Residency Writers Conference | Master of Fine Arts in Writing

Photo Credit: color images by Eduardo Corral, black and white images by Christopher Encarnacion
Photos by Chris Abani, Eduardo Corral, & Heidi Willis

Writers seeking to deepen their craft and expand their professional community are invited to attend the Residency Writers Conference together with MFA students, faculty and guest speakers.

Join us for 10 full days of craft talks, workshops, panels, classes, readings, and more featuring some of the best minds of the literary world. This residency is a rare opportunity to engage in 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


  • January 6-16, 2022 – Seaside, Oregon 
  • June 16-26, 2022 – Pacific University's Forest Grove, Oregon, campus


The January residency takes place on the northern Oregon Coast in the small, resort town of Seaside. The June residency takes place on Pacific University’s 170-year-old campus in Forest Grove set among towering oaks, redwoods, and firs.


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. 


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.


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.

Meals & Lodging

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 January, students and faculty stay in private rooms at the Best Western Ocean View Resort in Seaside. In June, students and faculty stay in state-of-the-art residence halls on campus in Forest Grove. Students share suites that have private bedrooms and shared kitchens and living rooms. Lunches are provided, as well as two buffet dinners. For the remaining meals, students either prepare their own or walk to the many restaurants in Seaside and Forest Grove.


Students who have demonstrated talent, commitment to the writing process, ability to look objectively at their work, and willingness to use criticism in a discriminating manner are encouraged to apply. Admission is based primarily on the quality and promise exhibited in the application manuscript. An undergraduate degree is not required for admission to the Residency Writers Conference.

To apply, please submit the following.

  • Completed application form. See application procedures and forms.
  • A $50 non-refundable fee for applications in one genre or a $75 non-refundable fee for applications in two genres. Payment options: Go to our online marketplace, call 503-352-1531 to use your credit or debit card, or mail a check payable to Pacific University.
  • Manuscript. One of the following:
    • Poetry – 10 pages (no more than one poem per page)
    • Fiction – 15 pages maximum (double-spaced)
    • Nonfiction – 15 pages maximum (double-spaced)
  • Personal essay. Maximum of three pages addressing your background in the study of creative writing and literature and any additional writing or workshop experience.
  • Critical analysis. Maximum of three pages discussing an aspect of or element of craft in a literary work.

How to Upload or Send Your Application Materials

Please use our online portal to upload your application form, creative manuscript, personal essay, and critical analysis. If you'd prefer to email these materials, feel free to send them to the MFA office at Application materials that must be mailed should be sent to the following address:

MFA in Writing Administrative Office
Pacific University
530 NW 12th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209


For priority consideration, submit all application materials by September 1 for the January residency or March 1 for the June residency. For the January residency, we will accept applications until December 1, and for the June residency, we will accept applications until May 15, as space allows.

Costs for Residency Writers Conference

  • Tuition, no academic credit: $1800
  • Tuition, four academic credits: $2700
  • Room and selected meals: $900


We welcome the opportunity to speak with applicants and invite you to call or write us with any questions you may have. Please contact the MFA office at 503-352-1531 or