Skip to main content

The Juniper Initiative includes the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers and provides many opportunities on campus along with UMass PressThe Massachusetts Review, and Radius MFA. These organizations, along with a rich array of local and regional presses, journals, schools and arts organizations offer accredited internships through the MFA’s Applied Literary Arts program. Students receive literary arts credits which may be used towards their degree. In some cases, stipends are available. Students may also seek internships in other geographic locations.  

Juniper Fellowships  

Working with the MFA Program Coordinator, Juniper Fellows (one poet, one prose writer) assist in the management of the Visiting Writers Series, Writers Work, and the Juniper Literary Festival. This two-year commitment comes with an annual stipend.

Juniper Literary Prizes in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

MFA students are invited to read for the Juniper Literary Prizes in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, nationally recognized annual book prizes administered with the University of Massachusetts Press. The Juniper Literary Prizes showcase distinctive and fresh voices and share their work with a wide array of readers. Every year, faculty-judges from the distinguished University of Massachusetts MFA program select two winners in poetry, two in fiction, and one in creative nonfiction, and the awardees each receive an honorarium of $1,000 and a publication contract with the University of Massachusetts Press.

Juniper Summer Writing Institute

The Juniper Summer Writing Institute is a week-long conference on the UMass Amherst campus designed to encourage participants to explore the creative process and develop new approaches to the craft of writing through workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir; craft sessions; and readings. MFA candidates gain literary arts management experience as Institute Director’s Assistants (one poet and one fiction writer work in tandem for 2-3 years as paid student employees); undergraduate students gain experience in arts administration in work/study positions. These jobs offer significant opportunities in marketing, program coordination, and event planning.

Juniper Institute for Young Writers

For high school students who have completed their freshman year, the week-long Juniper Institute for Young Writers  offers workshops in fiction and poetry, as well as craft sessions, studio sessions, field trips, and open mics on the UMass Amherst campus. MFA candidates have the opportunity to apply for positions to teach in the Young Writer program, gaining experience in developing mixed genre curricula and working with high school students. The Institute for Young Writers runs annually at the end of July.