Residency Writers Conference Tuition and Admission

The Residency Writers Conference is open to non-degree-seeking students seeking to deepen their craft and expand their professional community. Residency Writers Conference participants attend 10-day residencies hosted by the Pacific University MFA in Writing program, but are not on a track to complete a master's degree. They may take the residency for credit or no credit.

Residency Writers Conference Tuition

Residency Writers Conference Tuition and Fees for 2022-2023
Tuition, no academic credit $1,800
Tuition, four academic credits


Residency room fees and selected meals $1,050

Residency Writers Conference Admission

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, nor are letters of reference, which our degree applicants do request and submit.

Submit your application form, creative manuscript, personal analysis and critical analysis directly to the MFA Program through the online portal or by email at You may also mail hard copies to the Pacific University MFA Program at 530 NW 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209.

Application Form 

Complete the fillable PDF (best opened in Adobe Acrobat). Don't have Adobe? Print and complete a standard Application Form (pdf)

Creative Manuscript

Submit work in the genre you wish to study. Students in the MFA program must major in one primary genre. If you are not sure which genre to choose, you may submit work in two genres and let the Admissions Board guide you.

  • Poetry – 10 pages (no more than one poem per page)
  • Fiction – 15 pages maximum (double-spaced)
  • Nonfiction – 15 pages maximum (double-spaced)

Creative manuscripts should be typewritten in Times, 12 point, with page numbers and your name on each poem, story, essay, or chapter. With the exception of poetry manuscripts (which should be single-spaced, one poem per page), all pages should be doubled-spaced. 

Personal Essay

Maximum of three pages, addressing the following:

  • Your background in the study of creative writing and literature
  • Additional writing or workshop experience
  • Literary influences on your writing, including the titles of books in your genre by writers you feel have shaped your thinking (not including our MFA faculty)
  • How your schedule will accommodate devoting 20 to 25 hours per week to your writing and to the completion of program requirements
  • Reasons why a low-residency MFA program suits your level of experience and your goals for future development as a writer

Personal essays should be typewritten in Times, 12 point, double-spaced with page numbers and your name on each page. 

Critical Analysis

Much of the learning during the conference calls on writers to engage with art crafted by others, both published texts and writing shared by colleagues in workshop. As part of your application, we ask you to submit a short critical essay about a piece of published writing—most likely in the genre you wish to study—that reveals your ability to write thoughtfully and with focus on another writer's work while exploring some aspect of craft.

For example, maybe you consider the writer's use of dialogue; perhaps you discuss the power of metaphor. Is there something you notice in the way the writer develops plot or setting? How has the work been structured, or, how is meaning organized in the work? These are just a few examples of approaches you might take. You could look at a single poem or an entire collection, a story or essay or a longer text, ideally by a writer whose work you admire.

We encourage you to consider this element of the application as an extension of the personal essay, written from the same point of view, only with a focus on work other than your own. You may find it useful to consider texts or writers that exemplify, through their craft, the kinds of strategies you are attempting to develop in your own writing. Maximum of three pages. You should feel free to use examples from the text.

Critical analyses should be typewritten in Times, 12 point, double-spaced with page numbers and your name on each page. This piece of the application should be no more than three pages.

Application Fee

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
  • Mail a check payable to Pacific University

Admission Deadlines

The Residency Writers Conference is hosted each January and June. 

The priority deadline for the January conference is September 1. Applications will be accepted until November 21 as space allows.

The priority deadline for the June conference is March 1. Applications will be accepted until May 15 as space allows.


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