Converse College Master of Fine Arts Program Partners with Clemson University Press through Clemson-Converse Literature Series

Student at laptopSPARTANBURG, S.C. (October 26, 2020) – Converse College and Clemson University Press are pleased to announce a publishing collaboration in conjunction with the low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program at Converse. The collaboration, known as the Clemson-Converse Literature Series, publishes poetry collections, short-story collections, and nonfiction essay collections selected by two competitions, each of which will run biennially.

The first series in the Clemson-Converse Literature Series is a national poetry prize, open to any poet writing in English. The winning author will receive a publication of a full-length collection of poetry by Clemson University Press, a standard royalty contract, 15 copies of the published book, a $1,000 cash reward, and a post-publication reading during the Converse MFA residency session. This national prize will give Converse students the unique opportunity to participate in the management of the prize.

The second biennial series– the Converse MFA Book Prize– offers current students and alumni the opportunity to enter a book-length poetry manuscript, short fiction manuscript, or essay manuscript into the contest. The submissions will be judged by a writer of national distinction, edited, published and distributed by Clemson University Press. The winning author will receive a standard royalty book contract and a reading during the Converse MFA program residency session.

“This partnership really sets Converse apart from other graduate writing programs. We are equipping and empowering the next great writers of our time and we are thrilled to see where this year takes us,” said Rick Mulkey, Director of the Creative Writing Program, Director of MFA in Creative Writing and Associate Professor of English.

Mulkey continues, “Through the Clemson-Converse Literature Series, the Converse MFA program becomes one of a small handful of graduate writing programs to provide students and graduates with both outstanding writing instruction and mentoring, while also providing university press publishing opportunities to our diverse students and alumni.”

“We are excited to grow and formalize our partnership with Converse through this series,” said John Morgenstern, Director of Clemson University Press. “This partnership creates the inter-institutional infrastructure to bring the culture of our region to the national stage.”

The Clemson-Converse Literature Series’ inaugural book prize will be open to submissions in poetry and fiction from MFA alumni in January 2021, and the inaugural national poetry prize will be open to submissions in 2022 to all poets publishing work in English.

For information on the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Converse:

For more information on the Clemson-Converse Literature Series:

About the Converse Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing
The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year co-educational, low-residency program created for independent writers seeking instruction in poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, and creative nonfiction, and environmental writing. The program emphasizes the mastery and understanding of writing skills and contemporary literature and craft through the master-writer and apprentice mentoring relationship, ultimately offering students a stimulating and individually tailored curriculum of courses and projects. Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their “MFA Programs to Watch”, and with dozens of books recently published by program graduates, Converse’s MFA in Creative Writing boasts a long history of inspiring and developing award-winning writers.

About Clemson University Press
Established in 2000, Clemson University Press has expanded in recent years, adding approximately twenty-five books and journal issues per annum to its strong backlist of more than a hundred titles. In 2014, the Press entered into partnership with Liverpool University Press, an award-winning publisher of distinguished scholarship since 1899. Through this strategic international partnership, the Press is a global ambassador for Clemson University (an R1 classified, top-25 public university), distributing increasingly diverse and impactful scholarship worldwide. Our ambitious publishing program continues to highlight the rigorous standard of critical and creative output from Clemson and further distinguishes the University as a center for research and culture. All of our publications enjoy the highest standards through external review and appraisal by the Editorial Advisory Board.

About Converse College
Converse was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, SC who aimed to create an educational experience that enables women “to see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly.” Effective July 1, 2021 it will acknowledge its university status under the name Converse University, and in fall 2020 it welcomed its first undergraduate co-educational incoming class. Converse is a creator of opportunity for all academically-qualified students through a personalized education that is combined with the professional and technical skills graduates need to be successful in their careers. Converse pushes beyond traditional boundaries to make a quality educational experience available to every qualified student who seeks it – both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Converse College’s mission is to help students develop their unique voice, a sense of value, and a vision for the future.

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