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Creative Writing

A major in Creative Writing provides professional undergraduate study in an intensive studio environment.

The UBC Creative Writing Program offers students the opportunity to learn the craft and process of writing through workshops with fellow students passionate about writing, led by the experienced, working writers that make up the faculty. Students are encouraged to expand and enrich their narrative skills by working in multiple genres. Currently, the program offers courses in eleven genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, writing for children and young adults, writing for the screen (film and television), writing for the stage and radio, translation, writing for lyric forms, graphic forms and writing for new media.

Becoming a writer involves more than getting words on a page. There are lots of ways to get involved in the community and learn along the way including student reading series, the annual theatre festival of new work (Brave New Play Rites), and involvement with PRISM, the program’s literary magazine.

Get experience at UBC

Building your career takes more than attending academic lectures. Get involved with research and complement your studies with relevant research and applied experiences. Whether you choose one of the experiences listed below or one of the many other great opportunities available, you’ll learn new things, make new friends, network, and set yourself apart. It all counts.

Preparation for a Career in Writing

Two courses at the BFA level work to bridge class and real-world experience: Preparation for a Career in Writing (CRWR 430) exposes the emerging writer to career opportunities in a wide variety of genres with emphasis on direct contact with successful working writers and publishing professionals.  Students emerge from the course with a career plan and a professional proposal in the genre(s) of their choice. They also conduct an interview with an established writer for publication in the online magazine Nineteen Questions.

Editing and Managing a Literary Magazine

Editing and Managing a Literary Magazine (CRWR 470) surveys the current landscape of small-format publishing, with a focus on literary magazines and forays into new forms of digital and self-publishing. Students get behind the scenes and gain experience with production, promotion, interviewing, and reviewing.

Brave New Play Rites

The Brave New Play Rites Festival features the new works of playwrights in the Creative Writing Program. The festival provides students with the opportunity to have their short plays produced, as well as giving directors from the theatre program and student production staff a chance to practise their craft.

Creative Writing Students Association

The Creative Writing Student Association is a student-run organization founded to enhance the student community of UBC Creative Writing students (MFA and BFA) by offering events and mentoring opportunities for students.

PRISM international

PRISM international is a quarterly magazine whose mandate is to publish the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world. Writing from PRISM has been featured in Best American Stories, Best American Essays and The Journey Prize Stories, amongst other noted publications. Get involved behind the scenes!

Outwrite

This monthly BFA reading series gives students a chance to read their work alongside established writers in a fun and supportive environment.

Go Global

Imagine student life in Nottingham; biking to class with friends in the morning, and enjoying the latest piece of theatre at the Nottingham Playhouse in the evening. Whether you end up picking the UK, Australia, or anywhere in between, you’ll immerse yourself in the creative traditions of another culture, all while  finishing your degree.

Did you know?You can take on an international internship, participate in a Global Seminar, go on exchange or even conduct research abroad. Check out all the ways you can Go Global,

Arts Co-op Program

Put your language skills and cultural knowledge to work for you. Gaining paid, full-time co-op experience will help you explore careers in non-profits and community organizations, arts organizations, education, government, and the private sector with employers across Canada and abroad. Graduate with career skills, experience, and a network of professional contacts that will give you a competitive edge after graduation.

Arts Internship Program

Build a career while you are studying through part-time, unpaid internships designed with Creative Writing students in mind. Exciting internships are being created with local festivals, grass-roots organizations and non-profits. Many internships require strong writing skills, which is perfect for Creative Writing majors. Develop your professional skills in social media, blogging, grant writing, interviewing and storytelling skills in an exciting internship this term. Meet industry contacts, gain relevant experience and unleash your creativity in a part-time internship this year. 

Community experience

Work and learn in community settings like non-profits and inner city schools. Take a course with a community-based experiential learning (CBEL) component and develop an understanding of community contexts and the systemic factors underlying community needs. Whether it’s a course or signing up for Trek & Reading Week placements, or a grant project in community, you’ll build skills in real-world settings and make invaluable connections with people in community.

Using your degree

Using your Creative Writing degree

Graduates know what it takes to make something from the ground up – to create something – as well as to analyse it. This skill with craft and form and the ability to tell a story, and tell it well, is invaluable in a world eager for content.

See what our graduates are up to and check out our Alumni spotlights

To see how established writers got their start, check out Nineteen Questions, a project of the Creative Writing program that asks writers how they became who they are.

Career possibilities

Graduates from the Creative Writing program have gone on to publish novels, books of short stories, and poetry, and books for children and young adults. They’ve written screenplays and plays and worked on television series. Many graduates have also gone on to share their love of writing through teaching and mentoring. And the ability to tell a story in a variety of forms can be used in a wide range of careers. Learn more.

Advertising copywriter

Copywriters use creativity and strong communication skills to write effective and appealing advertisements to promote a positive image for a company and persuade customers to buy their products.

Communications specialist

Working in communications requires excellent writing, verbal and analytic skills to convey key messages to target audiences such as customers, employees or the public.

Editor

Editors make use of excellent writing and communication skills to collect and produce marketable, high-quality written information for media such as magazines, newspapers, books and the Internet.

Alumni profiles

Resources