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He speaks of his past, local politics, the battles for Utah wilderness. He reads the fortune of our doomed town and our doomed state and our doomed planet, and explains that nothing is ever truly doomed.

Tales flow from the years he has spent camping and hiking alone. Snooping, he calls it. Again and again he takes a stand--controversial, untenable--and holds it against all my objections until I relent and he is free to walk out the line of his own reasoning. He then lets his argument guide him in a great arcing loop until everything he'd first claimed is knocked on its side.

When he finally returns to where he started, he is holding some new view with as much conviction as the first. In the morning I pointed this out, but I soon realized to talk oneself in circles was exercise.

Koans stretched across miles of slickrock. The point of a walk is to return to your door transformed, not hardened in your habits. In nine hours, we pause only to down a fistful of peanuts and to refill our water jugs in a hidden spring. He was once a poet and he recites lines to the moment. Upon crossing an ATV track and seeing the melted hunks of bottles and cans in an old campfire it is Richard Shelton:.

Years ago, he walked away from career after career to come here and walk. And eventually he left a marriage in the city to live closer to the canyons. The daughters he helped raise will hardly talk to him anymore. Now it's feet to the ground every day.

What can the old hope for? Strong legs, the man had answered. Every winter, he goes south to spend months among the saguaros, and he hikes both sides of the border fence.

Once he came across two bales of marijuana laying in the American cactus--packed into tight green blocks and dropped on the run. He buried them for later. This year he found a skull, a human skull, clean and white as paper in the moonlight. Two dark caverns of eye sockets guarded a little shade where a man's memories once rode. Teeth lined the jaw. There were no ribs or femurs or vertebrae, just the skull.

The ranger he notified told him this was not the thirst-driven death of a migrant; this was a message, a marking of territory. Like a dog pissing on a telephone pole. He shows me a picture on his phone. In nine hours, his pace never slows, but as the winter light sinks into the afternoon rock, I notice how his boots began to scrape across ledges as we move uphill.

It is as if he has to pause for them to catch up as one might pause for an old hound scrambling up a steep slope behind. We walk through the sunset while he searches for the perfect campsite.

He wants it to face east toward the rising sun. He insists it have a sandstone wall so he can wake up in his sleeping bag and lean against the wall while he drinks coffee in the first warm light. We never find the right spot.

He worries we'll run out of water tomorrow. There are more days like this, but a week later, I'm in the canyons alone.

I return and find the painted pot tucked in its hiding place. It is a seed jar, orange with red paint, and it's at least eight hundred years old. I think of the thousands of artifacts that have already disappeared from this mesa. I sense the destruction creeping across the land even as I crouch in the quiet sunlight before the patient pot. Leaving the jar where it belongs, I sit with a notebook.

Pen touches page and twenty words pour out for my friend with the strong legs:. Still walking ahead The zen curmudgeon Offers slickrock syllogisms To the fading light-- We're fucked, he says, Isn't it beautiful? Our two-year program includes mentored courses that allow you to write from home and be part of a supportive Mountainview MFA writing community, both online and during twice-yearly residency programs. During these two years, students work toward completing their creative thesis, a book-length manuscript of publishable quality, turning in monthly submissions to their mentors, and receiving detailed feedback via correspondence and conferencing.

Each semester, students work with their individual faculty mentors in developing reading lists. Students read approximately two books a month, focusing their attention on craft analysis. Upon completion of the program, students will have earned a credit graduate degree, which is considered ''a terminal degree'' in creative writing. The Mountainview MFA degree prepares students and qualifies them for applying for college teaching positions.

Other assigned reading will be determined on an individualized basis, as each MFA student designs a reading list with his or her mentor for each semester he or she is enrolled. In addition to the required texts, students typically read two books per month, focusing their attention on craft analysis.

Fiction Writing I is a course designed to help the student entering the MFA program in fiction grasp the central principles of writing fiction. Students will submit to the instructor every five weeks pages of manuscript, double-spaced, 12 point font, with pagination. In addition, and on a schedule established with the instructor, students will submit three polished fiction writing exercises throughout the semester and ten short essays, each on one book in a reading list compiled by the mentor in consultation with the student.

By the end of the course the student should have completed between 30 and 80 pages of polished fictional prose prose well beyond the first or second draft and 30 pages of polished fiction exercises.

Fiction Writing II is designed to extend a student's understanding of the essential principles of writing excellent fiction. As in Fiction Writing I, students will submit to the instructor every five weeks pages of manuscript, double-spaced, in 12 point font, with pagination.

By the end of the course the student should have completed a total of between 60 and pages of polished fictional prose prose well beyond the first or second draft and 60 pages of polished fiction exercises. Fiction Writing Workshop III builds on the foundations lain in the previous year two writers' residencies and two six-month faculty-mentored courses, MFA and In this course, students will write a page close-reading essay on a single work of fiction a novel, story, or story collection and continue work on their manuscript pages, which by now should start to take the form of a thesis to be turned in at the end of fourth semester.

The student should have completed between 90 and manuscript pages by the end of this course. Fiction Writing Workshop IV completes the sequence of four residencies and four mentored semester of reading, critical analysis, writing and participation in workshops, lectures and public readings.

In order to graduate, the student will turn in a final thesis of to manuscript pages, either a novel, a collection of stories, or a self-contained section of a novel. Nonfiction Writing I is a course designed to help the student entering the MFA program in nonfiction grasp the central principles of writing professional-quality nonfiction.

In addition, and on a schedule established with the instructor, students will submit three polished nonfiction writing exercises throughout the semester and ten short essays, each on one book in a reading list compiled by the mentor in consultation with the student. By the end of the course the student should have completed between 30 and 80 pages of polished nonfictional prose prose well beyond the first or second draft and 30 pages of polished nonfiction exercises. Nonfiction Writing II is designed to extend a student's understanding of the essential principles of writing excellent fiction.

As in Nonfiction Writing I, students will submit to the instructor every five weeks pages of manuscript, double-spaced, in 12 point font, with pagination. By the end of the course the student should have completed a total of between 60 and pages of polished nonfictional prose prose well beyond the first or second draft and 60 pages of polished nonfiction exercises. Nonfiction Writing Workshop III builds on the foundations lain in the previous year two writers' residencies and two six-month faculty-mentored courses, MFA and In this course, students will write a page close-reading essay on a single work of nonfiction a memoir, work of literary journalism, creative essay, or essay collection and continue work on their manuscript pages, which by now should start to take the form of a thesis to be turned in at the end of fourth semester.

Nonfiction Writing Workshop IV completes the sequence of four residencies and four mentored semesters of reading, critical analysis, writing and participation in workshops, lectures and public readings.

In order to graduate, the student will turn in a final thesis of to manuscript pages, either a memoir, a work of literary journalism, a collection of essays, or a self-contained section of a memoir or work of literary journalism. Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Students choose to focus on fiction or nonfiction. Website At Tarleton State University, you can acquire a broad-spectrum English degree that will prepare you to teach at either the secondary or post-secondary level.

Thesis track as a way to prepare themselves for Ph. Website For students interested in technical writing or global literature, East Carolina University offers an ideal match. The first is Multicultural and Transnational Literatures, which is best suited to applicants who eventually want to earn a Ph.

This track offers classes in proposal, scientific, historical, and public interest writing, as well as an optional internship credit. Website One of the primary benefits of attending Northern Arizona University is that you can pick from targeted concentrations that mirror your academic and professional goals. Or if neither of those interest you, check out the Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies track.

During the online periods, there are no individual courses. Rather, students work one-on-one with faculty mentors to complete assignments in one of four areas of interest such as Poetry or Writing for Young People.

Website Heritage University offers a particularly versatile graduate program for students who are interested in teaching. This option provides a creative way for aspiring teachers to combine courses in both education and English.

In fact, this credit curriculum is among the heftiest on this ranking. Form and Theory, Workshop, Literature, and Electives. Website At Gardner-Webb, carefully designed tracks help prepare you for distinctly different careers.

The MA in English Education, for example, is perfect for applicants who wish to teach at the secondary or postsecondary level. Alternatively, a concentration in Writing Studies will introduce you to a range of different styles and applications.

Website For a balanced program that combines thought-provoking literary study with practical training in linguistics and technical writing, check out Morehead State. Of the 33 credits required to graduate, more than half take the form of electives although half of those must come from the English Department. You also have to take one class on a major author, but you can pick from a list of literary giants that includes Milton, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and more.

But this degree also stands out for the simultaneous depth and breadth of its curriculum.

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Emerson’s online master’s in creative writing is an MFA program in popular fiction writing and publishing; this program is ideal for budding writers seeking to publish novels, particularly in the genres science fiction, mystery, horror, thriller, fantasy, or young adult.

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The university's online MA and MFA in creative writing assembles a community of writers where students receive one-on-one assistance in the creative process. Faculty mentor students in a range of genres, from young adult and thriller to .

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The MFA in Creative Writing is rare among other MFA programs. Ours is one of the very few online MFA programs with no residency requirement. Our program began in and was the first fully-online MFA program in the country. Additional requirements for the online MFA include a creative writing sample ( pages) and a personal statement. Writing samples will be evaluated on narrative technique and structure, character and setting, and the command and execution of language.

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MFA Creative Writing Online programs offer an advanced masters curriculum that balances writing workshops with academics to take your writing to the next level. Courses in literary theory and writing traditions might flesh-out your knowledge in new ways. Now available: The Poets & Writers Guide to Publicity and Promotion, The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal, The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents, The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, and The Poets & Writers Guide to Writing Contests.