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MFA for All – American Short Fiction



MFA for All was born from our desire to create a space where MFA-quality instruction is widely accessible to writers no matter their age, background, location, or financial situation. MFA for All is not a degree-granting program—it is a community-rich online educational experience led by top-notch faculty, free of the significant hurdles of time, expense, and geography that MFAs demand.

These master classes will offer structured insight into your craft and writing practice, giving access to a rarified level of instruction that is usually reserved for students at privileged institutions. Taught by some of the most elite authors of our day, the lectures are designed to be as rewarding for seasoned authors as they are for writers earlier in their careers.

Each semester is comprised of three classes taught by three different authors; each class—two linked lectures, a couple weeks apart—will include the opportunity to engage in conversation with the instructor and fellow students, writing prompts, suggestions for further reading, and more. Students may sign up for one class or a full semester. Signing up for a full semester is a great way to kickstart your project or dig into your current work.

Those who enroll for the semester will receive a 20% discount on tuition and access to an online community of their fellow students. We are so excited to launch this brand new program—to celebrate, we are giving students who join us for all three classes in MFA for All’s inaugural semester an awesome free tote bag!

Classes will be held on Zoom. They will be recorded and available for the following month. You do not have to be present during the class time to sign up.



Single Class: $150

•  Entry to one two-lecture class
•  Curated reading list and writing exercises
•  Access to a recording of each lecture for one month after the class’s completion
•  Discount on a year’s subscription to the magazine

          Scroll down to choose a class!

Full Semester: $360 (20% discount)

•  Entry to three two-lecture classes (one full semester)
•  Curated reading list and writing exercises
•  Access to a recording of each lecture for one month after the class’s completion
•  Access to our community platform
•  An American Short Fiction tote (this inaugural semester only!)
•  Discount on a year’s subscription to the magazine


Fractals of the Whole

Lauren Groff
Thursday, February 15 & February 29
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. to 8 p.m CST 

A class on sentences, both long and short, in which we will pay close attention to excellent sentences in published work, with an ear for the music of the sentence, and an eye for similar strategic deployment in our own work.

Lauren Groff is the author of seven books, most recently The Vaster Wilds. Her work has won The Story Prize, The Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Prize, twice for the Kirkus Prize, and three times for the National Book Award. Her fiction has been translated into thirty-six languages. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Every Story Is a Haunted House Story

Carmen Maria Machado
Tuesday, March 19 & April 2
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. to 8 p.m CST 

During this class, we will break down the haunted house genre to its essential elements—ghosts, metaphor, memory, the uncanny, the philosophy of space, the intrusion of the past onto the present, and the relationship between author and story, story and reader, and author and reader—and explore how they function as a blueprint for all fiction.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House and the award-winning short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, among others. Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York TimesGrantaVogue, This American LifeThe BelieverGuernica, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts.

Senses Working Overtime

Luis Alberto Urrea
Tuesday, April 16 & April 30
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. to 8 p.m CST 

Writers have a special way of seeing and experiencing the world. The best work is saturated with ALL of your senses: what you see, yes, but also hear, smell, touch, and taste. And your sixth sense as well. Our task is to indulge each of our senses and put them into living words of light and shadow.

Luis Alberto Urrea, a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the author of eighteen books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction, and essays. His latest novel, Good Night Irene, was an instant New York Times bestseller and is based on his mother’s service as a Red Cross “Donut Dolly” serving troops on the frontlines of the European theater in WWII. The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. His novel, The House of Broken Angels, was a 2018 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction award for his collection of short stories, The Water Museum, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Urrea’s novel Into the Beautiful North is a Big Read selection of the National Endowment of the Arts. He is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.


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