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Creative Writing

Creative Writing

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538 Atkinson

The Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing is designed to allow students to extend their critical analyses of literary texts by letting them develop their own creative writing skills. Studying under the supervision of professors who are also published authors, students take workshop courses in which they share their own creative work and offer constructive critiques of their fellow students’ work, while simultaneously reading about and discussing current aesthetic issues in the field. After completing the coursework, students work directly under the supervision of a creative writing faculty member to complete a capstone creative project in their chosen genre: poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, or a hybrid of two or more of these options.

The Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing pushes students to think critically about their own creative work. Students improve their own writing, but they also learn to situate their work in relation to the important aesthetic and cultural issues that contemporary writers are engaging.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must be admitted to the MA and/or PhD program in English to pursue the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing.

Admission to the fiction and poetry workshop courses, one of which is required for the graduate diploma, is dependent upon submission of a portfolio and the subsequent permission of the instructor.

Diploma Requirements

The Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing requires successful completion of:

  • One core half-course (3.0) in fiction or poetry beyond regular degree requirements. Two core half-courses, one in fiction, and one in poetry, are offered every year.
  • One crossover half-course (3.0) in literary nonfiction/multimodalities, which also counts for the student’s regular degree requirements. One such course is offered every year.
  • The capstone creative project, to be completed under the supervision of a member of the Graduate Program in English with expertise in creative writing and in addition to the regular degree requirements. This project includes an introductory literary-critical essay (15 pages) and a coherent body of work, approximately 40-60 pages. It is read by the supervisor and another reader, either from within the Graduate Program in English’s creative writing area, or a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies from another program with expertise in creative writing, or, in rare cases, someone demonstrably in field from outside the university. A grade is arrived upon by the two readers, on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ grading scale, falling between A+ and F.

This curriculum is integrated with the existing requirements for the MA degree so that degree may be completed within at most four terms.

The Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing core courses are open to all qualified students in our program, at both MA and PhD levels. The fiction and poetry courses are core courses and count only for graduate diploma credit. Admission to these courses is based on submission of a portfolio and subsequent permission of the instructor. Regular literary studies students may enroll in these courses, and have the option to complete the course as a traditional literary critical studies course while gaining the benefit of a course in practical poetry/fiction techniques. The course then satisfies regular MA and PhD requirements but does not count towards the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing.

One crossover literary nonfiction/multimodal course is required for the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing, and may also be taken to satisfy regular PhD and MA course requirements.

Core Courses
English 6779 3.0: Seminar-Workshop in Creative Writing: Fiction
English 6776 3.0: Seminar-Workshop in Creative Writing: Poetry

Crossover Courses
English 6777 3.0: Transformations & Multimodalities: Writing in the Expanded Field
English 6595 3.0: Special Topics: Literary Non-Fiction
English 6778 3.0: Writing Food

Students new to the field of creative writing must consult with the Coordinator for the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing and the Graduate Program Director on the best courses for them. It is expected that those with no prior creative writing training will elect to take the literary nonfiction courses at first, or one of the core courses while choosing the option to submit literary critical essays for evaluation while benefitting from the distinct approach to poetry/fiction as a craft. In this case the course would not count for graduate diploma credit.