Bluegrass Writers Studio Awarded Best Low-Residency Program of 2022

Published on September 20, 2022

By Sarah Bashford

In its annual ranking of the Top Online Master's in Creative Writing Programs, ranked Eastern Kentucky University No. 3 overall and Best Low-Residency Program. 

Robert Dean Johnson, director of EKU’s Bluegrass Writers Studio and professor of English, stated, “Bluegrass Writers Studio is unique among low-res programs because we’ve worked hard to make it a true writing community, accessible to anyone in the country, no matter where they live.”

EKU’s low-residency MFA in creative writing program, Bluegrass Writers Studio, is a short-term residential graduate program tailored to meet students’ individual needs. Students in the program develop close faculty-mentor relationships and obtain their degree while gaining invaluable experience.

“Our students aren’t just learning craft from their professors, they’re talking about writing and the writing profession with their peers, visiting writers and visiting agents and editors,” Johnson stated. “As faculty, we’ve built the program to have everything we loved about our own apprenticeships as writers and all the things we wish we’d had. And we’re continually updating and adjusting the program to reflect best practices in the classroom and trends in the contemporary writers market.”

Dr. Mercy Cannon, dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, said, “This recognition is a testament to the English faculty’s strong vision, hard work and clever design of a world-class, low-residency MFA. Students are not only learning from highly accomplished professors, but they are also creating publishable pieces and positioning themselves as working artists.” 

For 2022, EKU’s online MFA in creative writing program has also been ranked No. 3 by and No. 14 by 

If you are interested in learning more about this program, visit