Writing Courses and Writing Programs

The Creative Writing Program in the Department of English offers courses in fiction and verse writing, and occasionally courses in screenwriting and playwriting. The Department of English offers courses in expository writing and writing for the web.  Beyond English Department programs, writing courses can be found in other departments and programs at UW or the UW Professional and Continuing Education in these areas as well as in such forms as journalism, technical writing, playwriting, screenwriting, commercial fiction, and writing for children. Programs are also available through non UW programs.

This page provides information on degree and certificate programs in writing and on writing courses.(Jump to information on writing courses.)

Please note that links to departments, offices, schools, and programs other than the Department of English will open a new browser window.

Beyond UW and local programs, you may also wish to consult the Association of Writers and Writing Programs or Poets and Writers online for information and resources that are both local and national.

Degree Programs:

Department of English

Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (formerly Technical Communications)

School of Communication

Certificate Programs:

Technical Communication

Editing

  • Editing certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education

Creative Writing and General Nonfiction

  • Screenwriting certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education
  • Literary Fiction certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education
  • Popular Fiction certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education
  • Memoir Writing certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education
  • Writing for Children certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education
  • Non Fiction Writing certificate program through UW Professional and Continuing Education

Writing Courses

This is a list of writing courses at the University of Washington and in the local community.
This list is by no means exhaustive of all sources of writing instruction in the Seattle area.

Creative Writing Courses

Expository and Technical Writing Courses

 

Short Story Writing Courses

ENGL 284, and 384 (beginning and intermediate short story writing) are offered every quarter, and ENGL 484 (advanced short story writing) is offered most quarters, to UW students. Registration is restricted to English majors during the first registration period during autumn, winter, and spring quarters, so it can be extremely difficult for non majors to access these courses. Upper division (400-level) courses are restricted to English: Creative Writing Option students only; this is a competitive-admission track within the undergraduate English major.

UW students who are not English majors may register for these courses during Period II Registration (which begins about five weeks later than Period I) on a space-available basis. These courses can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed (except during summer quarter). Click here to find out about taking courses as a non matriculated student. It is extremely difficult for non UW students to obtain space in these classes during the academic year due to their popularity among matriculated UW students. Non matriculated students can sometimes obtain entry into these classes during summer quarter.

ENGL 284(beginning short story writing) is also offered through UW Online Learning to both UW and non UW students.

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers non-credit Certificate Programs in Literary Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Screenwriting, and Writing for Children. Many courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. These programs are open to both UW and non UW students.

Most of the Washington State Community Colleges offer courses in creative and expository writing. The cost for such courses is substantially less than it would be through the UW, and access to for-credit course enrollment tends to be much easier to gain.

The English Department's Creative Writing Program sponsors a Summer in Rome Creative Writing Seminar for UW students and other interested parties.

The Richard Hugo House (a local non profit literary arts organization) offers writing classes for people of all ages, including programs for school-age children.

The University of Washington's Women's Center offers writing courses on a quarterly basis which are open to both women and men, UW students and non UW students.

The Pacific Northwest Writer's Association has critique groups, a summer conference with intensive workshops for writers and other programs of interest.

The ASUW Experimental College offers writing courses taught by local writers. These courses are open to UW students and non UW students.

Centrum, a non profit center located at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington, offers fiction writing workshops during its annual conference programs, bringing nationally-known writers in for this residency program.

 

Verse Writing Courses

ENGL 283 and 383 (beginning and intermediate verse writing) are offered every quarter, and ENGL 483 (advanced verse writing) is offered most quarters, to UW students. Registration is restricted to English majors during the first registration period for autumn, winter, and spring, so it can be difficult for non majors to access these courses. UW students who are not English majors may register for these courses during Period II Registration (which begins about five weeks later than Period I) on a space-available basis. These courses can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed (except during summer quarter). Click here to find out about taking courses as a non matriculated student. It is difficult for non UW students to obtain space in these classes during the academic year due to their popularity among matriculated UW students. Non matriculated students can sometimes obtain entry into these classes during summer quarter.

ENGL 283 (beginning verse writing) is also offered through UW Online Learning to both UW and non UW students.

Most of the Washington State Community Colleges offer courses in creative and expository writing. The cost for such courses is substantially less than it would be through the UW, and access to for-credit course enrollment tends to be much easier to gain.

The Creative Writing Program sponsors a Summer in Rome Creative Writing Seminar for UW students.

The Richard Hugo House (a local non profit literary arts organization) offers writing classes for people of all ages, including programs for school-age children.

The University of Washington's Women's Center offers writing courses on a quarterly basis which are open to both women and men, UW students and non UW students.

The Pacific Northwest Writer's Association has critique groups, a summer conference with intensive workshops for writers and other programs of interest.

The ASUW Experimental College offers writing courses taught by local writers. These courses are open to UW students and non UW students.

Centrum, a non profit center located at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington, offers poetry writing workshops during its annual conference programs, bringing nationally-known writers in for this residency program.

SPLAB (Northwest Spoken Word Lab) is a non profit sponsor of poetry writing workshops for people of all ages.

 

Novel Writing Courses

ENGL 485, novel writing, is offered to UW students during some quarters. It is restricted to English: Creative Writing Option undergraduate majors only during initial registration. Creative Writing is a competitive admission track within the English major, and, in general, space is not available to those who have not been formally admitted to this matriculated degree program. Check the English Department Quarterly Course Offerings for availability. Students must first have completed ENGL 383 and 384, and must submit a writing sample. Entry is by instructor permission. This course can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed. Click here to find out about taking courses as a non matriculated student. It is very difficult for non UW students to obtain space in this class due to its popularity among matriculated UW students.

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers non-credit Certificate Programs in Literary Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Screenwriting, and Writing for Children. Many courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. These programs are open to both UW and non UW students.

The ASUW Experimental College offers writing courses taught by local writers. These courses are open to UW students and non UW students.

Centrum, a non profit center located at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington, offers fiction writing workshops during its annual conference programs, bringing nationally-known writers in for this residency program.

 

Playwriting Courses

ENGL 486 (Playwriting) is offered infrequently, on a somewhat sporadic basis. It is restricted to English: Creative Writing Option undergraduate majors only during initial registration. Creative Writing is a competitive admission track within the English major, and, in general, space is not available to those who have not been formally admitted to this matriculated degree program. Check our Quarterly Course Descriptions for details as the quarter approaches. Registration will be restricted to English majors only during the first registration period during so it will be difficult for non majors to access this course. UW students who are not English majors may register during Period II Registration (which begins about five weeks later than Period I) on a space-available basis. This course can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed, so it is likely to be very difficult for non UW students to take it.

The School of Drama offers DRAMA 441, a course in beginning playwriting. Check the Course Catalog for information about prerequisites.

The Freehold Theatre Lab in Seattle offers quarterly courses in playwriting at various levels taught by local professionals.

The Richard Hugo House offers various courses in writing taught by local writers in a number of genres.

 

Screenwriting Courses

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers a Certificate Program in Screenwriting. Some courses can be taken individually on a space-available basis by students not enrolled in the certificate program. This program is open to both UW and non UW students.

The Film School offers courses in screenwriting and production.

The ASUW Experimental College offers writing courses taught by local writers. These courses are open to UW students and non UW students.

Northwest Film Forum offers cinema and film workshops on a wide range of topics.

 

Courses on Writing for Children

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers a non-credit Certificate Program in Writing For Children. Many courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. This program is open to both UW and non UW students.

The Richard Hugo House (a local non profit literary arts organization) offers writing classes for people of all ages, including programs for school-age children.

 

Expository Writing Courses

ENGL 111, 121, 131, 281, 381, 481 (beginning,intermediate,advanced,and special topics in expository writing) are offered every quarter to UW students through the UW's Expository Writing Program. Registration in the 300- and 400-level courses is restricted to English majors only during the first registration period, so it can be difficult for non majors to access these courses. UW students who are not English majors may register for these courses during Period II Registration (which begins about five weeks later than Period I) on a space-available basis. These courses can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed. Click here to find out about taking courses as a non matriculated student. It is difficult for non UW students to obtain space in these classes during the academic year, especially the 100-level (freshman) courses, owing to enrollment by matriculated UW students. Non matriculated students can often more successfully obtain entry into these classes during summer quarter.

ENGL 197, 198, 199 are part of the UW's Interdisciplinary Writing Program, linked in 10-credit units with courses across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These courses can be taken by non UW students only on a space available basis, and pre-registration is not allowed. Click here to find out about taking courses as a non matriculated student. It is difficult for non UW students to obtain space in these classes during the academic year owing to enrollment by matriculated UW students. Non matriculated students can often more successfully obtain entry into these classes during summer quarter.

ENGL 131 and 281 (beginning and intermediate expository writing) are also offered through UW Online Learning to both UW and non UW students.

The UW Professional and Continuing Education also offers a non-credit Certificate Program in Nonfiction. Many courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. These programs are open to both UW and non UW students.

Most of the Washington State Community Colleges offer courses in creative and expository writing. The cost for such courses is substantially less than it would be through the UW, and access to for-credit course enrollment tends to be much easier to gain.

The ASUW Experimental College offers writing courses taught by local writers. These courses are open to UW students and non UW students.

The University of Washington's Women's Center offers writing courses on a quarterly basis which are open to both women and men, UW students and non UW students.

 

Journalism Courses

Journalism courses are offered by the University of Washington's School of Communications.  These courses are generally available only to declared UW Communications majors in the journalism track in the School of Communications.

The UW Professional and Continuing Education’s non-credit Certificate Program in Nonfiction addresses journalism and freelance writing. Some courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. This program is open to both UW and non UW students.

 

Technical Writing Courses

Technical writing courses are offered by the University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering2nd window graphic. Course listings can be found in the Course Catalog. The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering offers a BS in HCDE as well as graduate and certificate programs (see Writing Programs, above).

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers a nine-month, non-credit Certificate Program in Technical Writing and Editing. Some courses can be taken individually on a space-available basis by students not enrolled in the certificate program. This program is open to both UW and non UW students.

 

Literary Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Children

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers non-credit Certificate Programs in Literary Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Screenwriting, and Writing for Children. Many courses can be completed either in a workshop format or through distance learning. These programs are open to both UW and non UW students.

Most of the Washington State Community Colleges offer courses in creative and expository writing. The cost for such courses is substantially less than it would be through the UW, and access to for-credit course enrollment tends to be much easier to gain.

 

Editing

The UW Professional and Continuing Education offers a nine-month, non-credit Certificate Program in Technical Writing and Editing. Some courses can be taken individually on a space-available basis by students not enrolled in the certificate program. This program is open to both UW and non UW students.

There is also an Editing Certificate Program and some free-standing classes (that can be taken without completing the entire certificate) through UW Professional and Continuing Education.

The Editorial Freelancers Association also offers some online classes (available to members and non-members).