Pacific University Residency Writers Conference

The Pacific University Residency Writers Conference welcomes writers for 10 days of craft talks, workshops, panels, classes, and readings with some of the best minds in the literary world.

Hosted by the MFA in Writing program, the Residency Writers Conference invites writers seeking to deepen their craft and expand their professional community to join with graduate students and faculty mentors for sustained and meaningful conversation with others who share your passion for the art of writing.

The Residency Writers Conference is designed for:

  • individuals who seek new directions or inspiration for their work
  • individuals who already have an MFA or MA
  • individuals who are not ready to commit to a graduate degree program
  • teachers seeking continuing education credits or hours


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“This residency was not about meeting my expectations; it was about setting goals and then, when I least expected it, blowing them apart. For me this was an amazing process and I am grateful.”

Writing Conferences in Oregon

The Residency Writers Conference takes place twice a year in Oregon.

Each January, the MFA in Writing program hosts its residency in Seaside, a charming resort town on the Oregon Coast. A two and a half hour drive from the Portland Airport, Seaside offers an off-season solitude that writers enjoy. Winter weather on the coast changes by the hour, and many visitors come to see the dramatic storms that roll in off the ocean. But the mild Oregon climate also means January can bring sunny and even balmy days, followed by cool nights perfect for a beach bonfire. Neighboring towns of Cannon Beach and Gearhart provide scenic getaways for exploring the outdoors, shopping and more. 

"I felt honored to be among such talent. I felt even more honored to have been selected as a student in the program after witnessing the talent of our students during the reading on Wednesday night."

In June, the MFA in Writing program residency is hosted on the Pacific University Forest Grove Campus. The historic campus, founded in 1849, is a picturesque setting of green lawns, tall shade trees, and brick academic buildings mixed with new and environmentally friendly facilities. Forest Grove offers urban amenities in a striking rural setting. Downtown restaurants and shops abound, and the small town is in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, just a 45-minute drive from the Oregon Coast or from the Portland's vibrant metropolitan area.

Because a strong and supportive community is an integral part of the Residency Writers Conference, students and faculty reside together for the 10 days. In Seaside, participants stay in private rooms at the Best Western Ocean View Resort on the famous boardwalk. In Forest Grove, they stay in campus apartments with private bedrooms and shared kitchens and living rooms.

Each residency includes daily lunches and two buffet dinners, and students enjoy nearby restaurants, shops and excursions together or on their own.

Writing Workshops

Each day is filled with an expansive selection of presentations and events designed to provide tools and inspiration for the art of writing. In the mornings, students typically attend a craft talk and workshops. After lunch they may choose among a number of talks, panels, classes and readings. Each evening closes with readings by the faculty and students. In addition to the scheduled events, the residency includes time for contemplation, writing and informal gatherings. 

"The workshops made me reconsider my own craft and my eagerness to offer my opinions of another writer's work…I allowed myself to dig into the content and matter more thoroughly and discovered more possibilities for diversity in my own work."

Residency Writers Conference participants and MFA students are commingled and assigned to a workshop specific to their genre (fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry). Workshops meet for six sessions and include up to 12 students. Two or three faculty members lead these workshops so that no aesthetic dominates and every student has a chance to work with several faculty writers. Each student receives at least one close critique of his or her manuscript, then spends the remaining workshop hours offering the same level of review to the other students.

Award-Winning Writing Faculty

The writers who serve as faculty are outstanding for both their level of national or regional literary achievements and for their teaching records and abilities. These accomplished authors share a sense of joy around their work, bringing diverse writing styles and voices to the mix. 


Contact Us

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program
503-352-1531 |

530 NW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Upcoming Events

All Day | Friday, June 28, 2024
Forest Grove