College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Converse’s MFA Program Partners with Clemson for Literature Series


Converse College and Clemson University Press are pleased to announce a publishing collaboration in conjunction with the low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program at Converse. The collaboration, known as the Clemson-Converse Literature Series, publishes poetry collections, short-story collections, and nonfiction essay collections selected by two competitions, each of which will run biennially.

The first series in the Clemson-Converse Literature Series is a national poetry prize, open to any poet writing in English. The winning author will receive a publication of a full-length collection of poetry by Clemson University Press, a standard royalty contract, 15 copies of the published book, a $1,000 cash reward, and a post-publication reading during the Converse MFA residency session. This national prize will give Converse students the unique opportunity to participate in the management of the prize.

The second biennial series– the Converse MFA Book Prize– offers current students and alumni the opportunity to enter a book-length poetry manuscript, short fiction manuscript, or essay manuscript into the contest. The submissions will be judged by a writer of national distinction, edited, published and distributed by Clemson University Press. The winning author will receive a standard royalty book contract and a reading during the Converse MFA program residency session.

“This partnership really sets Converse apart from other graduate writing programs. We are equipping and empowering the next great writers of our time and we are thrilled to see where this year takes us,” said Rick Mulkey, Director of the Creative Writing Program, Director of MFA in Creative Writing and Associate Professor of English.

Mulkey continues, “Through the Clemson-Converse Literature Series, the Converse MFA program becomes one of a small handful of graduate writing programs to provide students and graduates with both outstanding writing instruction and mentoring, while also providing university press publishing opportunities to our diverse students and alumni.”

“We are excited to grow and formalize our partnership with Converse through this series,” said John Morgenstern, Director of Clemson University Press. “This partnership creates the inter-institutional infrastructure to bring the culture of our region to the national stage.”

The Clemson-Converse Literature Series’ inaugural book prize will be open to submissions in poetry and fiction from MFA alumni in January 2021, and the inaugural national poetry prize will be open to submissions in 2022 to all poets publishing work in English.

For more information on the Clemson-Converse Literature Series, click here.

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