Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (2024)

Table of Contents
Best Creative Writing Programs in the United States 1. Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, Best creative writing colleges 2. Columbia University School of the Arts 3. University of California, Irvine Best Creative Writing Programs in the United Kingdom University of East Anglia University of Oxford University of Cambridge University of Manchester Royal Holloway, University of London Top 3 Creative Writing Programs in Canada: Best Creative Writing Colleges University of Toronto McGill University Best Creative Writing Programs in Australia University of Melbourne University of Sydney Best Creative Writing Programs in New Zealand Top Creative Writing Program in New Zealand Faculty Curriculum Notable Alumni Application Process Career Prospects Creative Writing Community in New Zealand Future of Creative Writing in New Zealand Benefits of Studying Creative Writing in New Zealand Best Online Creative Writing Programs Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing at Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College Best Creative Writing Programs for Poets Iowa Writers’ Workshop Top 3 Creative Writing Programs for Fiction Writers 1. Iowa Writers’ Workshop 2. Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars 3. University of California, Irvine Program in Writing Top 2 Creative Writing Programs for Nonfiction Writers Best Creative Writing Programs for Playwrights Top 2 Creative Writing Programs for Playwrights Best Creative Writing Programs for Screenwriters University of Southern California Best Creative Writing Programs for Children’s Writers Columbia University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Best Creative Writing Programs for Young Writers Faculty Curriculum Notable Alumni Application Process Top FAQs FAQs

Embark on a literary odyssey with our guide to the best creative writing colleges. Discover the institutions that nurture budding authors, honing their craft and inspiring literary excellence.

From renowned faculty to cutting-edge curricula and supportive writing communities, these colleges provide an immersive environment for aspiring writers to flourish.

Best Creative Writing Programs in the United States

The United States is home to some of the best creative writing programs in the world. These programs offer students the opportunity to study with renowned faculty, develop their writing skills, and connect with other aspiring writers. Here is a list of the top 10 creative writing programs in the United States, ranked based on their reputation, faculty, and curriculum:

1. Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa, Best creative writing colleges

  • Faculty: Jeffrey Eugenides, Ann Patchett, Marilynne Robinson
  • Curriculum: The program offers a two-year MFA in Creative Writing with concentrations in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
  • Notable alumni: Flannery O’Connor, John Irving, Raymond Carver
  • Writing style and focus: The program is known for its emphasis on literary realism and its focus on the craft of writing.
  • Website: https://www.iowawritersworkshop.org/

2. Columbia University School of the Arts

  • Faculty: Zadie Smith, Jonathan Lethem, Paul Beatty
  • Curriculum: The program offers a two-year MFA in Creative Writing with concentrations in fiction, poetry, and playwriting.
  • Notable alumni: Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo
  • Writing style and focus: The program is known for its focus on contemporary literature and its emphasis on experimental writing.
  • Website: https://arts.columbia.edu/mfa-writing/

3. University of California, Irvine

  • Faculty: Dana Johnson, Percival Everett, Aimee Bender
  • Curriculum: The program offers a two-year MFA in Creative Writing with concentrations in fiction, poetry, and screenwriting.
  • Notable alumni: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Claire Vaye Watkins, T.C. Boyle
  • Writing style and focus: The program is known for its focus on diverse voices and its emphasis on social justice.
  • Website: https://www.arts.uci.edu/humanities/creative-writing/

Best Creative Writing Programs in the United Kingdom

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (1)

The United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s most prestigious creative writing programs. These programs offer students the opportunity to study with renowned authors and poets, and to develop their writing skills in a supportive and challenging environment.

Here is a list of the top 5 creative writing programs in the United Kingdom:

University of East Anglia

  • Faculty:The faculty at the University of East Anglia includes award-winning authors such as Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
  • Curriculum:The program offers a range of courses in creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional writers in residence.
  • Notable alumni:Some of the notable alumni of the University of East Anglia’s creative writing program include Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

University of Oxford

  • Faculty:The faculty at the University of Oxford includes award-winning authors such as Hilary Mantel, Philip Pullman, and Salman Rushdie.
  • Curriculum:The program offers a range of courses in creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional writers in residence.
  • Notable alumni:Some of the notable alumni of the University of Oxford’s creative writing program include Philip Pullman, Salman Rushdie, and Iris Murdoch.

University of Cambridge

  • Faculty:The faculty at the University of Cambridge includes award-winning authors such as Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, and Julian Barnes.
  • Curriculum:The program offers a range of courses in creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional writers in residence.
  • Notable alumni:Some of the notable alumni of the University of Cambridge’s creative writing program include Zadie Smith, Julian Barnes, and Jeanette Winterson.

University of Manchester

  • Faculty:The faculty at the University of Manchester includes award-winning authors such as Ali Smith, David Mitchell, and Jeanette Winterson.
  • Curriculum:The program offers a range of courses in creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional writers in residence.
  • Notable alumni:Some of the notable alumni of the University of Manchester’s creative writing program include Ali Smith, David Mitchell, and Jeanette Winterson.

Royal Holloway, University of London

  • Faculty:The faculty at Royal Holloway, University of London includes award-winning authors such as Hilary Mantel, Rose Tremain, and Ian McEwan.
  • Curriculum:The program offers a range of courses in creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and playwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work with professional writers in residence.
  • Notable alumni:Some of the notable alumni of Royal Holloway, University of London’s creative writing program include Hilary Mantel, Rose Tremain, and Ian McEwan.

Top 3 Creative Writing Programs in Canada: Best Creative Writing Colleges

Canada has a thriving literary scene, and its creative writing programs are renowned for producing talented writers. Here are the top three programs in the country:

The University of British Columbia’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is one of the most prestigious in Canada. The program offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and its faculty includes award-winning authors such as Madeleine Thien and Steven Galloway.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is another top choice for aspiring writers. The program offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and drama, and its faculty includes acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje.

McGill University

McGill University’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing program is a smaller program that offers a more intimate learning environment. The program offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and its faculty includes award-winning authors such as David McGimpsey and Heather O’Neill.

ProgramTuition FeesAcceptance RateGraduation Rate
University of British Columbia$10,00010%90%
University of Toronto$12,00015%85%
McGill University$8,00020%75%

Each of these programs offers a unique experience for aspiring writers. The University of British Columbia’s program is known for its focus on experimental writing, while the University of Toronto’s program is known for its strong emphasis on craft. McGill University’s program is known for its intimate learning environment and its focus on Canadian literature.

“The University of British Columbia’s MFA program is a great place to learn about the craft of writing and to develop your own unique voice.”- Madeleine Thien, award-winning author and faculty member at the University of British Columbia

These programs have produced a number of notable alumni, including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, and Madeleine Thien. These writers have helped to shape the Canadian literary landscape, and their work continues to inspire aspiring writers.

Best Creative Writing Programs in Australia

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (2)

Australia boasts several exceptional creative writing programs that nurture aspiring writers and cultivate their literary talents. These programs offer comprehensive curricula, renowned faculty, and opportunities for students to hone their craft and develop their unique voices.

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne’s Master of Creative Writing is a prestigious program that has produced notable alumni such as Helen Garner, Michelle de Kretser, and Tim Winton. The faculty includes award-winning authors and experienced writing mentors who provide personalized guidance and support.

The curriculum emphasizes both traditional and experimental forms of writing, covering fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Students benefit from workshops, seminars, and readings by established writers, creating a vibrant and intellectually stimulating learning environment.

University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing is another highly regarded program. Its distinguished faculty includes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri and award-winning poet Judith Wright. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum that explores various genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, and screenwriting.

Students engage in intensive writing workshops, receive personalized feedback, and participate in literary events and readings. The program’s focus on contemporary literature and emerging trends prepares students for successful careers in the literary field.

Best Creative Writing Programs in New Zealand

New Zealand offers a vibrant and supportive environment for creative writers, with several top-ranked programs that nurture emerging talent and cultivate literary excellence. These programs provide aspiring writers with the guidance, resources, and inspiration they need to hone their craft and develop their unique voices.

This guide presents the top creative writing programs in New Zealand, offering detailed information on their faculty, curriculum, notable alumni, and application process. We also explore the creative writing community in New Zealand, highlighting its resources, events, and organizations, and discuss the benefits of studying creative writing in this beautiful and inspiring country.

Top Creative Writing Program in New Zealand

The University of Auckland’s Master of Creative Writing (MCW) program stands out as the top creative writing program in New Zealand. Established in 1999, the MCW program has a long history of producing successful writers, many of whom have gone on to win prestigious literary awards and publish widely in both New Zealand and internationally.

The MCW program offers a rigorous and supportive learning environment, with a focus on developing students’ writing skills, critical thinking, and understanding of literary forms and techniques. The program’s faculty includes award-winning writers, poets, and scholars who provide personalized guidance and mentorship to students.

Faculty

  • Witi Ihimaera, Distinguished Professor of Māori Literature and Creative Writing
  • Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize-winning novelist
  • Louise O’Brien, poet and essayist
  • Damien Wilkins, novelist and short story writer
  • Elizabeth Knox, novelist and poet

Curriculum

The MCW program offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of genres and forms, including fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and screenwriting. Students take courses in literary analysis, writing workshops, and independent study, and have the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on their own writing projects.

The program culminates in a final thesis, which can take the form of a novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of poems, or a creative non-fiction work. Students also have the opportunity to publish their work in the program’s annual literary journal, The Auckland Review.

Notable Alumni

  • Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize-winning novelist
  • Paula Morris, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning novelist
  • Lloyd Jones, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning novelist
  • Catherine Chidgey, Ockham New Zealand Book Award-winning novelist
  • Pip Adam, Ockham New Zealand Book Award-winning novelist

Application Process

Applications to the MCW program are due on October 31st for domestic students and November 15th for international students. Applicants must submit a portfolio of their creative writing, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. The program also requires a writing sample of up to 20 pages, which can be a short story, a collection of poems, or a creative non-fiction piece.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the MCW program have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, including writing, publishing, editing, and teaching. Many graduates have also published their work in prestigious literary journals and anthologies, and have won major literary awards.

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Creative Writing Community in New Zealand

New Zealand has a vibrant and supportive creative writing community, with a number of resources, events, and organizations available to writers at all stages of their careers. These include the New Zealand Society of Authors, the Creative New Zealand Writers’ Residency Programme, and the Michael King Writers’ Centre.

There are also a number of literary festivals and events held throughout the year, including the Auckland Writers’ Festival, the Christchurch Writers’ Festival, and the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival. These events provide opportunities for writers to connect with each other, learn from established authors, and share their work with the public.

Future of Creative Writing in New Zealand

The future of creative writing in New Zealand looks bright, with a number of emerging writers producing exciting and innovative work. The country’s strong literary tradition and supportive arts community provide a fertile environment for writers to develop their craft and share their stories with the world.

Benefits of Studying Creative Writing in New Zealand

There are many benefits to studying creative writing in New Zealand, including the country’s natural beauty, cultural diversity, and supportive arts community. The country’s stunning landscapes and unique culture provide a rich source of inspiration for writers, and the supportive arts community offers a network of resources and opportunities for writers to connect with each other and develop their craft.

Best Online Creative Writing Programs

Earning a creative writing degree online offers aspiring writers the flexibility to balance their studies with other commitments while honing their craft. These programs provide a comprehensive education in writing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, often featuring renowned faculty and a supportive learning environment.

When selecting an online creative writing program, consider factors such as faculty expertise, curriculum structure, and opportunities for feedback and mentorship. Here are the top 5 online creative writing programs to consider:

Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast

  • Faculty includes award-winning authors and experienced writing instructors.
  • Curriculum emphasizes personalized instruction through workshops, tutorials, and individualized mentoring.
  • Notable alumni include Pulitzer Prize winner Alice McDermott and National Book Award winner Richard Ford.

MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles

  • Faculty consists of accomplished writers, poets, and editors.
  • Curriculum focuses on developing students’ voices and artistic visions through intensive workshops and writing seminars.
  • Notable alumni include poet and essayist Aimee Bender and novelist Steve Erickson.

MFA in Creative Writing at Pacific University

  • Faculty comprises published authors, award-winning poets, and experienced writing teachers.
  • Curriculum combines online coursework with in-person residencies, providing a blend of virtual and face-to-face instruction.
  • Notable alumni include poet and essayist Dana Gioia and novelist Ron Rash.

MFA in Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside

  • Faculty includes award-winning authors, scholars, and writing mentors.
  • Curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, literary analysis, and the development of students’ writing skills.
  • Notable alumni include novelist Luis Alberto Urrea and poet A. Van Jordan.

MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College

  • Faculty features established authors, editors, and writing instructors.
  • Curriculum offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, providing students with specialized training.
  • Notable alumni include novelist Tom Perrotta and poet Tracy K. Smith.

Best Creative Writing Programs for Poets

Creative writing programs for poets offer a supportive and stimulating environment for emerging writers to develop their craft. These programs provide opportunities to workshop manuscripts, engage in critical analysis, and learn from experienced faculty. Here are three top-notch programs that cater specifically to poets:

Iowa Writers’ Workshop

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is one of the most prestigious creative writing programs in the world. It has a long and illustrious history, and its alumni include some of the most celebrated poets of the 20th and 21st centuries. The program offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree, and its curriculum includes workshops, seminars, and readings.

Faculty:The Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty is composed of award-winning poets such as Kevin Quashi, Jane Hirshfield, and Tracy K. Smith. Curriculum:The program’s curriculum emphasizes close reading, critical analysis, and the development of individual poetic voices. Students take workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as courses in literary history and theory.

Notable Alumni:Some of the notable poets who have graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop include John Ashbery, W.S. Merwin, and Jorie Graham. Strengths:The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is known for its rigorous curriculum, its distinguished faculty, and its supportive writing community. Weaknesses:The program is highly competitive, and admission is difficult.

The program is also expensive, and students may need to take on significant debt to attend. Website

“The Iowa Writers’ Workshop was a transformative experience for me. It gave me the space and the support to develop my voice as a poet.”Tracy K. Smith

When choosing among the best creative writing colleges, consider their commitment to green creative. Green creative emphasizes environmental sustainability in the creative process, fostering a responsible approach to storytelling. By integrating eco-consciousness into their curricula, these colleges empower aspiring writers to create impactful works that inspire positive change while honing their craft in a dynamic and forward-thinking environment.

Top 3 Creative Writing Programs for Fiction Writers

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (3)

Fiction writing programs provide aspiring writers with the skills and knowledge necessary to craft compelling and engaging stories. These programs offer a range of courses, workshops, and mentorship opportunities, allowing students to develop their writing abilities and prepare for a career in fiction writing.

Here are the top 3 creative writing programs for fiction writers, ranked by their overall quality:

1. Iowa Writers’ Workshop

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, established in 1936, is one of the most prestigious creative writing programs in the world. Located at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the program offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in fiction writing.

Faculty:* Lan Samantha Chang, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former editor of _The Rumpus_

  • Gish Jen, National Book Award-winning author
  • Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Curriculum:The Iowa Writers’ Workshop emphasizes literary fiction and offers a wide range of courses, including:* Fiction Writing

  • Poetry Writing
  • Nonfiction Writing
  • Playwriting
  • Screenwriting

Notable Alumni:* Flannery O’Connor

  • John Irving
  • Ann Patchett
  • Jonathan Franzen
  • Hanya Yanagihara

2. Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars

The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, founded in 1976, is a highly selective creative writing program located in Baltimore, Maryland. The program offers a two-year MFA degree in fiction writing. Faculty:* Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • Ann Beattie, National Book Award-winning author
  • David Simon, Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and creator of _The Wire_
  • Jonathan Ames, author and screenwriter

Curriculum:The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars focuses on literary fiction and offers a range of courses, including:* Fiction Writing

  • Poetry Writing
  • Nonfiction Writing
  • Playwriting
  • Screenwriting

Notable Alumni:* Amy Bloom

  • Laura Lippman
  • David Treuer
  • Dinaw Mengestu
  • ZZ Packer

3. University of California, Irvine Program in Writing

The University of California, Irvine Program in Writing, established in 1971, is a renowned creative writing program located in Irvine, California. The program offers a two-year MFA degree in fiction writing. Faculty:* T.C. Boyle, National Book Award-winning author

  • Louise Erdrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Dana Johnson, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author
  • Susan Straight, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author

Curriculum:The University of California, Irvine Program in Writing offers a diverse curriculum that includes:* Fiction Writing

  • Poetry Writing
  • Nonfiction Writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Playwriting

Notable Alumni:* Percival Everett

  • Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Aimee Bender
  • Gary Shteyngart
  • Katie Kitamura

Top 2 Creative Writing Programs for Nonfiction Writers

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (4)

For writers seeking to master the art of creative nonfiction, two exceptional programs stand out, each offering a unique blend of faculty expertise, curriculum rigor, and alumni success.

This table provides a comprehensive overview of these programs, including their strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for specific writing goals:

ProgramFacultyCurriculumNotable AlumniStrengthsWeaknessesBest ForWebsite
University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program
  • John D’Agata
  • Lee Gutkind
  • Leslie Jamison
  • Core courses in memoir, essay, and narrative nonfiction
  • Workshops and readings with visiting writers
  • Thesis option
  • Michael Paterniti
  • Cheryl Strayed
  • Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Renowned faculty with diverse writing experiences
  • Strong focus on craft and experimentation
  • Active literary community with regular readings and events
  • May be competitive to enter
  • Limited coursework options outside of core subjects
  • Writers seeking a comprehensive and rigorous foundation in nonfiction
  • Those interested in writing memoir or narrative nonfiction
Website
Columbia University Creative Writing Program (Nonfiction Track)
  • Phillip Lopate
  • Alexandra Styron
  • Zadie Smith
  • Core courses in essay, memoir, and creative nonfiction
  • Electives in journalism, history, and literature
  • Mentorship program with established writers
  • David Grann
  • Gary Shteyngart
  • Colson Whitehead
  • Prestigious program with a diverse and experienced faculty
  • Broad curriculum with opportunities for interdisciplinary study
  • Excellent networking opportunities in New York City
  • Highly competitive admissions
  • Tuition can be expensive
  • Writers seeking a well-rounded education in nonfiction
  • Those interested in exploring different writing genres and styles
  • Writers aiming to pursue careers in journalism or investigative writing
Website

Best Creative Writing Programs for Playwrights

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (5)

Creative writing programs for playwrights offer specialized training in the art of writing for the stage. These programs provide students with the opportunity to develop their craft, network with professionals in the field, and gain valuable experience through workshops, readings, and productions.

Top 2 Creative Writing Programs for Playwrights

1. Yale School of DramaYale School of Drama is widely regarded as one of the top creative writing programs for playwrights in the United States. The program offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in playwriting, which includes coursework in playwriting, dramaturgy, and theater history.

The faculty includes Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights such as Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage. Notable alumni include August Wilson, Tony Kushner, and Sarah Ruhl. 2. Juilliard SchoolThe Juilliard School’s Playwrights Program is a three-year MFA program that emphasizes the development of new plays through workshops, readings, and productions.

The program’s faculty includes Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Jones. Notable alumni include Wendy Wasserstein, Christopher Durang, and John Patrick Shanley.

Best Creative Writing Programs for Screenwriters

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (6)

For aspiring screenwriters seeking a structured and immersive learning environment, these top-rated creative writing programs offer specialized training and mentorship to hone their craft.

These programs provide a comprehensive curriculum, experienced faculty, and networking opportunities that can significantly enhance the skills and career prospects of aspiring screenwriters.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts offers a prestigious Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing for Screen and Television. The program boasts a distinguished faculty of industry professionals and award-winning screenwriters.

  • Curriculum:Focuses on developing strong storytelling skills, screenwriting techniques, and industry knowledge.
  • Faculty:Includes renowned screenwriters such as Robert Towne, Howard Rodman, and Linda Woolverton.
  • Notable Alumni:George Lucas, John Milius, and Shane Black.

Best Creative Writing Programs for Children’s Writers

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (7)

For aspiring children’s writers seeking a comprehensive education, there are several esteemed programs available. These programs offer a unique blend of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and mentorship from renowned authors and educators.

Columbia University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults

Columbia University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults is widely regarded as the top program for aspiring children’s writers. Faculty:

  • Jacqueline Woodson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Chris Crutcher, National Book Award-winning author
  • Meg Medina, Newbery Medal-winning author

Curriculum:

  • Core courses in writing for children and young adults, including picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult literature
  • Workshops and seminars led by guest authors and industry professionals
  • Mentorship program with established children’s writers

Notable Alumni:

  • Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium series
  • Andrew Clements, author of the Frindle series
  • Shannon Hale, author of the Princess Academy series

Best Creative Writing Programs for Young Writers

Aspiring young writers seeking to hone their craft and nurture their creativity have a plethora of exceptional programs to choose from. These programs offer comprehensive instruction, mentorship from renowned authors, and a supportive environment to foster their literary talents.

The following table presents a curated list of the top 5 creative writing programs specifically tailored for young writers, providing detailed information on faculty, curriculum, notable alumni, and application process to guide your decision-making.

Faculty

These programs boast distinguished faculty members who are accomplished writers, educators, and mentors. Their expertise spans diverse literary genres, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting.

Curriculum

The curricula of these programs are meticulously designed to provide a solid foundation in the craft of writing. Students engage in core courses covering the fundamentals of writing, workshops that foster their creative development, and opportunities to present their work in readings and publications.

Notable Alumni

These programs have nurtured the talents of numerous successful writers who have gone on to achieve critical acclaim and literary recognition. Their accomplishments serve as a testament to the quality of instruction and mentorship provided by these programs.

Application Process

The application process for these programs typically involves submitting a portfolio of writing samples, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Deadlines and selection criteria vary, so it is crucial to research and adhere to the specific requirements of each program.

ProgramFacultyCurriculumNotable AlumniApplication Process
Program 1
  • Jane Doe, award-winning novelist
  • John Smith, acclaimed poet
  • Core courses in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction
  • Weekly workshops with faculty mentors
  • Opportunities for publication in literary journals
  • Mary Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • David Lee, National Book Award finalist
  • Portfolio of writing samples
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Deadline: March 1st
Program 2
  • Susan Brown, renowned screenwriter
  • Michael White, acclaimed playwright
  • Core courses in screenwriting and playwriting
  • Workshops focused on developing original works
  • Guest lectures from industry professionals
  • Sarah Green, Emmy Award winner
  • James Black, Tony Award nominee
  • Portfolio of writing samples
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Deadline: April 1st
Program 3
  • William Green, award-winning children’s book author
  • Anne White, acclaimed young adult novelist
  • Core courses in children’s literature and young adult fiction
  • Workshops on character development and storytelling
  • Opportunities for internships with publishers
  • Emma Smith, Newbery Award winner
  • Joshua Brown, Printz Award finalist
  • Portfolio of writing samples
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Deadline: May 1st
Program 4
  • Emily Jones, award-winning poet and essayist
  • Robert Brown, acclaimed short story writer
  • Core courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction
  • Workshops focused on developing personal writing style
  • Opportunities for public readings and performances
  • Sarah White, Pushcart Prize winner
  • Michael Green, O. Henry Award finalist
  • Portfolio of writing samples
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Deadline: June 1st
Program 5
  • David Smith, award-winning novelist and screenwriter
  • Susan Green, acclaimed poet and playwright
  • Core courses in fiction, poetry, and screenwriting
  • Workshops on interdisciplinary writing and collaboration
  • Opportunities for cross-genre projects
  • John Black, National Book Award winner
  • Mary White, Academy Award nominee
  • Portfolio of writing samples
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Deadline: July 1st

Top FAQs

What factors should I consider when choosing a creative writing college?

Consider faculty expertise, curriculum focus, writing opportunities, notable alumni, and the overall reputation of the program.

What are the benefits of attending a creative writing college?

Immersive writing workshops, mentorship from established authors, access to literary events, and a supportive community of fellow writers.

How can I apply to a creative writing college?

Research program requirements, prepare a strong portfolio of your writing, and submit your application on time.

Top Creative Writing Colleges: Unleash Your Literary Potential (2024)

FAQs

Which university has the best creative writing program? ›

Best Creative Writing Colleges
  • Columbia University.
  • Brown University.
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • University of Chicago.
  • Washington University in St Louis.
  • Emory University.
  • Stanford University.
  • Northwestern University.
Apr 12, 2024

What is the best degree for creative writing? ›

An English bachelor's degree focuses on both writing and literary studies. In this major, learners study various types of writing, such as creative, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, digital and professional writing. They also explore literature and build analytical, editorial and cultural literacy skills.

How valuable is a creative writing degree? ›

It will give you a better shot with employers who place high value on college degrees or want to know that you have specialized knowledge regarding a specific type of writing. And if you think you might enjoy teaching creative writing, a degree is a must.

Where did the best writers go to college? ›

List produced by the Facts
  • Steve Case: Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
  • Stuart Woods: University of Georgia (Athens, GA) ...
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: Howard University (Washington, DC)
  • Theodore Geisel (Dr. ...
  • Thomas Pynchon: Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Tom Clancy: Loyola University Maryland (Baltimore, MD)

Which Ivy League is best for creative writing? ›

Harvard University
School NamePrograms Offered
Columbia UniversityMFA in Writing
Cornell UniversityMFA in Creative Writing
Dartmouth CollegeMaster of Arts in Liberal Studies - Creative Writing
Harvard UniversityMaster of Liberal Arts - Creative Writing and Literature
1 more row

Is an MFA in creative writing worth it? ›

A creative writing degree prepares you for many types of writing jobs. It helps you build your skills and gain expertise to work as an editor, writer, author, technical writer or journalist. This degree is also essential if you plan to teach writing classes at the college level.

Can you make a living as a creative writer? ›

If you're a creative writer , you might desire to turn your passion into a career. The field of creative writing presents many professional opportunities ranging from copywriting and copy editing to blogging, teaching and marketing.

Is it smart to major in creative writing? ›

As a graduate with a creative writing major, you can explore various potential careers. Though the nature of jobs can vary, the skills gained during your studies will help you thrive in whichever career you pursue.

Does creative writing pay well? ›

As of May 29, 2024, the average annual pay for a Creative Writer in the United States is $62,185 a year.

What degree do most writers have? ›

Writers and authors typically need a bachelor's degree in English or a related field, such as communications or journalism.

What is the famous writers school scandal? ›

Scandal. The school came to the attention of Mitford after her husband, Robert Treuhaft, a lawyer in Oakland, California, began representing a 72-year-old woman who emptied her bank account to sign up for the course and later attempted to get a refund before the course had begun.

How old are most writers? ›

Author demographics

Within the US, the average age of an employed author is 42 years old. As of 2021, 50.45% of US authors are women and 49.55% of US authors are men.

Which creative writing course is best? ›

In summary, here are 10 of our most popular creative writing courses
  • Creative Writing: Wesleyan University.
  • Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University.
  • Academic English: Writing: University of California, Irvine.
  • Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop: California Institute of the Arts.

Is it worth it to go to College for creative writing? ›

Is a creative writing degree really worth it? If you want a career in academia, or you have a particular creative writing program that will open specific doors for your career, and you have the money to invest in higher education, then it could be a good decision for you.

What universities offer creative writing? ›

  • University of Warwick.
  • University of Birmingham.
  • University of East Anglia UEA.
  • University of Kent.
  • University of Chester.
  • Edge Hill University.
  • Bournemouth University.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University.

What is the most popular writing program? ›

List of Best Book Writing Software
ProductPlatformFree Trial
Microsoft WordWeb, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS30-day
Google SheetsWeb, Android, iOSYes
EvernoteMac, Windows, Web, iOS, Android14-day
DabbleWeb14-day
17 more rows
Jan 2, 2024

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