Creative Writing

Apply to the MFA Program

  • To learn about our admissions process, click here.
  • Additional information regarding the application processand the MFA Programis posted in our Frequently Asked Questions, which we update regularly. Please carefully review the FAQs at
Online application:
The Fall 2023 application system is open. Applications for Fall 2023 are due January 7, 2023.

Your application to the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington will be submitted online to UNCW's Graduate School. Along with your online application, you are required to upload an electronic copy of your manuscript (the writing sample) and your personal essay (also called a statement of interest, purpose, or intent). In addition to the application materials submitted online, you will need to mail to the Graduate School your transcripts

IMPORTANT: You will submit your application & fee BEFORE you upload your supplemental materials, listed below. Please click here for details on the steps to completing your online application, found in the <Let's Get Started> tab of your application (and different from the list of program-required application materials, below).

Once you submit your application, you may access the Self Service Portal to upload your documents and view your recommendations.


Here is a complete list of the required application materials:

1. An application for admission to the Graduate School (online)

2. A typed manuscript in the applicant's writing genre (uploaded as a single document—cover sheet is optional):

  • Up to 10 total pages of poetry (one poem per page; multi-page poems acceptable)
  • Up to 30 total pages of fiction (double-spaced); single or multiple pieces
  • Up to 30 total pages of creative nonfiction (double-spaced); single or multiple pieces

3. A personal essay (300-500 words), uploaded with the online application, which focuses on goals for the development of your writing. You will want to talk about your writing style, as well as literary influences (both contemporary and historical). In what way(s) does UNCW support/meet your vision for these goals? What will you contribute to the program? In the essay, identify the genre —Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, or Poetry— for which the application is intended.

4. All official college transcripts, in sealed envelopes requested on or before January 7, or emailed directly from institution to The UNCW Graduate School requires transcripts from every institution to which you matriculated. Your application will be considered incomplete until all transcripts have been received. Details posted in the FAQs.

DO NOT SEND transcripts to the Department of Creative Writing as this will delay the Graduate School from receiving and recording your application materials.

Send all official college transcripts, in sealed envelopes, to:

Graduate School
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5955

Electronic password-protected transcripts may be sent directly from the institution to

6. A non-refundable application fee of $75 (paid online as part of the application). Waiver info here.

7. If you are interested in being considered for an assistantship in the Creative Writing classroom, or in the Publishing Laboratory (or both!), please include a brief (1-2 page) supplemental statement of relevant experience and interest. (If interested in both, upload a single combined essay.)
(upload with online application, in the Assistantship Essay section—separate from the Personal Essay in #3) 

Additional information:

  • The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required for admission to our program.
  • Recommendation letters are not required, beginning in 2022-23.
  • There is no foreign language requirement nor interview process.
  • International applicants must meet additional requirements; details posted in the FAQs, here.

You must submit your application —including the application fee— no later than midnight (EST) on January 7. Late applications cannot be accepted as the system closes at 12:01 AM January 8. [note re: transcripts] You may begin to apply as soon as the system allows applications for the following year: on September 1. We do not admit new students mid-year (i.e., in spring semester).


For more details, see our FAQs at

If you have questions about the application process after reviewing the FAQs for prospective students, please contact Lisa Bertini, MFA Program Assistant, at or 910.962.3070. (UNCW will be closed during winter break, generally Dec 23-Jan 1.)


To contact the UNCW Graduate School:

(Note: To check the status of your application or to request confirmation of receipt of application materials, see To address missing items in your application, please see the instructions at If you are having trouble with any part of the online application, please refer to the technical support options available through the application system. If you still need help resolving your issue you may contact the Graduate School at

Be sure to review the Getting Started section of the Graduate School website for a step-by-step guide to applying for admission. Many of your questions will be answered there.