Creative Writing Certificate Continuing Education

Art Alliance Writers' Workshop

The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop is a one-year intensive writing experience focused on perfecting your writing portfolio and developing your artistic voice and literary vision.  In this continuing education program based on a cohort model, you will pursue your craft while participating in an exchange of ideas with classmates, instructors, and the literary arts community of Philadelphia.  Students in the Writers' Workshop connect with UArts' undergraduate Creative Writing faculty and are invited to partake in the larger offerings of UArts' programming, which includes readings, lectures, performances, and more.  In addition to coursework, students meet regularly with instructors for one-on-one manuscript review.  The curriculum is designed to be completed in evenings, allowing you to maintain your professional life as you explore the creative potential of language.  

Course Sequence

Participants complete nine classes over three semesters (fall, winter and summer), with a short January break during which students work one on one with mentors. The Writing Workshops are supplemented by a Process and Practice course, which focuses on reading contemporary authors. Courses meet twice per week online, Tuesdays 6 – 8 p.m., and Thursdays, 6 – 9 p.m., by video conference. You will have additional course communications, complete class assignments, participate in topical discussion posts and access your course materials.


Introduction to Creative Writing
Saturday, Sept. 25, 10am – 7pm | One-Day Intensive, in person at the Art Alliance 
This one-day intensive will introduce you to the program and the cohort. The workshop will include readings, interactive learning opportunities and an introduction to Philadelphia's writing communities.

Writing Workshop I
5 weeks, Sept. 28 –
 Oct. 28 | virtual, 6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 
This workshop will center on establishing a shared language for generation and discussion. Class time will focus on craft, grammar, and effectively communicating ideas and meaning in writing. The class will also serve as an introduction to you and your writing for the group.

Writing Workshop II
5 weeks, Nov. 2 – Dec. 7 | virtual, 6 –
 8 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday
In the second workshop of your first semester, you will advance your work through drafting, revision, and the generation of new work. The emphasis in this workshop will be on the process of revision and building critical skills to evaluate and improve your writing projects.

Process & Practice I
10 weeks beginning Sept. 28 | virtual, 8 – 9 p.m., Thursday

This course meets once a week for one hour to build your knowledge of contemporary and canonic literature. The course aims to break down the barrier between critic and writer.


Winter Retreat
Saturday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. | One-Day Intensive, in person at the Art Alliance 

During the Winter Retreat, you will work with faculty to develop a learning/reading plan for the spring semester.

Winter Manuscript Review 
By appointment, Dec. 7 – Jan. 22

You will have three 45-minute sessions with a faculty member or a writer from the Philadelphia writing community to discuss your work. Meetings will take place online and in person.


Writing Workshop III
5 weeks, Feb. 1 – Mar. 3 | virtual, 6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 

This workshop encourages you to explore new forms and experimental narrative styles, focusing on the formal components of genre. In class sessions, you will receive feedback on new work and works-in-progress.

Writing Workshop IV
5 weeks, March 15 – April 21 | virtual, 6 – 8 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 

(note: course will not meet week of March 7 in observance of spring break)
In your last workshop of the program, you will begin compiling a chapbook or manuscript for publication. You will further develop the language and context for communicating and articulating your vision as a writer. Class discussions and critique will focus on works assembled into one longer piece, linked stories or a book of poetry. 

Process & Practice II
10 weeks beginning Feb. 1 – Apr. 21 | virtual, 8 – 9 p.m., Thursday

(note: course will not meet week of March 7 in observance of spring break)
This course meets once a week for one hour and builds your knowledge of contemporary and canonic literature. Process and Practice II works in conjunction with the workshop classes to explore the literary context and histories relevant to your own work.

Spring Symposium
Two-Day Intensive at the Art Alliance | April 23 & 24, times TBD

Visiting writers will engage certificate students through a panel discussion on the professional life of writers. You will participate in a master class given by a visiting writer or member of the UArts Creative Writing faculty, and you will develop a “next step” plan for the continuation of your writing practice and career. 


Summer Retreat 
Two-Day intensive at the Art Alliance | Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10, times TBD 

You will meet literary agents/editors of literary journals. You will participate in a one-day workshop and an afternoon craft class given by a published writer. The workshop will end with a reading given by faculty and guest writers, followed by an open mic student reading. 

Creative Writing Capstone
10 weeks May 31 - Aug. 4 via correspondence and/or by appointment 

For your Capstone, you will work one on one with a faculty mentor to produce a finished project of your own design. 

Public Presentation
Thursday, Aug. 4, 6 – 8 p.m., at the Art Alliance

The final class session will be held in person, during which you will publicly present your Capstone projects.

Instructors, Visiting Lecturers & Artists

Courses are led by instructors, guest artists and lecturers. Students also benefit from the UArts' visiting writers series. Check back to learn more as instructors are confirmed.

Steve Kleinman headshot
Steve Kleinman

Creative Writing (BFA)
Instructor & Art Alliance Writers' Workshop Director
photo of Sid Sachs, Head Curator & Director of Exhibitions at University of the Arts
Sid Sachs

Guest Lecturer and Head Curator & Director of Exhibitions at Art Alliance

Past visiting writers to University of the Arts include: 

Siobhan Fallon   |   Rachel Eliza Griffiths   |   Alex Ross Perry   |   Joe Gangemi   |   Annie Liontas   |   Gregory Pardlo   |   Lesley Arfin   |   Kevin Moffett   |   David Greenberg   |   Heather Tone   |   Darin Strauss   |   Naomi Guttman   |   Alison Bagnall   |   Liz Moore   |   Siobhan Vivian '01   |   Alicia Jo Rabins   |   Kazim Ali   |   David Simon   |   Katherine Bode-Lang   |   Asali Solomon   |   Elise Juska   |   Joyce Carol Oates   |   Cole Swensen   |   Laura van den Berg   |   Tomás Q. Morín   |   Zach Savich    |    Scott McCloud


The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop is designed to be affordable and flexible. A pay as you go payment plan will be available. Specific details on payment plan to come.


  • Introduction to Creative Writing   1-day intensive 
  • Writing Workshop I    5 weeks
  • Writing Workshop II    5 weeks
  • Process and Practice I   10 weeks


  • Winter Retreat 1-day intensive
  • Manuscript Review by appointment 


  • Writing Workshop III 5 weeks
  • Writing Workshop IV 5 weeks 
  • Process and Practice II 10 weeks 
  • Spring Symposium 1-day workshop 


  • Creative Writing Summer Retreat  1-day workshop
  • Creative Writing Capstone  by correspondence and/or virtual appointment

Total tuition & fees: $5,075
Matriculation fee*: $100

 Total program cost: $5,175 

*one-time matriculation fee due upon acceptance into the Art Alliance Writer's Workshop. 

How to Apply


Application Requirements

Applicants must have works-in-progress to be considered. A portfolio of writing (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or a combination) is a required component of the application. 

  1. Writing portfolio - Work should be MLA formatted and styled in a consistent font. 

      Poetry: submit up to 7 pages of poetry, starting each poem on a new page. Poetry should be single spaced or double spaced based on the aesthetic choices of the author.

      Fiction: submit 5-7 pages of prose, double spaced.

      Mixed-genre: submit no more than 7 pages total (we suggest 2-3 pages of poetry and 4-5 pages of prose following outlined formatting guidelines for each genre).

  1. A brief personal statement (500 - 700 words) addressing how you feel this program will benefit you as a writer.

  2. Resume

  3. Attach all required materials as .pdf or Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) to your completed online application form.


If accepted, students must submit a non-refundable matriculation fee of $100 to hold their place in the program. The matriculation fee is used to cover costs associated with the certificate program such as UArts CS student photo ID and library access. Full payment schedule and options will be made available to accepted students.


Request more info

Steve Kleinman, Director 
Art Alliance Writers' Workshop

Mary Kay Kaminski, Program Coordinator 
Art Alliance & University Galleries

Art Alliance at University of the Arts 
251 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Follow UArts