aerial view of San Diego beach

Why Choose Our Program?

At SDSU, we believe our Creative Writing program is uniquely situated to provide writers with an exciting, informative, personalized—and affordable—path to attaining their MFA.

Inspired by Experiences

Inspired by our place in the world, the program provides a rich and diverse experience that goes beyond the classroom.

A Beautiful Location

Our campus is situated in the heart of San Diego, the site of early Californian history, and only minutes from the U.S./Mexico border.

A Global Approach to Writing

Our international approach is reflected in our course work and faculty expertise.

A History of Excellence

Established in 1989 by Poet Sandra Alcosser, SDSU became the second MFA Creative Writing program in California.

Editors Choice Master of Fine Arts Creative WritingNamed one of the best MFAs in the U.S. by Wiley University Services.


In the Spotlight

Michael Mark

Michael Mark

Michael Mark is the author of Visiting Her in Queens is More Enlightening than a Month in a Monastery in Tibet which won the 2022 Rattle Chapbook prize. He was the recipient of the Anthony Hecht Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He lives with his wife, Lois, a journalist, in San Diego.



Living Writers' Series

The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers' Series at SDSU is one of the longest continuously running series in the nation. The series has featured an impressive slate of award-winning authors, many of them who are alumni of our program. All of the events are free and open to the public.

Susan Conley

Susan Conley

Susan Conley is the award-winning author of five books, including her most recent novel Landslide. She is a founder of the Telling Room, a creative writing lab for youth. She grew up in Maine and teaches on the faculty of the Stonecoast Writing Program.


Take Note

Robert Lang reads his story

MFA student Robert Lang Wins Creative Writing Story Slam

Congratulations to MFA student Robert Lang who won the Creative Writing Story Slam for his presentation titled "Five Minutes in Heaven," which was inspired by his experience working in a psychiatric hospital. Robert's performance opened the recent Association of Graduate and Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP) conference alongside two other talented writers.

three students at graduation

Creative Writing Currently: SDSU Adds New Faculty; Shares Student & Alumni Highlights

Wrapping up the spring semester, we want to take a moment to celebrate what we’ve accomplished this year and what we have in place for 2023–24. We’re excited to welcome Matt de la Peña and Lashon Daley to the MFA faculty at San Diego State University. Matt de la Peña is the #1 New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of seven young adult novels and five picture books. Lashon Daley is the author of Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and the director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature at San Diego State University.  Read the full article on the Association of Writers & Writing Programs website.


Twenty Twenty book coverCongratulations to Stephen-Paul Martin!  His new book, TwentyTwenty, was published by Spuyten Duyvil. 

Editorial Review: Stephen-Paul Martin’s TwentyTwenty reminds us that in his finest moments, he’s the king of writing degree zero, the American Albert Camus, if Camus had a sense of humor. “He stares at the seemingly random combination of numbers and letters, then shrugs and clicks. There’s a flash on his screen, a clip of someone jerking off in a bedroom. Clark thinks it might be a picture of himself right before the phone rang, but the image is gone before he can see it clearly.” His straightforward yet unaccountably insane prose is anomie trapped in a bounce house. His seemingly relaxed narrative is “a leash that can be jerked at any moment,” as his hapless protagonists, in stories like “Almost Famous” and “Just Another Emergency” obsess over people’s fake smiles, mermaids who appear out of nowhere, and the political soul destroyers who mask their evil intentions with bland and obvious gestures in a nation soothed to boredom by the grotesquerie of the commonplace.
--Johnny Payne, author of
Confessions of a Gentleman Killer

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