Creative Writing Specialization
Craft Your Story Like the Great Writers. Craft an original story that will absorb a reader’s interest from the beginning to end.
About This Specialization
This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. You will master the techniques that good writers use to compose a bracing story, populated with memorable characters in an interesting setting, written in a fresh descriptive style. You will analyze and constructively evaluate peer writing. In the Capstone, you will draft, rewrite, and complete a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing. Our courses are designed for anyone from the aspiring short story writer to established novelist. Whether you have a finished novel sitting on your desk calling for a fresh look or have had the germ of an idea for a decade, this Specialization gives you tools to achieve your goal. Through 4 courses focused on a key aspect of writing, and taken in any order you choose, you will develop a stronger ability to not only refine your writing, but critique writing in general and find inspiration in the works you are already reading. Thanks to our sponsors, upon completion of their first assignment, learners in each course will receive up to an 80% discount from Write-Bros and a 30% discount off their first purchase from Scrivener to use on their writing software. Additionally, learners who complete an assignment will receive 30% off membership at the online writing community Scribophile. For more information about our partners, see the FAQ below.
Follow the suggested order or choose your own.
Designed to help you practice and apply the skills you learn.
Highlight your new skills on your resume or LinkedIn.
- Beginner Specialization.
- No prior experience required.
COURSE 1Upcoming session: Jan 29
- 4 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week
- English, French
About the CourseIn this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the
COURSE 2Current session: Jan 22
- 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week
About the CourseAt the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to
COURSE 3Upcoming session: Jan 29
- 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week
About the CourseIn this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world i
COURSE 4Upcoming session: Jan 29
- 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week
About the CourseYour style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language. We will s
COURSE 5Upcoming session: Mar 19
- 7 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week
About the Capstone ProjectEverything comes together in the Capstone. You will draft a complete story, narrative essay, or memoir of 8–15 pages. With the advice of your peer readers, you will revise, rewrite, and complete it. The skills you’ve learned of plotting, setting,
Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor of English
Distinguished University Writer in Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing
Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing
More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.