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Study Abroad


Summer Study Abroad in Cusco

June 2 - 17, 2019

overview of squareThe MFA in Creative Writing program at Mount Saint Mary’s University is proud to announce its summer study abroad program in Cusco, Peru from June 2-17. Courses will be taught in English, although students may write in Spanish if they choose. This experience includes excursions to the sacred Valley of the Incas, Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu, as wells as outings to pulsating restaurants, museums and cultural venues in Cusco. Accommodations and classes will be held at Hotel Tierra Viva-Cusco and Hotel Tierra Viva-Aguascalientes. The people of Cusco are warm and hospitable and the city is most welcoming for exploring its historic offerings.

cusco images

Creative Writing Coursework

Students will be able to complete six hours of coursework in six weeks (two in Cusco and four online upon their return). This program is intended both for current MFA students, and for those outside who want to get a taste of the special quality of our program. Students not affiliated with MSMU will be admitted on the basis of a writing sample and proof of a BA or BS degree of any kind.

Fee: $7,976
(includes tuition for two courses, room and board, excursions and airfare to and from Los Angeles)

Priority registration starts February 1. A deposit of $2,400 is due April 15 with full payment due by May 1. All hotel rooms are single unless otherwise requested. Breakfast is included.

cusco photos, balcony door and courtyard

Course 1: Latin American Chronicle: A Writing Journey from LA to L.A.  
(Dr. Juana Moriel-Payne)

Since its beginning after the European and (Latin) American encounter, to the Twentieth Century, Latin American Chronicle has observed the complex reality of urban spaces. It has included journalistic and literary elements, with a narrator/observer who is emotionally involved in his other socio-historical narratives, perceptions that make the genre a subjective one. In this sense, chroniclers are enunciator-narrators who take a significant distance from journalism to transgress the official-social representations by exposing social tensions and conflicts.

Course 2: Playwriting 
(Johnny Payne)

The focus is on Latin American playwrights, who will give us a broad variety of styles and approaches to writing a play. In addition, I will be debuting a new virtual reality game, Backslide, which explores logical causality in playwriting, and asks you to write a short play backwards—scenes in reverse order. To do that, we’ll begin with reading Hamlet alongside David Ball’s primer Backwards and Forwards. After that, we will work on rewriting your pages front to back, to turn them into a finished play. Plays include: The Secret Friendship of Dorothy and Juana, The Useless Heroes and Killer Tangoes.


For more information: Johnny Payne, MFA director, | 213.477.2802