Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for a creative writing class?

All creative writing courses are by instructor's permission, after the submission of a manuscript sample. Manuscript samples should be no more than 6 pages long, and in the genre of the creative writing workshop the student is applying for: poetry, fiction or screenwriting.

Samples should be emailed to the relevant instructor as early in the registration process as possible, in a single Word document (.doc or .docx). 

Each workshop is capped at 14 students. During early registration, each workshop will accept up to 12 students, allowing room for incoming first-years and transfer students during the fall registration period.

What are my chances of being accepted to a writing class?

This depends on how many students apply to any given class, and varies from semester to semester. Writing workshops by nature must be small, and each class usually has about 10-14 students. We offer four to seven workshops each semester; you may wish to have an alternative class in mind, just in case.

What should the writing sample consist of?

Unless otherwise noted, writing samples should consist of four to six pages of creative work, geared to the genre of the class you’re interested in. This can be, for example, four to seven poems, depending on their length; a long story; or a few shorter stories. The most important thing is that the work should be creative; academic essays are not suitable in this case. These workshops are designed to help writers improve their skills, so the writing samples are not expected to be perfect. Samples should be emailed to the faculty instructor.

I've never taken a creative writing class, but would like to. Where would be a good place for me to start?

ENG 19a (Introduction to Creative Writing) is a good option for beginning writers.

What is the difference between the Fiction Workshop and the Short Fiction Workshop?

The Fiction Workshop is a more advanced workshop. Students who have never taken a fiction class but are interested in doing so would be better served by taking the short fiction class first.

What is the difference between the thesis track of the creative writing major and the regular creative writing major? Where can I find the requirements for both?

The regular creative writing major is designed to allow maximum freedom and development to its majors. By not requiring a thesis, majors may take more workshops, and expand their abilities without the pressure of writing a book in a single year. Acceptance to the thesis option is by application only. Instead of the standard major's four creative writing workshops, the thesis option requires three creative writing workshops and a two-semester thesis and a tutorial bibliography.

When is the deadline to apply to the creative writing thesis track? What do I do to apply?
  • The deadline for first semester juniors to submit manuscripts for the thesis option will be Nov. 20, 2017.

  • For mid-year students who will be first semester juniors in the spring, the deadline will be sometime in April. Date TBD.

The application should include a sample of work (20 pages of poetry, or 35-50 pages of fiction) as well as an unofficial transcript of courses taken to date.