Creative Writers Workshop provides an opportunity for you to develop writing skills in an intensive online program that offers synchronous courses in fiction, prose, scriptwriting, comedy writing, the graphic novel, and slam poetry. During this five-week program, you’ll write, workshop, revise and compile a portfolio of your work. You’ll attend synchronous faculty readings, open mic nights, and a literary hangout where you’ll get together with other writers to discuss the progress of your work. The asynchronous elements of the program will include recorded lectures of course reading materials to view at your convenience and a discussion board onto which you’ll post drafts of your essays, poems, scripts, and stories to be reviewed by other writers. At the completion of the program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a synchronous final reading to demonstrate your sharpened writing skills. 

Creative Writers Workshop is offered as a noncredit program.

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Program Dates and Costs


  • July 5–August 8, 2020 (including required orientation)
  • Virtual Creative Writers Final Reading: August 8, 2020

Costs per student:

  • Creative Writers Workshop Tuition: $3,531
  • Non-refundable application fee: $60

Please note: A non-refundable $500 deposit is required upon a student's acceptance of admission into the program. The deposit is to hold the student's seat in the program, and the amount will be applied towards payment of the total bill for the program. If the student later decides they will not attend the program, the $500 deposit is not refundable. 

Pre-college programs are not eligible for Emerson college's tuition benefits.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in the Creative Writers Workshop program you will:

  • Explore fiction and nonfiction and their various sub-genres
  • Focus on language, techniques, and traditions in three chosen genres
  • Learn revision through the workshop process
  • Create a portfolio of your work
  • Learn about writing careers and the literary life

At the end of the program, you will have an opportunity to participate in a final reading of your work for family, friends, and peers. Final Reading: August 8, 2020.

Emerson College reserves the right to change any provision of this program at any time. The College specifically reserves the right to change its tuition rates and any other financial charges. The College also reserves the right to rearrange its courses and class hours, to drop courses for which registration falls below the minimum enrollment, and to change instructor assignments. 

Program Details

Course Descriptions

Creative Writers Workshop Reading Series

A weekly reading series featuring faculty and students. A brief question and answer session takes place at the end of each performance.

Writers Salon

Meet published writers or editors who address related topics such as: publishing, careers in writing, and the literary life.

Creative Writers Workshop Literary Magazines

During the program, you will be encouraged to submit your work to online literary magazines. The Elm, The Split Infinitive, Imprinted Emerson, PARAMOUNT,  The Almond,  Cerulean, and Paramount Palette are all literary magazines written and produced by members of the Creative Writers Workshop.

Fundamentals Classes

Choose a fundamentals class that will focus on the basic language, techniques, and traditions in the chosen genre.

The Art of Fiction

This writing intensive seminar offers writers the opportunity to develop the fundamentals of fiction through workshops and individual instruction that focus on plot, tone, dialogue, and description. Writers will read and discuss published fiction from a variety of genres to learn compelling narrative techniques and the aesthetics of storytelling. Strategies for publication will be emphasized.

The Art of Prose: Fiction and Nonfiction

This writing intensive seminar offers writers the opportunity to develop the fundamentals of fiction, creative nonfiction, and the personal essay through workshops and individual instruction. In fiction, writers will work on plot, tone, dialogue, and description. In creative nonfiction, writers will learn how to turn personal experience into compelling narrative by employing techniques often used in fiction. In the personal essay, writers will practice writing essays that explore the intersection of personal experience and socially relevant topics. Writers will read and discuss published material from each genre. Strategies for publication will be emphasized.  

Breakout Sessions

Explore other aspects of writing and publishing by choosing between one of two breakout sessions:

The Graphic Novel: Creating a Visual Story 

This seminar focuses on developing and structuring a story to fit the graphic novel form. Through reading graphic novels and writing exercises, students will learn to write an effective script for the graphic storytelling format. No artistic experience is necessary to take this seminar.

Scriptwriting: Creating for Stage and Screen

This writing intensive seminar offers writers the opportunity to learn the structure of both a one-act play and a screenplay. Writers will read scenes from short plays and view excerpts from films to examine the development of character, story arc, and dialogue. Writers will choose to focus on either a one-act or screenplay for their final project.

Elective Classes

Choose an elective course that demonstrates how the fundamentals of writing play out in particular genres.

Introduction to Comedy Writing 

This seminar will explore the many aspects of comedy through writing exercises, discussion, and standup. Through viewing standup routines, humor writing, and sketch comedy, writers will generate material and develop their comedic voices. In-class standup performances are required. 

Slam Poetry: Form, Voice, and Performance

This seminar offers writers the opportunity to learn the basics of writing poetry, including working with rhythm, imagery, diction, and tone. Writers will explore different poetic forms such as blank verse, free verse, and spoken word, while they develop their voices and body language to deliver poems to an audience.

Application Guidelines

Who Should Apply

Students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 during the 2020–2021 academic year, who have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others during the program are encouraged to apply. The program is designed for students who want intensive training in creative writing, have respect for the writing process, and understand how to manage their time and complete assignments both in and out of the classroom. 

Application Materials

Each candidate for the Creative Writers Workshop Program must submit the required online application, a non-refundable $60 application fee, and the following documents:

  • Student Statement of Purpose: In one or two pages, please describe:
    • what you hope to achieve during the studio program
    • an event that you feel has prepared you for the pre-college program.
    • In your statement, please indicate which Fundamentals, Elective, and Breakout sessions courses you would like to take.
  • Essay: In one or two pages, discuss a book and/or writer that you believe has most influenced or inspired you and your work.
  • Teacher Recommendation: Please submit at least one recommendation, completed by a teacher who knows your work. If possible, the teacher should know your work in the field to which you are applying.
  • Creative Writing Samples: Submit one of the following creative writing samples that best illustrates your interests and writing ability. Write your name on each page and submit no more than 10 pages:
    • Prose of either fiction or nonfiction (two to five pages, double-spaced)
    • Two to four poems, single-spaced
    • Mixed samples of both fiction and poetry

International Student Applicants

Visit international student information to learn about additional required application materials and find out more about applying to pre-college programs.

Application Deadlines

  • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2020.
  • International Student Deadline:  April 3, 2020. 
  • We will accept applications through May 15, 2020. 

Admission to Emerson College's Arts and Communication Pre-College Programs is on a rolling basis. We suggest applying early, as space is limited. Admission decisions are made frequently.

For questions, please contact: