Writing & Publishing
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction

University of King's College

We’ve got your book.

Whether you are a mid-career writer, a journalist, or an aspiring author, King’s MFA is designed for you. Bring us your idea for a novel, a collection of short stories, a narrative nonfiction book, a collection of essays, or a biography or memoir and we can help you turn it into a manuscript that’s on the road to publication.

We’ll help you learn the craft and practice of being an author as you hone your skills under the mentorship of award-winning writers and editors. With the additional help of top publishing professionals in Canada and the United States, you’ll do all this and more in just two years. The bonus, of course, is that you earn a prestigious MFA degree along the way.



Download our free ebook Mastering Nonfiction: Tips & Techniques from the Mentors and Faculty of the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction

The MFA is a two-year limited residency program. During annual June residencies on the campus at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, students deepen their understanding of the art and craft of nonfiction writing through lectures, seminars, panels, workshops and readings as well as work intensively on their own projects with their mentors. During two online six-day January residencies, one featuring guests primarily from New York and one featuring guests from the Canadian publishing industry (most based in Toronto), students learn about the latest trends in the publishing industry and discuss their writing projects with editors, agents and publishers based in North America’s main publishing hubs. Between residencies, students take part in occasional online webinars and readings and continue to work off-campus on their two major projects—a book proposal and their book manuscript—with the support and guidance of their mentors. This low-residency feature, and the exclusive focus on creative nonfiction, make the King’s MFA the only program of its kind in Canada.

Director of Writing & Publishing, Gillian Turnbull, Cohort Directors Kim PittawayStephen Kimber and Dean Jobb – along with the stellar group of writing mentors – are all published authors, award-winning journalists and highly successful writing instructors. Together they have written or edited more than fifty books and been nominated for at least a hundred national magazine or newspaper awards. So far, almost 50 graduates of the program have published or are under contract to publish nonfiction books, and our alumni have been finalists for and winners of numerous nonfiction book awards, including the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction), the Pottersfield Creative Nonfiction Contest and more.

We invite you to take the challenge. Join other talented writers and our award-winning faculty and turn your great idea into an equally great book.


Read about MFA book deals




The MFA is a limited-residency program, with one nine-day summer residency and an online one-week winter residency each year. Students will pursue independent writing and research in the interim, in collaboration with a project mentor. Students are free to live anywhere in these interim periods.

The summer residencies run for nine days in June, and are focused on the crafts of structure, research and writing. They aim to develop a strong narrative focus and scope for your work. The residency is a high-volume learning experience that comprises morning sessions with mentors, afternoon readings, lectures and guest lectures and evening sessions featuring student readings and talkback.

The winter residencies run online for one week in January, and are focused on the business of writing, and developing the skills necessary to be a working writer in nonfiction. Students will meet with literary agents, editors and publishers, and learn crucial skills like developing marketing plans for their book. In addition, they will meet with their mentors to continue development on their book proposal and manuscript.

In the interim terms, students work with a mentor to progress on their book proposal and manuscript. They will establish a contract of deliverables with their mentors to be reviewed and updated each summer and winter session. Students may have a variety of mentors over the course of the program. Mentors are assigned to help students develop specific skills vital to the progress of their project.


The King’s MFA is a combination MFA for writers and creative writing boot camp.

Havard Gould
Havard Gould

CBC TV National Correspondent, MFA in Creative Non-Ficton, 2015

Students cover travel, meal and accommodation costs themselves for the summer residencies. These expenses are not covered by tuition. If you are in need of accommodation during the summer residency, contact King’s Conference Services.

Get more information about graduate-level writing and publishing programs

Page Break