The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Fresno State MFA

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Sponsor 2021

About Fresno State MFA

Located in the heart of California, the Fresno State MFA Program is home to The Normal School literary magazine, the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry book contest, and lots of Fresno writers.

Fresno State’s Creative Writing Program enjoys a long history of literary excellence, dating to the late 1950s. Our Master of Fine Arts program was founded in 1995, and it features advanced training in the study of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Our diverse, seven-member MFA faculty has published more than 20 books from a wide range of major publishing houses, university presses, and small indie outlets. Nineteen of our MFA alumni authors have published their debut books in the past five years, and our students and alumni continue to earn publishing and editing jobs and internships nationally at places such as Poets & Writers, the Academy of American Poets, Milkweed Editions, CSU Summer Arts, and more.

For six years in a row, our national literary magazine, The Normal School, has earned high marks for gender parity and inclusion in the VIDA Count report, consistently ranking it among the nation’s best literary publications. Many of our students volunteer as workshop leaders and mentors at our annual Young Writers Conference, which has attracted 400-plus Central California high school students to visit the University each year for 40 years. Our students appreciate the close-knit literary community that Fresno provides, a place where writers meet the artist peers they will have for a lifetime.