The Program in Creative Writing couldn't exist without the financial support of friends and alumni. Please consider helping us to foster the next generation of American writers by giving today.

Each October, the Wisconsin Book Festival brings some of the biggest names in American literature to Madison; most events are free and open to the public

Monsters of Poetry is an independent reading series held in an art space on Madison's east side, curated by a mix of UW-Madison alums and other local literary types.

Events Calendar

Click above to subscribe to our Google Calendar and see which community literary events fit into your schedule.

Contact Us

MFA Administrator Sean Bishop
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

fax: 608-263-3374

Become a Friend of Creative Writing!

The Program in Creative Writing at UW-Madison is one of the most prestigious in the country. Every year, a new batch of undergraduates leaves UW-Madison to join the best creative writing MFA programs in the world, and our own MFA program is consistently ranked as one of the top five in the US by Poets & Writers. But we need your help to build on that success!

The Program in Creative Writing at UW-Madison depends on the generous gifts of friends, alumni, and other supporters. These gifts allow us to provide full funding to our MFA candidates, to pay a livable stipend to our Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows, and to give prizes and scholarships to our phenomenal undergrads.

Moving forward, we'd like to provide a third fellowship year to all the graduates of our MFA program, an offering that has become standard for top-ranked programs such as ours. But this is no small task. We would also like to increase the stipends for the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows, whose compensation we have not been able to increase since the mid-1990s. And we want to bring in more influential writers, to give readings and to meet one-on-one with our students. We need your help to do it!

If you'd like to become a Friend of Creative Writing, you may click this link or use the "donate" button in the left-hand sidebar.

If you'd prefer, you may send a check, payable to "Dept. of English: Program in Creative Writing," to the attention of Ron Kuka at the address below. All donations will be applied to the general "Friends of Creative Writing Fund," but if you would like to designate your donation for one of the specific fundraising goals outlined above, please make a note to that effect, and we'll make sure your gift goes exactly where you want it to go. All donors will be publicly acknowledged on this page, unless a request is made to remain anonymous.

            Friends of Creative Writing
            c/o Ron Kuka, Coordinator
            Program in Creative Writing
            UW-Madison Dept. of English
            600 North Park Street
            Madison, WI 53706

Our Donors

The Program in Creative Writing is supported by the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Creative Writing Program Fund; the Dorothy D. Bailey Fund; the August Derleth Fund; the Carl Djerassi Distinguished Playwriting Fellowship Fund, the Carl Djerassi and Diane Middlebrook Fiction and Poetry Fellowship Fund; the Anastasia C. ("Tess") Hoffmann Fund; the Cy Howard Memorial Scholarship Fund; the James C. McCreight Fiction Fellowship Fund; the David and Jean Milofsky Fund; the Chris O'Malley Fiction Prize Fund; the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize Fund; the Martha Meier Renk Graduate Fellowship in Poetry Fund; the Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship Fund; the Peter Straub Fund; the Eudora Welty Fiction Prize Fund; the Phyllis Smart Young Poetry Prize Fund, and the Friends of Creative Writing. Campus creative writing prizes are further sponsored by the Charles M. Hart, Jr. Writers of Promise Awards Fund; the George B. Hill Fund; and the Therese Muller Trust.

The Madison Community

The Program in Creative Writing believes that an awareness of one's literary community is essential to any creative writer. Listed below are just a few of the organizations in and around Madison that help to make our community so vibrant.

The Wisconsin Book Festival

The Wisconsin Book Festival is a free, five-day program of public events that takes place every October in downtown Madison. It is the state's largest literary festival, drawing thousands of attendees annually. Since its inception in 2002, Festival has been a showcase for literary talent from across the country. As a special project of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Festival works to fulfill the WHC’s mission: Community through Conversation. Recent readers and workshop leaders at the Wisconsin Book Festival have included Grace Paley, Tim O’Brien, Edwidge Danticat, Isabel Allende, Michael Chabon, TC Boyle, Judy Blume, Wendell Berry, Michael Perry, Lorrie Moore, Lynda Barry and Harvey Pekar.

The Writers in Prison Project

The Writers in Prisons Project is a collective of educators, writers, performers, scholars, and community members in Wisconsin committed to making a space for thoughtful self-expression and literary engagement in one of the state's most under-served areas: our prisons. In partnership with correctional facilities, the Project offers voluntary classes in literature, memoir, poetry and spoken word, and African American studies for inmates. These classes are not accredited, but all facilitators are highly skilled volunteers who believe that making space for this kind of engagement and education can help to reduce recidivism, improve literacy, and increase the joint humanity of everyone involved with the program, incarcerated or not.

The FELIX Reading Series

The FELIX Reading Series is dedicated to providing an audience for new writing and is especially devoted to showcasing the work of writers and editors involved with small or independent literary presses. The series is named after Felix Pollak, a poet and longtime UW-Madison librarian with a special love for and dedication to small literary magazines. The FELIX reading series is currently curated by Ph.D. candidates from the Department of English. Past readers for FELIX have included Kara Candito, Carla Harryman, Matt Hart, Brenda Hillman, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Joyelle McSweeney, Philip Metres, Cole Swenson, and Matvei Yankelevich.