How the Program WorksWriting Popular Fiction 20 Plus years

Seton Hill’s flexible, low-residency format 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.


As students complete reading and writing assignments, online contact with mentors, faculty and fellow writers ensures that they participate in a writing community and receive varied commentary on their work-in-progress.

On-Campus Residencies

Week-long residencies twice 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. Each residency also includes special events designed to help students learn from working authors and other industry professionals.

  • Every January, Seton Hill hosts a visiting professor who works with both undergraduate and graduate students during the course of the week. Recent visiting professors include N.K. Jemisin, Eloisa James, Juliet Blackwell, and Kevin Hearne.
  • Every June, Seton Hill hosts guest speakers, which may include bestselling authors, agents or editors. Recent guest authors have included Beverly Jenkins, Hank Philippi Ryan, Melissa Marr, and Daniel Jose Older.

Unique Experiences

The Writing Popular Fiction Program is connected to genre writers around the world - and that means lots of opportunities for unique writing, research and networking experiences for you. For example: in 2018, Seton Hill sponsored the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival in Transylvania. Faculty, students and alumni of the program attended, presented papers, and had an appropriately horrific time. 

To contact the Office of Graduate and Online Studies about graduate-level programs, fill out the online Request for Information form. Ready to apply? Apply online now for free! You may also call Graduate Admissions at (724) 838-4208 or email us at