of Yale University, she teaches at Princeton and the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Matthew Rohrer (Poetry) is the author of A Hummock in the Malookas, Satellite, A Green Light, Rise Up, A Plate of Chicken, and Destroyer and Preserver. With Joshua Beckman he wrote Nice Hat. Thanks. and recorded the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. Octopus Books published his action/adventure chapbook-length poem They All Seemed Asleep in 2008. His poems have been widely anthologized and have appeared in many journals. He’s received the Hopwood Award for poetry and a Pushcart prize, and was selected as a National Poetry Series winner, and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Recently he has participated in residencies/ performances at the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) and the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle). He lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Helen Schulman (Fiction) is the author of the novels This Beautiful Life, a New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book of 2011, A Day At The BeachP.S., The Revisionist and Out Of Time, and the short story collection Not A Free Show. P.S. was also made into a feature film starring Laura Linney and was written by Helen Schulman & Dylan Kidd. She co-edited, along with Jill Bialosky, the anthology Wanting A Child. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such places as Vanity Fair, Time, Vogue, GQ, The New York Times Book Review and The Paris Review. She is presently the Fiction Coordinator at The Writing Program at The New School where she is a tenured Professor of Writing.

Zadie Smith (Fiction) was born in north-west London in 1975. Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers' First Book Award. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won The Jewish QuarterlyWingate Literary Prize. Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, was short listed for the Man Booker Prize, and won The Commonwealth Writers' Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel, NW, was published in 2012. She is the editor of an anthology of short stories entitled The Book of Other People. Her collection of essays Changing My Mind was published in November 2009, and she is currently the New Books columnist for Harper's Magazine. Zadie Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at Harvard and Columbia Universities. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and is a tenured Senior Faculty member of the NYU Creative Writing Program.

Darin Strauss (Fiction) is the author of the international bestseller Chang and Eng, and the New York Times Notable Book The Real McCoy, one of the New York Public Library's "25 Books to Remember of 2002," the novel More Than it Hurts You and most recently a memoir Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has been translated into fourteen languages, and he teaches writing at New York University, for which he won a 2005 "Outstanding Dozen" teaching award. Also a screenwriter, Darin sold the rights to Chang and Eng to Disney, and is currently adapting the novel for the screen with the actor Gary Oldman. Another screenplay on which he collaborated is in pre-production at Paramount Studios. Darin was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing.

Matthew Thomas's (Fiction) New York Times-bestselling novel We Are Not Ourselves was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the John Gardner Fiction Book Award; longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Folio Prize; named a Notable Book of the year by the New York Times; named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple, and others; and named one of Janet Maslin's ten favorite books of the year in the New York TimesWe Are Not Ourselves is being translated into nineteen languages. Matthew has a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine.

Deborah Landau (Director) is the author of three collections of poetry: The Uses of the Body and The Last Usable Hour, both Lannan Literary Selections from Copper Canyon Press, and Orchidelirium, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the Robert Dana Anhinga Prize for Poetry. Her other awards include a Jacob K Javits Fellowship from the US Department of Education and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Uses of the Body was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and included on "Best of 2015" lists by The New Yorker, Vogue, BuzzFeed, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. A Spanish edition is forthcoming from Valparaiso Ediciones. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Tin House, Poetry, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, selected for The Best American Poetry, and included in anthologies such as Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, Not for Mothers Only, The Best American Erotic Poems, and Women's Work: Modern Poets Writing in English. Landau was educated at Stanford University, Columbia University, and Brown University, where she was a Javits Fellow and received a Ph.D. in English and American Literature. She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, sons, and daughter. Photo © by Sarah Shatz.


Program Dates (Upcoming Residencies): July 9-18, 2017; January 07-16, 2018

Housing: Accommodations in Paris are available in a variety of different neighborhoods, configurations and price points. 


Tuition for the program will be approximately $27,000 per year, not including registration fees, with separate payments due for the January, Spring, Summer, and Fall terms respectively. Tuition fees are subject to a yearly increase. Although the exact amounts for next year have yet to be announced, tuition for the current 16-17 academic year can be calculated as follows:

Tuition per unit, per term: $1,660.00
Tuition per year (16 units): $26,560




Registration fees (based on 16 units of tuition per year) are calculated according to the following fee structure:

First unit Fall Term 2016: $489.00
First unit Spring Term 2017: $489.00
Fee, per unit, for registration after first unit: $69.00. 

Although departmental funding is not available, students may consult a list of external scholarships and grant opportunities here




To Apply

The MFA Writers Workshop in Paris will soon be accepting applications for the January 2018 residency period. Students may apply for either the MFA in Fiction or in Poetry. All applicants must submit online using the GSAS Application Form only by October 15, 2017. No portion of the application should be mailed directly. The GRE is not a requirement for the program. For more information, including details on academics, housing, costs, and the application process, please contact the NYU Creative Writing Program at 212-998-8816 or creative.writing@nyu.edu.