Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Minnesota, United States

Residential program

Anoka-Ramsey Community College offers an AFA and a Certificate in Creative Writing. Well-published faculty teach course offerings in screenwriting/playwriting, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, young adult/children's writing, and publishing. Our two campuses each feature a literary magazine and creative writing club. The Two Rivers Reading Series, a visiting author and common book program, brings celebrated authors to campus; previous guests have included Louise Erdrich, Swati Avasthi, Nurradin Farah, Lesley Nneka Arimah, An Na, Patricia Smith, Charles Baxter, Bao Phi, and many others. Multiple articulation agreements with Minnesota and Wisconsin private and public colleges makes transferring easy. All classes offered seated and online, so the degree can be completed online or on one of our two campuses. Highlights of the program include a one-on-one manuscript independent study capstone in the genre of the student's choice and a practicum Writer's Life course: students leave the program with a polished writing sample for grant, scholarship, and job applications and a wealth of practical knowledge about publishing and making a living as a writer. All this on two friendly campuses built on the scenic banks of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers.

Contact Information

11200 Mississippi Blvd. N.W.
Dept. of English
Coon Rapids
Minnesota, United States
Phone: (763) 433-1397
Fax: 763-433-1271


Undergraduate Program Director

Scott Wrobel
Co-chair, Creative Writing
Department of English
Coon Rapids
Minnesota, United States

Our Associate of Fine Arts offers a twenty-credit creative writing core that allows students to take classes in creative nonfiction, poetry, writing for children and young adults, playwriting/screenwriting, and fiction. In addition, students complete a final manuscript in an independent study with an expert in their genre and a publications/practicum class entitled "The Writer's Life" that prepares students for careers in writing and publishing and related fields. We have articulation agreements with Hamline University, Metropolitan State University, University of Wisconsin-Superior, and Augsburg College.

Type of Program: Studio/Research
Largest Class Size: 25
Smallest Class Size: 25
Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Writing for Children, Professional Writing (technical writing, PR, etc.)
Duration of Study: 2 years
Unit of Measure: Credits
Application Requirements: Other


Kathryn Kysar

Kathryn Kysar is the author of two books of poetry, Dark Lake and Pretend the World, and she edited the anthology Riding Shotgun:  Women Write About Their Mothers.  She has received fellowships and residencies from the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Tofte Lake Center, and the Oberholtzer Foundation. Her poems have been published by the Minnesota Women’s Press, Great River Review, Midland Review, Mizna, Painted Bride Quarterly, and in many anthologies. Her most recent work includes a CD of poetry from Pretend the World, and she performances with the Sonoglyph Collective, a poetry/improvisational jazz group.  She have been the president of AWP's Two Year College Caucus and has served on the AWP Board of Directors. She is the founder of the creative writing program at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and lives with her family in Saint Paul.

Scott Wrobel

Scott Wrobel's collection of short stories entitled Cul de Sac wasI finished a book, Cul De Sac was published by Sententia Books in April 2012. He has published work in Great River Review, Identity Theory, Minnesota Monthly, Night Train, Pindeldyboz (web), The Rake, Sententia, and Word Riot, among other places. He is the winner of a 2006-07 Loft Mentor Series Fiction Award and the 2008 Third Coast Creative Nonfiction Contest.

Paige Riehl

Paige Riehl is the author of Blood Ties, a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press (2014), and her full-length manuscript titled Wait was a 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry finalist. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as Portland Review, Meridian, South Dakota Review, and Nimrod International Journal. She is the Poetry Editor for Midway Journal, a mentor with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, and an English faculty member at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

William Breen

Bill Breen received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. He is a recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from the Loft Literary Center and Jerome Foundation. His poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Measure, and other publications and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He teaches writing and literature at the Cambridge Campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College and is a teaching artist with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. In 2016, he was awarded the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching. He lives with his family in St. Paul.

Melody Heide

Melody Heide's work has appeared in various literary journals such as Switchback Magazine, Blue Lake Review,The Beard, and The Purple Door Arts Magazine. She has worked as an editor for The Blue Earth Review and recently graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with her MFA in Creative Writing.

Rachel MacDonald

Rachel MacDonald is a graduate of University of St. Thomas' masters degree program and received an honorable mention from the Loft Literary Center's 2015 mentorship program.


The Two Rivers Reading Series in is its twentieth year on the Coon Rapids campus. This common book/visiting author program has featured Louise Erdrich, Nurradin Farah, Robert Bly, David Haynes, An Na, and many others. The Minnesota Authors series features an esteemed local author once a year on the Cambridge Campus. All visits are recorded and archived.

Two Rivers Reading Series (