Cedar Crest College

Vienna Selected For First Graduation of Cedar Crest’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Allentown, Pa. (May 5, 2015) The beautiful and historic city of Vienna, Austria will provide an appropriately artistic backdrop this summer when it hosts the first graduation ceremony for Cedar Crest College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

The ceremony will be held on Friday, July 10 in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts during the program’s annual two-week sojourn to a European city to brings students and faculty together for its annual residency.

Ten students will be the first to receive their degrees in the program, which began in 2012 and is the first graduate-level creative writing program offered by an American college with residencies that take place exclusively in Europe. There are currently 24 students in the program.

“The MFA in Creative Writing is a low-residency program,” said Robert A. Wilson, Associate Provost. “Once a year for 15 days, the students come together with their faculty mentors for an inspiring and intense residency in a European city.”

The uniqueness of the MFA program is in that approach of linking the craft of writing to the creative energy of place where students work with award-winning writers in cities such as Dublin, Ireland; Barcelona, Spain; and Vienna, Austria. Throughout the rest of the year, students work one-on-one with faculty members in distance-learning mentorships through Skype sessions, online coursework and other communications.

“The innovative nature of this graduate program is that it is the only low-residency MFA program in the United States to be based exclusively in Europe, and it is ideal for those who would like to hone their writing skills, regardless of where they live,” said Program Director Fred Leebron, an award-winning author who is also director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte and a professor of creative writing at Gettysburg College.

Degrees are offered in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Students may also pursue a dual-genre track.

“But the real key to this program is our award-winning, internationally acclaimed faculty-writers,” Leebron said. “Our faculty consists of highly regarded writers of poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, screenplays, radio plays, oratorios, libretti, and collaborative projects. All are dedicated to mentoring students throughout the MFA program and providing valuable insight and instruction to help them achieve their goals.”

Among those faculty members are the inaugural National Poet of Wales, two MacArthur geniuses and other internationally recognized authors, said Wilson.


Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College was selected as a “Top Regional College” and “Best Value” in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The liberal arts college is committed to the education of women leaders in an increasingly global society. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students—full-time, part-time and graduate—in more than 30 fields of study.