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Online education in creative writing for college and college-ready students from a leader in engaged distance learning

Bennington Unbound offers four-week intensive online courses in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, creative criticism, and literary studies. Geared toward current college and college-ready students who may be considering an academic gap year or are looking to supplement their current coursework at their current institution, and students interested in Bennington’s progressive teaching and learning models, our courses are taught by Bennington’s award-winning graduate and undergraduate writing and literature faculty, all of whom are widely published writers. Weekly live video class meetings foster an intimate seminar experience. Web-based discussion forums and unique multimedia resources extend the classroom community. Each course is designed to develop expertise in and passion for a single topic, from canonical stories to innovative lyric essay and memoir. All students will write both creatively and critically. Students earn one college credit per course.

Please note: Currently enrolled Bennington students are not eligible to take Bennington Unbound courses.

Bennington Unbound is part of Bennington+, a suite of distance learning programs. Learn more about opportunities for anyone to take Bennington core curriculum offerings on the Bennington+ website

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Creative Writing at Bennington

At Bennington College we believe writing is an extension of reading, that there is no significant division between critical and creative writing, and that the work of successful writers begins with a love of literature. For over 25 years, the Bennington Writing Seminars has been an innovator in distance learning through our low-residency MFA program.  Bennington’s undergraduate literature students consistently earn places in the country’s top graduate programs in creative writing, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, NYU, and the Michener Center at UT Austin. Bennington Unbound combines the strengths and strategies of these two programs to enable students to experience Bennington’s unique learning environment from anywhere while studying with some of America’s most exciting writers.

An Academic Gap Year  

An Introduction to Bennington

Enrollment is open to recent high-school graduates, advanced high school juniors or seniors, currently-enrolled college students, and students taking time off from their undergraduate studies. Interested students must complete a short application. Enrollment is capped at 15 students per course.

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A Flexible Schedule

Each course is centered around a weekly two-hour face-to-face virtual class session featuring seminar discussions and writing workshops. Between class meetings, students will respond to the instructors’ assignments and each other’s comments in online forums. All courses will make extensive use of online media, including the Bennington Writing Seminars’ archive of video and audio lectures and readings by some of America’s best-known writers.

A Faculty of Writers

Bennington College has a reputation as one of the country’s best colleges for the teaching of writing. With its teacher practitioner model of instruction, individualized attention and long history as a home for literature and writing, there is no better place to improve your skills, become a better and more discerning reader, and make writing central to your life.  

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Earn College Credit

Students may earn up to eight college credits over the course of a year, or one credit per four-week class. Please note that currently enrolled Bennington students are not eligible to take Bennington Unbound courses.

Literature at Bennington

Learn more about studying Literature at Bennington College  |  Meet our Undergraduate Faculty

Frost House Museum

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Bennington College acquired the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury, VT in 2017. The home, which is open to the public as a museum, represents the period when Robert Frost claimed his place among America’s great poets. 

Poetry at Bennington

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Poetry at Bennington showcases the range and vitality of contemporary poetic voices with an emphasis on cultural and aesthetic diversity.  Each visiting poet presents a public reading and engages directly with students through question-and-answer sessions, craft lectures, master classes, and more. 

Bennington Review

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Bennington Review is a national biannual print journal of innovative, intelligent, and moving poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and film writing, housed at Bennington College.