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Letter from the Director | Creative Writing

    Letter from the Director

    A Letter from the Director of the New Saint Leo M.A. in Creative Writing


    Dear Writer,

    When people ask me about Saint Leo University, I tell them that we are an innovative institution where teaching and lifelong learning are of primary importance. And as with all of our graduate programs, our method is to give you the tools to succeed. Nowhere is that more obvious than in our creative writing program.

    Our students range from recent college graduate to retirees, each with the shared goal of improving their writing, and being a part of a vital artistic community. They arrive driven by a desire to create, and to fully develop their capabilities as a writer; equally, they know how hard it can be to find the time to write. My goal as director is to make sure they know how our program is a place to find exactly the type of support, guidance, and individual mentoring that helps each student take the first steps towards a career as a working writer.

    Our program favors no type of writing, and no particular style; simply, you can expect to work with a faculty mentor to develop an individualized course of study tailor-made for your own writing goals. Your coursework provides structure and accountability to help you develop the independence and professionalism needed to excel in the writing world.

    Our program begins with a single annual residency, scheduled to minimize its impact on the lives of our students. Because we begin and end on the weekend, it’s possible to attend our graduate program and spend just five business days away from home. You’ll spend one week on University campus in an immersive and contemplative retreat-like setting, and return home energized to tackle your course work and that dream project.

    At the residency, you’ll work on your own creative projects under the tutelage of nationally known writers, as well as study what it means to be a professional writer, with craft lectures and panel discussions featuring literary agents, editors, and other luminaries in the arts.

    Past visiting writers and artists have included Benjamin Busch, Craig Finn, Tom Franklin, Amina Gautier, Jesse Goolsby, Beth Ann Fennelly, Barbara Hamby, Allison Joseph, David Kirby, Adam Johnson, Tom Piazza, and Mark Winegardner. Our award-winning faculty will be joined at our 2020 residency for a lecture and private performance by legendary singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole; as well as visiting artists actor, director, and author Benjamin Busch; novelist Mary Miller; debut novelists David Philip Mullins, and Elizabeth Wetmore; poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil; and nonfiction writer Dustin Parsons.

    We’re also the only graduate creative writing program to offer an optional track on the study of war literature and writing for veterans.

    I would love to talk to you, about your story, your writing goals, and how our program can help you achieve those goals. Our admissions team stands ready to help you. All you need to do is reach out.


    Steve Kistulentz, PhD

    Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
    352-588-7218 Office

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