Individualized Master of Arts (IMA) Concentration in Creative Writing
The Individualized Master of Arts (IMA) in Creative Writing at Antioch University Midwest (AUM) offers students practice in the art of writing and engagement in a community of writers.
In this supportive and challenging environment, students evolve through writing practice, close reading, and giving and taking feedback. Students learn through a balance of foundational course work and individualized study. Creative writing students focus on fiction or creative nonfiction, but often work with other genres and forms within the individualized study phase. As the final phase of graduate work, each creative writing student completes a thesis.
Throughout the creative writing curriculum, these threads are woven:
- Reading closely as a writer, with emphasis on the methods writers use to make literature;
- Developing writing practice, including the twin arts of composition and revision;
- Reflection on the writer’s inner process;
- Building a community of writers, including peers and mentors.
The IMA Creative Writing program consists of 36 semester credits and is offered in a low-residency format.
The first phase of the program includes 18 credits of structured foundational courses taught in a synchronous and asynchronous distance-learning format including online discussion forums and real-time video and phone conferencing.
The second phase of the program involves each student working with a faculty advisor and a mentor to design an individualized curriculum with deep focus on issues in creative writing that appeals to the student’s interests. During this phase, students determine their own course of study within a structured, guided framework.
The third phase of the program involves writing a creative thesis, which students complete while working with their advisors and mentors. The creative thesis is usually a novella, novel, memoir, or collection of stories or essays.
In order to fulfill all Creative Writing program requirements, students complete an E-Portfolio to include:
- Annotated Bibliography
- Critical Paper
- Documentation of workshop experience
- OPTIONAL: Other artifacts
The program requires 2 three day residencies that allow the students to meet with their advisors, mentors, faculty and staff, and to prepare for success in the program. The first residency takes place at the beginning of one’s program of study, and prepares one for the foundation courses; the second residency occurs before one begins the individualized phase of the program, and prepares a student to design courses, work one-on-one with a mentor, and to prepare for the thesis.
The following is a listing of the course curriculum for successful completion of the I.M.A. in Creative Writing.
Program Degree Requirements (12 courses = 36 credits)
First Residency – Offered each August and January
Foundational Courses (6 courses, 18 cr)
CRW-5560 Foundations of Form 3 cr
CRW-5590 The Writer’s Process (Formerly “Professional Writer I”) 3 cr
CRW-5670 Politics of Creative Writing 3 cr
CRW-5710 Studies of Craft 3 cr
CRW-5830 Genre Studies (Applied Theory) 3 cr
CRW-5890 Sustaining The Writing Life (Formerly “Professional Writer II”) 3 cr
Second Residency – Offered each August and January
Individualized Courses (4 courses, 12 cr)
CRW-6100 Elective Individualized Course I 3 cr
CRW-6200 Elective Individualized Course II 3 cr
CRW-6300 Elective Individualized Course III 3 cr
CRW-6400 Elective Individualized Course IV 3 cr
OPTIONAL, to substitute for Individualized Courses (offered ONLY in Summer term)
CRW-6700 Antioch Writers’ Workshop Seminar 3 cr
CRW-6710 Antioch Writers’ Workshop Seminar II 3 cr
Phase III – Thesis (2 courses, 6 cr)
CRW-6910 Creative Writing Thesis A 3 cr
CRW-6920 Creative Writing Thesis B 3 cr
Note: While none of the Foundations courses are regularly offered in Summer, CRW6700 and CRW6710 are ONLY offered in Summer. Students may also take Individualized Courses or Thesis during Summer term. We follow a 15-week semester schedule in Fall and Spring
Chair: Rebecca Kuder, M.F.A.
Rebecca is the Creative Writing Concentration Chair at the Individualized Master of Arts program at Antioch University Midwest (AUM). She has taught and designed courses in creative writing, curriculum design, and academic writing.
A native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, after graduating from Earlham College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, Rebecca worked at the Boars Head Theatre, performing fairy tale theatre at K-12 schools throughout Michigan. She lived in Seattle for a number of years where she worked in community mental health organizations. After earning her M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles, Rebecca created an academic writing help desk for M.F.A. students working on critical papers, and taught academic writing for the Antioch Ph.D. in Leadership and Change and the graduate programs at AUM. In addition, she taught technology classes across the curriculum at AUM and Antioch College. Ms. Kuder redesigned the creative writing curriculum for the Individualized MA program at AUM. Currently, she teaches: Foundations of Form, The Writer’s Process, and Antioch Writers’ Workshop Seminar. In advising students in the IMA, Rebecca intends to be a sort of literary matchmaker, fostering fruitful learning environments for students and faculty. Rebecca’s teaching, writing, and living are rooted in the importance of drama and storytelling to our humanity.
Rebecca serves on the Board of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, working with the Programming and Faculty committees. She has published stories, essays, and poems. Currently seeking a publisher for her novel, The Watery Girl, Rebecca is finishing a new novel. She lives in Yellow Springs with her husband, the writer Robert Freeman Wexler, and their daughter, Merida.
Gayle Brandies, M.F.A.
Gayle is the author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (Harper One), the novels The Book of Dead Birds (Harper Collins), which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction of Social Engagement, Self Storage (Ballantine), and Delta Girls (Ballantine), and her first novel for young people, My Life with the Lincolns (Henry Holt), which won a Silver Nautilus Book Award. She recently released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an ebook. Gayle teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles and lives in Riverside, CA, where she is mom to two adult kids and a toddler. She recently began a two-year appointment as the new Inlandia Literary Laureate.
John Kachuba, M. A.
John is the author of seven books (as well as five e-books), a freelance editor, and writing instructor. His articles, short stories, and essays have been widely published in various periodicals and have earned awards such as the Thurber Treat Prize and the Dogwood Fiction Prize. He holds advanced degrees in Creative Writing from Antioch University-McGregor and Ohio University. In addition to teaching at AUM, he continues to teach at Ohio University and through the Gotham Writers Workshop. For more information, see www.JohnKachuba.com.
Candace Kearns Read, M.F.A.
Candace grew up in Los Angeles, and then attended New York University, earning a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing. She began her career as a reader for production companies including John Wells Productions and Village Roadshow Pictures, and talent and literary agencies including William Morris Agency (Now William Morris Endeavor) and International Creative Management. For several years, she worked as an Executive Story Analyst, reporting directly to the head of the motion picture talent department at ICM. She has also been a personal script reader for A-list actors and directors, including Anthony Hopkins and Marlon Brando. She’s written many original screenplays and many scripts on commission. Some of these scripts have been optioned and put in development with production companies at Fox and Disney as well as independent producers.
In 2001, she earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from Antioch University Los Angeles. She has taught creative writing, screenwriting, composition, and literature for National University, Antioch University, Community College of Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is the author of the handbook Shaping True Story into Screenplay, and her nonfiction has been published in Peralta Press, Pudding House Press, online at suite 101.com and girlstrektoo.com, and in magazines such as Dining Out and Elevated Living. One of her essays recently won an Honorable Mention Award in New Milllenium Writings’ Winter Contest.
In 2002, she moved to Morrison, Colorado, where she continues to work as a writer, story analyst, screenwriter and professor. Her memoir, Under the Influence, is currently looking for a publisher.
Crystal Wilkinson, M.F.A.
Crystal Wilkinson is the author of Blackberries, Blackberries , winner of the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature and Water Street, a finalist for both the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction and the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Legacy Award. She is also the recipient of awards and fellowships from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She currently teaches writing and literature in the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Morehead State University, the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University, and the Individualized MA program at Antioch University Midwest. She and her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own The Wild Fig Bookstore in Lexington.