MFA Raffle Winners Announced!

Grand Prize (Italian Villa): Kristin Hass
Runner-up (a week at the Russian River): Judith Wahlander M.A. in Counseling, '90
Runner-up (long weekend on the Puget Sound): Sunny Bradford, Director of Learning & Organization Effectiveness, Human Resources Dept.
Runner-up (Gourmet Picnic Basket and Cindy Pawlcyn Cookbook): William Collins, B.A. Integral Program, '67

Poet Matthew Zapruder joins the MFA and English Department Faculty

Dear Saint Mary's community,The MFA Program is pleased to announce that poet Matthew Zapruder has accepted a position in the English Department at Saint Mary’s College. Poets currently in the program will be working with Matthewin Craft of Poetry this spring; he will begin his fulltime appointment in the fall, 2013, when he will be teaching the Workshop in Poetry.

MFA Visiting Editor in Creative Nonfiction, Linda Spalding, wins Governor General’s award for her novel The Purchase

It has been a pretty good year for Toronto author Linda Spalding.

Linda SpaldingHer book The Purchase was a finalist for the Writers Trust award for fiction and now she has taken the Governor General’s award for English fiction.

Teaching Fellowship

Applicants can apply for the Teaching Fellowship when they apply for admission to the MFA Program. The Teaching Fellowship is a selective appointment with one fellow selected from each genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction and Poetry. 

The Teaching Fellowship prepares fellows to teach composition at the college level. Teaching Fellows spend the fall semester of their first year as interns in an undergraduate composition course.  They are mentored by an experienced compostion professor. After successful completion of the internship, each fellow is then able to teach his or her own composition course as a Lecturer in the fall semester of their second year. The Fellowship pays a stipend of $3000 in the first year and approximately $5000 in the second year, but it does not include a tuition waiver. Teaching Fellows are eligible for scholarships.

Applicants with relevant experience - including high school teaching or ESL instruction - are encouraged to apply.  For information on applying, please contact Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services, Candace Eros Diaz at or 925.631.4762

Hear from our MFA Teaching Fellows:

"Teaching at St. Mary's has helped me gain valuable experience working with an energetic group of students who are committed to learning (even when class starts at 8 AM!).  While I have taught at both the high school and college levels, I've picked up some great ideas and classroom methods from my mentor teacher along with the other Composition faculty members here!"--Maria Judnick (Creative Nonfiction, MFA '13)

"I was eager to teach, but there were so many things I didn't know about how a class really operated. My teaching fellowship gave me the opportunity to be mentored by a professor before I took the leap. Heading into my very first class, I knew I had learned the skills required to truly serve my students."--Mary Paynter Sherwin (Poetry, MFA '13)

"Working at St. Mary's as a Teaching Fellow turned out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my entire MFA experience. I was nervous, at first, about teaching a class, but I had a great mentor who helped me become more confident about leading classroom discussions, and who helped me select readings, prepare syllabi, and organize course materials -- all things that remain useful to me now, as a college instructor."--Lain Hart (Fiction, MFA '12)



Students have the opportunity to pursue internships either for elective credit, a stipend or as an extracurricular activity. Internships are available in teaching, publishing, arts administration, teaching writing, or service learning. Though students are welcome to participate in more than one internship, the stipend and course credit are given for only one internship.  Off-campus internships at publishing houses, with literary agents, or community engagement internships are also encouraged.

Teaching Internships

The Teaching Internship allows students to observe the conduct of a college course and to share the pedagogical activity of the supervising instructor. The student serves as co-teacher with a mentor teacher from the English Department and assists with an undergraduate course in composition, creative writing or literature. The student attends each course session and shares responsibility for instructing the class and responding to students' written work. Teaching internships are only available to second-year students.

 Learning Outcomes:

  • Interns will observe the conduct of a college course by attending each class session;
  • Interns will learn the rudiments of course planning, the writing of paper topics and examinations, grading, and classroom instruction.

Publishing Internships

MARY Mary Journal

Students can learn about small press internet publishing through internships with MARY, the Program's in-house web publication. Student interns assist with various elements of administration, editing, layout, publicity, and advertising.

Learning Outcomes:

  • develop a selection process for each genre;
  • attend meetings and act as the representative for his or her genre, selecting from submissions or soliciting work to contribute to the final issue(s).
Wave BooksWave Books (

Students will work with Wave Books Senior Editor and St. Mary's MFA Core Faculty Matthew Zapruder on specific editorial projects related to books, as well as other editorial and curatorial activities. Depending on what the editors are working on during the time of the internship, interns may assist in various ways with current, special or future publishing projects. Interns will also work on a public event scheduled at St. Mary's that will feature Wave authors. Finally, interns will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and write reviews with Wave authors, for possible publication. Wave Books publishes 8-10 books per year, mostly poetry but also books of translation or prose by poets, specializing in the work of mid-career authors. Internships begin Spring 2014.

Commitment:  One semester

Learning Outcomes:

  • learn about the editorial process, including manuscript discovery, evaluation, editing, and production
  • gain an understanding of the range of contemporary poetry being published now in electronic and print journals, and further understand the trends, influences and traditions that make up contemporary poetry publishing
  • refine and expand methods of discussing and evaluating poetry manuscripts and individual poems, especially in terms of readership and reception
  • observe first hand the particularities and specific challenges of editing a poetry manuscript for publication
  • become familiar with the work of Wave Books poets (backlist and current publications), including opportunities to meet poets and discuss their poetry and publications
  • assist with Wave Books' activities (book table, readings, other functions) at the annual Associated Writing Program Conference
  • assist with the planning and implementation of public events, including a college-wide discussion and reading at St. Mary's
  • have the opportunity to conduct interviews and write reviews for publication in nationally-recognized magazines
Caught in the CarouselCaught in the Carousel

Students edit and produce content, manage social media, and outreach with PR firms and record companies at Caught in the Carousel (CITC), an online monthly music magazine that boasts a global staff of over 40 writers who are located from California to Cyprus.  Over the years they've had everyone from novelist Rick Moody to the musician Devendra Banhat contribute to the site and every year their essays are nominated for the Best American Music Writing series.  Their contributors have drawn heavily from the MFA Creative Writing Program (from the class of 1997 to the current one) and they're very proud of their close ties with SMC.   

Community Engagement and Service Learning

Lafayette Senior Services

Interns will facilitate a creative writing workshop at Lafayette Senior Services. The class focuses on documenting a life story through writing prompts and exercises and discussion of manuscripts.  Seniors are invited to attend Saint Mary’s Afternoon Craft Conversations, normally open only to MFA Candidates. An interest in working with the senior population and memoir is strongly suggested.  The internship will culminate with a anthology of work and a reading from the seniors at Lafayette Senior Center.

River of Words

River of Words is a linked network of people throughout the United States and the world who are committed to teaching the art and poetry of place to young people.  Founded by activist Pamela Michael and then-US Poet Laureate, River of Words promotes environmental literacy through the arts and cultural exchange. ROW reaches thousands of educators and young people around the world through its annual art and poetry contest.  Interns work to coordinate the annual youth art and poetry contests, as well as the ceremonies that invite young people to understand their watershed. Interns will also work to publish the River of Words annual anthology.   

Learning Outcomes:

  • sort, enter data, discuss, evaluate, and acknowledge entries to the annual contest;
  • generate and mail awards and recognition certificates to contest participants;
  • design and prepare the contest anthology for publication;
  • plan for and assist with ROW award ceremonies in Washington D.C. and on SMC campus.
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of AmericaCrohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Interns are given the opportunity to recruit and interview patients, family members, and volunteers in order to give voice to their personal journeys with chronic illness. They then are able to shape interviews and craft stories for web/print publication in order to build awareness, education and strengthen the community of patients, physicians, families, volunteers and donors. Interns encourage the sharing of these personal narratives to bring dignity to the lives of those affected by IBD.

Lafayette Historical SocietyThe Lafayette Historical Society

In conjunction with the Lafayette Senior Services interns will help preserve local history by meeting one-on-one with seasoned citizens of the area who have rich local history to share and stories to tell. 
Once these citizens are gone, their stories are gone forever, too. Interns will ‘interview’ these folks, gather their stories, and write them up. These documents will then be added to the permanent archives at the Lafayette Historical Society, creating a story bank.

Graduate and Professional Studies

The College’s rigorous education engages intellect and spirit, awakening the desire to transform society. Working with the College’s outstanding faculty, our students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make meaningful and relevant contributions in a rapidly changing world.


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Moraga, CA 94575
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