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Creative Writing Program

Embrace your creativity. Discover your voice. Start your novel.

Do you have a bestseller in mind, just not sure how to get it down on paper? Everyone has a story to tell, but many writers struggle the writing process, inspiration, and motivation. Let our expert instructors help you put pen to paper. Learn the vital techniques designed to enhance, encourage, and enrich your writing in one of our many creative writing courses.

Read Amy Wallen's "Many Years of Many Teachers"


"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

Toni Morrison


How It Works

Start with our core courses, where you will we will examine all facets of the writing life, including the elements of style, voice, and dramatic structure through lively discussion, in-class exercises, course projects and peer review. Hone your craft with special studies in the building blocks of creative writing. Learn how to shape your narrative point of view, sharpen character dialogue, and how to show, not tell.

Then, explore your creativity with study and practice in specific genres. From short fiction, novels, children's literature, poems, memoirs, plays, and screenplays, we offer a wide variety of introductory and advanced courses to help you find your niche.
Next, gain valuable feedback in read and critique workshops and learn editing techniques in our courses that help you polish your stories. Last, learn how to navigate the publishing business, write effective query letters and start your writing career.
Join our community of writers and start your journey today!

We offer:

  • A supportive, welcoming environment
  • Instruction from published, award-winning instructors
  • Novice to advanced courses
  • Short workshops
  • A wide variety of genres
  • The structure you need to stay focused

Check out the Extension blog. Get information on classes, events, interesting websites, new techniques, and just plain cool stuff.

Contact Information

Arts, Humanities, and Languages Department

Phone: (858) 534-5760

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Creative Writing Course Matrix
Course Title Course Number Units FA WI SP SU
Core Courses
Creative Writing I
WCWP-40253 3 L L   O
Creative Writing II WCWP-40258 3     L  
Developing Unforgettable Characters WCWP-40245 3       L
Writer's Workshop: Using the Senses GINT-81520 0       L
Writer's Workshop: Making Scenes Come Alive GINT-81481 0     L  
Writer's Workshop: Read and Critique WCWP-40252 3 L   L  
Self-editing for Creative Writers GINT-81261 0       L
Writing Characters and Dialogue WCWP-40289 3   O    
Memoir Writing I WCWP-40200 3       L
Novel Writing I WCWP-40187 3 L O    
Personal Narrative Writing I WCWP-40191 3   L    
Playwriting I WCWP-40188 3 L      
Screenwriting I WCWP-40184 3   L    
Short Story Writing I WCWP-40185 3     L  
Writing for Children I WCWP-40186 3 L      
Writing Narrative Non-Fiction WCWP-40269 3     L  
Writing Women's Fiction WCWP-40288 3   L    
See a full list of creative writing courses (PDF), or go to for a quarterly course schedule.

L=La Jolla M=Mission Valley O=Online R=Rancho Bernardo U=University City X=Location TBA