S208. Measuring Up: Creative Assessment in Creative Writing Programs

Supreme Court, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


AWP advises graduate creative writing programs to nurture and expedite the development of a literary artist. Good writing teachers do just this. But writing programs are also under intense pressure from accrediting associations to measure student achievement using quantitative and qualitative methods. This panel of faculty, administrators, and a college dean offers concrete ways writing programs use mandated assessment guidelines to enhance, rather than hinder, writing curricula.



Matthew Monk is academic dean at Vermont College of Fine Arts. An award-winning book designer, artist, and educator with over twenty years of experience in collegiate teaching and administration, he holds an MFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design, where he taught for twenty years.

Bich Minh Nguyen (who goes by Beth) is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Award, the novel Short Girls, which received an American Book Award, and the novel Pioneer Girl. She directs the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.

Sarah C. Harwell is the author of the poetry collection Sit Down Traveler and, with Courtney Queeney and Farah Marklevits, Three New Poets. Currently she works as associate director of the MFA program at Syracuse University.

Ellen Litman is the author of two novels, Mannequin Girl and The Last Chicken in America, a finalist for the 2007 LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the 2008 NYPL Young Lions Award. She is the associate director of the creative writing program at the University of Connecticut.

Miciah Bay Gault is director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, as well as editor of Hunger Mountain and coordinator of the Vermont Book Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, the Southern Review, AGNI, the Sun, and other journals.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center