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February 2, 2015   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | New program in narrative media writing to begin

New program in narrative media writing to begin

Stephanie Moreno

Public Relations Specialist II

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By Stephanie Moreno | February 2, 2015
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This fall, UGA will become the first major research institution to offer a low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree in narrative media writing. Featuring concentrations in narrative nonfiction and screenwriting, the five-semester program is geared toward experienced writers who are interested in taking their careers to the next level.

Leading the program are award-winning author and journalist Valerie Boyd and award-winning producer Nate Kohn, both faculty members of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"We want a diverse group of students who are ready to reach a certain level of mastery of their craft," said Boyd, narrative nonfiction director. "It's a program where they can bring their industry experience, and that experience will be respected and built upon."

Students will begin each semester by visiting campus for an intensive 10-day residency consisting of writing workshops, craft lectures, seminars and panel discussions across concentrations. That will be followed by a four-month online writing period, during which each student will work closely with an assigned professional faculty mentor.

"A low-residency model is an excellent way to teach writing because it gives students both a writing community and solitude to write, the kind of alone time that writers have to get used to in order to produce good work," Boyd said.

Top-notch authors, screenwriters, literary agents and other industry professionals will work one-on-one with students to develop and hone essential career skills.

The narrative nonfiction concentration is designed for students who want to develop their research, reporting and writing skills to take on topics of national and global importance, beyond the self-focused genres of memoir and personal essay.

The screenwriting concentration is designed for feature film and television writers who want to explore new creative opportunities in telling stories that matter.

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