MFA Creative Writing Program
Writing Program students who are interested in gaining experience teaching college-level writing have the opportunity in their second year to serve as teaching assistants in a range of writing-intensive "foundation" courses at the B.F.A. level. Foundation classes are divided into a lecture portion, conducted by a member of the Critical Studies faculty, and a discussion section/writing workshop, led by the graduate student TA.
In preparation for teaching, TAs take a seminar on writing pedagogy offered each spring, which introduces students to leading theories of adult learning and writing/composition pedagogy, as well as specific strategies that emphasize creativity in the critical writing process. Through the course, students begin to develop materials for a professional teaching portfolio and receive information on how to find and apply for teaching positions. Students also receive ongoing individual mentorship in their journey as educators, so that by the time they leave CalArts they are experienced teachers, prepared to teach their own college writing courses.
For information on teaching assistantship stipends, see Financial Aid.
Interning at Black Clock affords CalArts MFA students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of running a leading literary magazine. Interns work year-round assisting with production and editing, the planning and hosting of readings and release parties, submissions, order fulfillment and distribution, building the journal’s readership through marketing and social media, and brainstorming and writing assignments for the journal’s blog, which includes book and event reviews, author interviews, and editorials. In addition to valuable experience, interns receive credit in the masthead and course credit for their work. Positions at Black Clock are open to students by application only, in a competitive process. For more information, see BlackClock.org.
Interning at Les Figues provides valuable insight into the operations of a successful small press. While Les Figues Press internships are competitive and not restricted to CalArts MFA Writing students, the press has a longstanding relationship with our program and has provided internships to a number of our students, in addition to publishing several alumni. MFA Writing students who intern with Les Figues are entitled to receive course credit. Interns assist in all aspects of Les Figues operations, including editorial, marketing, development and administrative tasks. These may include publicity projects, special events/readings, copy-editing, developing website content, grant writing, tracking and logging reviews, marketing research, data entry and more. For more information, see http://www.lesfigues.com/lfp/.
Next Words is both a reading series and a publication featuring new work by graduating MFA Writing students. The readings take place at venues throughout Los Angeles during the spring of each year. The book is released in conjunction with the final Showcase reading at REDCAT, which features a marathon reading by all of the graduates. Next Words is organized by second year writing students, with dedicated administrative support. It provides the Los Angeles literary community a formal introduction to the new and exciting work coming out of our program.
Past venues include:
SPRAWL is an on-campus reading series organized by first year students. Sometimes SPRAWLs take the form of an informal open mic readings; other times they are highly curated events involving first and second year writing students and students from other programs in the Institute. Whatever the design, SPRAWL is an opportunity for current students to congregate and enjoy reading and/or hearing new work outside of the classroom.
Community Arts Partnership (CAP)
The award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a co-curricular program of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), offers free, after-school and school-based arts programs for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programs are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies, covering a thousand square mile radius across Los Angeles County. With classes led by a teaching corps of accomplished CalArts faculty, alumni and student instructors, CAP participants learn to create original works of art and to experiment with prevailing conventions of artistic expression. CAP’s success has served as a model for other arts education organizations locally and nationally. For information on CAP stipends for student instructors, see Financial Aid.