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Writing for Children (MFA)

Writing for Children (MFA)

Simmons's Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children, like the Master of Arts in Children's Literature, has a strong theoretical focus and engages students in a rigorous and disciplined study of children's literature. The program includes four academic required courses: Criticism of Children's Literature, The Picturebook, one history of children's literature elective, and one genre-based course. In addition, M.F.A. students complete four writing courses and work closely with a mentor to produce a manuscript from conception to submission. Applicants must submit a writing portfolio.

"The mentoring I received at Simmons was invaluable. I had an internship in Marketing and Publicity at Houghton Mifflin, and I now work with my M.F.A. program mentor in the editorial department. Every day, I use my creativity, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills to make our books the best they can be."
—Christine Krones '08 M.F.A., '06 B.A., Simmons College
Editorial Assistant, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts

Degree Options

This 32-credit program leads to a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children. A full course load is three courses per semester. Although the program may be completed in one academic year, including summer study, most students choose to compete the program over three to five semesters in order to explore their interests more thoroughly. Students may take up to five years to complete the program. Most courses meet once a week in a three-hour seminar.

Simmons also offers a dual degree in Children's Literature and Writing for Children (M.A./M.F.A.), a 56-credit course of study that includes core requirements for both programs.


M.F.A. requirements include four academic courses and four writing courses.

Required academic courses

Course Name Number Credits Type
Total 2 Courses
Criticism of Lit for Children CHL-401 4.00 Lecture
The Picturebook CHL-403 4.00 Lecture

One history of children's literature elective selected from:

Course Name Number Credits Type
Total 4 Courses
19th Century American Ch. Lit CHL-423 4.00 Lecture
Children's Book Publishing CHL-421 4.00 Lecture
Victorian Children's Literatur CHL-411 4.00 Lecture

One genre-based course selected from:

Course Name Number Credits Type
Total 4 Courses
Contemporary Realistic Fiction CHL-413 4.00 Lecture
Fantasy and Science Fiction CHL-414 4.00 Lecture
Nonfiction: New Frontier Chld CHL-436 4.00 Lecture
Poetry for Young Readers CHL-404 4.00 Lecture

Required writing courses

Course Name Number Credits Type
Total 4 Courses
MFA Mentorship I CHL-441 4.00 Lecture
MFA Mentorship II CHL-442 4.00 Lecture
Writing for Children I CHL-430 4.00 Lecture
Writing for Children II CHL-431 4.00 Lecture