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Creative Writing

Professional Certificate

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About the Creative Writing Program

UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. We have transitioned many of our courses to an ONLINE or LIVE ONLINE format, in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will resume in-person classes when it is deemed safe to do so.

ONLINE classes have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor.

LIVE ONLINE classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system.

 

Practice and Master the Art and Craft of Good Writing

The Professional Certificate in Creative Writing is designed to provide you with the skills necessary to write in a variety of creative writing genres. You will learn core creative writing skills and choose from a selection of electives in the areas of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Stage & Screenwriting, Children’s Writing, Poetry, and/or The Business of Writing in order to develop more specific skills. You’ll also benefit from a structured course of study and have the opportunity to earn a certificate whether you rely on these courses as a means to explore personal interests, pursue professional growth, or career goals.

Additional Information:

For further information about this program, please enroll in the online on-demand Creative Writing Information Session.. Questions about our classes or certificates? Contact our department at 858-534-5760 or ahl@ucsd.edu.

  • How to uncover how and where to find ideas through a class setting where lively discussion can support your writing process.
  • Elements of style, voice, and dramatic structure to help you hone your writing skills through in-class exercises and assignments.
  • The art and science of rewriting, editing, and submitting the work for publication.
  • Benefit of producing material through exercises and assignments workshopped in read and critique sessions.
  • Practice the art and craft of good writing.
  • This certificate is designed to fit the needs of hobbyists as well as those who have professional aspirations of becoming a published author.
Format: In-Person, Online

Estimated Cost: $3,510

Early enrollment discount available. Cost does not include textbooks or parking.

Duration: 15-30 months

Varies by student and courses taken per quarter.

Contact
Department
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts
Phone
858-534-5760
Email
ahl@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
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Required Courses

Grammar LabWCWP-40234

Units: 3.00

$595

Grammar Lab (WCWP-40234)10 Weeks | $595 | OnlineThis ten-week online Grammar Lab course is skillfully designed to meet the needs of all students. It is beneficial for those with little grammar experie...

Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

The Art and Craft of Creative WritingWCWP-40107

Units: 3.00

$320

The Art and Craft of Creative Writing 9 Weeks | $345 | Online or In-class Course Description/Goals: Creative writing begins when the spark of an idea ignites the fuel of language. The writer picks u...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Developing Unforgettable CharactersWCWP-40245

Units: 2.00

$220

Whether you are writing short fiction, a novel, or memoir, characters are what draw your reader in and make them care enough to read on. This course offers methods for creating three-dimensional chara...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Finding Our Voices, Telling Our StoriesWCWP-40142

Units: 3.00

$320

Within you there dwells an innate sense of storytelling and a unique voice with which to tell your stories. In this course you will explore writing techniques to help you locate and refine the natura...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Writers Workshop: Read and CritiqueWCWP-40252

Units: 3.00

$345

Read and critique is a way – possibly the only way – for writers to hear how their writing sounds to others. The thoughtful, objective and constructive feedback you receive will tell you how your writ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Literature

Students must choose minimum 2 units of Literature from any of the classes below

Women and MadnessLIT-40069

Units: 2.00

$220

In the 19th century, a strange marriage of art, literature, science, and psychology catapulted society’s obsession with the archetypal madwoman into the mainstream. Pathologies that had once been used...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Gender Identity and Literature: Him, Her, UsLIT-40071

Units: 2.00

TBD

Gender is infinitely more intricate than the biological question of sex. Uncover the cultural, social and political implications of gender identity in three powerful works. Kiss of the Spider Woman, b...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Ernest Hemingway: Titan of American LiteratureLIT-40064

Units: 2.00

$245

Ernest Hemingway wrote “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwar...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

American Literature: Stories of ImmigrationLIT-40022

Units: 2.00

$220

Explore this Unique Take on Immigration Stories Immigration has once again taken center stage in the national spotlight, giving artists, writers and thinkers another opportunity to consider and help r...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall

Glittering Wit: Three Works by Oscar WildeLIT-40099

Units: 2.00

$245

Famous, and infamous, for his brilliant turn of phrase, seething social commentary and flamboyant personality, Oscar Wilde was the toast of the literary world throughout the 1880’s and 1890’s. Join us...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

History of Children's LiteratureLIT-40093

Units: 3.00

$395

Gain a deep understanding of the history of children s literature by studying classics of post-enlightenment writing for children. This course provides children s book writers, illustrators and enthus...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Black Voices Matter: Black Literature from the Harlem Renaissance to TodayLIT-40100

Units: 2.00

$245

Black Voices Matter: Black Literature from the Harlem Renaissance toToday (LIT-40100)6 Weeks | $245 | Online Black Voices Matter! Through this course, students will get to know the voices of black...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Electives

Students must choose 12 units of electives from any of the classes below

Fiction

Novel Writing IWCWP-40187

Units: 3.00

TBD

The greatest challenge to writing a first novel may be deciding where to start. This course will help you write an engaging first paragraph and a draft of at least the first chapter. You may also work...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Novel Writing IIWCWP-40297

Units: 3.00

$345

Are you ready to develop a significant portion of your novel? This workshop will bring you valuable feedback on your work, including suggestions for revision. Class discussion will focus on the struct...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Spring

Novel Writing IIIWCWP-40254

Units: 3.00

$345

This class will prepare you for the big picture review of your novel. With the use of contemporary and classic novels as examples, you will evaluate the progress on the plot arc and character developm...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Creative Non-Fiction

Memoir WritingWCWP-40200

Units: 3.00

$320

Many of us have had fascinating lives, whether lived inwardly or outwardly, during childhood long ago or in the past decade. But when it comes to writing a memoir, where do we begin? The day of our bi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Self-Editing and Publishing for the WebWCWP-40313

Units: 3.00

$400

The ability to edit your own written work is a skill that s highly valued by employers and publishers. This class focuses on strengthening your writing for the web using journalistic techniques. Wheth...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

News and Feature WritingWCWP-40276

Units: 3.00

$345

The goal of this course is to introduce you to the purpose of journalism and the fundamentals of news and featue writing. In this ever-changing media landscape, one thing can remain constant: an indiv...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

The Writer's Art of InterviewingWCWP-40123

Units: 2.00

$220

Effective interviewing techniques translate to writing that is clear, lively, and depending on the writer s mission instructive or entertaining. This course will encompass all the integral compone...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Children's Writing

Writing for Children I: IntroductionWCWP-40186

Units: 3.00

$395

Have you ever told yourself that someday you will write a children s book? Now s your chance! Join us as we demystify the writing process and examine the wide variety of books offered to children: pi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Writing for Children II: IntermediateWCWP-40315

Units: 3.00

$395

Revision is the key to improving your work to reach the next level: publication. But often the hardest part is to figure out which words to cut, which to leave in, and how to tighten up the rest. Thi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Writing Children's Picture BooksWCWP-40261

Units: 3.00

$350

Let the wild rumpus begin! Do you dream of imaginary lands and mythical creatures? Learn how to inspire a child s imagination by giving them the tools necessary to explore the world around them. The ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer

Writing for the Middle Grade/YA ReaderWCWP-40274

Units: 3.00

$395

Discover how successful middle grade and young adult books are crafted, and begin to plot out and write a tale of your own. In this course, we will consider how a plot works, what makes a compelling ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Writing Non-Fiction and Informational Books for ChildrenWCWP-40327

Units: 3.00

$350

The market for children s nonfiction and informational books and articles has never been better. In this course, which can be taken by those familiar with writing for children and those just beginnin...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

General Electives

Forms of PoetryWCWP-40308

Units: 2.00

$275

Amy Lowell wrote, "No one expects a man to make a chair without first learning how, but there is a popular impression that the poet is born, not made, and that his verses burst from his overflowing he...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

The Business of Writing

Building a Business around WritingWCWP-40321

Units: 1.00

$145

There a many avenues to building a business around writing. In this short course we will briefly discuss various possibilities including becoming a book author, freelance writer for hire, or journal...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Copywriting I: Writing for User ExperienceWCWP-40330

Units: 3.00

TBD

Build essential copywriting skills to professionally use long-form writing techniques for User Experience, such as What s In It For Me (WIIFM) and Storytelling, to create engaging, integrated marketin...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

The Art and Business of BloggingWCWP-40334

Units: 3.00

$320

In this course students will learn the art of writing for an online audience, how to create a basic Wordpress site, insert blog posts, edit, and brand their blog. This course will also touch on how to...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Conditions for Admission

Students should have a native level of fluency in English and be able to write clear, logical and grammatically-correct sentences.

Certificate Guidelines

The program consists of earning at least 28 quarter units in Creative Writing and related courses. Students should be able to complete the entire certificate program in 2.5 years or less depending on their work load.

Students must pass all 14 units of required classes, 2 units of Literature, and choose 12 units from our listed electives in order to receive the certificate.

Advisory Board

Benjamin Doller

Professor and Author

UC San Diego

Allan Havis

Playwright

Fanny Howe

Author and Professor Emerita of Writing and Literature

University of CA, San Diego

Judy Reeves

Author

Amy Wallen

Author

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.