increasing access to fully-funded MFA programs and building community among underrepresented writers

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Who are we?

We're a group of current MFA students and alums offering informal review of writing samples (fiction, poetry, and a limited number of creative non-fiction) and personal statements for writers who self-identify as trans, non-binary, people of color, or Indigenous/Aboriginal. We're all volunteers who want to see more QTPOC writers admitted to fully-funded MFA programs. This project was initiated by students of, and is sponsored by, the MFA Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

How much does this cost? 

It's free!

What's the best way to contact you?

Our email address is: It may take us a few days to get back in touch, but we look forward to hearing from you! 

How Can I Get Involved? 

You can get involved as an applicant (someone who is currently applying to an MFA program and wants their application reviewed) OR as a reader (someone who's willing to review an MFA application manuscript and personal statement). You can also help us out by sharing info about this project with your friends and colleagues. 


Who can apply?

Anyone who identifies as trans, non-binary, a person of color, Indigenous/Aboriginal, and/or undocumented, and is applying to a fully-funded MFA program can apply.

What if I'm not applying to a fully-funded mfa program?

Part of our goal is to help underrepresented folx get access to funding that historically has been and continues to be largely unavailable to us. We hope you'll consider applying to a fully-funded program; you can find a current list of those programs here.

What If i'm applying to an mfa program as a writer of creative non-fiction?

We currently have an extremely limited number of readers in creative non-fiction, and are actively looking for more. If you're applying to MFA programs as a writer of creative non-fiction, you're more than welcome to get in touch with us! We'd love to hear from you. But do know that we'll be able to pair only a few CNF applicants with CNF readers, on a first come, first served basis, once our application period opens on October 13, 2018. If you're interested in becoming a reader, please get in touch. 

Wait ... I'm confused. Who's eligible to apply?

Check out the apply tab! If you have further eligibility questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

What are your deadlines? 

Our review period for applicants to the 2019-2020 academic year is now Sept 21, 2018 through January 13, 2019, though we expect to run out of spots for applicants, so contacting us on the earlier end of that window is a good idea. If you're interested in becoming a reader, get in touch with us anytime. 

What if I'm applying to low residency programs?

We are focusing our energy on getting folx into full-time, fully-funded programs, but we know everyone's individual situation is different, and we wish you the best of luck. 


Who can be a reader?

A reader can be anyone who identifies as a person of color, undocumented, Indigenous/Aboriginal, and/or queer/trans/non-binary, and is currently in or has graduated from an MFA program. 

What will Applicants Expect from Me as a Reader?

Applicants will know that readers are not necessarily professional reviewers, do not have connections to program selection committees, and are not reading for copy-editing or formatting issues. Applicants expect readers to provide another set of eyes on a sample and offer their perspective on the writing as someone who has been through an MFA program and/or who is an experienced writer. The specific wording of the offer can be found under the APPLY tab on this site.

What is the expected turnaround time? 

Once you have been paired with an applicant, we expect you to be able to review the manuscript and contact the writer within 1-2 weeks. We know that timelines vary based on the needs of the reader and the applicant and we do our best to match up availability as best as is possible.

What are some examples of good feedback?

We ask our reviewers to be encouraging: to highlight what they love about a piece as well as offer a critique of aspects of the story that could be improved. It can be helpful to remember that you may be the only POC, Indigenous/Aboriginal and/or trans/queer/non-binary reader they're sharing this work with, and that they may be especially interested in hearing your feedback for this reason.

Site background by River Ian Kerstetter
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