Creative Writing Residencies

During our twice-yearly residencies, you will participate in workshops, craft talks, afternoon panels and evening readings. Engage with Dominican faculty and guest speakers in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, narrative medicine, memoir, and publishing.

students in the mfa program

Residencies offer group workshops, tutorials, craft lectures, and readings designed to nourish your writing skills and ambitions. These gatherings give you the opportunity to build a literary community with fellow writers and poets. Currently, our program is held entirely online through group video conferences, email correspondence, and phone conversations. The schedule allows for casual meetings with faculty and guest speakers, as well as opportunities to read your work in front of an audience. When campus reopens, we will resume offering in-person events. 

As an MFA student, you will meet with your mentor to receive detailed feedback on your writing, set goals, and create an individualized syllabus for the upcoming semester.

Master Class participants will benefit from small group workshops and have the option to do a one-on-one manuscript consultation.

Guest speakers have included Forrest Gander, Molly Giles, Robert Hass, Jane Hirshfield, Thomas Larson, Ruth Ozeki and many others.

Recent and Upcoming Visiting Faculty

Kim Culbertson is the author of the YA novels Songs for a Teenage Nomad (Sourcebooks 2010), Instructions for a Broken Heart (Sourcebooks 2011), which was named a Booklist Top Ten Romance Title for Youth: 2011 and also won the 2012 Northern California Book Award for YA Fiction, Catch a Falling Star (Scholastic 2014), The Possibility of Now (Scholastic 2016), which was named a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year (2017 edition), and The Wonder of Us (Scholastic 2017). Much of her inspiration comes from her background teaching high school since 1997.

In 2012, Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students, who, over the years, have taught her far more than she has taught them. Kim lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.

camille dungy

Camille T. Dungy’s debut collection of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers (W. W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

She is also the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019.

erik ehn

Erik Ehn‘s work includes The Saint Plays, No Time Like the Present, Wolf at the Door, Tailings, Beginner, A Child’s Drawing of a Monster, What a Stranger May Know, Pony, New Noh, Pieces for Puppets and Ideas of Good and Evil.

The Soulographie project, recently premiered at La MaMa in NY (November 2012) is a series of 17 plays written over 20 years, on the history of the US in the 20th Century from the point of view of its genocides (scripts include Maria Kizito, Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling, Yermedea, Drunk Still Drinking). Graduate of New Dramatists.

Former Dean of the CalArts School of Theater. Current Director of Writing for Performance, Brown University.

joan frank

Joan Frank is a MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ragdale Fellow; a Pushcart Prize nominee, and recent winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction and of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. 

Her two new books (February 2020) are Where You’re All Going:  Four Novellas (Mary McCarthy Prize), published by Sarabande Books, and Try to Get Lost:  Essays on Travel and Space (River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize), published by the University of New Mexico Press. Joan's 2017 Novel, All the News I Need, won the Juniper Prize for Fiction (University of Massachusetts Press).

alicia ostriker

Alicia Ostriker is a visiting Dominican MFA faculty member.  She has published sixteen volumes of poetry, including Waiting for the Light; The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011; No Heaven; The Volcano Sequence; and The Imaginary Lover, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She was twice a National Book Award Finalist, for The Little Space (1998) and The Crack in Everything (1996), and twice a National Jewish Book Award winner.

Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Yale Review, Ontario Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Anthology, and many other journals and anthologies, and has been translated into numerous languages including Hebrew and Arabic.

Ostriker’s critical work includes the now-classic Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, and other books on American poetry and on the Bible.

ruth ozeki mfa

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her first two novels, My Year of Meats(1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries.

Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and has been published in over thirty countries. Her work of personal non-fiction, The Face: A Time Code (2016), was published by Restless Books as part of their groundbreaking series called The Face.

Ruth's documentary and dramatic independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country.

marianne rogoff mfa

Marianne Rogoff, PhD is the author of the Pushcart-nominated story collection Love Is Blind in One Eye, the memoir Silvie’s Life, and numerous travel stories, short fictions, essays, and book reviews.

Since 2018, her writing has been a finalist in Narrative magazine’s Spring Story Contest, Top 10 for the Tillie Olsen Story Award, on the short list for the Bath International Novella-in-Flash Award, Top 10 for Sequestrum’s Editor’s Reprint Award, finalist for ScreenCraft’s Cinematic Short Story Award, semifinalist for the Tamaqua Award from Hidden River Arts for a book of essays, and finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize.

As adjunct professor at Dominican University, she teaches fiction, creative non-fiction and the personal essay.

nina schuyler

Nina Schuyler is the author of The Translator, winner of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award and short-listed for the 2014 William Sarayon International Prize for Writing, and The Painting, named a Best Book by San Francisco Chronicle and nominated for the Northern California Book Award. 

Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best American New Voices. She writes a column for Fiction Advocate, “Stunning Sentences,” and reviews children’s books for The Children’s Book Review.

David Watts’ literary credits include seven books of poetry, three collections of short stories, two mystery novels, seven western novels, a Christmas memoir, and several essays.

He is a medical doctor, a classically trained musician, inventor and former television personality and commentator for All Things Considered. He has received awards for his work in media, in medicine, and as a poet and author.

He publishes occasionally under the pseudonym, of his alter-ego, harvey ellis, poetry that arises from the deeper levels of consciousness. 

melissa white

Melissa White’s literary short fiction debut collection is On the Green Earth Contemplating the Moon, published in December, 2012. Her latest two collections are called Modern Dances and Golden Gate Blues

In November 2017, Melissa was named a semi-finalist in the Fox Writer's Lab 2018 Development and Mentoring Program. One of Melissa’s screenplays, No Tomorrow Without Merci won Best Short Film at L.A. Cinefest 2015, and also won Best Screenplay at the World Music and Independent Film Festival 2016. 

Melissa is currently at work on a new film she will write and direct called Build That Wall. She is also co-authoring a non-fiction book called The Final Week with her writing partner, Terrence Glass.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically the winter residency is held in January and the summer residency starts the second week of June.

For the summer residencies we offer optional housing on campus at a reasonable rate. During the winter residency, we can recommend several local accommodations near campus.

The residencies offer a full schedule of morning workshops, afternoon writing activities, craft talks, panels, and evening readings. Faculty and guest speakers are available for informal conversations throughout the residency. You will meet with your mentor to create an individualized writing plan and syllabus for the upcoming semester.

Our twice-yearly residencies are held on-campus in the historic Edgehill Mansion. However, some remote Zoom options may be available for residency sessions.

edgehill village student housing

Our Accommodations

During the summer residencies, students stay at Edgehill Village, a suite-style dorm featuring a central living room, two bedrooms, and a shared bathroom. During winter residencies, students are housed in accommodations close to campus.

campus beauty

Our Campus

Dominican’s campus is a tranquil retreat designed to inspire creativity. Take in the view of Mt Tamalpais from the porch of Meadowlands Hall or grab your notebook and find one of the many hidden benches surrounded by greenery. Year-round flowers are always in bloom.

Our Campus
students sitting on bench enjoying view

Field Trips

Midway through the summer residencies we set aside time to explore the natural beauty of the Bay Area. You might write haiku along the trails at Land’s End in San Francisco, learn about geology on Ring Mountain, or simply strike out along the hiking trails only a few minutes’ walk from campus.