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March 29, 2023

NSA Announces Author Christine Cohen as Director of MFA

New Saint Andrews College welcomes author Christine Cohen as Director of the MFA program, Camperdown Writers’ Kiln. She has written and published two novels, The Winter King and The Sinking City. The Winter King was a finalist in the 2020 Christy Award. Her experience will bring an intimate knowledge of the writing and publishing process to the MFA program at NSA. 

She is represented by Lindsay Auld at Writers House: one of the largest literary agencies in the world. 

Christine Cohen was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She lives with her husband and three kids in Moscow, Idaho.

In addition to spinning her own stories, she's worked as a freelance editor for the past several years and taught online and in-person courses on writing and editing. She spends a lot of time thinking about what makes a novel great and enjoys helping other writers workshop their stories and hone their prose. 

She also holds the distinction of being the very first graduate of the Camperdown MFA program. In a brief interview, she says about that time, “I was in the first class along with three other students, so in many ways, we functioned as the sounding board for the whole program. It was an intense and very rewarding experience.”

“My goal is to attract authors with high levels of skill and dedication who will use this program to take their craft to the next level.”

She is currently wrapping up work on a Welsh fairytale about a forest that no one can remember and a giant buried under a lake. She says, “I started it as a read-aloud for my children, and they kept demanding new chapters until it was finished.”

She is also working on a middle-grade fantasy heist about a young thief in 19th Century New York. 

As director of the MFA program, Mrs. Cohen says, “I plan to continue the tradition of limited enrollment and in-class feedback (particularly through the somewhat painful but always helpful live-writing exercises). My goal is to attract authors with high levels of skill and dedication who will use this program to take their craft to the next level.” 

She adds, “I'd like to see us graduate writers who go on to make careers out of writing novels that point readers toward the good, true, and beautiful. ‘Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings.’ (Proverbs 22:29)”

About the MFA program, she explains that it is not focused solely on craft, although that is important. She says, “Technical proficiency must be paired with a firm commitment to Scripture as the authoritative and inerrant Word of God. By the end of the second year, each student should have internalized what makes art objectively good and should hold their own writing to that standard.”

Through working in the MFA program, students will graduate with a complete and edited novel and with the confidence to repeat that process again. 

Mrs. Cohen says, “Our culture is starved for examples of true beauty in the arts, and it is our prerogative to point people to the truth, to show them that there is better food at a glorious table set for them. As Christian storytellers, we must avoid both the pretense of subjectivity on the one hand and didactic moralizing on the other. A solid MFA program will equip writers with the tools to feed a hungry world.”