2016 Commencement  – August 13 – 1:00

This August we are celebrating 20 outstanding graduates! This is our largest graduating class ever and our final commencement ceremony. We are very proud of these writers. Join us! Click here for details.

The MFA Program is Closing

On February 29th, 2016, NILA’s board of directors voted to close the MFA in Creative Writing program, otherwise known as Whidbey Writers Workshop, due to multiple contributing factors. At the same time they confirmed their commitment to students, their education, and their ability to complete their degree. As such, NILA is currently raising funds to cover expenses with the intention of completing 2015-2016 school year and conducting graduation for the Class of 2016.

Student Records

The academic transcripts of all former MFA students will be maintained by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). To find out more or to request a transcript click here.


You can help us close our doors with dignity by clicking here to donate, or by mailing a check to NILA, 5611 Bayview Road, Langley, WA 98260. If you prefer to give a stock donation, please email the chair of the board of directors, Claire Gebben. NILA is a Washington State non-profit corporation 501(c)3.

About the Whidbey Writers Workshop

The Whidbey Writers Workshop Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA) Program is the first in the country – and perhaps in the world – to be offered not by a college or university but by an organization of writers. In this, it resembles many free-standing arts institutions offering degrees in music, art, dance and theater.  As a low-residency program, students complete most of their coursework online along with coming together twice a year for residency on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound.

The Whidbey Writers Workshop Master of Fine Arts program has three major objectives:

  • To produce productive, publishing writers who are prepared for a life of writing
  • To prepare graduates to articulate their understanding of the process of writing, whether in essays, informal or formal teaching or otherwise
  • To prepare graduates to participate in the local, regional and national community of writers

Hoffman quote 10-2015Authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council (formerly the Higher Education Coordinating Board), MFA classes began in August of 2005. In August of 2007 the Workshop celebrated its first graduation. The Northwest Institute of Literary Arts is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC, a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

NILA is a Washington state non-profit corporation 501(c)3.