12 Best Creative Writing Programs, Courses & Schools in the World

Best Creative Writing Programs
Best Creative Writing Programs

In most colleges, you will find the best creative writing programs. The creative writing schools offer creative writing programs that include drama, poetry, personal essays, short stories, short and fiction, non-fiction and others.

With degrees in the best creative writing programs, students learn how they can use words in the right context and organize their thoughts that will make an impact on the audience.

Creative writing also involves some grey areas where writing is both professional and creative.

In this article, we will be looking at the best creative writing programs as well as the best schools for creative writing.

Where to Pursue Creative Writing Courses?

There are a lot of schools and colleges that offer creative writing courses as well as the best creative writing programs.

These creative writing courses can also be studied at the high school level.

Those who have plans of majoring in creative writing must also be interested in reading.

They have to read ample materials that are published by various authors of repute and must also be willing to read texts, books, and guidelines with which they can improve their own writing skills.

They must not only be interested in the study of writing but also must be prepared to spend some time practising the art form every day.

Degrees offered in Creative writing

Creative writing schools offer Bachelor of Fine Arts or BFA degrees once students complete their course in creative writing.

Some people may earn a BA in English Literature but they may have also majored in creative writing.

Students can also pursue higher education since there are many creative writing schools that offer Master of Fine Arts or MFA degrees in the field of creative writing.

Some doctoral programs are also available in creative writing, though they are very rare. The degrees that can be obtained after going through the best creative writing programs are:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts or BFA degree
  • BA in English literature
  • Master of Fine Arts or MFA degree

Other Areas of Specialization for Creative Writers

Students can concentrate on writing screenplays or dramas when pursuing their creative writing program in a reputed creative writing school.

They can also earn a fine arts degree with drama or screenwriting as their specialized subject.

Those who are interested in majoring in these subjects can look for a creative writing school that offers this specific focus.

On the other hand, students can also choose a major in English at the undergraduate level and can then take up creative writing as their career.

People from various disciplines are also lured toward this career option.

J.K Rowling became a famous writer although she did her basic studies in French.

John Grisham is a best selling author who was a lawyer by profession.

The Paths in the best Creative Writing programs

There are several paths to creative writing. You can join creative writing schools to pursue a degree or diploma in creative writing or can join creative writing workshops that may be conducted in your locality.

Many creative writing workshops are conducted online which can help you home your writing skills to the standard that you want.

There are other creative writing workshops found online that can help you to hone your writing skills at a time most suitable for you.

There are a lot of writers who have been trained through self-training, however, taking creative writing classes can certainly help.

10 popular creative writing courses and schools to find them(Available in Cousera)

  • Creative Writing
  • Write Your First Novel
  • Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself
  • Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
  • Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest
  • Be Your Best Creative Self
  • Good with Words: Writing and Editing
  • Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop
  • Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences
  • Creative Writing: The Craft of Style

Creative Writing: Wesleyan University: When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you’ll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University: Masters of both Memoir and Personal Essay share tips, prompts, exercises, readings and challenges to help every writer imagine, construct and write compelling pieces of non-fiction’s most popular form: the personal narrative.

Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself: Wesleyan University: Through 16 writing assignments across the four courses, and from reading the work of others, learners will develop a toolset to put pen to paper (or keys to screen) and write the story of their life.

Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot: Wesleyan University: In this course, aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot.

You will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest: Commonwealth Education Trust: This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. Participate in a dynamic online community of writers as you experiment with your own writing and develop your voice.

Be Your Best Creative Self: University of Colorado Boulder: This course is for creative professionals who want to work more efficiently and at higher levels of both job satisfaction and success.

As students work through this course, they will learn to make the creative state more reliable and productive and also fine-tune their personal brand so that they present themselves positively and accurately.

Good with Words: Writing and Editing: University of Michigan: This series of courses target the writing side of that recommendation. The skills it focuses on include everything from how to arrange a complex set of information in a reader-friendly way, to how to give and receive high-quality feedback, to how to consistently hit deadlines.

Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop: California Institute of the Arts: This course is built on the notion that the most exciting writing begins after the first draft.

It is specifically for folks who believe that writing poems just to express oneself is like using the Internet just for email.

Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences: UNSW Sydney (The University of New South Wales): This course will help you to design a strategy for developing and telling your own transmedia story.

Creative Writing: The Craft of Style: Wesleyan University: In this course, we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language.

Below are the best creative writing schools with the best creative writing programs.

The Best Creative Writing Schools with the best creative writing programs

  • Northwestern University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Iowa
  • Emory University
  • Oberlin College
  • Hamilton College
  • Brown University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Michigan
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Colorado College

Let’s review some of these schools with the best creative writing programs.

Northwestern University

This is one of the schools with the best creative writing programs. The creative writing major is an undergraduate concentration within the English Department at Northwestern University.

It is one of the first and finest undergraduate creative writing programs in the country.

Its reputation is based on the accomplishments of its graduates, the generosity of its accomplished professors, and a pedagogy that creates a fruitful symbiosis of close reading and inventive writing.

The Creative Writing program at Northwestern University also offers two minors; the Sequence-based Minor and, for those not pursuing one of the year-long sequences, the non-application based Cross-genre Minor in Creative Writing.

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Columbia University

Columbia University has one of the best creative writing programs. To study creative writing at  Columbia University’s School of the Arts, in New York, is to join a distinguished group of writers who arrived at a prestigious university in the nation’s literary capital to explore the deep artistic power of language.

Student writers not only have access to these provocative and rigorous courses, but they also can partake in the larger offerings of Columbia’s thriving School of the Arts: the readings, lectures, performances, and plays that bring together the world’s most gifted artists and writers, who come to Columbia to test their vision and explore the enormous power of literary art.

The creative writing program in The School of the Arts combines intensive writing workshops with seminars that study literature from a writer’s perspective. 

While students develop and hone their literary technique in workshops, the creative writing seminars (which explore literary technique as well as history) broaden their sense of possibility by exposing them to the various ways, historically, that language has been used to make art. 

As a supplement to the workshops and seminars, related courses for the major can be drawn from departments such as English, Comp. Lit, Philosophy, History, and Anthropology, among others.

 Students will determine, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the related courses that will best inform their creative work.

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University of Iowa

The University of Iowa English and Creative Writing. The English and Creative Writing major are one of the best creative writing programs that enable students to experience the historical, traditional, and innovative aspects of literature in English, and the relationship between critical reading, creative writing, and translation.

The program provides transferrable skills that are important for a liberal arts major, including the abilities to think deeply and creatively, read complex texts with comprehension and develop writing and speaking skills at an advanced level.

 For over 75 years in this university, the Department of English and the UI Writers’ Workshop have been leaders in the area of writing. 

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Emory University

The undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Emory celebrates its 31st birthday this year.

In this program, students can approach the study of literature in a creative way – through their own writing – as well as by the more traditional method of critical analysis and reading.

Students may also pursue their personal interests and investigate specific genres, including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, playwriting and screenwriting.

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Oberlin College

Oberlin offers undergraduates the rare opportunity to major in creative writing—not as a concentration in another department, but as an independent discipline in its own right.

In this institution, Creative Writing at Oberlin College is known as one of the best creative writing programs that provide an intense and rigorous course of study with instruction, studio training, and coursework in a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, translation, screenwriting, and hybrid forms.

Their program encourages work across disciplines and prepares students for a range of careers both within and beyond the literary world.

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Hamilton College

At Hamilton College, students may major in literature or creative writing. Their professors encourage students to create and study literature across centuries, nations and languages.

Creative writing majors will take a course load that balances literary study with poetry and prose workshops.

At each stage, in both majors, the curriculum emphasizes small classes, the exchange and testing of ideas and the development of superior reading and writing skills.

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Brown University

For fifty years, Literary Arts at Brown University has been a creative and intellectual centre for a diverse and innovative literary community.

Along with a handful of other writing programs nationwide, Brown provides a home for writers who are envisioning new paths in fiction, poetry, digital language arts, and mixed media. 

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Washington University in St. Louis

At Washington University in St. Louis, there is the option of completing an English major with a creative writing concentration.

To do so, students must take five creative writing courses, including at least three upper-division courses.

Students will specialize in one particular genre — poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction — and ultimately take a three-course sequence (200-, 300- and 400-level courses) in that genre while taking at least one course outside of the chosen genre.

The concentration will not change the current requirement structure in the English major and thus requires 6 additional credit units to complete as compared with a regular English major.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Writing Majors, Minor, Concentration at Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers introductory writing as well as advanced coursework in the areas of Creative Writing, Nonfiction Writing, and Science Writing.

They also have excellent programs that offer courses in digital media and science writing, as well as creative writing, and provides plenty of guidance on how graduates can navigate the tricky job market.

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University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has some of the best Creative Writing programs in the world. In this university, students interested in creative writing begin with English 223-Creative Writing.

English 223 provides an introduction to the reading and writing of poetry and prose and to the workshop method of critiquing student writing.

English majors who wish to specialize in the writing of poetry or prose fiction may, in the winter term of their junior year, apply to the Creative Writing Sub-concentration, which is an optional path to a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

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Johns Hopkins University


Johns Hopkins University also has some of the best creative writing programs.

The Writing Seminars program offers a liberal arts education with a concentration in writing.

Writing Seminars majors take courses in the writing of fiction and poetry; seminars on the history and technique of poetry and prose; and literature courses with a focus on close reading of substantive works from the perspective of an author of creative work.

Students also study literature, philosophy, and history in other departments of the university. Finally, Writing Seminars majors are expected to demonstrate competency in a foreign language.

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Colorado College

The Colorado College English Department invites students who are passionate about reading to explore literature from Chaucer and Shakespeare to the graphic novel, from global postcolonial writings to the foundational works of classical antiquity.

In their teaching, they emphasize the craft of close literary reading alongside the craft of writing, whether creative or critical.

Their faculty’s variety of approaches to the meaning and relevance of literary studies supports students with diverse interests.

English majors graduate with a nuanced understanding of the vitality, continuity, and complexity of the literary tradition in English.

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Final Words

A degree in this field is not compulsory for you to be employed. Rather it is a field that needs you to be persistent in your efforts and be able to accept criticism.

A lot of writers will face rejections of their work, especially at the start of their careers.

Furthermore, you should also not expect to make a lot of money or hit the jackpot in this field, however, more will start coming in after you have become established.

That doesn’t take away the fact that you can earn a decent amount of money through creative writing.

The internet has platforms where you can submit your creative works online and earn money.

There are so many sites online that pay a decent amount of money for creative works, in addition to the more traditional publications like books and magazines that you are used to. What are your thoughts about these best creative writing programs? Please share your thoughts with us.

References:

1) https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/cvrmfr4fcr/Creative-Writing-Schools-and-Programs-Various-Options.html

2)The Best Creative Writing Schools: https://blog.prepscholar.com/best-creative-writing-colleges-majors-and-programs

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