Academic Calendar: Writing Seminars

MFA in Writing Program

Important Term Details

Registration

Those students currently enrolled who plan to continue do not need to do anything—we assume you will be here next term, as scheduled.

For those students who are currently on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Withdrawn

  • March 1 is the application/reentry/reapplication deadline for the June residency.
  • September 1 is the application/reentry/reapplication deadline for the January residency.
  • Those of you who are currently on a Leave of Absence (LOA) must notify Associate Director Megan Culhane Galbraith (megang@bennington.eduin writing by March 1 (for the June residency) or September 1 (for the January residency) of your intent to return (email is fine).
  • Forfeited matriculation deposits must be repaid and received in the Writing Seminars Office by March 1 (for June) or September 1 (for January).
  • Reapplications must be completed and received in the Writings Seminars Office by March 1 (for June) or September 1 (for January).

For those current students considering requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA)

The notification due date for requesting a LOA for the June term is March 1. Students must submit requests to the Associate Director in writing by March 1 (email is fine). The notification due date for requesting a LOA for the January term is September 1. Students must submit requests to the Associate Director in writing by September 1 (email is fine).

  • If you entered the program and decide after March 1 (for June) or after September 1 (for January) to take a Leave of Absence, you will forfeit the $500 matriculation deposit.
  • Additionally, any student who decides after March 1 (for June) or after September 1 (for January) to take a Leave of Absence will be considered withdrawn at the end of the term and will be required to reapply to the Seminars with the same status as other applicants seeking admission for the term to which the student is reapplying.

Third-Term Genre Switch

  • If you are currently in your second term, you have the opportunity to request a switch to another genre in your third term.
  • Requests to make a genre switch must be submitted to the Associate Director in writing by March 1 or sooner (for June) or by September 1 or sooner (for January). Approval of your second-term (current) teacher is required. If you are considering making a switch, please notify the Associate Director as soon as possible, to discuss the process.

Dual-Genre Applications

Current first- and second-term students considering applying for the Dual-Genre Option need to submit three copies of a manuscript in their minor genre by March 1 (for June) or by September 1 (for January). Please contact the Associate Director as soon as possible to discuss the details.

Midterm and Final Evaluations

  • You are required to write a midterm evaluation of your teacher. The Associate Director will send you an evaluation form that you will need to complete and return via email. Estimated due dates: late March (for Jan-May term); late September (for June-November term)
  • You are required to write a final evaluation of your teacher. The Associate Director will send you an evaluation form that you will need to complete and return via email. Estimated due dates: mid-June (for Jan-May term); mid-January (for June-November term)

*Important Reminder to Evaluation Policy: Midterm and final evaluations by students of faculty will be shared with faculty as anonymous documents. Residency evaluations will be read only by administrators.

Faculty Preferences

Students in their second through fourth terms will receive brief biographical profiles of all faculty who will be teaching in their genre during the term and will be asked to list up to six in order of preference. Estimated time you will receive the profiles and preference form is two months before each residency. Students in their first term will be assigned a faculty member.

Workshop Material

Deadlines to email complete workshop materials to writing@bennington.edu are:

  • January Residency: Beginning of December (students will be notified of the exact date)
  • June Residency: Beginning of May (students will be notified of the exact date)
  • Email a copy of your workshop material (original work) to writing@bennington.edu.
  • Plan ahead which materials you will be sending so that the deadline does not creep up on you. 
  • Send your best work in progress, i.e., strong work you think will benefit from the critique of your workshop teachers and peers.  
  • Our goal is to distribute the workshop material in time for faculty and students to read and fully annotate one another’s work prior to coming to the residency.
    • Fully annotate means fully respond to the work in writing. Students will give their written responses of each MS to its author. We have received many requests from students who want there to be more consistency in the quality of the critique of workshop manuscripts. Thoroughly critiquing manuscripts for workshop will benefit student critics as well as student authors.
  • Send no more than 20 pages of fiction or nonfiction (double spaced, single-sided, in 12pt Times New Roman) and not more than 10 pages of poetry.
  • We will strictly adhere to all deadlines. No extensions.
    • If you miss the deadline, you will be responsible for sending the material to those in your workshop group, including sending a copy to the Writing Seminars Office and one to each of your workshop teachers.
    • A word of caution: If your material is not received on time, teachers have the option to omit your work from the workshop.

Letter-grade Requests

Letter-grade requests are due to the Associate Director via email by these deadlines:

  • February 10 (for the January–May term)
  • July 10 (for the June–November term)

NOTE: Upon the completion of coursework, assigned letter grades cannot be changed back to a pass/fail rating.

January Residency: January 4–14, 2017

  • Plan to arrive on campus Thursday, for Student Check-in: noon–5:00 pm and before 6:30 pm, if you plan to have dinner on campus.
  • There will be a faculty reading that evening at 7:00 pm.
  • The academic events of the program get underway Friday, with orientation in the morning and the first meeting of your workshop group in the afternoon.
  • Graduation is the last Saturday of residency.
  • Students are required to participate fully in all workshops. The final workshops will be held Sunday from 9:00–11:00 am. We hope this will lessen the stress of timing your travel plans home. Please plan to participate fully in the entire final workshop and make travel plans that leave you enough time to get to the airport or train station without having to be distracted by time constraints. Your peers deserve your full attention every workshop, including that final one.
  • You are welcome to stay over Sunday night. If you have any questions, please call or send an email to the Associate Director at 802-440-4454, or megang@bennington.edu.

January 2018 Residency [January 4–14, 2018]

  • Thursday, January 4, 2018: Arrival day 
  • Friday, January 5, 2018: First day of classes
  • Saturday, January 13, 2018: Graduation
  • Sunday, January 14, 2018: Last day of classes; departure day

June 2018 Residency [June 14–24, 2017]

  • Thursday, June 14, 2018: Arrival day
  • Friday, June 15, 2018: First day of classes
  • Saturday, June 23, 2018: Graduation
  • Sunday, June 24, 2018: Last day of classes; departure day