Writing Popular Fiction (M.F.A.)



N.Y. Times Bestselling Mystery & Romance Author Kate Carlisle Featured Speaker and Guest Lecturer for WPF January 2015 Residency.

Read about Carlisle's visit to Seton Hill in the Tribune-Review article "Author Advises Seton Hill Students to Dream Big Dreams."


WPF Grad John Fortunato Wins Hillerman Prize for His Thesis Novel, "Dark Reservations"

Mystery author to receive $10,000 and contract with St. Martin's Press.

John Dixon, a former student in our Writing Popular Fiction Program, is the author of "Phoenix Island." The novel served as inspiration for the CBS show Intelligence, which premiered on January 7, 2014.

Writing Popular Fiction Program Director Albert Wendland's debut novel, "The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes," was released by Dog Star Books in June 2014. Publisher's Weekly Starred Review!

Assistant Professor Nicole Peeler is a participating writer in "Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse," an audio-original anthology inspired by the novels of Charlaine Harris and the HBO series "True Blood." 

Dr. Peeler's newest novel "Jinn and Juice" will be released in November 2014.

An online program supported by intensive on-campus writers' residencies.

This one-of-a-kind program teaches writers to create – and market – the fiction that sells. It is designed for those authors who wish to write within the popular fiction genres such as romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery in the adult, children’s or young adult markets.

Seton Hill has designed a flexible online/intensive-residency format that allows you to earn a master of fine arts degree while working full-time or caring for a family.

  • One-on-one mentoring by established writers enables students to develop a novel-length writing project in a genre of their choice.
  • Courses are taught by professors who have proven their knowledge of the fiction market by being active and successful writers themselves.
  • Online contact with other participants ensures that students become part of a writing community, and that they receive varied commentary on their work-in-progress.
  • Two week-long residencies per year inform and enliven the writing experience, bringing students together on Seton Hill’s campus to learn the basics and complexities of popular fiction.

We Help You Get Published

Every residency, you will have the opportunity to meet with published authors (past guests of the program have included Orson Scott Card, Nancy Kress, David Morrell, Walter Sorrells, Shirley Hailstock, Tess Gerritsen, Jack Gantos, Octavia Butler, Bruce Hale, Catherine Asaro, Jonathan Maberry Christopher Paul Curtis) in addition to agents and editors.

Certificates in Writing Popular Fiction

  • Current undergraduate students at Seton Hill can take advantage of the Genre Writing Certificate Program offered in conjunction with the Writing Popular Fiction Program.

Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction Program is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.