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Creative writing vancouver island

Department of Writing

Small workshops, renowned faculty and an environment that encourages collaboration support our students to develop and hone their skills. Undergraduate K.P Dennis was named 2016 Youth Poet Laureate of Victoria.

Graduate studies

Levi Binnema says the small graduate class sizes and strong mentorship is what drew him to study creative writing at UVic. He says the environment here is exciting and collaborative.

Study what you’re passionate about

Our program allows students to develop their writing skills in the imaginative genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting and playwriting, so you can focus on what inspires you.

Careers in writing

Learn how to communicate clearly and embody complex themes and ideas through human stories and vivid language—skills that can be applied to a wide variety of careers. Photo: Chad Hipolito/Globe and Mail.

Minor in professional writing and journalism

Develop the skills required to succeed as a professional writer in journalism, publishing, government or industry in the minor in Professional Writing & Journalism. Cormac O’Brien is co-editor of UVic’s student newspaper, the Martlet.

Community and events

The Undergrad Writing Union hosts readings and events throughout the year. They also publish This Side of West, an annual literary journal that is edited and run entirely by students and publishes only student work.

Distinguished Alumni

Writing MFA & Governor General’s Award-winner Kim Senklip Harvey is now one of UVic’s acclaimed Distinguished Alumni. “I hope my continued work supports the next generation in the ongoing practice of making a more equitable and peaceful future,” she says.

Experience makes the difference

In UVic’s Department of Writing, small classes and intimate workshops with nationally and internationally renowned faculty encourage the best in emerging writers.

I studied with so many great teachers at UVic. The caliber of guidance was amazing.

We mentor students in the major genres of creative writing, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenwriting and playwriting, and offer a Professional Writing Minor in Journalism and Publishing.

You can also study new fields, such as children’s writing, travel writing, interactive media, the graphic novel and other special topics.

Write away

For over a decade, many world-class writing programs have delivered their programs online. Now, we are poised to provide a dynamic learning experience this year with a mix of weekly workshops and live sessions via Zoom, plus online materials you’ll work on at home.

Creative Writing and Journalism

The Department of Creative Writing and Journalism at Vancouver Island University offers comprehensive degree programs (Bachelor of Arts, Major and Minor) in Creative Writing. Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to work with published and produced professional writers in order to develop professional-level skills in various literary genres ranging from poetry to short fiction to plays and screenplays to news articles and feature stories. They may also elect to acquire an understanding of the publishing and entertainment industries as they relate to the careers of professional writers.

Graduates of the program will have the skills and experience necessary to apply for admission to post-graduate programs in Creative Writing such as the MFA program at the University of British Columbia. Students who elect to take the appropriate courses as a part of their degree requirements may also qualify for admission to post-graduate programs in Publishing (for example, the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University or the Post-Degree Certificate Program at Centennial College) or Journalism (UBC, Western, Carleton). Students interested in pursuing the Master of Publishing or Post-Degree Certificate in Publishing option may also choose to acquire work experience through internships. Graduates of MFA, MPub, and MJour programs such as those mentioned above may apply for entry-level positions in the magazine-, book-, and newspaper-publishing industries.

Featured Courses

CREW 211 – Writing Free Verse Lyric

In a world of memes, instapoems and empowerment advertising, how can we write meaningful words that keep it real? Poets do the work to keep language connected to our experiences and truths. CREW 211 will teach any writer to craft sentences and images that honour emotional honesty, precision and moral complexity. We will read the work of “The Next Wave” of Canadian poets and discuss the many ways they challenge our habits of thinking and feeling. Community learners are welcome through VIU’s Love of Learning program. For further information contact Sonnet.L’[email protected]