MFA Funded Assistantships & an Opportunity to Work for Blackbird

Blackbird readers, friends, & contributors:  we want to share with you the following note that Kathy Graber, Director of Creative Writing in the VCU Department of English, recently sent out to the MFA program’s friends and alumni.

As the time approaches for many aspiring writers to refine their lists of the MFA programs to which they will ultimately apply, I am hoping to take only a moment of your time to ask you to consider encouraging qualified candidates to take a careful look at our three-year MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

 As the result of a recent generous gift, we are now positioned to offer a full class of new students competitive, fully funded teaching assistantships. Our program not only has concentrations in poetry and fiction, but we are also currently inviting applications from writers who would like to pursue dual genres, including secondary options in creative non-fiction and screenwriting.

 In addition to studying with our deeply engaged, award-winning faculty, all students in our program are given the opportunity to teach a multi-genre creative writing class and to intern for our groundbreaking online journal Blackbird.  Graduate students in our program also play an active role in the administration and screening of our two annual national book awards, The Cabell First Novelist Award and The Levis Reading Prize in Poetry.

 Richmond is a fun, affordable city with a vibrant cultural community, and VCU has recently been named one of the “hippest” colleges in America.  Our program has just celebrated its 30th anniversary, and our alumni are publishing exciting new work.

I believe that we have something very special here.  Please consider adding our program to the list of those you suggest highly qualified potential MFA students explore.

Warm regards,
Kathy Graber
Director of Creative Writing
VCU Department of English


Funded students who intern for Blackbird for two semesters in their first year are eligible to apply for the esteemed position of Blackbird Associate Editor; they may also be considered for copyediting, pagebuilding, or media production editorships.

Applications to the VCU English MFA in Creative Writing Program  are due February 1; candidates are encouraged to get assistantship applications in even earlier. More information is available here.

We know our share of Kathy Graber’s message is close to deadline, but we trust you may know some students who are already applying to MFA programs and have application materials at the ready.

And thanks, as always, for your continued support of Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts.

Upcoming Deadlines

Classes Begin
JANUARY 14, 2019

Add/Drop Deadline
JANUARY 20, 2019

Graduation Application Deadline
JANUARY 25, 2019

Spring Break
MARCH 3-10, 2019

Course Withdrawal Deadline
MARCH 22, 2019

Last Day of Classes
MAY 3, 2019



Blackbird journal logo: a stylized blackbird perched on the K of the word Blackbird overlaying the image of a photorealistic moon with a dark blue sky behind. The bird has a red berry in its beak the dot from the letter I in Blackbird.

An online journal of literature & the arts.

Learn more about Blackbird

British Virginia

British Virginia logo: simply the words

British Virginia is a VCU-hosted series of scholarly editions of documents touching on the colony. These texts range from the 16th and 17th-century literature of English exploration to the 19th-century writing of loyalists and other Virginians who continued to identify with Great Britain. Editions appear principally in digital form, freely downloadable. 

Visit British Virginia