Tod Goldberg

A Message from the Director


The art of writing is, at its heart, a solitary endeavor. Ideas and inspiration often take form in groups, there’s no question of that, but when it comes time to finally turn a dream into action, the door closes, and the writer must reckon with the great white space alone.  But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a lonely experience.  

When this program was founded in 2008, it was with the expressed desire that our writers would not leave this program alone, that they’d go into the world with a community behind them, and with the skill and acumen to succeed long after their graduation date. We’ve succeeded in doing just that by putting a real-world emphasis on our teaching. You won’t merely know how to write; you’ll know how to sell what you’ve written. And our alums are some of the top writers in the nation, which we’re proud of, but they’re also some of the very best people. And that’s even better.

Our MFA is designed to provide you with not just a degree, but with a path towards publication, production, and fulfilling life in the arts. Part of this is achieved through our multidisciplinary approach – everyone gets to work in a secondary form — but also, we’ve designed the program to replicate the life of a professional writer. Workshops are small and provide you with an opportunity to work one-on-one with your professors in a pure mentor-mentee experience that mimics the writer/editor and writer/producer relationship. We also provide real-world experience via The Coachella Review, our student-edited national literary magazine.

Our students come from across the country and are notably diverse. In addition, many of our writers are already in the middle of successful careers — about 50 percent of our students, at any given point, have already published or produced — while, too, some are just getting their foot in the door. The most important traits we’re looking for in our new students? Talent and promise.

We hope you’ll join us in our low-residency MFA program, that you’ll give yourself the solitary gift of time. Time to read. Time to watch. Time to write.

Because your time is now.

Tod Goldberg
Professor, Director