Diploma in Creative Writing

Please Note: This Diploma is Subject to Quality Council approval.

The Grad Program in English is pleased to introduce a unique diploma that fosters writing skills across the genres and trains students to move from critical and analytical argument and interpretation to the literary essay, personal memoir, historical biography, short story, novel, and poetry.

All of our new Creative courses are open to all students, which means, not that all those who take a creative or literary writing course will go on to complete the diploma, but that all graduate students in English Literature have the opportunity to develop mastery in the writing of distinct literary forms, whether poetic, fictional or those of literary prose, as well as in the critical interpretation of such forms. Our diploma program places future writers in the line of writer-critics that extends in English from Coleridge and Henry James to Maggie Nelson and Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Through the writing of fiction and the informed consideration of ideas, students have a chance to think in ways especially of value in our moment, with its transformative technologies, its incursions of the implausible into the real—and its eternal verities. Creative writing allows students to think laterally and vertically, not only absorbing ideas but sounding the self; not just producing shaped arguments but making artifacts that, while containing ideas, aren't contained by them.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing can be obtained in conjunction with a MA or PhD in English on either a full-time or part-time basis. Entry to the Diploma course of study occurs in the Fall term in alignment with degree program entry.

Diploma Requirements

Diploma students must successfully complete:

  1. one 3.0 core course in fiction or poetry, in addition to regular degree requirements. Admission will be on the basis of a portfolio of creative work in either fiction or poetry, submitted to the instructor in advance of the course.
  2. one 3.0 course in literary nonfiction, which also counts toward our regular degree requirements (MA or PhD).
  3. the Capstone Creative Project, to be completed under the supervision of a member of the GPE with expertise in CW. This project will include an introductory literary-critical essay (15 pages) and a coherent body of work, approx. 40-60 pages. Students do not need to complete the Diploma to take a course!

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

The Grad Diploma core courses in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction are open to all students in our program, at both MA and PhD levels, with the following notations:

  • Enrollment in the Fiction Workshop is by permission of the instructor, on the basis of the submission of a portfolio of approximately 25 pages of fiction.
  • In the case of the Poetry courses, regular literary studies students may enroll and will have the option to complete the course as a traditional literary critical studies course while gaining the benefit of a course in practical poetic technique. Those taking these courses for Grad Diploma credit, however, will be evaluated on both creative and critical work. Admission to the CW stream in the Poetry Workshop will be in advance, by permission of the instructor, on the basis of a writing portfolio of approximately 25 pages of poetry.
  • The Literary Nonfiction courses are open to all students in the GPE. There are no separate admission requirements nor separate streams within these courses.

Grad Creative Writing Faculty

  • Kenzie Allen,
    Poet and Multimodal Artist
  • Stephen Cain,
    Modernist Poetry and Poetics
  • Julia Creet,
    Contemporary Cultural Studies, Theory, Literary Non-Fiction
  • David Goldstein,
    Early Modern Poetry and Poetics, Shakespeare, Literary Non-Fiction, Food Writing
  • Michael Helm,
    Contemporary Fiction and Literature
  • Bruce Powe,
    Media Theory, Literary Criticism
  • Andy Weaver,
    Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
  • Allan Weiss,
    Science Fiction and Fantasy