Creative Writing Certificate Continuing Education

Art Alliance Writers' Workshop

Due to Covid-19, staff is currently working remotely. To join this program’s mailing list for updates about application deadlines, or to schedule an appointment to discuss this program, contact Caitlin Perkins at

The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop will return fall 2021.


Certificate in Creative Writing

The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop is for emerging writers who work in fiction, non-fiction, and/or poetry.  Participants improve their writing while working with an accomplished cohort over a year of intensive courses.  Upon completion of coursework, students earn a certificate in Creative Writing. 

Learn More About the Art Alliance

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 program, you will pursue your craft while participating in an exchange of ideas with classmates, faculty, and the literary arts community of Philadelphia.  Students in the Writers' Workshop work with UArts' 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 faculty 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 workshops are supplemented by a Process and Practice course, which focuses on reading contemporary authors. Courses meet twice per week, from 6pm - 8 or 9pm.

Fall Semester

Introduction to Creative Writing

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. (1 cr | 1 Day Workshop | $150)

Writing Workshop I

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. (2 cr | 5 weeks | $625)

Writing Workshop II

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. (2 cr | 5 weeks | $625)

Process and Practice I

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. (1 cr | 10 weeks | $250)

Winter Break / Spring Semester

Winter Retreat

During the Winter Retreat, you will work with faculty to develop a learning/reading plan for the Spring semester. (1 cr | 1 Day Workshop | $200)

Spring Symposium

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. (1 cr | 1 Day Workshop | $200)

Manuscript Review Session I

You will have three 45-minute sessions with a faculty member or writer from the Philadelphia writing community to discuss your work. Meetings will take place online and in-person. (0 cr | by appointment | $250 rate)

Manuscript Review Session II

You will have three 45-minute sessions with a faculty member or writer from the Philadelphia writing community to discuss your work. Meetings will take place online and in-person. (0 cr | by appointment | $250 rate)

Process and Practice II

This course meets once a week for one hour to build your knowledge of contemporary and canonic literature. Process and Practice 2 works in conjunction with the workshop classes to explore the literary context and histories relevant to your own work. (1 cr | 10 weeks | $250)

Writing Workshop III

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. (2 cr | 5 weeks | $625)

Writing Workshop IV

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. (2 cr | 5 weeks | $625)

Summer Semester

Summer Retreat

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. (1 cr | 1 Day Workshop | $200)

Creative Writing Capstone

For your Capstone, you will work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to produce a finished project of your own design. (3 cr | $775)

Courses are led by UArts creative writing faculty and include exclusive access to visiting writers.  

Meet our Instructors

Steve Kleinman headshot
Steve Kleinman

Creative Writing (BFA)
Instructor & Art Alliance Writers' Workshop Coordinator

Past visiting writers to the University of the Arts include: 

2017-2018 Visiting Writers

  • Siobhan Fallon
  • Rachel Eliza Griffiths
  • Alex Ross Perry
  • Joe Gangemi
  • Rahul Mehta

2016 - 2017 Visiting Writers

  • Annie Liontas
  • Gregory Pardlo
  • Lesley Arfin
  • Kevin Moffett
  • David Greenberg
  • Heather Tone

2015 - 2016 Visiting Writers

  • Darin Strauss
  • Naomi Guttman
  • Alison Bagnall
  • Liz Moore
  • Siobhan Vivian '01
  • Alicia Jo Rabins

2014 - 2015 Visiting Writers

  • Kazim Ali
  • David Simon
  • Katherine Bode-Lang
  • Asali Solomon
  • Elise Juska

2013 - 2014 Visiting Writers

  • Joyce Carol Oates
  • Cole Swensen
  • Laura van den Berg
  • Tomás Q. Morín
  • Zach Savich
  • Scott McCloud

Pay as you go by semester.


  • Introduction to Creative Writing 1-day workshop | 1.0 credit | Tuition: $150
  • Writing Workshop I 5 weeks | 2.0 credits | Tuition: $625
  • Writing Workshop II 5 weeks | 2.0 credits | Tuition: $625
  • Process and Practice I 10 weeks | 1.0 credits | Tuition: $250

Winter & Spring

  • Creative Writing Winter Retreat 1-day workshop | 1.0 credit | Tuition: $200
  • Spring Symposium 1-day workshop | 1.0 credit | Tuition: $200
  • Manuscript Review Session I by appointment | 0 cr | $250 rate
  • Manuscript Review Session II by appointment | 0 cr | $250 rate
  • Process and Practice II 10 weeks | 1.0 credits | Tuition: $250
  • Writing Workshop III 5 weeks | 2.0 credits | Tuition: $625
  • Writing Workshop IV 5 weeks | 2.0 credits | Tuition: $625


  • Creative Writing Summer Retreat 1-day workshop | 1.0 credit | Tuition: $200
  • Creative Writing Capstone | 3.0 credit | Tuition: $775

Total credits: 17
Total tuition & fees: $5,025
Matriculation fee*: $100

 Total program cost: $5,125 

*one-time payment due upon acceptance into the Art Alliance Writer's Workshop. If you are already enrolled in a certificate program and entering a second certificate program, the matriculation fee is discounted to $50.

As of May 2020, the University is no longer accepting applications for Continuing Education certificates.


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.


Questions? Contact Steve Kleinman, Art Alliance Writers' Workshop Coordinator:

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 computer lab access.

Read about the 2019 Poetry Prize winners

The Art Alliance Writers’ Workshop is soliciting poems for its first poetry contest. 

Free to enter, poets selected for the prize will receive $100, publication in a future issue of Horsethief Magazine and ten hand-printed letterpress broadside prints of the winning poem. The selected poets will be invited to read alongside poet Daisy Fried at the Art Alliance on Thursday, April 2nd, during a public program celebrating the work of C.K. Williams.

The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop Poetry Prize celebrates the work of C.K. Williams this year and is presented in conjunction with Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde.  Opening January 21, 2020 at the Art Alliance and select venues around Philadelphia, Invisible City is curated by UArts Director of Exhibitions Sid Sachs with Jennie Hirsh, Assistant Curator, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at MICA.  Support for the research, development and presentation of Invisible City is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. 

Invisible City highlights Philadelphia’s significant contributions to visual culture from the 1950s through the 1970s in an exhibition, a publication and performances. The project invites audiences to envision Philadelphia as “a city of firsts” — the site of the first Pop Art exhibitions, innovations in architecture and urban planning, one of the country’s first rock music magazines, and substantial postwar growth of art schools.

Please send us your most daring and visionary work. 


Any writer residing in the United States is eligible to apply.  Two poems will be selected for the prize, one from a poet residing in the greater Philadelphia area, and one from a poet residing elsewhere in the United States.

Though submitted poems do not need to reference C.K. Williams or Invisible City directly, we encourage entrants to gather inspiration from the forthcoming exhibition or C.K. Williams's writings

Submission Guidelines:

Submit one to three unpublished poems of no longer than one page each. Poems must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you notify us immediately upon acceptance elsewhere. Multiple submissions are encouraged. 

— include a cover letter listing your name, address, phone number, email address, website (if applicable), and the titles of each of the poems you are submitting. Please note whether you reside in the Philadelphia area.

— submit all poems in a single uploaded file. 

Use the form below to submit your work.  Submissions must be received by midnight, February 1, 2020, PST. 

Finalists will be selected by a panel comprised of staff and interns of the Art Alliance Writers’ Workshop.  Winners will be selected by the staff of Horsethief Magazine.  Winning entries will be announced mid-March 2020. 


Request more info

Steve Kleinman, Coordinator 
Art Alliance Writers' Workshop

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

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