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Rutgers University Creative Writing MFAs Must Work with Designers

Professor Lauren Grodstein, Director of the MFA program at Rutgers University - peoplewhowrite

Lauren Grodstein

Professor Lauren Grodstein, Director of the M.F.A. program at Rutgers University’s Camden campus, has created a hybrid program for M.F.A. candidates seeking creative writing degrees. She’s set up an interdisciplinary experience in which the writing students are “clients” of the design students, collaborating on the art work for the manuscripts the students hope to publish.

The goal of the program is to help writers and designers learn to collaborate as they would in the real world and better understand the digital publishing process. Grodstein told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “I know that I need to change the DNA a little bit of the writers coming out now… I mean, I finished graduate school 11 years ago, it’s not that long. But in that time, everything’s transformed, and it would be negligent of me to send writers out into the world without having these kinds of skills.”

With self-publishing moving to the mainstream as more and more writers and even celebrities like Jim Carrey choose to publish their own work, more and more creative writing / publishing programs will need to equip students to produce their work. I’d argue, students should not only collaborate with designers, but technology students who can help them add dimension to their work via companion apps, and augmented reality / image recognition, not to mention students seeking degrees in marketing.


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