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Zuri Wilson-Seymore, 2016 graduate of the online Master's in English and Creative Writing program, working with a colleague on a creative project.

Master's in Creative Writing Online MA Degree Program

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Earn a Master's in Creative Writing

  • $637/credit (36 credits)
  • Inclusive creative writing community
  • 24/7 online access – attend class at your convenience
  • 100% online – no residency required
  • 4 genre options for concentrations
  • Complete in as few as 15 months, or at your own pace

Master's in Creative Writing Online Program Overview

Ignite your imagination and jump-start your professional writing career with a Master of Arts (MA) in English and Creative Writing online at Southern New Hampshire University. Learn to use the written word to effectively tell your story and share your ideas with the world. By studying literature and the way accomplished authors have perfected their art, you'll be prepared to enter a number of industries as a creative writer. 

This English and creative writing graduate program fosters your imagination and creativity with a perfect balance of critical analysis and craft, along with an emphasis on literary theory and the history of the English language. You also have the freedom to choose from 4 genre concentrations or to combine your choice of genre courses if, for example, you're interested in both fiction and screenwriting.

This specialized creative writing master's degree can help you develop an ability to communicate in any career path you choose to follow, including:

  • Marketing and communications

If you've always dreamed of starting your own novel, writing a collection of poetry or developing your screenplay, you'll gain the foundation you need through this program.

At the end of the program, you'll either complete a creative thesis or submit a portfolio of creative writing, along with a retrospective essay.

.st0{fill:#21386D;} What You'll Learn

  • Integrate form, language and literary works into writing style and voice
  • Expand upon your own creative process
  • Create original literary works of publishable quality
  • Reflect on goals, process and ethos as a creative writer
  • Use technology as a tool to stylize and promote creative work

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Concentration Options

You'll also have the option to master a specialized skill set with one of our 4 genre-focused concentrations .

Fiction Literature has long been a source of inspiration, both for readers and writers. In Southern New Hampshire University's online MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction degree, you can find your creative voice and tell your story. Your knowledge can grow beyond a basic understanding of plot building, narrative, voice and character as you push your creative boundaries. Hone your craft for the kind of fiction you've always dreamed of bringing to life through novels, short stories, children's literature and more. In this degree program, you'll have the opportunity to explore whichever genres in fiction pique your interest, from horror and sci-fi to fantasy, young adult, romance and more.  The art of storytelling has deep historical and societal roots, and it is critical to cross-cultural communication. In your MA in Creative Writing online degree program, you’ll study the work of published writers to help you develop your own creative writing skills. You’ll focus on why authors make specific creative decisions to develop a deeper understanding of fiction in all of its forms, all while writing your own works of fiction. If you decide to pursue this concentration, you'll take a capstone course designed around completing your thesis in your fiction genre of choice. At the culmination of your coursework, you’ll create your own manuscript and apply what you've learned about your own creative voice to your work. If you feel it's time to put pen to paper to tell a tale, this program is for you. "I chose the fiction concentration [because] I believe it will give me a wider range in skills and training that will make me more attractive as a writer," said student Joshua Yarbrough . "Great and imaginative storytelling is always needed, and by having this concentration, it will open doors and avenues in a wide range of projects." Career outlook: Whether you're looking to pen the next great fiction novel, or you'd like to specialize in short stories that capture the imagination for a period of time, this concentration can give you the tools you need to become successful in your field. The MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction can also lead to numerous career opportunities, as this program does more than just expose you to literature and help you develop new writing skills. You can apply the creative skills you gain to any profession, from scriptwriting to marketing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for writers and authors was $73,150 in 2022. 1 Courses include: Fiction Fundamentals Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Other Popular Fiction Fiction Thesis Writing Fiction Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Nonfiction In the MA in English & Creative Writing with a concentration in Nonfiction degree, you'll learn how and why writers craft nonfiction narratives. These tools can help you develop factual material based on research and experiences of your own - or someone else's. The creative writing master's degree can help you gain insights into publishing, broadcasting and professional production while you explore your creative boundaries. At the culmination of the program, you'll develop your own professional-quality piece of nonfiction, one that takes you deep into subjects that matter to you and helps you develop the skills you need for great storytelling. MA English & Creative Writing nonfiction graduate Alec Biron '17 '21G particularly enjoyed the combined emphasis on creative writing and literature. "While the curriculum allowed me to select a unique genre of creative writing to develop my nonfiction thesis," he said, "it also allowed me to explore traditional forms of literature that I love, such as medieval British and feminist genres." Career outlook: Nonfiction is the art of telling real stories - ones that people can learn from, relate to and understand. It covers a wide range of styles and subjects, encompassing everything from personal essays, autobiographical writing and memoirs, to marketing, travel writing and magazine features. Given the many career paths you could take by adding a concentration in nonfiction writing to your degree, it's worth noting some potential career paths you could explore. During a time when remote work is on the rise, you could consider a career writing freelance nonfiction stories for traditional print magazines and digital publications. Or, if telling stories for brands excites you, you could work in advertising as a copywriter and see your words on websites, billboards, emails, commercials and other types of advertisements. "Employers have been impressed by not only my achievement of a master’s degree, but also by the publications I've subsequently written for following my education," said Biron. If you like finding ways to make factual yet complex topics more digestible, you may enjoy the role of technical writer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical writers earned a median annual salary of $79,960 in 2022. 1 Courses include: Non-Fiction Fundamentals Non-Fiction Thesis Writing Non-Fiction Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Poetry Develop the skills you need to convey your poetic vision with a MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry . The poetry concentration within our online creative writing graduate program can take you to a new level of analysis, appreciation and understanding of this art form. Foster your love of verse with the inspiration, passion and creative peer collaboration that only SNHU's concentration in poetry can bring. This curriculum focuses your study of literature on a genre where every word and line counts. Here, you'll be able to use your imagination to create imagery that moves and inspires readers and writers alike. This creative writing graduate program challenges you to gain an appreciation for how the unique craft and vision of poetry is critical to learning to think, understand and communicate with the world at large. Throughout this online program, you’ll broaden your understanding of the art of poetry. You'll also dive deeper into structure, tone and rhythm while analyzing the work of renowned poets. Upon completion of the program, you’ll develop your own manuscript of poetry, one that allows you to expand on subjects you're passionate about. "I chose a poetry concentration because I am a poet at heart, and my career revolves heavily around creative writing, specifically poetry and accessible arts programming," said NaBeela Washington '21G . "I wanted to make sure that my studies preserved time to truly focus on poetry and developing my manuscript and network and connection to other authors." Career outlook: Whether it's getting your own poetry published or becoming the next great poet laureate that interests you, a career in poetry is sure to be one filled with passion for your work. You could work for nonprofits to promote local poetry in your area, or become the poetry curator for an array of journals, magazines and even bookstores. And the ability to write clever, concise and compelling copy is also a great fit for advertising and marketing positions. "Before SNHU, I hadn’t been published since middle school," said Washington. "And before completing the program, I would be invited to read my work at a Poetry Series in Takoma Park, MD; I would start a literary journal, Lucky Jefferson, and I would go on to be published several more times in publications like The Cincinnati Review and The Washington Writers’ Publishing House, even winning an award for my journal and building a network of more than 6,000 writers and artists." Her list of accomplishments doesn't stop there. "I’ve been invited to speak on panels about my work in the literary world as well as to help found a roundtable for Editors of Color," she said. "It's really nice realizing that I could accomplish my goals and that I believed in myself." Courses include: Poetry Fundamentals Poetry Thesis Writing Poetry Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Screenwriting We live in an increasingly visual society. The online Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting program at Southern New Hampshire University is an advanced exploration of the world of film and video, from shorts and episodic serials to feature-length blockbusters and documentaries. This concentration is based on a comprehensive study of film, with a special focus on story structure, character development and creative writing. At the culmination of the degree program, you'll have developed your own screenplay that you can then share with others and put out into the world if you so choose. While an understanding and analysis of literature – whatever the genre – is at the core of this MA degree, the screenwriting concentration places a special emphasis on visual storytelling. Designed by experienced and distinguished faculty, this master’s in screenwriting program can give you a powerful understanding of how story, character, theme, action, visuals and dialogue intertwine to create an immersive experience. In this concentration, you'll also have the opportunity to work closely with peers and faculty to workshop your pieces, which can help push your creative work to new heights. Take it from José Roldan Jr. '17G who, with the support of his friends, family and his SNHU advisor, was able to enroll in the online MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting program while balancing his full-time job and full-time performance schedule, along with additional acting gigs and auditions.  "That support just allowed me the strength to say, 'You know what? I can get this done. There are so many people who believe in me to do it, that I can get it done,'" Roldan said. "It wasn't easy, but it's possible. It's possible." Career outlook: Whether you dream of writing for the big screen one day or writing scripts at a regional level, in the screenwriting concentration you can hone your craft for television, commercials, news, feature films, short films and even video games. There are multiple ways you could use this degree in the media world, from adapting an existing work into a movie or writing your own script, to working closely with producers on funding and producing projects. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for writers and authors was $73,150 in 2022, it also reports that producers and directors earned a median annual wage of $85,320 the same year. 1 Courses include: Screenwriting Fundamentals Fiction and Film Screenwriting Thesis Writing Screenwriting Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('322677cfabe042d9a55551dc7b079012')); Career Outlook

Whether it's telling your story or telling someone else's, your online master's in creative writing can equip you with detailed knowledge about the worlds of publishing, communications, copywriting and the role of the professional writer. As world markets continue to shift toward a demand for online education and digital media technology, the technical skills learned in this program should continue to be in demand for a long time. The enhanced writing and communication skills you'll develop can be applied to many professions, from publishing, print and film to journalism and marketing.

Jacob Powers with the text Jacob Powers

Read more about Jacob Powers in this Q&A.

"The major takeaway I have gotten from my classes is that there is a viable career in literature, creative writing, and English," said student Joshua Yarbrough . "I feel confident in having the necessary skills to either work for myself or an employer and the training I have received at SNHU has made it possible."

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 4% – about as fast as average for all occupations –  through 2032. 1

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Salary

The BLS reports the median wage for writers and authors was $73,150 in 2022. 1

Understanding the Numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

The master's in creative writing is also ideal if you're interested in pursuing your PhD or teaching at the collegiate level. Additionally, the MA in Creative Writing is also a great option for high school instructors or other educators who wish to level up their salaries, as well as those whose districts require a Master of Arts for sustained career growth.

"I believe there’s a nice balance here for the program — for students who wish to pursue publication, we offer the tools, resources and faculty to help guide them. For students who wish to advance in their current career, or learn creative writing skills but also strengthen other skills (like editing, proofreading, etc.), the program offers that, as well," Powers said.

SNHU does not guarantee that the completion of this program will result in endorsements or rank and salary increases for teachers and strongly encourages interested individuals to contact their state education licensure board prior to enrolling. SNHU provides additional information for education-related outcomes on our Licensure and Certification Disclosures page.

Where Could You Work?

Graduates of the online master's in English and creative writing program will find that, according to the BLS¹, there is opportunity for employment in a variety of fields, including:


Tech companies, public relations, start your journey toward an online english and creative writing degree, why snhu for your master's in creative writing flexible with no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7. affordable as part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. in fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. prior coursework and work experience could also help you save time and money. snhu’s transfer policy  allows you to transfer up to 12 credits from your previous institution. you could also earn college credit for previous work experience . respected founded in 1932 , southern new hampshire university is a private, nonprofit institution with over 160,000 graduates across the country. snhu is accredited by the new england commission of higher education (neche), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.  recently, snhu has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education: “most innovative” regional university honors from u.s. news & world report each year since 2015 a $1 million grant from to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth recognition as a 2017 digital learning innovator by the online learning consortium network at southern new hampshire university, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities. 93.6% of online students would recommend snhu (according to a 2022 survey with 17,000+ respondents). discover why snhu may be right for you . admission requirements expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. that’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials: completed free application undergraduate transcripts, which we can retrieve for you by submitting a transcript request form acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms . master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. students with an undergraduate gpa below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. how to apply if you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going: complete free graduate application submit undergraduate transcripts work with an admission counselor  to explore financial options  and walk through application process if (typeof accordiongroup === "undefined") { window.accordiongroup = new accordion(); } accordiongroup.init(document.getelementbyid('e835202be13f4497bc29372de09b8f42')); get the skills you need.

Alec Biron '17 '21G

"The skills that I learned in nonfiction writing have helped me to build a career in freelance journalism and content writing."

Courses & Curriculum

The master's in creative writing online exposes you to powerful examples of writing and provides you with an outlet to refine your skills as a writer. SNHU is home to the New Hampshire Writer’s Project and is also a destination for nationally recognized writers who perform readings and participate in workshops and lectures. This can give you additional context and insight into the industry you'll eventually be joining. All of our courses were also created by subject matter experts in their field, many of whom are critically acclaimed writers themselves.

Not only are the courses created by experts, they're taught by them, too. Just ask student Joshua Yarbrough .

"I have worked with professors who are well versed and accomplished in their field," he said. "They have provided valuable feedback to me in terms of preparing for my next steps as a writer and educator."

If you're looking for a degree program with collaboration built in, look no further. The online MA in English and Creative Writing has an added emphasis on peer workshops for additional feedback. Each concentration requires students to take three workshops, so you'll have the chance to fine-tune your editing and proofreading skills both for your peers and for yourself.

You'll also be required to take one of two teaching courses, Seminar in Writing Instruction or Online Teaching Experience . This can give you a background for teaching creative writing or English composition, depending on which interests you more. As a whole, this degree program is highly customizable, allowing you to focus on what types of creative writing interest you most.

In addition to working on your writing craft, you'll take several literary courses that focus on analysis and reflection, while learning about the history of the publishing industry. This can give you the chance to sharpen your editing and professional communication skills, while also giving you the edge you need to advance your writing career.

Graduate Alec Biron '17 '21G agrees. "One course that stood out to me, in particular, was “The Editor”. This course was both writing and editing intensive, allowing us to review the work of our peers while optimizing our own narratives," he said. "The Editor went beyond simple proofreading, and taught me how to edit for structure, character development, syntax, language and tone."

You'll also have the choice of four literary genres:

  • Screenwriting

Or, you can customize your program and study multiple genres.

What's more, there's plenty of opportunity to build your network and hone your craft outside of normal class time. Once enrolled, you'll have access to SNHUconnect, a community built exclusively for our online learners. With plenty of clubs and events at your disposal, you might find that the Creative Writing Review Club is right up your alley. Wrote a few poems and want a critique? Need an audience to run your plot ideas by? Here, you can share your nonfiction, fiction, poetry and screenplay works – and even seek peer revising if you desire.

Joan Garner

Joan Garner, a student in SNHU's MA in English and Creative Writing program

Joan Garner came from a family of activists. Now she’s earning her master’s in creative writing to write her family’s story.

“The classes that I am taking are helping me in writing the book by stretching my limitations as a writer,” she said.

Read Joan’s story.

Minimum Hardware Requirements Component Type   PC (Windows OS)   Apple (Mac OS)   Operating System  Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.   Currently supported operating system from Apple.  Memory (RAM)  8GB or higher  8GB or higher  Hard Drive  100GB or higher  100GB or higher  Antivirus Software  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  SNHU Purchase Programs  Visit Dell   Visit Apple   Internet/ Bandwidth  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  Notes:   Laptop or desktop?   Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.  Note:   Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.  Office 365 Pro Plus  is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for  Microsoft 365 plans  for business, education and government.  Antivirus software:  Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.  if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('f756dce5bd874c61855f6f6e92d88470')); University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs: Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:

  • (viewed Oct. 25, 2023)
  • (viewed Oct. 25, 2023)
  • (viewed Oct. 25, 2023)

Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program

Online Courses

11 out of 12 total courses

On-Campus Experience

One 1- or 3-week residency in summer

$3,220 per course

Unlock your creative potential and hone your unique voice.

Build a strong foundation in literary criticism and writing across multiple genres — including fiction, nonfiction, and drama — in our live online writing and literature program with an in-person writer’s residency at Harvard.

Program Overview

Through the master’s degree in creative writing and literature, you’ll hone your skills as a storyteller — crafting publishable original scripts, novels, and stories.

In small, workshop-style classes, you’ll master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and description. And you’ll learn to approach literary works as both a writer and scholar by developing skills in critical analysis.

Program Benefits

Instructors who are published authors of drama, fiction, and nonfiction

A community of writers who support your growth in live online classes

Writer's residency with agent & editor networking opportunities

Personalized academic and career advising

Thesis or capstone options that lead to publishable creative work

Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

As you work through the program’s courses, you’ll enhance your creative writing skills and knowledge of literary concepts and strategies. You’ll practice the art of revision to hone your voice as a writer in courses like Writing the Short Personal Essay and Writing Flash Fiction.

Within the creative writing and literature program, you will choose between a thesis or capstone track. You’ll also experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.

11 Online Courses

  • Primarily synchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

Writer’s Residency

A 1- or 3-week summer master class taught by a notable instructor, followed by an agents-and-editors weekend

Thesis or Capstone Track

  • Thesis: features a 9-month independent creative project with a faculty advisor
  • Capstone: includes crafting a fiction or nonfiction manuscript in a classroom community

The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 2 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

A Faculty of Creative Writing Experts

Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our instructors are renowned academics in literary analysis, storytelling, manuscript writing, and more. They bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Bryan Delaney

Playwright and Screenwriter

Talaya Adrienne Delaney

Lecturer in Extension, Harvard University

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Our community at a glance.

80% of our creative writing and literature students are enrolled in our master’s degree program for either personal enrichment or to make a career change. Most (74%) are employed full time while pursuing their degree and work across a variety of industries.

Download: Creative Writing & Literature Master's Degree Fact Sheet

Average Age

Course Taken Each Semester

Work Full Time

Would Recommend the Program

Professional Experience in the Field

Pursued for Personal Enrichment

Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Program have writing, research, and communication jobs in the fields of publishing, advertising/marketing, fundraising, secondary and higher education, and more.

Some alumni continue their educational journeys and pursue further studies in other nationally ranked degree programs, including those at Boston University, Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University.

Our alumni hold titles as:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Director of Publishing
  • Senior Research Writer

Our alumni work at a variety of leading organizations, including:

  • Little, Brown & Company
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Bentley Publishers

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual on-campus Harvard Humanities, Media, Marketing, and Creative Careers Expo.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Creative Writing and Literature.

Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

Harvard is closer than one might think. You can be anywhere and still be part of this world.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

What can you do with a master’s degree in creative writing and literature?

A master’s degree in creative writing and literature prepares you for a variety of career paths in writing, literature, and communication — it’s up to you to decide where your interests will take you.

You could become a professional writer, editor, literary agent, marketing copywriter, or communications specialist.

You could also go the academic route and bring your knowledge to the classroom to teach creative writing or literature courses.

Is a degree in creative writing and literature worth it?

The value you find in our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program will depend on your unique goals, interests, and circumstances.

The curriculum provides a range of courses that allow you to graduate with knowledge and skills transferable to various industries and careers.

How long does completing the creative writing and literature graduate program take?

Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.

For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.

While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.

What skills do you need prior to applying for the creative writing and literature degree program?

Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but in general, it’s helpful to have solid reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills if you are considering a creative writing and literature master’s degree.

Initial eligibility requirements can be found on our creative writing and literature master’s degree requirements page .

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

Best Master's in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

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TBS Staff Writers

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated September 21, 2023

Reviewed by

TBS Rankings Team

Contributing Reviewer

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Best Master's in Creative Writing Online

Master's in creative writing programs are ideal for students who love writing and aspire to make a living through the craft.Creative writers build worlds, develop stories, and create characters that engage and entertain readers. Writers often choose genres and stories that relate to their own interests. For instance, a traveler may write creative nonfiction pieces about tourist locations, and writers who are interested in the American West often write western novels.

Creative writing graduates can also pursue careers in other fields. For example, they may write marketing advertisements, political speeches, or technical pieces for instructional manuals. Over half of writers and authors are self-employed.

These careers require editing, writing, and research skills. Editors must also have an understanding of genre fundamentals. To gain the necessary knowledge, students can earn a master's in creative writing online.

The following guide provides information about the top online writing programs in the country and what you can do with a creative writing degree after graduation.

Featured MFA Programs

Best master’s in creative writing programs online.

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

#1 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas at El Paso hosts a top-ranked creative writing program. The MFA in creative writing builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After earning a master's degree, candidates can also pursue careers in new industries.

The master's curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. Applicants without a background in creative writing may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

The University of Texas at El Paso at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 100%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: MFA in creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,497

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,766

#2 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

University of Nebraska at Omaha

The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an online creative writing program. Individuals prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous master of fine arts in writing program. After completing a master's degree, candidates often advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. The master's program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in writing.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. Experiential learning opportunities and networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

University of Nebraska at Omaha at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 83%

Total Online Master's Programs: 6

Program Name: Master of fine arts in writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,558

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,440

#3 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL

The online master's in creative writing program, offered by Saint Leo University, ranks as a top program in the field. The creative writing master's program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. Earning a master's degree can also help candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes practical and theoretical approaches to creative writing. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The master's program recommends a background in creative writing for applicants.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, not-for-profit, four-year

Admission Rate: 72%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: Master's in creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,296

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,296

#4 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University, located in Ellensburg, enrolls master's students in its online creative writing program. The MA in professional and creative writing builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates often pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in creative writing. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The master's program recommends that applicants have a background in creative writing.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Graduate students expand their professional networks through internships and online events.

Central Washington University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 85%

Total Online Master's Programs: 17

Program Name: MA in professional and creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,582

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,449

What Is an Online Master's in Creative Writing Degree?

A master's in writing develops research, writing, and editing skills and explores story elements in different genres. For example, poetry learners study rhyme and meter, while children's writers explore child psychology and common writing techniques. Required courses often cover character development, setting research, and publishing.

Creative writing programs often include literature courses in which learners analyze famous works for writing insights. Students also create new pieces and critique classmates' work in writing workshops. These workshops hone writing, editing, and proofreading skills and increase students' professional networks. Additional requirements may include a thesis, portfolio, or internship.

Admission requirements often include writing samples and personal statements. Ideal applicants have previous writing experience.

Choosing an Online Program

Prospective students should consider program quality and flexibility when choosing a master's in writing. Learners may prefer departments with published authors as faculty, or they may prefer a program that offers the flexibility of asynchronous courses. They should also consider concentration options, completion times, and tuition costs.

The following guide provides more tips on finding the right program.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Creative Writing Program?

Online MFA in creative writing programs usually offer concentrations in poetry, fiction writing, and creative nonfiction. Most programs include workshops and lectures on writing concepts like character building and plot development. These programs also introduce learners to different genres and often require a thesis.

Below are three common courses in online writing programs.

Master's in Creative Writing Curriculum

Literary genres for writers.

This course covers fiction and related subgenres, such as fantasy, romance, and historical fiction. Students explore the structures and general expectations of these genres. The course may also focus on a single type of writing, such as poetry, memoir, or nonfiction.

Character Development

This course trains students to create effective, believable characters. Coursework may prioritize character realism, consistency, and psychology within the story's context. Students examine the necessary traits of major and minor characters and build a portfolio of several character outlines.

Writing a Short Story

Learners in this course study short stories and analyze elements of writing styles. Additional topics may include syntax and short story structures. Students create a short story and undergo peer review to receive feedback. Programs may offer similar classes focused on other forms of writing, like nonfiction, poetry, or television writing.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs

AWP provides an online tool that allows users to search for writing programs by location, genre, and degree. The association connects website visitors with writing contests, funding, job opportunities, and avenues to publication. Professionals can also attend the annual AWP book fair and conference or browse the online database to find other meetings.

The Authors Guild

The Authors Guild supports writers by offering panels, book launches, and book expos. Website visitors can browse contests in fiction, poetry, and translations, or they can seek out fellowships and workshops. Members receive legal assistance for book contracts, access to writing resources, and insurance against copyright disputes.

The Writer's Center

The Writer's Center offers writing workshops for specific age groups, including adults, teenagers, and children. Members can also attend book launches and an annual poetry reading. This organization offers editing and project advising and maintains a blog that covers industry topics like publication practices, genre word counts, beta readers, and author experiences.

Careers in Creative Writing

Earning a master's in creative writing online prepares students to craft creative messages for books, articles, advertisements, speeches, scripts, and social media posts. Graduates can pursue any field that involves message creation and delivery.

The best candidates for writing careers are creative and have a strong grasp on writing structure and effective communication. Creative writers should also understand research methods, work well within deadlines, and be able to accept constructive criticism from editors. Below are a few creative writing jobs that graduates can pursue.

  • Collapse All

Writers and Authors

Writers and Authors research and write pieces for magazines, websites, publishing houses, and blogs, and may also create scripts for television, movies, or plays. They may write books for traditional or self-publishing in genres like fantasy, romance, mystery, and nonfiction.

Authors often polish their works based on editor critiques and may need to market their work as well. Companies usually expect writers to have a college degree and writing experience.

Median Annual Salary

Projected Growth Rate

make publication decisions for companies and help writers develop stories into polished products. These professionals may review small writing issues, like spelling and grammar, or larger issues, like structure, factual accuracy, continuity, and clarity.

Specific job titles include copy editor, publication assistant, and executive editor. Editors often work at newspaper and book publishing companies, or they work freelance.

Earning a master's in creative writing online gives prospective editors an advantage when competing for jobs.

Public Relations Specialists

help organizations create and uphold a positive image for the public, affecting their relationship with customers and investors. These professionals create press releases, write speeches, and research consumer preferences through social media. Public relations specialists may also review advertisements and communicate with media outlets about publicity opportunities.

These professionals can find work at advertising, educational, business, and government organizations. They need a bachelor's in a field like English, journalism, or communication. Employers may also require a portfolio and field experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a master's in creative writing program.

Most students can earn a master's in writing in around two years.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Creative Writing?

This degree prepares students for careers as authors, editors, reporters, and public relations specialists. Graduates can also teach creative writing at colleges.

Is a Master's in Creative Writing Worth It?

Many writing careers do not require a master's degree. However, online writing programs help students polish writing skills, which can improve their salary and career prospects.

Can I Teach English With a Creative Writing Degree?

Earning a master's in writing online qualifies graduates to teach English courses at many colleges, as an MFA is often the minimum qualification for these roles. However, some schools require a doctorate for teaching positions.

What Is a Master's in Creative Writing?

Online MFA in creative writing programs explore brainstorming, writing, and editing practices for different genres. These programs often culminate in a thesis or portfolio.

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Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Home > Postgraduate study > Postgraduate courses > Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Why choose this course.

The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) offers you the chance to study with a range of well-established and award-winning writers in a dynamic writing environment, but without having to relocate or give up current commitments. Taught in our virtual forums and classrooms, modules can be accessed at a time of the week to suit your schedule.

You will learn in workshops, one-to-one or in small groups, with support from practising and published writers and fellow students. Our award-winning former creative writing students include Booker-shortlisted Oyinkan Braithwaite, Joe Pierson, who won the Bridport Prize, Stefan Mohammed, awarded the Dylan Thomas Prize, Bafta-winner, Sarah Woolner, the acclaimed poet Dom Bury and celebrated novelist Faiqa Mansab. 

The non-compulsory campus days give you a chance to visit the campus and attend a relevant lecture, as well as to meet fellow workshop students. Those travelling longer distances who wish to stay longer and explore the cultural opportunities that London offers, or simply to write, are also welcome to attend events taking place on campus for the rest of the week, featuring staff, writers in residences, students and guests.

Curtis Brown Agent's Choice competition

All successful applicants who take up their place with us in September will be entered into our competition to have a consultation with Annabel White , an agent at top London literary agency Curtis Brown.

So make sure the creative work you submit with your application is your very best - it might win you a meeting with a literary agent.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Delivered by Distance Learning, this Creative Writing MA helps you to develop the craft of creative writing, either on a general level or through specialising in your chosen genre. Taught in virtual forums and classrooms, your studies can suit your schedule, and you will not have to relocate or give up your job.
  • The creative dissertation and critical essay give you the chance to further specialise. You also explore writing in a range of forms and styles and take a module exploring critical theory and experimental/avant-garde writing.
  • You will become part of Kingston's thriving community, with events such as readings, lectures from published authors, editors and agents, masterclasses and enriching discussions.
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to Kingston University's publication, Ripple, which includes fiction, poetry, reviews and creative non-fiction and is edited by students on the course.
  • You'll study in workshops, learning one-on-one or in small groups with experts in your chosen area. The course is taught by a combination of:
  • appointed staff - many are published authors or active researchers, which keeps your learning dynamic.
  • peer review - giving you the chance to discuss your own and other students' work in a mutually-supportive environment.

The Art School Experience

As part of  Kingston School of Art , students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our  workshops and studios  are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

What our students say

In this video, one of our creative writing alumna and a current student discuss why they chose the course, what they enjoyed about it and why they'd recommend it to future applicants.

What you will study

The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) follows the same course structure as the successful and popular Creative Writing MA. You'll be taught through individual tutorials, streamed lectures and readings held at or sponsored by the University.

The Writers' Workshop module will encourage you to develop your writing 'voice' through engagement with fellow students across a range of genres (in fiction or creative non-fiction), while the Special Study module enables you to specialise in one genre, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama.

You will learn the elements of fiction, poetry and drama as well as studying relevant critical theory and trying out your own fictional experiments in the Critical Challenges module. You'll take part in online masterclasses and put all you have learned into practice in the dissertation module. It is possible to use both workshop modules and the dissertation together to work towards a substantial part of a longer piece such as a novel.

This Creative Writing MA will give you the knowledge and confidence to enter the cultural debate and to begin to identify outlets for your own writing.

Full-time students can attend two campus days, scheduled annually, usually in November and February.

Part-time students normally attend the November campus day in the first year and the February campus day in the second year.

Full-time students take two 30-credit modules each semester, including a Special Study workshop on a particular genre e.g. poetry, drama or fiction, in the second semester. You'll participate in general workshops, reading sessions and tutorials with your assigned dissertation supervisor throughout the course.

You may then choose to complete a 15,000-word 60-credit dissertation accompanied by a 3,000-word critical review, for which you'll receive one-to-one supervision as you work towards a September completion.

Core modules

Creative writing dissertation.

This module focuses on your own creative writing and research into your chosen form or genre, developed in consultation with your supervisor. You learn via one-to-one tutorials with your personal supervisor. You produce two pieces of writing:

  • a creative dissertation – a portion of a novel, a body of poetry, a play screenplay or other creative form of no more than 15,000 words; and
  • a critical essay of approximately 3,000 words – considering the relationships between your own writing and the literary contexts/theoretical concerns that inform published writing in your chosen genre or form.

Your supervisor must agree in advance the final structure, approximate word length and for presentation conventions of these pieces.

Special Study: Workshops in Popular Genre Writing

This online workshop module will be devoted to the creative writing of students all working in the same form and genre of their choice.  It will enable students to develop drafts in their chosen form and genre, and to master its specific codes and conventions. Draft work to be reviewed may include, for example, poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage, or screenwriting, perhaps in a choice of genres such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, writing for children, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Students will be advised how best to strengthen their knowledge of that form or genre in order to reflect critically and constructively on their own writing.  Attention will then be given to the production of a substantial piece or a collection of pieces of creative writing that reflects their knowledge of and engagement with their chosen form or genre.

Writing the Contemporary

This module provides the opportunity to examine ways in which reading is essential to writing practice and teaches you to apply literary techniques and strategies from contemporary fiction, life writing and poetry texts to your own work. You will develop the concept of ‘reading as a writer' in order to explore how contemporary concerns are brought to the fore by artistic strategies, and examine how an understanding of these can provide models for your own creative practice. You will submit work including a reflective reading journal as well as a creative piece in a genre of your choice.

Writers' Workshop

This is a workshop-based online module in which students will present and discuss their own work and that of their peers within a group of students writing in a variety of genres and forms. The draft work presented in the module will normally include forms such as poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage or screenwriting, in a variety of genres, but it may also include genres such as science fiction, romance, crime fiction, writing for children, historical fictional, and autobiography. Students will develop a strong knowledge of the writing workshop ethos, its requirements and etiquette as mutual practical criticism of peer writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres as well as the implications of working in various forms. Attention will be paid to the relevant components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.

Critical Challenges for Creative Writers

The module is designed to introduce students to some issues of critical and literary theory. The module is also designed to make students more aware of how their work impacts upon wider literary, cultural, political and philosophical issues. Awareness of these theories and of some of the issues surrounding the production and reception of literary texts will stimulate them, encouraging creative and conceptual thinking. The module will explore debates about literature and the practice of creative writing through readings of essays and texts that are relevant to criticism and theory. The academic component of the assessment will support the creative work with the objective that students will also have to demonstrate critical, academic, analytical skills.

Entry requirements

Typical offer.

We normally expect applicants to have:

  • A second class degree or above, or equivalent, in creative writing, English literature, literature and language, drama or theatre studies or a humanities subject.
  • Applicants with academic qualifications in other subjects, or relevant work experience, will be considered on an individual basis.
  • A demonstrable interest in creative writing.

You may also submit a sample of creative writing (maximum of 3,000 words) and a personal statement (maximum of 1,000 words) to support your application for this course.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in all elements. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements , which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

  • Middle East

Teaching and assessment

Continuous assessments in individual accredited modules plus assessment of final dissertation.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 5% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity.

  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 93 hours

Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1,707 hours

For part time students

  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 44 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 556 hours
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 49 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1,151 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Full time - Year 1

Part time - year 1, part time - year 2.

  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1707 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1151 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises portfolios and a dissertation.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course in each full time or part time year:

Type of assessment

  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

Class sizes are kept small for this course and usually limited to 10. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art. As a student on this course, you will benefit from a lively study environment, thanks to the wide range of postgraduate courses on offer. The combination of academics and practitioners makes it a unique environment in which to further your studies and your career.

The University provides a vibrant and forward-thinking environment for study with:

  • courses designed in collaboration with industry professionals  –  enabling you to keep right up to date with the latest developments in the creative and professional writing environment;
  • established connections with the London arts and media scene  –  with a range of guest speakers, professors and lecturers visiting the University; and
  • committed and enthusiastic staff  –  many of whom are expert practitioners as well as leading academics and researchers.
  • opportunity to contribute to Kingston University's publications, such as Ripple. They include fiction, poetry, reviews and creative non-fiction and are edited by postgraduate creative writing students.

Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

creative writing ma online

Dr Wendy Vaizey

Course leader.

creative writing ma online

Mr Oludiran Adebayo

creative writing ma online

Mr Steven J. Fowler

creative writing ma online

Dr Marina Lambrou

Fees for this course, 2023/24 fees for this course, home 2023/24.

  • full time £9,860
  • part time £5,423

International 2023/24

  • full time £16,200
  • part time £8,910

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23.

  • MA full time £9,620
  • MA part time £5,291

International 2022/23

  • MA full time £15,800
  • MA part time £8,690

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student, resident in England and are aged under the age of 60, you will be able to apply for a loan to study for a postgraduate degree. For more information, read the postgraduate loan information on the government's website .

Funding and bursaries

Bursaries are available from the School of Arts, Culture and Communications for students working on the Kingston University Press (KUP), Ripple magazine or other related activities (find out more and apply after you have enrolled).

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan . You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

After you graduate

Some of our departmental graduates have achieved notable successes, having published short stories and novels which were started as part of their degree, and attracted good literary agents, for example:

  • Oyinkan Braithwaite 's novel,  My Sister the Serial Killer , reviewed by The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4's Open Book and Front Row, has won the Crime and Thriller book of the year at the British Book Awards; Oyinkan is the first black woman to do so.  
  • Grainne Murphy has recently signed a two-book deal with Legend Press. Her debut novel,  Where the Edge Is , was published in September 2020, with The Ghostlights to be published in 2021. 
  • Ben Halls ' debut  The Quarry  was book of the day in The Guardian in March 2020. 
  • Amy Clarke has signed a two-book deal.  Like Clockwork  is a psychological suspense novel about a true-crime podcast host who's obsessively trying to solve the decades-old cold case of a notorious Minnesotan serial killer whose victims were each one year younger than the last. It is due to be published in March/April 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with a second book to follow. 
  • A story Seraphina Madsen wrote for the MA Critical Challenges module was published in the UK's pre-eminent literary journal, The White Review, and secured her an agent and a book deal. 
  • Stevan Alcock is another MA student whose debut novel – workshopped on our MA – was published by 4th Estate.  
  • Hannah Vincent is a former MFA student with novels out with Myriad Editions and Salt. 
  • Myriad Editions also run a writing competition each year aimed at finding new writers, with MFA student Karly Stilling winning in 2015. This year the award was won by another current Kingston student, Sylvia Carr . Former MA (now PhD student) Joseph Pierson was a recent runner-up. 
  • Julia Lewis is a former MFA student and experimental poet who has gone on to publish a wide range of work. She also rewrote MA tutor James Miller's novel Lost Boys as a collection of experimental poetry. 
  • Stefan Mohamed won the Dylan Thomas Prize and has gone to have a successful career as a writer of YA fiction. 
  • MA student Vicky Newham signed a two book deal for her crime series. Vicky is on the Daggers longlist for the best crime novel by a first-time author. 
  • Faiqa Mansab published her debut novel  This House of Clay and Water in Pakistan and India to great acclaim and it  has been optioned by the talented Sheherzade Sheikh for screen adaptation. 
  • Other successes include Susie Lynes and Lauren Forry . 
  • Other former students have gone on to work in editorial posts in the publishing industry.

Why I chose Kingston

What our students and graduates say

Initially, it was a bit daunting returning to university as a mature student (in my early 50s) but as there were quite a number of us older students we soon formed a little group and in fact became quite good friends. The thing I possibly enjoyed most about Kingston was the number of workshops on offer pretty much throughout my time there. I found myself signing up for everything, from fiction to thriller to life writing courses. I just loved the vibe of being in that academic and literary environment. It was a huge privilege being able to attend workshops, free of charge, presented by some of the most esteemed literary personalities. In addition, there were publishing events that put us in direct contact with editors, agents and publishers. Weekly events hosted by Kingston Writing School were also hugely inspiring. Listening to authors relating their journeys about the long road from writing to being published was hugely encouraging and something I rarely missed.

The actual MA course and the various modules we had to complete pushed me beyond my comfort zone, particularly in poetry, which is something I'd never had a penchant for. But, thanks to my accomplished lecturers, I ended up enjoying every single one of them.

However, it was one of the extra-curricular workshops that inspired my book, Secrets of a Stewardess . The memoir/life writing workshop was hosted by John Man, author of more than 13 books. I was convinced that I was in the wrong class as I felt that I had absolutely no story to tell, but he somehow managed to coax out of me my years as an airline stewardess in the ‘80s. I also wrote a children's book (which was signed up by an agent) while I was at Kingston University, but used the memoir as part of my dissertation.

I can honestly say that completing my MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University and then being published is one of the most rewarding things I have done. It taught me that you are never too old to achieve your goals - you just need to set them and then work towards them. Studying creative writing gave me the confidence to believe that I actually could write and the whole support system offered at Kingston University, finally helped me to get published.

Secrets of a Stewardess has been published by The History Press who has done an outstanding job of marketing it. WHS Smith Travel bought 2,500 copies upfront; I have been interviewed on BBC Radio 4; I have featured on BBC World Services', The Conversation; I have been interviewed live on Talk Radio Europe; I have had a feature in The Daily Mail newspaper; I have been interviewed and photographed by The Sun newspaper and I featured in Prima magazine's August edition.

Gretchen Ryan

Links with business and industry

A range of additional events and lectures will enhance your studies and add an extra perspective to your learning. Activities for this course include:


Live online masterclasses in each teaching block with distinguished professors and researchers such as Hanif Kureishi and Paul Bailey.

Distance Learning students who attend Campus Days are able to attend events and readings with publishing specialists and professionals that take place on these days. These have included agents such as Briony Woods, Jemima Hunt and others.

Overseas student visiting for Campus Days who wish to stay for a few days longer will find other lectures and events of interest to attend.

Students within reach of London are also welcome to attend events on campus such as talks from writer and film director Shelagh McLeod, Influx Press editor Sanya Semakula and writers Michael Hughes, Catherine McNamara and Susan Lynes.

Guest lectures

Weekly guest lectures by leading journalists including:

  • Samira Ahmed , an award-winning journalist with 20 years' experience in print and broadcast;
  • David Jenkins , editor of Little White Lies, a bi-monthly movie magazine powered by illustration;
  • Richard Moynihan , Head of digital journalism, The Telegraph and
  • Alex Stedman , fashion blogger at The Frugality and former style editor at Red magazine.

Regular readings through Writers' Centre Kingston, which offers an annual programme of events from talks to workshops and festivals, hosted and curated in partnership with institutions local to Kingston University and in London, from The Rose Theatre to the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, from the Museum of Futures to Kingston First.

Lunchtime lectures

Frequent philosophy lunchtime lectures which focus on a major figure in the history of Western philosophy, introducing students to that thinker's work, usually through the discussion of one of her or his emblematic works. There are also weekly Journalism lunchtime lectures with a range of industry experts.

Ripple magazine

The literary magazine Ripple is edited by MA students, providing a platform for the publication of creative work; and a chance to get hands-on experience of the publishing process.

Research areas

Research in English literature and creative writing at Kingston University covers the following areas:

  • 19th and 20th century British and American fiction;
  • fictions of globalisation;
  • gothic writing;
  • travel writing;
  • women's writing from the 18th century to the present;
  • New Woman and fin de siècle fictions;
  • Shakespeare;
  • literature of the English Reformation period;
  • postcolonial studies;
  • theories of gender;
  • life writing and trauma;

It focuses around the following research initiatives:

  • Iris Murdoch Studies - research on the Iris Murdoch archives acquired by Kingston University in 2003/04).
  • Life Narratives Research Group - bringing together best practice from all genres of life narrative work.
  • Cultural Histories at Kingston - centred around the concept of the 'cultural text', the group includes scholars from the fields of literature, film, media, history, music, dance, performance, and journalism.
  • Writers' Centre Kingston - a literary cultural centre dedicated to creative writing in all its forms, with an annual programme of events, talks, workshops and festivals.
  • Race/Gender Matters - captures and concentrates research on theoretical, critical and creative engagements with the materiality of race, gender and language.

We also hold regular seminars and host presentations by visiting speakers.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course.  Course changes explained .

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course  can be found on our website.

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Kingston University , Holmwood House, Grove Crescent, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE . Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

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Creative Writing (Distance Learning)

  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Part time 24 Months

Top reasons to study with us

World Top 40 QS World Subject Rankings 2023 (English Language & Literature)

Partners with Wordsworth Grasmere in the English Lake District

Enjoy literary events in Lancaster's Castle Quarter

Why Lancaster?

  • Study from anywhere in the world, whenever it suits you, with our online tutorials and conferences
  • Sharpen your writing with detailed individual feedback from a published author in your chosen genre
  • Join us for a summer school on campus to spend time with our friendly community, share your work and learn from brilliant writers
  • Learn from published writers who specialise in long prose fiction, memoir, short stories, poetry and work for stage and screen
  • Work towards your ambition of being a published writer – we’ll help you turn your passion into a career path

We believe distance learning should be like a book – you should be able to pick it up and put it down when it suits you. By studying with us, you can benefit from invaluable one-to-one support from one of our published writers and work on your writing project without changing your lifestyle.

A global community

The DLMA Creative Writing at Lancaster has an established track record of success: our list of graduates who have published their work speaks for itself. Studying with us, you’ll become part of our diverse community of students who connect with each other from all corners of the globe, each bringing their unique personal experiences and cultural perspectives to the course.

Supporting your success

To support your writing project, you’ll learn from detailed online one-to-one tutorials and group conferences. We’ll match you with a published writer in your chosen genre who will be your personal tutor throughout the programme. As well as this one-to-one support, you’ll take part in virtual conferences where you’ll share your work with other students and members of our expert team.

Unmissable summer school

In the summer term of your first year, we run a week-long summer school on campus. Past students have travelled to Lancaster from locations ranging from the USA to Singapore. While this is an optional part of the programme, previous participants have said this is a highlight of the programme as they have the chance to meet other students in person, join interactive workshops and review their progress face-to-face.

During this exciting week, you’ll also benefit from interacting with professionals such as agents, publishers and writers who join us from across the UK. You’ll also take part in a field trip to the Wordsworth Trust in the beautiful Lake District.

Your department

  • English Literature and Creative Writing Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The DLMA Creative writing is taught by a dedicated team of award-winning, critically-acclaimed authors of fiction, poetry and script. The staff may change from time to time, but the following gives you a good idea of our current team.

by Professor Jenn Ashworth

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by Sarah Corbett

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by Tajinder Hayer

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by Conor O'Callaghan

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by Professor Paul Farley

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by Michelene Wandor

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by Eoghan Walls

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by Professor Emeritus & Course Founder Graham Mort

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Many of our past students have gone on to publish their work and make a career out of their passion for writing. So, if you’ve always wanted to get your work published, this course is for you.

We’ll give you the support you need to become the best writer you can be, and our staff will share their own experiences with you to inspire you on your journey.

Other students have combined their writing with careers in teaching. Journalism and the media are also potential career paths.

Published graduates

Many of our graduates have gone on to successful publishing careers. You too might become one of these.

by Amali Rodrigo

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by Barbara Schoichet

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by Ruth Taaffe

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by Nguyan Phan Que Mai

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by Jacob Anthony Ramirez

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by Helen Taylor

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by Liz Monument

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by Gail Kirkpatrick

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements.

2:1 degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications on an individual basis where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result or extensive relevant experience. You should clearly be able to demonstrate how your skills have prepared you for relevant discussions and assessments during postgraduate study.

Please contact us for more information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you also need to provide

  • A portfolio of original writing (no more than 12 poems or 20 pages of prose/scriptwriting) showing potential for publication.
  • An outline (approximately 300-400 words) of your proposed project, which is the single point of assessment and is submitted at the end of the course. This could be a collection of short stories, poems, a script, extracts from a longer fiction, creative non-fiction, or life writing piece.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications .

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email [email protected]

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.

The distance learning MA in Creative Writing is a two-year part-time course. It allows the convenience of study from home, enabling online tutorials with a professional writer who will respond to your work through detailed written reports. The course accommodates a range of writing, from poetry to fictional forms and is mediated through a simple virtual learning environment. Our approach is student-centred and designed to support a writing project that you will outline at the point of application.

Personal online tutorials are held twice a term and you will also participate in termly online conferences, sharing work and critical perspectives with other students. There is a week-long optional Summer school at the end of the first year. This takes the form of an intensive week of workshops, and provides a valuable addition to the course when you can meet your tutors and fellow students as well as industry professionals such as writers, editors and agents.

Fees and funding

General fees and funding information

There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.

Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.

College fees

Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee  which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.

For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.

Computer equipment and internet access

To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated  IT support helpdesk  is available in the event of any problems.

The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.

For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.

For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.

The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your  fee status .

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about  fees in subsequent years .

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities .

We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries .

Similar courses

English literature and creative writing.

  • Creative Writing PhD
  • Creative Writing (modular) MA
  • Creative Writing with English Literary Studies MA
  • English Literary Research MA
  • English Literary Studies MA
  • English Literary Studies with Creative Writing MA
  • English Literature PhD
  • English Literature and Creative Writing PhD
  • Gender Studies and English MA

David Craig crouching down beside his labrador dog.

David Craig Memorial Fund

Level of Study: Master's degree

Details of Award: The David Craig Writing Award was set up in David’s memory by his four children, Marian, Peter, Donald and Neil, and his wife Anne Spillard Craig, with the support of Lancaster University. One award is made each year to a student starting a Master’s programme in Creative Writing . The award is made on the basis of the student having applied and received an offer to join the programme, and a short statement about how they would use the award. We look for evidence that the award will help them become a successful writer whose work connects experience, place, and history.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information .

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies .

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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Transfer credits, next start date, grow your writing passion into a career with liberty’s online mfa in creative writing.

Many people write creatively, but few hone their skills to develop their writing craft to its highest form. Even fewer learn the other skills it takes to become a successful writer, such as the steps needed to get a book published and into the hands of readers. Liberty’s 100% online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing can help you develop your writing passion into a career so you can set your works free to impact culture and the world.

Employers in every industry need professionals who have strong writing skills, so you can be confident that your ability to write effectively can also help set you apart in your current career. With in-demand writing expertise and the ability to customize your degree with electives in literature or writing practice, Liberty’s online MFA in Creative Writing can help you achieve your professional writing goals.

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is designed to help you build on your writing skills with specific workshops dedicated to the craft of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or screenwriting. With a work-in-progress approach to writing practice and mentorship from our faculty of experienced writers and scholars, you can learn the specific skills you need to make your writing stand out.

What is an MFA in Creative Writing?

A Master of Fine Arts degree, or MFA, is a terminal degree in an artistic craft that demonstrates that you have achieved the highest level of training and skill in your discipline. Like a doctorate, an MFA often allows you to teach courses at the graduate level while also providing many opportunities for scholarship and leadership in education. If you want to grow your creative writing skills to become the best writer you can be, then the Master of Fine Arts can help you get there.

Why Choose Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing?

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is mainly offered in an 8-week course format, and our tuition rate for graduate programs hasn’t increased in 9 years. Through our program, you can study the writing process and develop your creative skills through workshops with experienced writing professionals. With our flexible format, you can grow in your creative writing while continuing to do what is important to you.

As a terminal degree, the online MFA in Creative Writing can also help you pursue opportunities to teach writing at the K-12 or college level. You will gain comprehensive and in-depth exposure to writing, literature, publishing, and many other professional writing skills that you can pass on to students. Partner with the Liberty family and learn under faculty who have spent years in the field you love. Your career in professional writing starts here.

What Will You Learn in Our MFA in Creative Writing?

The MFA in Creative Writing program is designed to help you become an excellent creative writer across the genres of creative fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and poetry. You can learn how to produce aesthetically and culturally engaged creative works while gaining professional knowledge and practice. You will also study foundational contemporary literature so that you have a background in studying important works to draw on for your writing.

To help you in your professional writing, you will also study many essential skills in editing, layout, and the business of publishing so that you can best position yourself for success in the market. Through your creative writing courses and workshops, you can develop your craft so that you will be ready for your thesis project.

Here are a few examples of the skills Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing can help you master:

  • Marketing your projects and pursuing new writing opportunities
  • Organizing writing and adapting it to different types of writing
  • Tailoring writing to specific audiences and markets
  • Understanding what makes art effective, compelling, and impactful
  • Writing compelling stories that engage readers

Featured Courses

  • ENGL 600 – Editing, Layout, and Publishing
  • ENGL 601 – Writing as Cultural Engagement
  • ENGL 603 – Literary Theory and Practice
  • WRIT 610 – Writing Fiction

MFA in Creative Writing Degree Information

  • This program falls under the College of Arts and Sciences .
  • Download and review the Degree Completion Plan .
  • Download and review the Graduate Manual for MFA .
  • View our Graduate Arts and Sciences Course Guides (login required) .

Apply Now     Request Info

Military Benefits for Our Online MFA in Creative Writing Degree

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.

As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits: 

  • Tuition discounts — $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

Career Opportunities for MFA in Creative Writing Graduates

  • Book and magazine writer
  • Business communications specialist
  • Creative writing instructor
  • Publications editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Website copy editor and writer
  • Writing manager

Admission Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Applicants must have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or above cumulative GPA for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information. 

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
  • Creative writing sample
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.

**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first. 

Highlights of Our Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility . Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America . Earning your online MFA degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.
  • With creative writing workshops and a thesis project, you will receive support and guidance to help you become the best writer you can be.
  • You can complete the MFA in Creative Writing in as little as 2 years!

*Some restrictions may occur for this promotion to apply. This promotion also excludes active faculty and staff, military, Non-Degree Seeking, DGIA, Continuing Education, WSB, and Certificates.

Apply FREE This Week*

Other programs you may be interested in

Master of Arts (MA)


Next Start Date: Mar 18, 2024

Professional Writing

Strategic communication: digital communication, visual communication design.

Master of Science (MS)

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You have to have a lot of self-motivation and self-discipline when you are going to school online, but the amazing thing is at Liberty you do not need to do it by yourself. You really do have resources like someone who is going to school on campus.

– Janae Fleming ’15, B.S. in Education

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  • Litowitz MFA+MA Program

The Litowitz MFA+MA Program in Creative Writing and English

Program faculty, the department of english is grateful to northwestern university alumna jennifer leischner litowitz ’91 and her husband, alec litowitz for helping launch and support this program..

The Litowitz MFA+MA Program in Creative Writing offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both creative and critical writing, close mentorship by renowned faculty in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, and three fully supported years in which to grow as writers and complete a book-length creative project.  The Litowitz MFA+MA curriculum gives students time to deepen both their creative writing and their study of literature.  Students will receive full financial support for three academic years and two summers, a total of 33 months.  Both degrees—the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in English—are awarded simultaneously at graduation.

Drawing on innovative scholarship, deep immersion in process, and cross-pollination between critical and creative texts, Litowitz students will complete a Capstone essay—a 20-25 page expanded version of a paper written for an English department graduate or MFA+MA seminar—by the end of their second year, and will spend their third year working on a book-length creative thesis of their own design, either within one genre or across genres.  The MFA+MA program's small size and attentive faculty will develop students' sense of literary context, the possibilities of genre, and their creative practice, while encouraging them to pursue the individual distinctiveness of their projects.

The Litowitz MFA+MA program provides significant exposure to a second genre in addition to the genre in which a student has been admitted. Students must take at least one out-of-genre workshop and have the option of taking more.

Over two years of coursework students will take:

In spring quarter of the second year, with advising and mentoring by the faculty, each student will complete the MA Capstone Essay.

In year three, students will be almost wholly dedicated to their creative thesis manuscripts.  Third-year students will take three quarters of the MFA Thesis Workshop/Tutorial.

Some students will complete their MFA thesis manuscript by the end of this year; others will wish to take more time.  The Graduate School permits students to submit the culminating project for the MFA at the end of full-time enrollment, or afterward.   

In all three years, students will be mentored by the faculty in the practice of their writing, the design of their projects, and regarding artistic and intellectual resources for their work.  In the teaching of creative writing and, through summer editorial work at , students will get first-hand experience in editing a literary journal.

Visiting writers (including some anglophone international writers) will bring new perspectives to artistic practice, the three genres, and cross-genre or multi-genre work.

Students will pursue their work on our beautiful Evanston campus, amid artists, filmmakers, scholars and public intellectuals, with easy access to the vibrant literary arts scene of Chicago.

Admissions Cycle

Each year, the MFA+MA program admits new students in two of our three genres.  The genres in question rotate annually.  Information on the application process and the genres in which applications will be considered can be found here .

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  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
  • MA in Creative Writing

This qualification is an opportunity to develop your skills as a writer in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and scriptwriting for film, radio and the stage. You'll be able to write in a genre of your choice and experiment with at least one other through practical and inspiring activities. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard. You'll also hone your practice through sharing, reading and critiquing the writing of your peers in online forums. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard.

  • Develop writing skills and awareness of approaches to writing
  • Progress and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one genre
  • Gain a sound knowledge of, and ability in, a secondary genre
  • Engage in sharing, critiquing and reviewing a variety of writing by your peers.

Study for free We’ve a limited number of scholarships available to UK students for the 2023/24 academic year. If you’re passionate about creative writing, you could be eligible for an Open Futures Scholarship. To apply, visit our Creative Writing Scholarship page. Applications close on 24 July 2023.

How to register

Select the module you will study first, read the full description, and follow the instructions to register.

To gain the 180 credits you require for this qualification, you must study the modules in the order shown below and pass part 1 before progressing to part 2:

Please note that MA Creative Writing part 2 (A803) is worth 120 credits. Module fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for the 60-credit module MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802).

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer  website.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in Creative Writing, entitling you to use the letters MA (CW) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony. If you leave the programme before you qualify for a degree you can qualify for a  Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities (C20)  after successfully completing 60 credits.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations  website. 

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us . This description was last updated on 14 March 2023.

You must hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent), preferably with at least a 2:1 classification. Although your degree does not need to be in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, you will need some knowledge of the subject to successfully complete this qualification, as the MA in Creative Writing assumes all candidates have the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. Please note that this is not a qualification for those who are just starting to write creatively

If your degree is not in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, we strongly recommend that you read the preparatory work indicated on the MA Creative Writing part 1 . Alternatively, you could undertake our open-access creative writing courses on OpenLearn  and FutureLearn to ensure your skills (writing, reading, editorial, reflective, analytical) are at an appropriate standard. If you don’t have a Creative Writing degree, please also make sure that you provide evidence of your experience of writing when you apply – whether through short courses, workshops, or publications.

How long it takes

You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must complete them in a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.

Career relevance

If you wish to pursue a freelance writing career this Masters degree will equip you with necessary writing and editorial skills, as well as equipping you with a raft of highly valued transferable communication and collaborative skills necessary to the modern writer’s usual portfolio of occupations.

If you are aiming for an academic career in higher education, this qualification will provide a route towards a higher level research or writing practice degree (e.g. PhD), which is essential for such a career. A Masters degree can help to enhance your career prospects as a teacher in secondary and higher education (HE); most HE creative writing teaching now demands an MA in the subject.

If your aim is to enter professions associated with the media, culture, creative or knowledge industries, or if you already have a career in one of these areas and are seeking a further qualification as a means of career development, then a Masters degree, supplemented by relevant skills and experience, can prove invaluable. This degree is pertinent to those careers that directly call upon knowledge of the craft of writing, editing and critiquing (for instance, journalism, publishing, copywriting). It may also be relevant for careers that demand skills in the creative use and analysis of texts of various sorts, critical thinking and organisation, and understanding of culture in a broad sense.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Request your prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus

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Online Masters in Creative Writing Programs in America

1-22 of 22 results

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Baltimore, MD •

Johns Hopkins University •

Graduate School

  • • Rating 4.53 out of 5   19 reviews

Master's Student: I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student Advisor, Alexis has been extremely helpful in initiating my enrollment process and answering all of my questions in a timely matter. My intended Advanced Academic Program is the accelerated (2 semester), dual-modality, 40-credit M.S. in Biotechnology, Biodefense concentration. All of the anticipated course subjects are diverse and there's even a customizable core lab course on campus (at least until Summer 2024). I can't wait and I wish you all the best in your search for academic programs or professional certifications. ... Read 19 reviews

Johns Hopkins University ,

Graduate School ,


19 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student... .

Read 19 reviews.

University of Utah - College of Humanities

Salt Lake City, UT •

University of Utah •

University of Utah ,


College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Riverside, CA •

University of California - Riverside •

  • • Rating 4.25 out of 5   4 reviews

Master's Student: I hope to learn a lot from the Teacher Education Program at UCR! I love the opportunities that are offered to me and my peers. ... Read 4 reviews

Blue checkmark.

University of California - Riverside ,


4 Niche users give it an average review of 4.3 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I hope to learn a lot from the Teacher Education Program at UCR! I love the opportunities that are offered to me and my peers. .

Read 4 reviews.

Wilkes University

Graduate School •


  • • Rating 4.05 out of 5   21

College of Arts and Sciences - Arcadia University

Arcadia University •


Queens University of Charlotte


  • • Rating 4.84 out of 5   19

College of Arts and Sciences - Wilkes University

Wilkes-barre, PA •

Wilkes University •

Wilkes University ,


College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media - University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, NE •

University of Nebraska at Omaha •

University of Nebraska at Omaha ,


College of Letters and Sciences - National University

San Diego, CA •

National University •

National University ,


  • Find college scholarships

Charlotte, NC •

  • • Rating 4.84 out of 5   19 reviews

Master's Student: Although I have not started classes, yet I have been pleased with the information I have learned from the professors and the opportunities now being in a program at this institution will have for my career. ... Read 19 reviews


19 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Although I have not started classes, yet I have been pleased with the information I have learned from the professors and the opportunities now being in a program at this institution will have for my... .

Bay Path University

Longmeadow, MA •

  • • Rating 4.52 out of 5   25 reviews

Master's Student: I attended Bay Path for my bachelors degree in Child Psychology and I am very excited to be returning for the mental health counseling program for graduate school. What I love most about Bay Path is the flexibility and the ability to complete my degree 100% online. The staff at Bay Path are always kind and happy to help no matter what department you are dealing with. I am returning as a graduate student entering a new program after struggling with the ABA program. The ABA has strict guidelines around supervision and your supervisor must be a Bay Path employee. Because of this I had to get a new job and was miserable. I took some time off to explore other programs where I could return to my old job. For those interested in the ABA program do your research ahead of time so you do not end up like me! The mental health counseling degree is much more flexible and I am very excited to start this journey! ... Read 25 reviews


25 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I attended Bay Path for my bachelors degree in Child Psychology and I am very excited to be returning for the mental health counseling program for graduate school. What I love most about Bay Path is... I am returning as a graduate student entering a new program after struggling with the ABA program. The ABA has strict guidelines around supervision and your supervisor must be a Bay Path employee.... .

Read 25 reviews.

Concordia University - St. Paul

St Paul, MN •

  • • Rating 4.49 out of 5   55 reviews

Master's Student: Course syllabus and expectations are clearly defined. Instructors provide timely and helpful feedback and facilitate thoughtful dialogue regarding topics of study. I always receive answers to my questions within 24hours and the instructors make themselves available for personal coaching and development needs. Online courses typically utilize textbooks and resources available within the university library which helps decrease costs. ... Read 55 reviews


55 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Course syllabus and expectations are clearly defined. Instructors provide timely and helpful feedback and facilitate thoughtful dialogue regarding topics of study. I always receive answers to my... .

Read 55 reviews.

Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

The University of Baltimore •

  • • Rating 3 out of 5   2 reviews

The University of Baltimore ,

2 Niche users give it an average review of 3 stars.

Read 2 reviews.

College of Arts and Humanities - Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA •

Central Washington University •

Central Washington University ,


College of Liberal Arts - University of Texas - El Paso

El Paso, TX •

University of Texas - El Paso •

  • • Rating 5 out of 5   6 reviews

Master's Student: UTEP's Online MFA program is flexible and allows students to do the program at their own pace. It is perfect for Full time workers and families. The professors are experts in their craft and are always available for their students. ... Read 6 reviews

University of Texas - El Paso ,


6 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says UTEP's Online MFA program is flexible and allows students to do the program at their own pace. It is perfect for Full time workers and families. The professors are experts in their craft and are... .

Read 6 reviews.

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  • Online Professional and Technical Writing Programs
  • Public Administration Graduate Programs

Western New England University College of Arts and Sciences

Springfield, MA •

Western New England University •

Western New England University ,


College of Arts and Sciences - Ashland University

Ashland, OH •

Ashland University •

Ashland University ,


Full Sail University

Winter Park, FL •

  • • Rating 4.73 out of 5   164 reviews

Other: Full Sail University is an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in the entertainment or media industry. The campus is state-of-the-art and the faculty is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. The hands-on approach to learning really sets Full Sail apart from other colleges and allows students to gain practical skills that will benefit them in their future careers. The school also offers a wide variety of programs and resources to help students succeed both academically and professionally. Overall, I highly recommend Full Sail University to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. ... Read 164 reviews


164 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Other says Full Sail University is an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in the entertainment or media industry. The campus is state-of-the-art and the faculty is extremely knowledgeable and... .

Read 164 reviews.

Glenside, PA •

Arcadia University ,


School of Arts - Fairleigh Dickinson University - Florham Campus

Madison, NJ •

Fairleigh Dickinson University - Florham Campus •

Fairleigh Dickinson University - Florham Campus ,


Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences

Cambridge, MA •

Lesley University •

  • • Rating 4.75 out of 5   4 reviews

Master's Student: Classes are challenging. The material covered sometimes feels beyond the scope of the class, yet appropriate to the specific module. Professors are responsive and generally provide great feedback. Classes are based off of a shell, so all students receive a very similar education even with different professors. ... Read 4 reviews

Lesley University ,


4 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Classes are challenging. The material covered sometimes feels beyond the scope of the class, yet appropriate to the specific module. Professors are responsive and generally provide great feedback.... .

School of Arts and Humanities - University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, AR •

University of Arkansas at Monticello •

University of Arkansas at Monticello ,


College of Education & Social Services - Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL •

Saint Leo University •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   3 reviews

Master's Student: I’m currently enrolled in the two year cohort social work program. Classes haven’t started yet but I was able to meet with a lot of staff before classes start. They have been helpful and are eager to assist me with any questions that I have in regards to the program. ... Read 3 reviews

Saint Leo University ,


3 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says I’m currently enrolled in the two year cohort social work program. Classes haven’t started yet but I was able to meet with a lot of staff before classes start. They have been helpful and are eager to... .

Read 3 reviews.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL •

  • • Rating 4 out of 5   21 reviews

Master's Student: At SAIC, they offer one of the best architecture education in my experience. The professors are exceptionally professional and knowledgeable, with real-time professional experience, some even having been worked with beknown architects around the globe, and receiving first hand education from such professionals is a privilege. Its not just that the school offers excellence in Architecture education, its the fact that it brings the mix of art into it, having art theory classes as part of curriculum, and other opportunities to indulge in Art, art related to technology, and hands-on material classes like object designing, is such an influential addition to the educational background for any student who goes to SAIC. I personally feel extremely honored and grateful to be a part of the SAIC Institution. ... Read 21 reviews


21 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says At SAIC, they offer one of the best architecture education in my experience. The professors are exceptionally professional and knowledgeable, with real-time professional experience, some even having... .

Read 21 reviews.

Emerson College

Boston, MA •

  • • Rating 4.72 out of 5   60 reviews

Master's Student: Emerson College's Communication Sciences and Disorders program is well-regarded. It prepares students for careers in speech-language pathology and related fields. The program likely includes coursework in areas like speech and language development, phonetics, anatomy, and disorders of communication. Students also typically gain practical experience through clinical placements. ... Read 60 reviews


60 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.

Featured Review: Master's Student says Emerson College's Communication Sciences and Disorders program is well-regarded. It prepares students for careers in speech-language pathology and related fields. The program likely includes... .

Read 60 reviews.

Showing results 1 through 22 of 22

MA in Creative Writing (Online)

Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition . 



Course details

Additional costs:   due to the nature of the subject, and copyright restrictions placed on institutional libraries by some publishers, students will need to purchase some core texts.

Support with your application:   Contact our course adviser team today for application advice.


Why this MA in Creative Writing?

It was Hull where Philip Larkin lived and worked at the University's Brynmor Jones Library for 30 years, writing most of his best work. A seafaring city that connected outwards and brought some of the exotic back to northern England.

Embracing Hull's global-facing outlook, MA Professor and accomplished author Martin Goodman describes the University's MA Creative Writing as an inspiring and collegial environment for online students who want to develop their distinctive voice as a creative writer.

There is also the option to attend face-to-face events , as you seek public recognition and become a valued, active member of a vibrant international creative writing community.

What you learn

Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition. Whatever your genre of preference, be it literary fiction, nonfiction, or the likes of fantasy, mystery or romance – you will have the opportunity to hone your creative writing skills and discover the techniques seminal writers have used to significant effect:

push your creative boundaries and give shape to a strong and original creative voice

expand your knowledge of the literary canon and acquire the art of reading as a literary writer 

gain an in-depth knowledge of structure which will help you towards a deeper understanding of your writing process 

become conversant with a range of textual elements such as the use of dialogue, point of view, perspective and sensory detail and apply learned technique to your preferred writing genre 

take your place within the international creative writing community. Critique the work of others and engender the view of published writers as colleagues from who you can learn 

  • develop your practice as a creative writer, understand the editing and re-drafting process necessary to produce prose of a publishable standard.

Your questions answered Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby answers some key questions about the course, including which modules you'll study, how you'll learn online, and the entry requirements.


[upbeat music plays throughout]

Dr Chris Westoby: So there are five modules over the course of two years. You're introduced to the programme with The Writer's Craft, which is designed by our programme founder, Martin Goodman. The Writer's Craft teaches you key writing concepts at MA level, how to analyze the work of exemplary authors and locate what makes their writing successful, so that you may apply such skills within your own practice, and you work upon and strengthen your unique writing voice.

This acts as your your foundation, your springboard, from which you launch into the central three genre specific modules. So you have Writing the Short Story, Writing from Life and Writing the Novel where you study and practice specific modes of writing in-depth.

By the end of these four taught modules, you'll be well equipped and raring to embark upon The Writer's Portfolio. This double length and double weighted module sees you liftoff into an extended writing project of your own design.

With the support of a supervisor chosen to help bring out the very best in your work. You learn through a a combination of writing exercises, lectures, guided critical reading, discussion, forums, workshops and webinars.

Well, this is hard to quantify because everyone works at different speeds, which is absolutely fine and part of what we're proud to accommodate. There are also extra elements to each model, which some students may wish to engage in such as further recommended reading.

Our standard entry requirements are a 2:2 BA honours degree or international equivalent.

However, we also recognize other forms of prior experience and therefore encourage anyone who is interested in the programme to get in touch.

Your application may discuss where your career has taken you so far and why this equips you with the skills designed to join this program. You might discuss other writing courses you've attended, which have provided a strong foundation. You might discuss inroads you have made into publication, all of which shows that you are ready to start sharing your work and have practiced polishing it.

Or you may simply demonstrate the strength of your potential as a writer through your creative writing sample.

Even without the standard entry requirements, you may be the ideal candidate for this programme. There are a number of non standard ways in which you may be considered, so please do get in touch.

Your assigned course advisor will help you form an application that lets your unique strengths shine.

Student work

Jinny Alexander - Dear Isobel

Dear Isobel

Sonia Ferrigno - Bedtime stories for kids

Bedtime Stories for Kids

The Watcher of the Night Sky - Rachel Pudsey

The Watcher Of The Night Sky (Book 1)

Post-Midnight Blues - Rae Toonery

Post-Midnight Blues

Eileen Dunne Crescenzi - Festa

Festa: A Year of Italian Celebrations - Recipes and Recollections

Ian Cartwright - Mental Health Home Group Material

Mental Health Home Group Material

Sarah Jane Wilson - Out there

Into Your Blues

Pack of Lies - Roz Levens

Pack of Lies

The Twinkling of an Eye - Sue Brown

The Twinkling Of An Eye

Thin - Ann K. Morris

Distant Voices: An anthology of stories

Course modules.

This masters degree allows you to develop your confidence and craft as a writer within a supportive, creative environment.

You study the following compulsory modules.

Because writing takes fire in the readers' mind, in this module, you will examine a wide range of literary works. Focusing primarily on textual elements including; sentence length and flow, perspective, choices of tense you will develop an understanding of how writers achieve their effects. Presented with sections of exemplary writing, you will move from your own visceral responses (e.g., excitement, intrigue, fear) to tracking how the writer deploys elements of craft to trigger desired emotions and atmosphere.

Short stories allow emerging writers to complete narrative arcs and establish a reputation through published works before tackling the longer form of a novel. In this module not only will you develop an appreciation of short stories from a range of international writers, but you will take the short story form and make it your own. Note that this module will also cover two sub-genres within the form; micro-fiction and flash fiction.

This module will introduce you to a wide range of nonfiction prose with a particular focus on travel writing, the essay, memoir, nature writing, and true-crime. You will produce your portfolio of work while practising a range of narrative nonfiction forms within a supportive, peer-driven environment.

What is it about an opening chapter of a novel that makes it virtually impossible to put it down? Throughout this module, you will improve upon your novel writing skills. The critique of your writing in a workshop setting will help you develop a keen awareness of narrative and narration along with a deep understanding of archetypes as an essential part of storytelling. As you develop plot and structure, you will employ editing and redrafting techniques to produce work you are proud to publish.

Creative writing is a rewarding process which requires immense personal discipline. In this module, you will receive guidance on how to structure your writing practice in this respect. Your prose portfolio (up to 15,000 words) represents the culmination of your MA Creative Writing programme. Here you will demonstrate your originality of ideas, grasp of technique and craft, presenting a unique and accomplished body of work to a publishable or near publishable standard.

Hear from our Alumni

Hear their stories, discover their motivations and the obstacles they overcame, and gain valuable insider perspectives.

Join us in May 24

What are the entry requirements.

A minimum 2.2 Bachelor Honours degree  or international equivalent . Applicants who do not meet this requirement may still be considered, but will need to present examples of relevant published work with their application

A creative writing sample (fiction or non-fiction) of 1,500 to 2,000 words

  • A personal statement of around 300-500 words. Click here for details of what should be included

An IELTS 6.0 score (with minimum 5.5 in each skill) if your first language isn’t English (or other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull )

One professional or academic reference

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please get in touch with our friendly course adviser team for advice:


“I chose Hull because I wanted to study somewhere where I would be pushed to break free from my comfort zone."

How you're assessed.

All assessments for the course are based on coursework and submitted online. There are no exams. 

Assessment methods

Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods including:

ongoing tutor and peer feedback

practical work, including group projects and discussion forums

Written assessments

You’ll also be asked to complete a variety of written assessments including:

Critical and creative responses, where you provide examples of crafting skills in work that interests you, and then provide short writing samples that utilise those techniques in your own work

Prose portfolios, comprising one or two pieces of original work

Commentary pieces, describing your ambitions and intent for your prose portfolios

Get more detailed information on the course assessment methods page:


Teaching team

Martin Goodman

Professor Martin Goodman

Christopher Westoby

Dr Christopher Westoby

Karina Lickorish Quinn

Dr Karina Lickorish Quinn

Mick Jackson

Dr Mick Jackson

Kate Horsley

Dr Kate Horsley

Barbara Henderson

Barbara Henderson

Tim Hannigan

Tim Hannigan

Megan Hayes

Dr Megan Hayes

Gaar Adams

Dr Elizabeth Watkinson

KR Moorhead

KR Moorhead

Maggie Hamand

Maggie Hamand

Broaden your horizons with face-to-face events.

At the University of Hull, we believe it’s important for students to feel a sense of connectedness, whether they’re studying on campus or online. This is why we hold up to two face-to-face events per year with creative workshops, talks from visionary academics, and a glance into the UK’s thriving creative writing community. Students from previous events have:  

  • Formed lasting friendships with fellow creatives  
  • Refined their creative writing style on the back of discussion and constructive criticism  
  • Drawn inspiration from new perspectives and literary genres  
  • Picked up insider knowledge on how to get their work published   

Want to flex your creative muscles, meet your tutors in-person, or form a rapport with like-minded people? You can do all this and more, while exploring topics outside of your course modules. Stay tuned for updates on our face-to-face events – we’d love to have you join us!  


What makes this course stand out? Hear from Programme Founder Professor Martin Goodman about what sets this Creative Writing masters degree apart.

[inspirational music plays throughout]

Hello I'm Martin Goodman, Professor of Creative Writing here at the University of Hull. I'm Director of this MA Online Creative Writing program. And I'm a writer like you. So part of our program here is to welcome fellow writers and encourage you to be the best writer you can be. This course for anybody who wants to take their creative writing seriously, for whom it's something very important. It's probably been very private 'til now, but you're ready to share it, and you're ready to share it, ideally in this online environment. This suits you. Writing is quite a private thing that happens on paper. But we know we have to share it at some times if we're going to reach other readers. So this is what we aim to do with you. The way this course works is to bring you through several different modules. The first one is writer's craft, where we will examine other writers and exemplary pieces of writing and their techniques, how they make their writing work and other readers' minds. And then you build up these skills as you're going through modules about writing the story of writing the novel, writing from life, and then you're released into an extended piece of writing, and that is where you're following the form that most appeals to you. We designed this course to help you build yourself into being the complete prose writer. For me, it's actually been very important to try out all of these fields. So I write novels, I write short stories. I also write non-fiction, I write biographies, I write travel pieces, I write reviews. All of these things are part of what makes a writer able to sustain a living in the world. And you don't have to always be working from your imagination. There's always something you can go to. And in each of these, you're also building up your own skills. So if your main desire in life is to be a novelist, the skills that you can find from learning how to write the creative nonfiction, writing from life, or how to build a little character arc within a short story. These are all essential to you. Every little piece of skill that you develop in writing any form will go into the form of your choosing. It's very important to me that we create a protected space around you. So you're not writing according to what some publisher takes as being that fits my box. You're writing the best work that can emerge from yourself inside this protected space, so it's not judgmental at all. We're completely free. We're saying, begin to yourself and write from that hidden space inside of you. I know that a lot of students are really bursting with their creative writing and looking for feedback, but they find it very hard to get into the classroom. Sometimes it's not good if you're a quiet person to have to face the bustle of a classroom, to have to put out your writing at this particular moment. It's much simpler to do that in your own time, to sort of breathe in. You post it online, and then other people can review it in their own time. That's really what this online course is doing. It is connecting the world through brilliant writers. 

Career prospects

By studying this course, you should gain the confidence and practical skills necessary to produce creative writing of a publishable or near-publishable standard, in your genre of choice.

Want to get published?

Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby discusses how studying creative writing at Hull led to his first book:


You'll also gain valuable transferrable skills which are in-demand across the creative industries and beyond.

MA Creative Writing graduates often go into successful careers in a broad range of industries, such as

professional writing/authorship

marketing and PR

heritage and tourism

journalism and broadcasting

museum curating

Ready to apply?

Our step-by-step application process is easy to follow.

The University of Hull and its digital courses provider, Hull Online Limited, delivered in partnership with Cambridge Education Group Digital (CEGD), will only use your personal data to contact you in relation to our courses. For further information, please see the privacy policy .

Request Info

Courses & Schedule

Get into your courses through our learning management system.

Tuition Payment

Waitlist/course, withdrawals and refunds, more resources you may be looking for:, professional creative writing: master’s degree.

Cultivate your writing skills, learn how to offer work to publishers and agents, and lay the foundation for creating a personal brand. With fellow writers, you’ll work through the whole writing process—from concept to first draft and creative revision to submission of a manuscript. You’ll craft a robust portfolio and, as part of your culminating project, research markets and prepare a finished work for submission

At a Glance

Classes Begin January 8

Format Asynchronous and Hybrid Online

Term Length 10 Weeks

Admission No GRE or GMAT

4 Course Certificate Tuition $12,896

Duration As few as 6 months

6 Course Certificate Tuition $19,344

Duration As few as 12 months

Master's Degree Tuition $38,688

Duration As few as 18 months

Top-Ranked University

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Talk to an Enrollment Manager

Chris Heriza 303-871-4785 Email me

Skills You’ll Learn

Craft writing with a keen awareness of the limits and opportunities of the writing’s genre

Cultivate writing routines and habits that support creative productivity

Define your audience and write in ways that move and entertain them


Professional creative nonfiction writing.

Master’s Degree Certificate

Professional Dramatic Writing

Professional fiction writing, professional poetry writing, professional creative writing at du stories of impact.

See how the University of Denver is leading the conversation on creative writing and developing professionals in the field with these stories of impact from our community.

Faculty Spotlight: Joseph Hutchison Publishes New Collection

Faculty Spotlight: Annie Dawid Explores Her Battle With Depression and Fascination with Jonestown

Alumnus Spotlight: New Graduate Plans to use Degree to Share Stories From the Past

Flexible Online Classes

We understand the demands of balancing work, friends and family, and school can be challenging. That's why at University College, you can complete your program entirely online. Our online learning platform makes it easy to work anywhere at any time.

Online Experience 5

Invest in Your Future

University College offers one of the best educational values for working professionals. Find ways to fund your education via the resources below. Financial Aid 5 Scholarships 5 Employment Reimbursement 5 Veteran Services 5

typed script on white paper

Master of Humanities

  • Creative Writing

improve your writing for publication

30 credit, 18-month program.

If you have a passion for writing and seek to publish your work, Tiffin University’s Master of Humanities in Creative Writing can help you improve your writing skills and reach your goals. In our program, students work in writing workshops with fellow students and instructors who themselves have published texts. You will learn to write in different genres and explore your writing voice as you develop a portfolio working towards your capstone project.

The Master of Humanities in Creative Writing is designed to improve your writing skills and help you work towards publication. It will also prepare you to lead creative writing workshops or other teaching opportunities open for creative writers. You will learn how theory turns into practice by participating in writing workshops with instructors and other students. In addition to improving your writing skills, our students enjoy creative assignments that build critical thinking and analysis skills in all courses.

As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to inspire others and continue your creative endeavors as you seek publishing opportunities. Our faculty will guide you through courses and help you reach your potential.

Tiffin University’s MH in Creative Writing was designed for anyone who enjoys writing and seeks to publish their work and anyone who wants to share that knowledge and love of writing with others.

professional Creative writing training

  • All faculty within the program hold a terminal degree (M.F.A. or Ph.D.) in the field.
  • Class sizes are small, allowing professors to provide timely, productive feedback and interactions with students.
  • A graduate advisor is specific to the program and will work one-on-one with you to determine your individualized pathway to graduation.
  • The program prepares you for writing and publishing your own work or for further graduate study.
  • 100% online, with a combination of 7-week courses
  • Students have options to begin their program at three different times throughout the year (January, May, and August).
  • As a full-time student, you can complete your program in less than two years.

Each instructor within the Master of Humanities program brings experience in their field of study. They bring this real-world knowledge to their teaching, to the building of our curriculum as subject matter experts and to their interactions with students on a daily basis.

As part of our professional program, you’ll learn career-ready skills that will prepare you for a job within the field of Creative Writing. Courses are relevant, and all content is focused on practical skills. You’ll apply your knowledge as you engage in creative assignments, working both individually and in group discussions and projects.

The program will prepare you to be an effective communicator in the field, as well as an accomplished creative writer in a variety of genres who can share their knowledge effectively with others. If you enjoy writing, then the MH in Creative Writing is for you.

Within the Creative Writing program, you’ll actively engage through discussions with your peers and instructors. Each week, you’ll engage with classmates and complete a creative writing assignment. You’ll apply your learning as you participate in writing workshops and discuss ideas with others.

Within the program, you’ll continuously work on your communication and problem-solving skills as you take part in weekly discussions and assignments. These assignments, focused on writing in multiple genres, will require you to critically think about how texts are created and how ideas are communicated.

You’ll participate in a capstone project that allows you to create more texts and/or revise work you’ve already completed. By the end of the capstone project, you will have a polished writing sample that you can use for future graduate applications and/or seek to publish.

Online – Offered in 7-week courses, starting in January, May and August


Graduate Rhetoric/Composition (ENG505) – This course strengthens students’ writing ability so that they can write appropriately at the graduate level. It also provides a foundation of knowledge in rhetoric and composition for students wishing to teach college level writing. The course will be organized around the five canons of rhetoric: Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, and Delivery.

Research Methods (ENG525) – This course is a practical introduction to doing research in graduate school. It will introduce students to “joining the scholarly conversation” in their chosen concentration, including finding, evaluating, and using appropriate graduate-level sources. The course will begin with a discussion on the differences between an undergraduate and a graduate education, including expectations in the classroom, and then move to practical skills in working with primary and secondary sources, including the importance of peer review. Students will ultimately write a critical history on a topic or text of their choice, chosen with help from the instructor.

All MH concentrations offered:

  • Art & Visual Media
  • Film Studies
  • Rhetoric & Composition

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. The median annual wage for writers and authors was $67,120 in May 2020.

The online Masters in Humanities in Creative Writing program prepares you for positions related to:

  • Community College & CCP Education – English & Creative Writing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Publication Assistance
  • Public Relations/Advertising
  • Technical Writing

what is creative writing?

Creative writing is any form of writing that exists outside of journalism, business writing or academic writing. Creative writing expresses an author’s unique voice, writing style, thoughts and ideas in an imaginative and engaging manner.

what is a master’s in creative writing?

A master’s in creative writing helps students improve writing skills and reach writing goals. In this program, students work in writing workshops with fellow students and instructors who themselves have published texts. Students will learn to write in different genres and explore their writing voice as they develop a portfolio working toward their capstone project.

what can i do with a degree in creative writing?

With a degree in creative writing, you will be qualified for a variety of career opportunities, including community college and CCP Education – English and Creative Writing, authoring, editing, freelance writing, journalism, publication assistance, public relations and advertising, technical writing and more.

MH Creative Writing Program Requirements

Master’s programs.

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MH Creative Writing

Mh film studies.

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Mba data & analytics, mba forensics & fraud examination, mba leadership & change, mba strategic brand & digital marketing, med higher education administration, med instructional design, mh art & visual media, mh rhetoric & composition, at a glance.

  • Prepare to be an author
  • Emphasis on creative writing workshops
  • All faculty hold a terminal degree (M.F.A or Ph.D.) and have worked and/or published in the field
  • Hands-on curriculum provides career-ready skills

“The courses are very interactive, giving students many opportunities to get to know their professors and classmates. While the courses are not in person or live, I have had excellent conversations with my professors and peers.”

What Can You Do with a Master of Humanities Degree?

Where a Master of Humanities Degree Can Take You

Alumni Spotlight: Christina Chilelli, Master of Humanities in Creative Writing

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Master of Arts (MA) in Writing | Northwestern SPS - Northwestern School of Professional Studies

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Program Overview

Master’s in Writing

MA in Writing

Northwestern’s part-time Master of Arts in Writing program provides students the opportunity to grow as artists within the specializations of fiction, nonfiction, popular fiction, and poetry. A dual-genre specialization is also offered, as well as a publishing and professional development track that combines publishing industry-related instruction with the creative coursework of the writing workshops. The small-group workshop format allows for individual attention from published, award-winning faculty . Students also have the opportunity to learn the ropes in teaching writing, publishing, and editing. Flexible scheduling — with courses offered evenings and weekends on Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses as well as online and in hybrid format — gives students the opportunity to balance their professional, personal and writing lives. While earning their degrees, students connect with other writers at readings and other events in an artistic community that extends beyond the University into Chicagoʼs vibrant literary scene.

About the MA in Writing

Writing program goals, ma in writing courses, curriculum for ma in writing, writing faculty, master's in writing admission, tuition and financial aid for writing, registration information for writing, careers in writing.

Juan Martinez

Some of the bravest, most interesting writers I've encountered come from this program. They've lived, they've been out in the world, and they're willing to find ways to transmute that experience into compelling, transformative work.”

Students form lasting bonds with each other and with their professors. The years students have spent in the SPS creative writing program, some have told me, are the most creatively rewarding ones they've experienced.”

Christine Sneed

Teaching in Northwestern's part-time writing program has been a career highlight for me. The program is enriched by its students who come from various backgrounds and careers. The diversity of passions, insights and life experiences helps to create a truly unique and rewarding learning experience.”

  • To help students determine the strengths and weaknesses of their writing, and learn how to evaluate criticism of their work
  • To teach students how to take their writing apart, re-think and revise it
  • To show students how to experiment with different styles and forms
  • To guide students in creating a publishable manuscript or portion of one
  • To teach students how to read literature as a writer and a critic
  • To train students to teach creative writing, informed by current pedagogy and classroom experience
  • To give students the opportunity to edit an international literary magazine with their peers
  • To provide students with the tools to create strong applications for jobs in teaching, publishing, and editing

Core Courses

  • 3-4 workshops in a chosen genre: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or popular fiction (number of workshops depends on specialization)
  • 2 graduate-level literature courses


  • Courses drawn from MCW special topics courses, internships in teaching, publishing, and arts administration, literature courses or liberal studies courses. Students may also take an independent study courses as an elective.


  • MCW 590 Capstone Writing and Revision

Electives are chosen from the graduate course offerings in the Master of Arts in Literature program, creative writing special topics courses (MCW 490) and the seminars and internships (practica) in teaching and publishing. Since good writers also need to be good readers, students must take electives in literary studies. Recent electives include courses on reading poetry; the narrator in fiction, nonfiction and poetry; and writing humor. Independent studies round out the program and provide an opportunity to strengthen writing portfolios.

The final project of both the MA and MFA programs is a creative thesis, an original work of high literary merit (judged on the basis of art as well as craft). The creative thesis is structured and revised under the supervision of a faculty member (or faculty mentor) and a second reader. The project may be one long piece or a series of shorter pieces. It may include or be an expansion of work written during the student's course of study as long as it represents a culminating effort to shape stories, prose pieces, a long piece, or a group of poems into a coherent, self-sufficient work. This large-scale project supplements the smaller-scale study of craft with the invaluable experience of creating a larger work. And for students who plan to pursue book-length publication after graduation, the master's creative thesis may be the first version of a work in progress.

Northwestern also offers a part-time MFA program in Prose and Poetry .

Explore MA in Writing Courses . You can narrow your course search by day, location or instructor.

Learn from a faculty of esteemed writers in small-group workshops where instructors facilitate discussions that help students examine and address strengths and weaknesses in their writing as well as open up possibilities for re-thinking and revising. Get to know the instructors on our MA in Writing Faculty page.

Candidates for admission to the MA in Writing program must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or its foreign equivalent and possess a strong academic record, preferably in English, writing or related fields. For a complete list of requirements, see the Admission page for SPS graduate programs.

Tuition for the MA in Writing program at Northwestern is comparable to similar US programs. Financial aid opportunities exist for students at Northwestern. Complete details can be found on the MA in Writing Tuition and Financial Aid pages.

Already accepted into the Master's in Writing program? Get ahead and register for your classes as soon as possible to ensure maximum efficiency in your progress. 


Northwestern University’s MA in Writing is an art degree. Students pursue the degrees in order to become better writers, able to create prose and poetry that draw on a full range of the craft. On a more practical level, MA students become better writers, which prepares them for a variety of careers. For details visit the  Writing Career Options page.

Find out more about Northwestern's MA in Writing

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Course type

Qualification, university name, online ma creative writing.

9 degrees at 7 universities in the UK.

Customise your search

Select the start date, qualification, and how you want to study

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Related subjects:

  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA Communication Design
  • MA Communication Studies
  • MA Communications and Media
  • MA Digital Arts
  • MA Digital Media
  • MA Documentary Photography
  • MA Film Special Effects
  • MA Film Studies
  • MA Film and Television Production
  • MA Film and Video Production
  • MA Media Production
  • MA Multimedia
  • MA Novel Writing
  • MA Photography
  • MA Photography history
  • MA Play Writing
  • MA Screenplay Writing
  • MA Visual Communication

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  • Course title (A-Z)
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  • Price: high - low
  • Price: low - high

MA Novel Writing (Distance Education)

Middlesex university.

  • 1 year Online degree: £8,600 per year (UK)
  • Writing as a Novelist (30 Credits) - Core
  • Reading as a Novelist (30 Credits) - Core
  • Research: Writing, Markets, Audiences (30 Credits) - Core
  • Developing and Publishing the Novel (30 Credits) - Core
  • Major Project (60 Credits) - Core
  • View all modules

Manchester Metropolitan University

  • 1 year Full time degree: £9,000 per year (UK)
  • 2 years Online degree: £4,500 per year (UK)
  • 2 years Part time degree: £4,500 per year (UK)
  • Teaching Creative Writing (15 Credits) - Core
  • Writing About Relationships (15 Credits) - Core
  • The Industry (30 Credits) - Core
  • Reading Unit 1 (30 Credits) - Core
  • Reading Unit 2 (15 Credits) - Core

MA in Creative Writing (Online)

University of hull.

  • 2 years Online degree: £5,300 per year (UK)
  • The Writer's Craft (30 Credits) - Core
  • Writing the novel (30 Credits) - Core
  • The Writer's Portfolio (60 Credits) - Core
  • Writing from Life (30 Credits) - Core
  • Writing the short story (30 Credits) - Core

Creative Writing (Online) MA

Teesside university, middlesbrough.

  • 2 years Online degree: £4,860 per year (UK)
  • 14 months Online degree: £4,165 per year (UK)
  • Creative Writing Project- Core
  • Core Skills and Techniques- Core
  • The Professional Writer in the World- Core
  • Writing and the Self- Core
  • Writing Specialisms- Core

Creative Writing and Wellbeing (Online) MA

  • 2 years Online degree
  • 14 months Online degree
  • The Creative Writing and Wellbeing Project- Core

Writing for Young People (Online) MA

Bath spa university.

  • 2 years Online degree: £4,528 per year (UK)
  • Writing Workshop Autumn: Writing for Young People
  • Context Module One: Writing for Young People: Forms, Ages and Stages
  • Writing Workshop Spring: Writing for Young People
  • Writing for Young People: Contemporary Children?s Publishing
  • The Manuscript (double module)

MA Writing for Script & Screen (Online)

Falmouth university.

  • 2 years Online degree: £6,075 per year (UK)
  • Screen Industries: Professional Development (30 Credits) - Core
  • Storytelling for Script & Screen (30 Credits) - Core
  • Writer's Room: Collaborative Script Development (30 Credits) - Core
  • Final Major Project (60 Credits) - Core
  • Individual Script Development Workshop (30 Credits) - Core

MA Contemporary Creative Writing

Northeastern university london.

  • 1 year Online degree: £9,000 per year (UK)
  • LCWRI7200 Creative Writing Now (30 Credits)
  • LCWRI7201 Publishing Your Writing (30 Credits)
  • Dissertation: Publication Portfolio (60 Credits)

Comedy Writing MA (Online)

  • CWO720 Individual Comedy Script Development (30 Credits) - Core
  • CWO710 Comic Storytelling for Screen & Audio (30 Credits) - Core
  • CWO730 Comedy Writers' Room: Collaborative Script Development (30 Credits) - Core
  • CWO740 Screen Industries: Professional Development in Comedy (30 Credits) - Core

Course type:

  • Distance learning MA
  • Full time MA
  • Part time MA


Related subjects:.

English and creative writing degrees

Master's Degree in Creative Writing

Why earn your creative writing degree at saint leo university.

Whether your dream is to share your personal story as a memoir, to write a fantasy novel, or to create a lyrical collection of poetry, our low-residency Master of Arts in Creative Writing program can take your creativity and professionalism to the next level within a supportive community of peers and mentors.

Our low-residency format provides extreme flexibility for working adults, active-duty military members, veterans, and parents, meaning that you can pursue your writing goals online without interrupting your existing commitments to career, community, and family. You’ll spend one week each summer in an intensive residency, located at our beautiful university campus here in Saint Leo, Florida. Because the residency is scheduled to minimize its impact on student lives by beginning and ending on the weekend, it’s possible to enroll in our graduate program and spend just five business days away from home each year. You’ll then return home energized and inspired to work on your own creative project and enroll in semester online courses taught by members of our core faculty, all of whom are published writers of national reputation.

Designed to be completed in just two calendar years, this 36-hour master’s degree requires three summer residencies, four semesters of study, and a book-length thesis of the student’s creative work.

The 2024 summer residency will be held from Monday July 8th to Saturday July 13th on University Campus.

  • The Saint Leo MA offers an affordable way for apprentice writers to explore and enhance their creative lives and to become part of a vibrant literary community.

The Master of Arts in Creative Writing is an advanced program that offers genre specializations in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We especially acknowledge the needs of active-duty military members and veterans.

Take the Next Step

Pay for the january mini-residency:.

Your education at Saint Leo University is an investment in your future, and the January Mini-Residency is no exception. To secure the top-tier payment option for this prestigious program, simply use the add to cart button provided below, and embark on a transformative journey at Saint Leo University.

(The Mini-Residency is free for current MA in Creative Writing students, MA in Creative Writing alumni, and current Saint Leo undergraduate students.)

Master's Creative Writing Program Details

Learn your way: what are the benefits of earning your creative writing degree online.


Saint Leo University’s online learning experience  provides a well-rounded education with the flexibility  to tailor your course of study to meet your individual  needs. We know our students have lives outside  school, and we seek to meet them where they are.  Online students can count on receiving excellent  academics as well as opportunities for hands-on  learning.

Learn About the Online Experience  

Visit Online Admissions

Our MA program’s online courses blend writing and literary studies with an emphasis on individualized instruction according to your genre (poetry, fiction, or nonfiction). Semester study plans not only provide structure and accountability but also are self-paced and flexible enough to accommodate a full-time job and other daily responsibilities.

View in Course Catalog

How the Creative Writing Program Works

The program begins with a one-week annual summer residency, held on the beautiful Saint Leo University Campus, located north of Tampa. The residency is designed as an immersive and contemplative retreat. Each day includes a workshop where a faculty mentor leads small groups of students in discussing their own creative work. The rest of each day allows for bonding time with peers and mentors as well as discussions and activities led by a faculty member, a distinguished visiting writer, or a professional in the writing field, such as an editor or publisher. Past visiting writers have included Benjamin Busch, Amina Gautier, Jesse Goolsby, Beth Ann Fennelly, Allison Joseph, David Kirby, Adam Johnson, and Aimee Nezhukumatahil. We conclude each day with readings by faculty members or visiting writers, which are free events that are open to the public. Students also get the chance to share and celebrate their own writing-in-progress with each other during informal open mics. You’ll return home energized and inspired to tackle your coursework and that dream project.

During the fall and spring semesters, students complete coursework from home, communicating with peers and faculty mentors online. In a writing workshop course, each student creates and refines original work in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. Each workshop is paired with a foundations course, where students read both contemporary and classic examples of writing in their chosen genre of study. In their third and final summer, students work on compiling, revising, and editing their creative work into a master’s thesis: a novel or short story collection, a memoir or essay collection, or a poetry collection, all of publishable quality.

A photo of a female college student using her smartphone for the blog article on the best apps for social work majors

Students Can Expect To:

  • Produce a substantial, revised body of original creative work
  • Thoughtfully engage with the workshop process of peer critique
  • Demonstrate an understanding of various forms and structures of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
  • Critically analyze literature, making connections among texts, authors, and historical periods of the works
  • Closely read and demonstrate an understanding of the historical context, literary influences, and traditions of canonical and contemporary prose and poems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of editing and revision techniques
  • Generate original scholarship on the literary texts explored in this program

Student with Laptop

Some of our MA students enter the program with no expectation of pursuing further advanced degrees or traditional academic careers. Some will already be immersed in careers that may or may not be linked to the creative arts. Some will wish to wholeheartedly pursue the writing life. No matter your end goal, you will receive plenty of professional development opportunities, industry knowledge from expert faculty mentors, and support from our community. All this together means that you will be ready for a successful writing career or continued studies upon graduation. Plus, our Career Services center on campus is always available to help connect you with a variety of experiential learning opportunities to fit your individual career goals.

Several of our MA students have pursued further graduate coursework in MFA programs in Creative Writing or MA programs in Literature. Others have gone on to teach English courses to undergraduates as adjunct instructors at community colleges or universities, including at Saint Leo.

How to Apply

This page covers everything you need to know in order to put together your best possible application to our program.

For most graduate programs in creative writing, including ours, the most important part of your application is a sample of your creative work. We base admission decisions primarily on a written sample of the prospective student’s creative work submitted in the genre the student intends to study. If you want to study fiction, you should send us a short story or a section of a novel. Poets should send poems; nonfiction writers should send their best narrative nonfiction.

We read applications on a rolling basis until June 15th every year. Once your file is complete, we try to make a decision on your application within one week. Our upcoming academic year begins on July 1st, 2024.

Supporting materials that accompany an application (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement identifying the student’s reasons for pursuing graduate study) are used to help consider the other positive attributes a student might contribute to the university and program communities respectively.

Visit Graduate Creative Writing Admissions

Advice on applying to the Saint Leo M.A. in Creative Writing

For the writing sample:.

All writing samples should be a minimum of 10 pages, and a maximum of 25.

Your writing sample should be in the genre in which you hope to be admitted; once you have been admitted to the program, you’ll have a chance to explore other kinds of writing, but you should start in one genre. If you aren’t sure yet what your primary genre should be, make sure to mention this conflict in your personal statement. 

We like to be able to read your work comfortably: all work should be in a 12 point font, such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Cochin, etc., and prose manuscripts should be double-spaced. A minimum one-inch margin on all sides is necessary, too. Please don’t shrink the margins to fit more pages. A smaller number of good pages beats a greater number of average ones every time.

Proofread. Check your spelling. This is a graduate program taught by professors of English. In other words, the rules apply, and spelling counts!

We’re looking for potential implicit in the writing, even if that piece is unfinished. Your strategy should be to send work that best represents you as a writer.

For the Personal Statement:

In this 1-2 page double-spaced narrative, give us a sense of why you love to write, your writing or career goals, and why you want to dedicate two years of study to poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Try to be as specific as possible, and tell us which genre you wish to pursue. If there’s a reason that the low-residency approach especially appeals to you, include that in your statement. Basically, we want to know who you are and what you might contribute to our literary community.

Meet Our Faculty

Anne Contact

Anne Barngrover, Ph.D.

Gianna Russo

Gianna Russo, M.F.A.

From the creative writing faculty:.

Our Master of Arts in Creative Writing program is supportive, warm, and affordable. Students range from recent college graduates to long-time working professionals: veterans and active-duty military members, teachers, stay-at-home parents, nurses, visual artists, retirees, and so on. Regardless of background, each student shares the desire to improve their writing and become part of a vibrant literary scene.

We pride ourselves on our personalized, detailed, caring feedback on your writing and the close literary relationships that we’ve built here at Saint Leo, and we hope that you will consider becoming a part of our community. Our admissions team stands ready to help you with the application process, and we as faculty would love to talk with you about your story, your writing goals, and how our program can help you achieve those goals. All you need to do is reach out.

The MA in Creative Writing Faculty

Please contact Dr. Anne Barngrover, Interim Program Director, at [email protected] with any questions you may have.

FAQs About the MA in Creative Writing Program

All admitted students begin our program by attending the one-week July residency. We accept applications on a rolling basis through June 30th each year.

What does “low-residency” mean?

Saint Leo’s low-residency degree is a family- and career-friendly option for graduate study. Instead of relocating to attend a full-time graduate program, you attend classes on campus for just one week annually in July. The remainder of your coursework is completed online from home.

Low-residency degrees are particularly attractive to students who have career, community, or family commitments that make quitting a job and relocating across the country impractical or even impossible. Many low-residency programs require two residencies per year; the Saint Leo MA requires just one, making it that much more accessible.

When is the residency?

What does a typical residency day look like.

Each day is divided into several different sessions and goes from around 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Students attend a workshop of their peers where they provide feedback on each other’s in-progress fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. We eat lunch together as a community on campus. Our faculty and visiting writers lead lectures, craft talks, and discussions on topics ranging from writing techniques to publishing strategies, all with a focus on teaching you how to enter the world of professional writing. On some days you’ll attend readings by faculty mentors and distinguished visiting writers, and on others you’ll have the option to share your own work with each other at informal open mic events. We like to begin the week with a dinner out together in Tampa, and we end with a celebratory reading from our graduating students and a graduation ceremony and reception on campus.

What can I expect from a low-residency program?

Students who choose a low-residency program for graduate study do not come from any specific demographic. They range from recent college graduates who wish to continue their academic studies, to working professionals seeking to explore new career options, and to retirees pursuing the long-deferred dream of creative writing.

How long is the program?

Our program is designed to be completed in just two calendar years. It requires 36 graduate credit hours of study. Students attend four semesters of study, plus three summer residencies.

What will I write for my workshops?

We offer tracks of study in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Within each of those genres, the possibilities are endless. We do not favor any particular school of writing; we are excited by both literary and genre-specific styles (fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, YA, etc). No matter your genre or style, our main focus is to help you improve your writing through workshop and literature courses and personalized attention from core faculty members.

Why does Saint Leo award a Master of Arts (MA) instead of a Master of Fine Arts (MFA)?

The ability to produce concise and thoughtful written work is a fundamental skill not just for fiction writers, essayists, and poets, but also for successful professionals in almost any field. This is in keeping with the mission of Saint Leo University, which fosters a student-centered environment in which the love of learning is of prime importance.

The reasons someone pursues a graduate degree in the arts are as varied as the students who seek those degrees. Our degree is aimed primarily at students who are approaching writing as a type of personal development, or those who are just beginning their exploration of the writing life. That means our community is one that offers mentorship and supportive critique, and provides models of the professional writing life in all its various forms, helping students build a base of skills in the study of both writing and literature.

The MA program at Saint Leo offers a broad approach to preparation for a possible writing career, requiring not only creative work but also the study of literature. These literature courses, called foundations courses, give an MA student a sense of both the historical and contemporary trends in their chosen genre of study. While the MFA has been considered a terminal degree in the past, many writers—especially those who wish to teach at the university level—elect to continue their studies through the doctoral degree.

I’ve been out of college for a long time. Is the Saint Leo MA right for me?

Saint Leo is a national leader in providing educational options for students of all types. All our programs are designed to assist professionals in meeting challenging career goals, and to prepare them for the rapidly changing world in which they live and work. But there is no “typical” low-residency student; the community is necessarily diverse in age and background, but it is very much a community, bound together by a shared love of writing and support for each other’s creative endeavors.

How can I pay for my Master’s degree?

As you explore your continuing education, costs need not be an obstacle. The Saint Leo MA is an affordable advanced degree, costing as much as fifty percent less than degrees at other institutions.

Financial aid programs are available and there are ways to help you finance your educational investments. It may be helpful to know that there are federal student loan programs for graduate and professional students. Graduate students may be eligible for up to $20,500 in Unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Applying for financial aid is easy! The only application you need is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be completed online at .

Alternate ways to finance your education:

  • Employer assistance
  • Military tuition assistance
  • Veteran benefits (352) 588-7534 or (352) 588-8980


Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Student Stories

"What if, two years ago, I could have seen my future? What if that opportunity allowed a peek at who I'd become after completing Saint Leo's Creative Writing MA Program? What would I tell myself? Well, self—indubitably, you made the right choice! The tools in your writer’s toolbox were obtained from a team of well-versed faculty, like-minded peers, several residency programs, assignments, and academic reviews. Creative Writing MA graduate, you made the right choice." Violetta Deloatch-Woods ( Fiction, 2023)

Violetta Deloatch-Woods

"Pursuing my MA at Saint Leo was the scariest decision I ever made; it also turned out to be one of the best. I have grown exponentially within this community of honest and talented writers, and I couldn’t have asked for better peers." Derora Williams ( Poetry, 2023)

Derora Williams Headshot

"Saint Leo's Creative Writing MA program genuinely changed my life for the better. I learned so much about myself as a reader, writer, and human being with every assignment, and I was constantly challenged to grow outside of my comfort zone. My professors and peers were always there to celebrate achievements and overcome obstacles, making the program feel like my second family. I wouldn't be the person I am today without Saint Leo." Emmett Ferree ( Poetry, 2023)

Emmett Ferree Headshot

"Saint Leo's Creative Writing MA program helped me immensely as a reader  and  a writer. Learning to read not only  what  is in a story, but paying careful attention to  how  it's written, is just one of the memorable gifts I received from this program's helpful faculty and encouraging environment." Janna Correa, (Fiction, 2022)

Janna Correa Headsot

This program allows growth as a writer and as a person. The experience was absurdly personal. Absurd because of the organic evolution fostered by its leadership and absurd because of the personal touches from the instructors. Why expect that? St. Leo is invested in its students. You get more than you bargained for. Jimmy Sutman, (Poetry, 2022)

quote from Jimmy Sutman, creative writing alumnus

It can be intimidating to go back to school after decades of being in the workforce. But as a non-traditional student, I felt nothing but a warm welcome from Saint Leo faculty and my classmates. I started my first semester at another university and wasn't happy. I transferred to Saint Leo and learned more than I could have ever imagined in this program. Best decision I ever made. Thanks to my studies there, I'm getting ready to release my first book at the end of this year! Lisa Moody, (Nonfiction, 2021)

Creative Writing alumna, Lisa Moody

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  • Postgraduate study
  • Taught degree programmes A‑Z
  • Creative Writing (online distance learning)

Postgraduate taught  

Creative Writing (online) MLitt: Online distance learning

Two students with laptops having a conversation

Note: This programme is also delivered on campus. To find out more about this programme or the research opportunities available, visit our Creative Writing subject page

If you're a talented and ambitious writer looking to develop your craft and take your writing to the next level, Glasgow's renowned Creative Writing MLitt is ideal. Develop your writing practice wherever you are in the world by gaining creative and critical skills on this exciting and supportive online course.

  • Online distance learning
  • Academic contact: Dr Colin Herd  [email protected]
  • Teaching start: September
  • MLitt: 12 months full-time; 24 months part‑time

Register your interest for more information

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Why this programme

  • Our MLitt in Creative Writing is delivered within a clear three-part structure, focused on creative, critical and editorial skills.
  • Our Creative Writing programme has gained an excellent reputation with writers, agents and publishers. The University's writing courses are among the most challenging and popular in the UK.
  • These courses have helped launch the careers of an impressive list of acclaimed authors including, but not limited to: Anne Donovan, Helen Sedgwick, Kirsty Logan, Jen Hadfield, JL Williams, Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan, Elizabeth Reeder and many others.
  • You'll be taught by successful and well-regarded writers who specialise across diverse genres. We are happy to supervise students working in established genres but just as keen to see students mix genres or create new forms. In addition, you'll be able to tap into the University's strong network of literary agents and publishers, as well as an impressive list of published alumni. 
  • This online programme is 1 year full time. If you are already working full time or have family commitments, the course can also be completed on a part-time flexible study basis over 2 years.
  • Listen to our podcast: Stories from Glasgow – Writing Space with Dr Oliver K. Langmead .
  • Read From Glasgow to Saturn, our literary journal .

Programme structure

The full-time programme consists of the following courses. The part-time programme consists of the same courses split over two years.


Summer Semester


Programme outcomes

  • Experiment with a range of voices, techniques and genres and consider major creative and editorial engagements
  • Develop a critical understanding of a diverse creative, theoretic and critical texts
  • Develop editorial skills
  • Gain an understanding of literary techniques and ideas
  • Access the work and thought of a wide range of literary artists
  • Produce extended portfolios of creative and editorial work
  • Understand the writing context (audience, publishing in all its forms, the legal framework, modes of transmission)
  • Become disciplined in writing regularly in a stimulating workshop and tutorial environment in which writing skills can be acquired, discussed and honed
  • Be part of a stimulating and critical peer group that reads, engages with, and appraises one others work
  • Understand the means of literary transmission and how these means affect your own work
  • Meet, hear and talk to professional writers and individuals from publishing and other transmission industries
  • Display an understanding of the mechanisms (historical and contemporary) of literary textual transmission and other forms of transmission (including performance) in their various technological, commercial and artistic aspects

"I can honestly say that the programme was the best thing that has ever happened for my writing." Nichola Deadman, Creative Writing student

Programme alteration or discontinuation The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract .

Career prospects

Skills gained in the study of our Creative Writing MLitt may lead to career opportunities in literary and cultural fields such as editing, publishing and arts development. Many of our alumni are successful authors. Our graduates have also gone into journalism, publishing, and a range of other professions. Positions held by recent graduates include managing director, freelance writer, author, copywriter and community arts worker.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2024-25

  • Full-time fee: £10650
  • Part-time fee: £1184 per 20 credits

International & EU

  • Full-time fee: £22140

Part-time fees:

  • UK :  £1,184 per 20 credits (180 credits in total)
  • International & EU : £2,460 per 20 credits (180 credits in total)

The credits are split: 

  • Year 1 : 80 credits (4 x £1,184 / £2,460) for Craft & Experimentation 1 and 2, and Workshops
  • Year 2 : 100 credits (5 x £1,184 / £2,460) for Editing & Publication 1 and 2, and Portfolio

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Funding opportunities

  • UK Study Online Scholarship

The UK Study Online scholarship is open to UK, EU and international students taking online undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Please see  UK Study Online for more details.

  • Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £7,000 towards their course. Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.  

This support extends to online Masters or Postgraduate Diplomas, and not to the online Postgraduate Certificate courses.

For more information visit the SAAS website .

  • Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re an English student looking to study a taught Masters programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan. Students from England are able to apply for a non-means tested   Postgraduate Master’s Loan  of up to £11,570   to help with course fees and living costs. You have to  repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan  at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

  • Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit  Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

  • Alumni Discount

In response to the current unprecedented economic climate, the University is offering a 20% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni, commencing study in Academic session 2024/25. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme, International Summer School programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. This discount can be awarded alongside most University scholarships.

  • Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit  .

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

  • You will normally have a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent), though this is not a pre-requisite.
  • The primary basis for admission is the appraisal of a portfolio of your creative work.
  • You submit a portfolio of original work (poetry, fiction, life-writing or other prose, drama, and in some instances a portfolio of translation work). A maximum of 20 pages (one side only, double spaced throughout) per submission will be considered, and the portfolio can contain prose, verse, script, or a combination of these.
  • We also require two letters of reference. Your referees should include an academic and a creative referee where possible. Where this is not possible, you can provide referees from other areas who can vouch that you are who you say you are and that your work and achievements are your own. It is particularly helpful if these referees are familiar with your writing and can provide references on that basis.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0 with no subtests under 7.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

Toefl (ibt, my best or athome).

  • 94; with Reading 24; Listening 24; Speaking 23; Writing 27
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 66 with no subtest less than: Listening 66;Reading 68; Speaking 65; Writing 82

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)

  • 185 overall, no subtest less than 185

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 8
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 8 with Reading: 27-28 and Listening: 20
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 8.

Trinity College Tests

Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Pass with Pass in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our  enquiry form

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, see  how to apply for a postgraduate taught degree

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application, see  Application System Help .

  • Name and Date of birth:  must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details : Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course : Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry:  Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications : Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency : Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience : Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference : Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadlines

September 2024, all applicants.

As there is extremely high demand for places on this degree programme, the University has established an application process with application rounds. This process aims to ensure fairness and equity to applicants and should support applications being open for the full admission cycle.

Round 1 application dates

1 October 2023 to 19 November 2023 . You will receive our decision on your application by 3 February 2024 .

Round 2 application dates

20 November 2023 . You will receive our decision on your application by 24 March 2024 .

Round 3 application dates

19 February 2024 . You will receive our decision on your application by 8 July 2024.

Round 4 application dates (if applicable)  

28 May 2024 . You will receive our decision on your application by 11 August 2024 .  

As we receive a great number of applications, prospective students are only allowed to apply once per year.

More information about this programme

  • Core and optional courses
  • Creative Writing at Glasgow

Related programmes

Creative writing.

  • Creative Writing [MLitt]

English Literature

  • English Literature [MLitt]
  • English Literature: American Modern Literature [MLitt]
  • English Literature: Fantasy [MLitt]

more related English Literature programmes

Related links

  • About postgraduate study
  • How to apply for a postgraduate taught degree
  • Postgraduate research opportunities A-Z
  • How to apply for a postgraduate research degree
  • Fees and funding

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  • MA Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Join our community of internationally renowned, award-winning writers at the Manchester Writing School, where collaboration and experimentation are at the heart of what we do.

Course overview

At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our masters programmes in Creative Writing, available to study on campus in Manchester and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning. 

On our Master of Arts (MA) Creative Writing programme, you will explore and practice techniques and styles of modern and contemporary writing and apply these through the development of your own creative work. You will undertake a taught element blending writing workshops with reading units and option units, and then complete your studies through submission of an extended piece of writing from a proposed full-length book or script. 

You will specialise in one of the following routes: Novel (including Short Fiction), Poetry, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Scriptwriting ...

What you need to know

  • When does the course start? 23/24 September 2024 January 2025

1 year full-time (campus) 2 years part-time (campus or online)

Students can begin studying in January or September.

  • Where will I study this course? Manchester , Online

Features and benefits

"One of the greatest pleasures of my working life continues to be the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, a department with a real sense of family, achievement and celebration, and an ethos of nurturing and innovation." Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE – Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School

Course Information

At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our masters programmes in creative writing, available to study on campus in Manchester, and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning.

MA Creative Writing can be tailored to suit your writing preferences by following a specialist route in novel (including short fiction), poetry, writing for children & young adults, scriptwriting (for stage, screen or radio) or creative non-fiction. Watch our playlist to find out more about each route.

This MA blends writing workshops, where you produce and develop your own work-in-progress with regular feedback from tutors and fellow students, with reading courses, which look at the techniques, forms and styles used by a range of writers in modern and contemporary literature. All students also take 30 credits of optional units and can choose from a range of creative writing units or options from courses across arts and humanities subjects. The final piece of work for the MA is the dissertation – an extended piece of creative writing from a proposed full-length book or script. 

The MA is available to complete in one year full-time or two years part-time. The novel and poetry routes are available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). The writing for children and creative non-fiction routes are online (part-time) only. The scriptwriting route is available to study on campus only. We have intakes to the programme in September and January each year. 

Visit the Manchester Writing School for more information, including profiles of staff and published students, news, events and projects.

Please visit our scholarships page for information on funding opportunities .

The programme leader for this course is James Draper . 

Classes for core Workshop and Reading units take place in the evenings (6-8pm UK time) during the autumn and spring semesters. Full-time students take all of their units in a single year and usually have classes two evenings per week. Part-time students spread these units over two years (study pattern may vary depending on specialist route) and usually have classes one evening per week. All students take 30 credits of option units, which run in the spring semester; delivery models and scheduling vary depending on choice and availability. The MA concludes with the Creative Dissertation, completed through independent study with one-to-one support from a Dissertation Supervisor.

Creative Dissertation

This unit will build on and progress material produced during the Workshop units. You will compile and edit your creative writing into a substantial, continuous extract from a proposed longer work-in-progress and provide a Genesis Document: an account of the origins of and inspirations for your writing.

Reading Unit 1

This route-specific unit looks at the forms, themes, styles and techniques used by a range of writers in literature. Outstanding writing is considered in terms of composition, process and presentation, and its relevance to your own work-in-progress. 

The Workshop

Workshops are led by established practitioners in the specialist literary field (Novel, Poetry, Writing for Children/Young Adults, Scriptwriting or Creative Non-Fiction), giving you a committed editorial readership of professionals and peers, and generating and developing material for a proposed full-length book or script. It is expected that the creative work generated will eventually contribute to your Creative Dissertation.

Option units

Creative project.

On this unit, you will be asked to devise, scope, plan, conduct, report and reflect on a creative project of your own choosing. The project should involve a significant stretch from your core work on the programme and explore a new practice. This can be either working in a writing discipline different to your main route through the course, or by adapting or applying your work in a new context.

Green Writing

This unit will explore how creative writers can engage with ecological emergency during a time of crisis. The unit will examine different approaches to writing about nature, ecology and the environment, and demonstrate ways to respond creatively to contemporary climate science. You will study key texts in the field and produce your own original creative work using techniques drawn from those materials, learning how to bring traditionally ‘non-fiction’ perspectives into the realm of fiction.

Reading Unit 2 (30 credits)

Remaking games: creativity, play and communication.

This unit explores the theory and practice of hacking and making games as a research method and mode of creative practice. It considers the intersection between creative writing and game design. In the unit we introduce students to reading and making games as a new methodology that combines creative and critical thinking with public engagement and impact at the point of research. For creative writers, the unit helps develop new ways to explore narrative and storytelling through interactive fiction, videogames and analogue games. You will develop new communication skills as part of the research process, creating games to share with other students and wider audiences as a way of engaging the public with your research.  

Teaching Creative Writing

This unit introduces techniques for developing and delivering creative writing workshops in a range of settings and considers how to encourage would-be participants to produce original writing in a variety of styles and genres. Consideration of key pedagogic theories and analyses of demonstrations will offer background context and enable critical reflection on workshop practice.

The Industry (30 credits)

You will learn and acquire practical information about various aspects of the publishing, literary, arts and related industries through seminars and Q&A sessions with guest speakers. These may include agents, editors, publishers, publicists, booksellers, directors, producers, broadcasters, filmmakers, freelancers, performers, artists and illustrators. This unit is designed to give you a broad overview of the state of the industry, as well as some specialist knowledge about opportunities available for those working in your specialist area, as you complete your manuscript.

Writing About Relationships

This course unit explores writing about love and partnership and is designed to help you gain confidence, avoid cliché and improve the quality of your prose style as you write about human relationships and intimacy. 

Study and assessment breakdown

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

  • Full-time 34% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 66% independent study
  • Part-time 34% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 66% independent study
  • Full-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
  • Part-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination

Placement options

The Manchester Writing School is one of the UK's leading schools of creative writing. It is also home to ground-breaking outreach activities, international writing competitions, a series of city-wide literary events, innovative publishing projects, the Manchester Children's Book Festival , and the new Manchester Poetry Library . These activities provide you with many opportunities to get involved and develop your experience in a number of exciting directions.

Whether you've already made your decision about what you want to study, or you're just considering whether postgraduate study is right for you, there are lots of ways you can meet us and find out more about postgraduate student life at Manchester Met.

  • a virtual experience campus tour
  • chats with current students

Taught by Experts

Your studies are supported by a department of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field.

We often link up with external professionals too, helping to enhance your learning and build valuable connections to the working world.

Entry Requirements

In order to apply, you will need to submit a completed application form, a sample of creative writing, a critical review and one reference. You can apply online or download an application form here: .

On the application form, you will be asked to give a personal statement and should use this to tell us a bit about yourself and give a good sense of what you have been reading and writing, what has led you to apply for our course, and which one of our specialist routes you are applying for. Personal statements should be up to 500 words long.

For the creative sample , applicants to the Novel, Children's/YA and Creative Non-Fiction routes should submit up to 2,000 words of prose (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work); poetry applicants should submit up to 15 poems; and scriptwriting applicants should submit up to 15 minutes running time of script (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work).

The critical review should focus on a piece of 21st century work, be up to 500 words long, and show evidence of close reading, explaining what it is about the piece you find useful as a writer. Both the creative and critical samples should be relevant to the specialist route to which you are applying (Novel OR Poetry OR Writing for Children/YA OR Scriptwriting OR Creative Non-Fiction). 

Your reference can be from anyone of professional standing (e.g. a current/former employer or tutor) who can vouch for your suitability for study at postgraduate level or the quality of your writing, or, if you are unable to obtain a reference from someone who is familiar with your written work, simply verify your identity.

Please collate and submit the application form, writing sample, review and reference, where possible. It will not speed up the processing of your application if you send some elements now with others to follow.  

We have intakes into the programme in September and January each year. For application deadlines, please see the 'How to Apply section'. We normally aim to respond to applications within four weeks of receipt of all four elements: application form, writing sample, review and reference, although it may take a little longer outside of term time. 

In each application assessed we will be looking for evidence of:

A very high standard of written English; 

Creative talent and potential; 

Control of form, style and technique; 

Commitment to the craft of writing and willingness to engage with the editorial process of receiving feedback and redrafting work-in-progress;  

Experience of the development of writing skills through workshops, supervision, mentoring or previous study;

Substantial reading within the relevant field.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of English Language proficiency. Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5, with no sub-component below 5.5, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed  here .

If your application meets these criteria, a tutor may contact you to arrange a telephone or face-to-face interview at a mutually convenient time.

Fees and Funding

Uk and channel island students.

Full-time fee: £9,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £1500 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Distance learning fee: £1500 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

EU and Non-EU International Students

Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Distance learning fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Costs

Specialist costs.

Compulsory estimate : £300

Optional estimate : £2200

Books (novels, poetry collections, children/young adult books, scripts in print, or books of creative non-fiction depending on the specialist route of study) for study on Reading units (10 books per unit for two units). Costs spread across years one and two for part-time students. There is also a list of additional, optional recommended reading for each unit. Students can access much of this via the Manchester Met library (either by loaning books or via the e-book system). All students will require access to a computer in order to undertake their studies (accessing online resources, forums and communication systems). Students can loan laptops on campus. Students will also need access to broadband internet. While most students choose to purchase these for home use, computers with internet access are available to use on campus. While most assessed work will be submitted and completed electronically, students taking the dissertation or manuscript units will be asked to submit printed and bound copies of their work.

placement Costs

Compulsory estimate : £100

There is an optional summer school each year, where students are invited to spend two full days on campus for a suite of masterclass workshops, talks and social activities. Attendance at the school is free of charge, but students are asked to make their own arrangements for travel, accommodation and food. Some of the elective units will run as intensive residentials over three days on campus in Manchester. This means that online distance learning students, and those who live beyond commuting distance, and who wish to take these particular units, will need to arrange overnight accommodation in the city and make arrangements for travel and food. Students taking the Creative Project unit and undertaking projects which involve creating artwork, producing objects, or travelling to conduct research or interviews etc. will need to cover the costs of any materials used and also make arrangements for accommodation, travel and food. There may be occasional, optional residential writing weeks held at writing centres across the UK. Students who wish to attend are asked to cover the costs of accommodation, food, travel and tuition for these.

other Costs

Optional estimate : £500

Students may be invited to take part in optional public events (e.g. reading from their own work), or attend meetings for extra-curricular projects (e.g. the Rosamond Prize) and are expected to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and food.

Career Prospects

More than 100 of our students and graduates have embarked upon publishing careers, launching first books, with many more achieving publication in journals and magazines, winning writing awards and prizes, and setting up small presses and anthologies. Our alumni include winners of the Costa First Novel Award, Forward Poetry Prize and Yale Windham-Campell Prize, and a long-listing for the Man Booker Prize. 

Our School plays a leading role in establishing Manchester as a city of writers with a commitment to finding diverse new voices and creating opportunities for writer development, enabling new writing and building audiences for the next generation of talent. Manchester has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its thriving live literature scene, with a year-round programme of author events, writers’ forums, networking opportunities and open mic nights. 

We are home to a suite of ground-breaking outreach projects including the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and Mother Tongue Other Tongue , an international multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. Our Manchester Poetry Library holds over 12,000 books and recordings that can be explored through our online catalogue, in person and through our annual events programme. Our School has a strong Manchester presence, with links to many of the city’s major cultural and arts organisations, and also a global reach with students and alumni based across the UK and continental Europe, and in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Our strong partnerships and innovative projects mean that you will have plenty of opportunities to develop your industry experience and network.  

On completion of this course you may decide to pursue PhD study, or to develop a career in bookselling, agenting, publishing, editing, the media, or in teaching creative writing. You will have access to the Careers and Employability Hub located in the Business School at Manchester Met, offering a host of information resources, one-to-one careers support, and employability events throughout the year. This service is also available for up to three years after you graduate. 

The Power of Words Led by Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE (UK Poet Laureate 2009-2019), the Manchester Writing School is the beating literary heart of a city alive with culture. Find out more about its prestigious past, present and future by watching our video, 'The Power of Words'.   Watch the video Manchester Writing School

Want to know more

Register your interest, got a question.

Please contact our course enquiries team.

Please remember to tailor your application to one of our specialist routes (Novel, Poetry, Writing for Children, Scriptwriting or Creative Non-Fiction) and to include a creative sample and critical review relevant to that chosen route.

Please upload your two samples of work under the 'Degree Transcript' section of the application portal. 

The novel and poetry routes are available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). The writing for children and creative non-fiction routes are online (part-time) only. The scriptwriting route is available to study on campus only.

Application deadlines for January 2024 entry

  • International students - midnight on Thursday 30 November 2023
  • UK and Channel Island students - midnight on Sunday 31 December 2023

This course may close before the advertised deadline if capacity is reached.  Please apply as early as possible.

Get advice and support on making a successful application.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

Manchester is your city, be part of it

Your new home, your new city, why university, related courses, english studies.

Programme Review Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions .

Important Notice This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at .

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan .


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