Fiction Writing Graduate Certificate Program

Fine-tune your skills as novelists or short story writer — produce new creative work and/or revise preexisting manuscripts. The small-group workshop format perennially allows for individual attention from published, award-winning faculty. Flexible scheduling — with courses offered in the evenings and on weekends on Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses as well as online courses and in hybrid format — gives you the opportunity to balance your professional, personal and writing lives. While earning your certificate you can connect with other writers at readings and other events in an artistic community that extends beyond the University into Chicagoʼs vibrant literary scene.


• Three Units of MCW 413 Fiction Writing Workshops
• One graduate-level course elective

May include independent study (not to exceed one unit of independent study), a cross-genre course (not to exceed one unit of cross-genre), MCW 570 Seminar on Teaching Creative Writing, MCW 575 The Publishing Industry: Literary Presses and Journals, MCW 579 Practicum in Teaching Creative Writing, MCW 580 Practicum in Publishing, any Publishing and Professional Development course, any graduate-level literature course, or any MCW 490 elective course.



Learning Objectives

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Fiction Writing has been designed to ensure that certificate holders:

  • Have increased their knowledge of the craft elements specifically related to fiction-writing, e.g. characterization, plot, narrative structure, voice, point of view
  • Have meaningfully added to their body of creative work
  • Honed their editorial skills for their own and their peers’ work
  • Continued developing their skills to read texts (published or unpublished) as writers
  • Have had the opportunity to engage in lively literary exchanges inside and outside of the classroom


More About the Fiction Writing program

Fiction Writing Course Schedule

The Fiction Writing Course Schedule page provides you with detailed information on the program's offerings.

Fiction Writing Faculty

You can find a full listing of our instructors in this certificate program on the Fiction Writing Faculty page.

Admission to the Fiction Writing program

Applicants to this certificate program must hold a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college, university or its foreign equivalent. A competitive graduate record that indicates strong academic ability is required. Work, internship, or research experience is highly desirable, but not a requirement. A list of admission requirements can be found on the Fiction Writing Admission page.

Fiction Writing Tuition

Tuition costs can vary for each of our programs. For the most up-to-date information on financial obligations, please visit our Fiction Writing page.

Fiction Writing Registration Information

Our Fiction Writing Registration Information page outlines important dates and deadlines as well as the process for adding and dropping courses.

Find out more about Northwestern's Fiction Writing program

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