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What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is any form of writing that falls outside the traditional professions associated with writing, specifically journalism, technical writing or academic writing. Creative writing is often associated with fiction, poetry or other related forms of writing. Individuals operating in this field will have a strong understanding of various forms of writing, literature, history, and other associated fields.
Online Creative Writing Programs
Earning a creative writing degree online may be a formidable choice for students across the country. Online classes provide students with access to quality curriculum, taught by subject matter experts at accredited institutions. While studying online, you may elect to enroll in one of the following creative writing programs which will determine how long it takes you to earn a degree in creative writing.
Online Certificate in Creative Writing: The online certificate in creative writing is a short-term program designed to pinpoint a subdiscipline within creative writing or provide students with foundational knowledge in the field of study. Certificate programs can last from a few weeks to a year and provide students with a platform to continue learning and honing their craft in the writing domain.
Online Associate Degree in Creative Writing: Associate degrees in creative writing are 2-year programs that combine general education courses with writing curriculum. Degrees at this level are most frequently conferred as an Associate of Arts (AA) as the curriculum is infused with more liberal arts than science.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing: Online bachelor’s degrees in creative writing are conferred as a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) as a 4-year program. Disciplines within creative writing depend on the breadth of programs offered by the school and can include: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or screenwriting. Bachelor’s degree programs are the most common degree option in creative writing with associate degrees and certificate programs gaining ground.
An example of Classes such as:
- Creative Nonfiction
- Memoir Writing
- Screenplay Writing
- Magazine Writing
- Writing Mysteries and Thrillers
- The Art of the Sentence
- History-Based Fiction
- Young Adult Novel
- Short Stories
Benefits of Earning a Creative Writing Degree Online
Colleges and universities have been quickly adding online degree programs in creative writing to keep up with market demand from employers and students everywhere. With the evolution of online programs, the sheer number of degree options coalesce with quality, accredited programs year over year. A summary of the most popular benefits of online degree programs in creative writing include:
- Cost – Total costs associated with an online finance degree are typically less than on-site programs for a number of reasons. First, online degree programs allow students to continue to work and take classes which saves money associated with lost wages. Second, online college programs do not require students to live on campus negating room and board costs. Third, enrolling in a regionally or nationally accredited online program provides students with access to state and federal financial aid. Last, ask your admissions officer about their policy on transfer credits and life experience credits as both can compress the length of time you spend working towards a degree.
- Access & Flexibility– Students enrolled in an online course have the unique ability to jump online at any time without the traditional restrictions of being in class. With little to no physical limitations, distance from the school and class scheduling is much easier for students and working professionals. In fact, many online programs start every eight weeks giving you the ability to start on a rolling basis versus waiting through the traditional school year cycle.
- Accreditation – Enrolling in an online program offered by a regionally or nationally accredited program is critical to your success. Accreditation is earned by colleges and universities by independent, third-party organizations that vet a school’s processes, procedures, and curriculum to ensure quality standards are met from program to program.
- Quality Curriculum & Instruction – Quality of online degrees are on par with classroom-based degrees based on surveys from graduates across the country. With a published instructional model and organized syllabus, online classes can have the same feel as a traditional degree program integrating a capstone course, thesis, cumulative examination and dissertation according to the program.
- Pace – Many online degree programs in finance are self-paced in an asynchronous learning environment allowing students to take as many classes as time allows at a given time. Additionally, the notion of a traditional school year is augmented with many classes starting on a rolling basis instead of just once a year.
- Student Services – Online programs offer students access to dedicated academic advisors and career advisors to help answer questions about your future. Students studying online will have access to substantive student services to help them succeed in school and land a job after graduating by leveraging the school’s career counselors and alumni network.
What Colleges Offer Creative Writing Degrees?
A number of regionally or nationally accredited colleges or universities offer creative writing degree programs and creative writing certificates. The most important thing to keep in mind is to find the best degree program for you. Take the time to perform deep research on the programs found on this resource page by simply requesting information from schools that fit you or utilize our proprietary matching system to find the perfect school for you. Once you have information from a number of top schools, you can narrow down the list to a few programs and submit an application for admissions online. Remember to stay organized, focus on what is important to you, and seek to learn valuable skills transferrable to the workplace during your course of study.
Though any individual may endeavor to pursue creative writing, there is a variety of programs that encourage and educate one in the methods and processes involved in creative writing. These programs can range from the associate level to high level graduate degrees, with higher level degrees often exploring theoretical and educational aspects of writing, and allowing for employment in colleges and universities.Newer programs may also focus on a wider area of writing, including television and screenwriting.
A curriculum in creative writing may include:
- Fiction Writing
- Introduction to Poetry
- Comparative Literature
- Writing for Television
- Writing for Genres
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Individuals with an education or interest in creative writing may pursue employment in a variety of fields. This includes screen and television writing, short or long form fiction, poetry, and other such writing endeavors. Success in writing may not be immediate as it is a field that requires experience and acknowledgement in order to be successful, and as such many individuals turn to related occupations that utilize the skills earned through creative writing, such as technical writing, advertising, and teaching positions.
What Can You Do with a Creative Writing Degree?
By earning a degree in creative writing, students can set themselves up to work in a number of capacities across various industries. Creative writers can find themselves working for public institutions, government agencies, private companies, or non-profit organizations in any number of industries. A list of top job titles you can earn with a creative writing degree include:
- Advertising copywriter
- Arts administrator
- Technical Writer
- Creative director
- Digital copywriter
- Editorial assistant
- Public relations specialist
- Magazine journalist
- Newspaper journalist
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
Job growth for creative writing is expected to remain about the same as such positions are often limited. For individuals seeking publication through various online or print sources for short fiction, opportunities are abundant though pay is often minimal or nonexistent. Employment opportunities will vary based on the type of work pursued, but overall are expected to be low for career minded individuals. Salary will depend highly on one's position and can be incredibly low, or incredibly high based on the type of work one finds and pursues. The median annual income for a creative writer is $61,240 with the top 10% averaging $118,640 a year and the bottom ten percent making $29,380 a year. .
Largest Employers of Creative Writers
- Advertising and Public Relations Firms 7,000
- Publishers 4,970
- Independent Authors 3,640
- Motion Picture Industry 3,460
- Scientific and Technical Consultants 2,370
States with the Highest Employment of Creative Writers
- California 8,380
- New York 6,790
- Texas 2,060
- Florida 1,830
- Massachusetts 1,580
Top Paying States for Creative Writers
- District of Columbia $97,970
- California $95,920
- New York $83,060
- Maryland $80,110
- Colorado $74,660
Individuals interested in creative writing may also be interested in general writing, rhetoric and composition, or technical and business writing.