Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Minnesota, United States

Residential program

Anoka-Ramsey Community College offers an AFA and a Certificate in Creative Writing that can be completed fully online or on campus. Well-published experienced faculty teach courses in screenwriting/playwriting, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, young adult/children's writing, and publishing. Our program features a student-lead literary magazine and creative writing club. The Two Rivers Reading Series and Write Like Us visiting author series bring celebrated authors to campus; previous guests have included Louise Erdrich, Nurradin Farah, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Patricia Smith, Charles Baxter, Bao Phi, and many others. Multiple articulation agreements with Minnesota and Wisconsin private and public colleges makes transferring to four year colleges seamless. The degree capstone is A 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. Campuses 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) 433-1276
Fax: 763-433-1271


Undergraduate Program Director

Kathryn Kysar
Creative Writing Program Director
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. 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.

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 the poetry collection Suspension (Terrapin Books, 2018) and the poetry chapbook Blood Ties (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications such as Artful Dodge, Crab Orchard Review, Water-Stone Review, Portland Review, and Meridian. She was a finalist for the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry. Currently a Contributing Editor for Midway Journal, she served for many years as Poetry Editor and as a volunteer poetry mentor for the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. She is 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 writing has appeared in Blue Lake Review, Switchback Magazine, and the anthology Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University and teach at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

Jasmin Ziegler

Jasmin Ziegler graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her work appears in Whiskey Island, Dream Pop Press, Rogue Agent, Poetry City, USA, and Midway Journal. She was selected as one of the 2017-2018 fellows for the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry. She is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2020. She currently teaches at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, son, and two cats.


The Two Rivers Common Book and Reading Series has been an essential part of literary life on the Coon Rapids campus for over 20 years. This common book/visiting author program has featured Louise Erdrich, Nurradin Farah, David Haynes, An Na, and many others. The Minnesota Authors series features an esteemed local author once a year on the Cambridge Campus. Our new Write Like Us series highlights BIPOC writers like Ross Gay and Edwidge Dandicat on both of our campuses

Two Rivers Reading Series (