What You Should Know About This Degree
There isn’t any one path that leads to becoming a published writer, but many people find a Master of Creative Writing degree program helpful. This program gives students a better understanding of the writing process, helps them sharpen skills, and assists them with their initial networking in the publishing industry. However, even the best programs don’t guarantee a successful career as an author.
For many students, a master’s in creative writing is a practical way to land a stable job teaching. Though graduating with a degree isn’t a guarantee of employment, this degree is a qualification for many English and creative writing teaching positions.
Many creative writing programs require students to focus on a specific genre, such as fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, or poetry, but some programs are general and have no such specialization. Consider your career goals before applying, and choose a program that matches your aspirations.
Online programs can mostly be completed remotely, but they might have optional or required residencies. Consider how a residency would fit within your budget and schedule as you evaluate various program options.
Here are a couple of questions to ask as you research master’s in creative writing programs:
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Coursework for these degree programs may be offered either synchronously or asynchronously. The former means that students attend classes together, while the latter means students can complete work on their own schedule. Think about how each mode would fit into your schedule when you look at programs.
- What licensing or certifications are required? Writing isn’t a field that requires licensure or certification, but there are some professional organizations that might be worth joining. Organizations tend to be focused on a particular genre, such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Becoming a member of these organizations provides networking opportunities.
When you have a shortlist of programs, find out the application process for each. You can check which application materials are required and the deadlines by contacting the program or visiting its webpage.
Also consider how you’ll cover tuition. Check with programs to see which fellowships, scholarships, and other financial aid might be available.