Antioch University Santa Barbara Launches Professional Writing MFA Program

Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB), a private, nonprofit undergraduate and graduate institution, will begin its inaugural Master of Fine Arts in Writing & Contemporary Media (MFA) academic program this winter, aimed at developing tomorrow’s leaders in professional writing disciplines. AUSB’s MFA program is one of the only programs of its kind in the West.

The low-residency, semester-based program has a multi-genre approach to professional writing for traditional and contemporary media, including film, stage, television, adaptation, radio, integrated media storytelling, literary journalism, cultural criticism, interactive game writing and narrative design. The program will offer students a supportive writing community that encourages innovation and risk. Graduates will be empowered to make unique, creative contributions in their chosen fields.

“AUSB’s new MFA program was designed to meet the growing need for professional communicators,” said Steve Heller, chair of AUSB and Antioch University Los Angeles MFA programs. “In our rapidly changing economy, professional writing versatility is critical to engage audiences across the media spectrum. AUSB’s MFA program will prepare students to become confident, effective communicators by focusing studies in an area of interest while also developing a broader range of writing skills.”

The new low–residency academic program consists of the completion of 48 academic units distributed across four semesters of instruction. Each semester begins with a five-day residency on the AUSB campus and continues with Antioch University’s virtual learning environment for the remainder of the term.

AUSB’s renowned nine-member MFA advisory committee comprises a wide range of prestigious authors and award-winning producers and screenwriters. Their diverse and accomplished backgrounds will help give students an understanding of the real-life applications of their studies and connect them with the tools they need to be successful in their own careers. The advisory committee comprises Ann Bardach, journalist and non-fiction author; Lou Cannon, award-winning journalist and historian; Susan Gulbransen, freelance writer and writing teacher at the annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference; Jerry Isenberg, former TV and film producer and current chairman of the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors; Joe Medjuck, former professor and TV and film producer; Diana Raab, author, memoirist and philanthropist; Victoria Riskin, human rights activist, former TV screenwriter and producer, and chair of the Santa Barbara Committee of Human Rights Watch; Jerry Roberts, author, broadcast commentator and journalism teacher; and Ralph Thomas, Canadian film director and screenwriter.

The MFA program will engage the local community and the many talented and well-known writers and artists who call Santa Barbara home. In conjunction with the MFA program, AUSB also launched The Diana & Simon Raab Writers Series, a writers’ series that examines the work of contemporary writers and artists to inspire students and the community to learn and understand the transformative power of great storytelling.

More information about the AUSB MFA in Writing and Contemporary Media program is available online at www.antiochsb.edu/mfa.

Posted on February 24, 2016

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