Best of the Best

The work of our faculty is among the best creative work being published today. But don’t take our word for it. Each year, prestigious anthologies such as the The Best American series, The Pushcart Prize collection, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories compile the finest fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published from the previous year. Rare is the year when the Writing Seminars faculty isn’t represented in their pages. How rare, you ask? Take a tally in the following slideshow.

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A Bennington Legacy

Seven Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, a MacArthur “Genius,” countless New York Times bestsellers, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people—this is Bennington’s literary legacy.

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Top of the List

In its 2007 fiction issue, The Atlantic published a guide to the nation's best graduate programs in creative writing: The Bennington Writing Seminars was distinguished as one of the top five low-residency MFA programs.

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Read. Write. Be Read.

Our motto is concise, but it expands in practice to embrace the whole culture of letters. It also embodies in its decisive cadence our sense of mission: to connect each student with much of the best that has been done, while keeping the focus trained on his or her own emerging work.

Read, write. We do both—zealously. The reading feeds the writing and vice versa, deepening the engagement, and making clear the vital need for reflective vision and imaginative expression in the bit-streaming world. Reading and writing make the bond between student and instructor, and also, significantly, with other students in all genres. The bonds proliferate and they make a community, one that flourishes like the mythic Brigadoon during residencies, and then perpetuates itself other ways through the writing term—and beyond. There is nothing so rare, or fine, as a coming together of the most diverse individualities in the name of a common passion; there is nothing so exciting as watching the growth, change, and renewal of a community of engaged writers.

If the boundary between reading and writing is seen to be porous, so, over time, is that between the writing and the life. Read one hundred books. Write one. Make yours a writing life.

Program Information

Application Deadlines

  • June residency, March 1
  • January residency, September 1