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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 Sessions

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.

Applications are accepted for Fall 2020

Application deadline: August 1, 2020
Fall cohort begins: September 28, 2020


Start your application


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 10 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 15 pages of prose, double spaced.

      Mixed-genre: submit no more than 15 pages total (we suggest 5 pages of poetry and 10 pages of prose following outlined formatting guidelines for each genre).

  1. A brief personal statement (500 - 750 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: skleinman@uarts.edu

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.


Request more info

Steve Kleinman, Coordinator 
Art Alliance Writers' Workshop


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