The college developed the Western writer-in-residence proposal to attract a major author, who is from the western region or who writes on the subject of the North American West, to MSU on a visiting basis for a period of 1 to 3 years. This position, which is housed in the Department of English, will raise MSU’s profile in the field of creative writing and as a research and educational hub in the study of the American West. The college hopes to make the Western writer-in-residence a permanent position at MSU and is seeking funding for an endowment to support the program.

MSU's current Western writer-in-residence is author, Louisa Hall. During her three-year appointment at MSU, Hall will teach courses, serve as a guest lecturer, and participate in public readings and other community events.