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Online Masters Degree in Creative Writing

Do you enjoy weaving words into a story that listeners can picture vividly in their minds? Do you write poetry that evokes an emotional response from your audience? Maybe you dream of writing a screen play. A master's degree in creative writing can help you examine and address your writing strengths and weaknesses and refine your creativity. Writing talent extends beyond artistic expression to various types of communication in a range of careers.

Exploring master's degrees in creative writing

Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and screenwriting are common concentrations for master's degrees in creative writing. Core courses vary but can cover wide-ranging themes like these:

  1. American, British and global literature
  2. English language studies
  3. Literary theory
  4. Poetry, nonfiction and fiction workshops
  5. Realism, naturalism and modernism
  6. Research
  7. Specific authors such as Proust

Electives can include the structure of the novel, writing humor, finding a voice, literary journalism, medieval literature, the short story, travel literature and journal writing. Some programs delve into the opportunities for writers in teaching, publishing and other fields.

Admission to most programs requires a bachelor's degree in writing, English or a related discipline plus a writing sample. Students from other disciplines generally take additional coursework prior to a creative writing program. Critiquing and discussing your own writing and that of your peers is often a major component of master's degrees in creative writing. Degree completion usually involves a final manuscript that is worthy of publication.

Creative writing career options, outlook and salaries

Writing skills are vital for journalists, publishers, editors, copywriters, reviewers or screenwriters. Other areas where writing is important include communications, education, law, advertising, marketing and technical documentation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects modest employment growth between 2010 and 2020 for writers, authors and editors; technical writers are expected to fare better at 17 percent. Here are median 2010 annual wages for related careers:

  1. Editors: $51,470
  2. Technical writers: $63,280
  3. Writers and authors: $55,420

If you wish to fan the flames of creativity in aspiring writers, master's degrees can qualify you to teach at community college. For a career teaching at a college or university, you can pursue a doctoral degree.

Exposure to writers in another state or even another country through online workshops and seminars can enrich your educational experience. A master's degree program in creative writing can help you polish your talents and find your voice.

Featured Online Creative Writing Degree Programs

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