All students in the New Writers Project receive three years of full funding through a combination of teaching assistantships (TA), assistant instructorships (AI), and fellowship support. The complete package includes a full tuition remission, health insurance, and a salary. In addition to providing funding, these appointments offer invaluable opportunities for our students to gain creative and professional development.
During the first two years of the program, students serve as teaching assistants for survey courses of American, British, and world literature in the Department of English. During their final year, the funding package is as follows: for one semester students serve as a TA or AI for a creative writing course and for the other semester they receive fellowship support with no responsibilities other than to concentrate on their thesis.
Exact salaries are updated annually by the university, the current TA, AI, and fellowship compensation ranges from $13,684 to $15,074, depending on appointment type and whether students previously hold a Master’s degree. The total value of our program’s compensation (inclusive of tuition remission and health insurance) comes to approximately $27,000 to $29,000.
In recent years we have been able to award all NWP students $4,000 of total summer funding through the generous support of the Crawley Research Grant program and through the Department of English. While this funding is renewed annually, we anticipate its continuation. UT alumnus John Crawley created the grant as his way of giving back to the creative writing program that influenced his student life and future career. More information about Crawley and his writing can be found here.
Eligibility & Funding Renewal
In order to remain in the MFA program and to maintain your funding package, students must be making adequate progress toward your degree. This includes maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA; fulfilling core requirements in a timely fashion; and adhering to the university’s codes of conduct, academic integrity, and compliance and ethics guides, including not behaving in a manner that impedes, interferes with or disrupts any University teaching, research, administrative, learning, or other authorized activity. Failure to meet any of these standards may result in non-renewal of funding or termination from the program.
Renewed on a semester-by-semester basis, your financial support via fellowship and employment as a TA/AI is contingent upon making adequate progress toward your degree and upon fulfilling your TA/AI responsibilities to the satisfaction of your supervising faculty and the Graduate Advisor. Additionally, your TA/AI appointment requires that you maintain full-time graduate student status.
Each year several contests and awards are available to our students. These include:
Available to all currently enrolled UT students, this annual prize in creative writing accepts submissions in fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction prose. The winner receives $50,000, and three runners-up divide another $50,000. Established through an estate gift from UT graduate E.L. Keene, the Keene Prize stands as the most generous student-writing award in the country.
Michael Adams Thesis Prize
The Michael Adams Prize, selected by distinguished external judges, gives yearly awards to one fiction and one poetry thesis. The award typically comes with a $1,000 to $2,000 prize.
As one of the Academy of American Poets’ University and College Poetry Prizes, the Andrew Julius Gutow Academy of American Poets Prize recognizes the achievement of an undergraduate and a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. Each winner will receive $100 and a one-year membership to the Academy of American Poets. Winners 23 years-old or younger will also be considered for the Academy’s Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award. The winner of the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award will receive $1000.