In One Line

“Writing + Reading + Community = MFA.” This site opens up the doors for you to accomplish these three things, hence the name DIY MFA.


Get the benefits of an MFA-style education without actually going to school. Gabriela Pereira started DIY MFA to help writers improve their writing by offering them an MFA style environment online.

From the About Page

How DIY MFA Works

Here’s a secret no one ever tells you. The typical MFA (Master of Fine Arts) boils down to one simple formula:

Writing + Reading + Community = MFA

DIY MFA Pie Chart

This means that to create a do-it-yourself version of the MFA, all you need to do is: write with focus, read with purpose, and build your community. Read on to learn more or use the menu above to explore each category. We’ve also highlighted some key DIY MFA articles below to help you get started. For more general information about DIY MFA

Why DIY MFA Works

The beauty of DIY MFA is that while it covers most of what you’d get in a traditional MFA, you get to decide how to structure your writing, reading and community so you can reach your goals.  Want to write thrillers? Good news! You don’t have to spend hours studying eighteenth century parlor-room novels (unless you want to, of course). You read the books you want to read, books that will serve your writing.  When it comes to community, you connect with other thriller-writers. No one’s going to force you to go to a poetry reading or a romance writer’s conference.  Of course, branching out beyond your chosen genre will always enhance your writing and can open your mind to new ideas, but you choose how you invest your time in a way that serves your goals.

Balancing the three aspects of DIY MFA can be overwhelming, but if you make a plan it’s easy to stay on track. The best way to keep track of your writing, reading and community is to draw out a pie chart. Each slice on the pie represents how much time you spend on the three parts of DIY MFA. Depending on what projects you have on your plate, your pie may emphasize one area more than another. I find that the best balance for me looks like this:

Of course, sometimes you have to adjust your DIY MFA plan to fit with other things that are going on in your life. For instance, if you’re researching material for a new project, you might find that reading needs to take center stage. On the other hand, during a writing conference, community will probably get the largest slice and the other pieces will shrink down to make room. Be flexible and tweak your DIY MFA Plan. No matter what challenges life throws your way, you’ll be able to keep writing.

Discover Classes and Tools from the website

DIY MFA courses are open for enrollment periodically throughout the year. 101 runs twice per year, in the spring and fall, and Pixels to Platform (P2P) opens to new students every summer.

The DIY MFA book is a great way to get a feel for the curriculum before signing up for a more intensive program. Another way to get started is to sign up for our newsletter. You’ll receive a FREE DIY MFA Starter Kit, our every-other-week(-ish) newsletter Writer Fuel, plus other awesome resources we only share via email.

For more information on each course (or to get on the waiting list) click the icons below. If you have any questions, please email Team DIY MFA at courses [at] DIYMFA [dot] com.

DIY MFA Media Gallery

Photos and videos by, or about, DIY MFA.