MFA in Writing Resources
Your Resource Center for all things residency. Here you'll find guidelines, forms, graduation resources, links to Crossett Library, travel and planning resources, and more.
- Academic Calendar
- Current Residency Schedule (updated weekly)
- Dual-Genre Option
- Disability Accommodation Request
- Online Lectures, Annotations, Tools and Resources
- Program Requirements: Term by Term
- Sexual Harassment/Assault Policy
- Transcript Request
- Writing Seminars Guidelines
- Campus Directory
General Residency Notes
Residencies are 10 days long—the dates for 2018 are:
- January 4–14, 2018
- June 14-24, 2018
Registration is on Thursday and classes begin on Friday morning and end nine days later on Sunday with the final workshop. Most students arrive Thursday afternoon and depart on Sunday afternoon or evening. Please be sure you leave yourself enough time to be in attendance for the entire final workshop before departing to catch your flight or train. You are welcome to stay until Monday, 11:00 AM.
Prior to your arrival, take some time to download the campus map, and familiarize yourself with the surrounding Bennington area.
The Writing Seminars Offices are now located in Barn 106.
- Arrive in time to register (noon–5:00 PM): If you will be arriving after 5:00 PM, you can pick up your registration packet and room key at Campus Safety (a small red building on the left at the main entrance to campus).
- Parking: Please do not park on street in front of the residence halls except to unpack. Please park only in designated areas. Parking maps will be available at registration.
- Registration: noon–5:00 PM, in the Student Center (#15 on the campus map); light refreshments will be served.
- Dinner: 5:30–6:30 PM, Student Center
- Faculty Readings: 7:00 PM, in Tishman Lecture Hall (January term) and in Deane Carriage Barn (June term)
The last academic event is 9:00–11:00 AM on Sunday; most faculty and students depart on Sunday afternoon or evening, but all are welcome to stay until 11:00 AM on Monday. When making transportation arrangements, please be sure to leave enough time to be in attendance for the entire final workshop.
**Note: There are no overnight accommodations for students before Thursday and after Sunday night of each residency. There are also no accommodations at any time for pets. Overnight guests are not encouraged or accommodated easily, but if you must host a guest for a night, please talk to someone in the office.
How to Get Here (Travel and Shuttle)
The Office of Student Life will again provide shuttle service from/to the Albany airport, train, and bus station. Reservations, including payment, for this service are due by noon on Wednesday, the week before residency begins for incoming shuttles, and by noon on Wednesday, before residency ends, for departing shuttles. Checks must be received by the reservation deadline. Cancellations made after the deadline are nonrefundable. Add funds to your Bennington Card (you will need your five-digit student ID number).
If you are delayed for any reason, inform the shuttle driver, Campus Safety, or GMX of any changes to your itinerary immediately to avoid delaying other riders.
Passengers are responsible for the shuttle fee for all reservations not canceled prior to the deadline.
Please use these pickup times to coordinate your arrival in Albany in order to avoid longer waiting times. To make a reservation, use this reservation form.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Departs from Albany to Bennington College
- Train Station at 11:00 AM
- Bus Station at 11:25 AM
- Airport at noon
- Arrives on campus approximately 1:15 PM
- Train Station at 4:00 PM
- Bus Station at 4:25 PM
- Airport at 5:00 PM
- Arrives on campus approximately 6:15 PM
- Train Station at 8:00 PM
- Bus Station at 8:25 PM
- Airport at 9:00 PM
- Arrives on campus approximately 10:15 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Departs from Bennington College to Albany
- 12:15 PM departure from campus
- Train Station at 1:25 PM
- Bus Station at 1:40 PM
- Airport at 2:15 PM
- 1:30 PM departure from campus
- Train Station at 2:40 PM
- Bus Station at 2:55 PM
- Airport at 3:30 PM
Monday, January 15, 2018
Departs from Bennington College to Albany
- 10:00 AM departure from campus
- Train Station at 11:10 AM
- Bus Station at 11:25 AM
- Airport at noon
Coordinating your own ride
If you need or prefer to coordinate a ride yourself, OR if you are coming in early or late and need a way to get to Bennington, please contact
- AJ Private Transportation, 802-688-3875
- Carmen's Car Service, 802-442-6050
- Yellow Cab, 518-434-2222 (from the bus or train station)
The cost of a one-way trip from Albany is about $100.00, excluding gratuity (check details when you call). If the carpooling effort works out you might be able to split the cost two or three ways. Confirm the cost of the trip when you make the reservation.
- Vermont TransLines (Albany/Bennington/Burlington)—approximate cost $7.50
- Departs from downtown Bennington/Pleasant Street bus station
- Daily, 11:30 am (arrives Albany 12:30 pm) and 3:30 pm (arrives Burlington, VT 7:30 pm)
- Yankee Trails Bus, 800-822- 2400 (Bennington to Albany)
- Departs from downtown Bennington, intersection of School and Main Streets
- Weekdays, 11:05 am (arrives Albany 12:50 pm) and 7:25 pm (arrives Albany 9:05 pm)
Local shuttle services
During the week, a local service, GMX (Green Mountain Express), supplies shuttle service to and from the campus to the towns of Bennington, North Bennington, Williamstown, and Manchester. This service is free to all Bennington students with a valid/current College ID.
- Albany-Rensselaer Train, 800-872-7245
- Connecting Commuters Carpooling
- Green Mountain Express, 802-447-0909
The $35.00 fee can be paid by cash, check, or Bennington Card declining balance. If you have more than two bags, there will be a $10.00 fee for each extra bag. Reservations made after deadlines will be subject to a $10.00 late fee. Please note: If you ride without a reservation, the fare will increase to $60.00.
The $35.00 fee is nonrefundable after the shuttle deadline unless otherwise specified by the Office of Student Life.
Missing the Shuttle
If your plans change on the day of travel, as soon as you become aware of a change or delay you must contact Campus Safety or Green Mountain Express (according to your confirmation email). If your call is not immediately answered, be certain to leave a callback number, along with your name and a brief message explaining your situation, and to leave your phone turned on to receive the callback. Your message will be returned within 20 minutes, and any pertinent information will be relayed to the driver. This ensures that the shuttle does not wait unnecessarily, and allows you to see what other arrangements can be made.
Additional fees resulting from schedule changes are the responsibility of the passenger.
Delays and Cancellations
Arrival times are subject to change due to unforeseen delays (weather, traffic, etc.), and passengers should be sure to factor such possibilities into their travel plans. Bennington College is not responsible for missed trains, buses, or planes due to shuttle delays.
Please note: The driver is only able to wait for late arrivals for up to 15 minutes past the pickup time before departing. In the event of a shuttle delay or cancellation due to inclement weather, passengers will be notified at the number provided with your reservation two hours prior to the scheduled pickup.
Planning for Residency
What to Bring
- Type of clothing: Informal and varied. Most people opt for comfort. Some like to dress up for the graduation ceremony and reception, some don't. It's your choice.
- Sports: Walking shoes, hiking boots, tennis rackets, softball or baseball gloves, Frisbee, swimsuit (if you like to swim in a cold lake or town pool). The College Student Life Office and Meyer Recreation Barn usually have some equipment for tennis, basketball, volleyball and softball. Bicycles also can be signed out through the Meyer Rec Barn.
- Miscellany: To help assure your creature-comfort needs are met, you might want to consider bringing a surge protector-combo-extension cord, an extra lamp, an alarm clock, a bathrobe, slippers, a coffee mug, and ground coffee (if you’re a hard-core, round-the-clock coffee drinker), waffle (egg-crate) mattress cover, music etc. Simple toiletries are provided (tiny bars of soap, white flat sheets, and very small towels), but you might want to bring your own bar of soap, sheets, and bath towel, if you don't like basic institutional issue.
- Note: Extension cords without built-in surge protection are not allowed in student housing. Candles and incense are also not allowed in the student houses.
The ATM is located in the north corridor of the Barn and available between 7:00am and midnight.
- The Crossett Library will be open every day throughout the residency. The staff is very helpful. Faculty books are prominently displayed during the residency.
- The Bennington College Bookstore will have Writing Seminars faculty books, any course books faculty recommend, and a good selection of alumni work. You can contact 802-440-4361 for information.
The computers that were located in Down Commons are now located in the East Academic Center (EAC) East Lounge for student use 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The EAC is #13 on the campus map.
Card ID: The Bennington Card
The Bennington Card is the official identification card of Bennington College. Issued to all members of the College community, it is required for identification and access to essential campus services. If you would like to have your ID made ahead of time for pick-up at registration, please email a headshot of yourself in JPEG format to Dawn Dayton in the Writing Seminars Office. Otherwise, you can have your ID made when you arrive.
Bennington College sits on 470 acres of rolling meadows and woods, very lovely to walk, and not at all hard to look at. The Meyer Recreation Barn, located below Crossett Library next to Buildings and Grounds, offers a fully equipped exercise facility, including free weights, weight machines, cardiovascular equipment, and a climbing wall. Note: Shoes with black soles are not allowed in the aerobics room (they are fine elsewhere—weight room and cardiovascular area).
All rooms are single occupancy and modestly furnished with a bed, pillow, dresser, desk, lamp, and chair, plus sheets, blankets, pillows, and two (rather small) towels. That's it. The rooms are pretty basic, nothing fuzzy or fancy. Each house has a living room and a kitchen: stove, sink, refrigerator, microwave oven, but not many cooking utensils as meals are provided in Commons. If you ask us, we will provide your house with a coffeemaker and/or a teakettle.
New students are housed together, if possible, as are graduating students. The great mass in the middle share houses. Before the residency begins, we will ask you what your housing needs are regarding any health issues. We will then assign rooms accordingly.
We expect you will live together amicably and work out the issues of communal living. All houses are "quiet" houses. There is no smoking allowed in any of the houses.
Coin-operated washers and dryers are located in all residence halls now, including the Colonial dorms. If you put money on your account (through the Office of Student Life), you may also use your Bennington ID card to operate these machines.
The Post Office is now located in the East Academic Center (EAC) (#13 on the campus map) and is open 8:30 am-4:45 pm, Monday–Friday. There are regular pickups and deliveries from UPS and Federal Express. The open mail slots (re-purposed from Commons) are located along the western corridor of the Barn near the MFA offices in Barn 106. You will have your own mailbox there. You may ship things to yourself ahead of residency—clearly label your own name and "Writing Seminars" on the address. The address is Bennington College, One College Drive, Bennington, VT 05201. Packages will be distributed out of Buildings & Grounds; package notifications will be sent via email.
Meals will be served in the Student Center. Meat and vegetarian dishes are offered at each meal. While there is a strong commitment to veggie-food, the kitchen may not be able to accommodate your special diet. Please advise the office if you have any dietary restrictions and make it a point to talk with the dining services director after you arrive.
In accordance with Vermont State law, the College is required to provide employees, students, and visitors with clearly stated guidelines on when and where they may smoke. The state policy restricts smoking in all places of public access. The policy has been formulated in recognition of the Surgeon General’s conclusion that: smoking is injurious to health; and involuntary (or second-hand) smoking is a cause of disease in nonsmokers The College has designated its administrative, academic, and other public buildings smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted inside any of these buildings nor within 30 feet of entryways and exits of all buildings. Smoking is not allowed in any faculty or guest rooms or residences.
A vending machine is now located in the Upcafé stairwell.
On-Campus Locations and Resources
- Bennington Review
- Campus Safety
- Dining | Student Center Cafe
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Financial Aid
- Meyer Recreation Barn
- Post Office
- Health Center | Psychological and Health Services
- Student Center and Cafe
- Student Life Office
- Transportation and Shuttles
- Usdan Gallery
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Writing Seminars Staff
Megan Culhane Galbraith
802-440-4452; fax 802-440-4453