June 7, 2016
If you have a passion for telling stories and are looking to hone your skills as a writer, look no further than Southern New Hampshire University. SNHU offers numerous online writing courses that you can complete to attain a bachelor's or a master's degrees in creative writing and English. You'll also gain a broad set of skills such as research, critical thinking and analysis that are applicable to many fields.
Writing is a much-needed skill for just about any occupation you can think of. Companies will always have a need for professional writing skills in some capacity, whether for technical manuals, marketing writing, script writing, sales pages, processes, management and more. So if you have a strong skill set in writing, you'll finding writing opportunities in every industry.
The SNHU undergraduate and graduate online writing courses are developed by professionals and subject matter experts. You can be confident that each course within each program is designed to help you strengthen your writing skills and knowledge. SNHU instructors partner with you to help succeed in the workplace by giving you relevant lessons that are applicable in the real world.
The university uses the Blackboard learning management system for its online courses. It's an easy-to-use software platform that enables you to keep track of and participate in your courses and lessons, as well as connect with fellow students and your instructors.
Stephanie Einertson, a student in SNHU's online bachelor's degree in creative writing and English, said, "Communication through Blackboard in the courses is easy to access and navigate through. The professors are very helpful with questions and they are committed to our continued success."
SNHU courses are asynchronous, meaning there are no set login times that you have to be online. SNHU values your time. You have a busy life already with work, activities, family and other obligations, so you don't need to be worrying about logging into a system, for example, at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday. The online writing courses can be accessed when it's convenient for you.
Watch and listen to others who have gone through online courses at SNHU through this video about the SNHU online learning experience.
It's also worth noting that instructors and advisors are available to connect with in a number of ways, including e-mail, phone, and through other online platforms. They make their availability known, so you can reach who you need to easily.
Do you want to improve your writing skills? Do you have a dream to become a freelance or independent writer and want a strong foundation before pursuing any jobs? Are you in a job that requires writing and you want to improve your chances of promotion? If you have a busy life already, yet want to start or continue your education, online writing courses can fit into your life on your terms.
Joan Raymond completed her bachelor's in creative writing and English in 2014 and is enrolled in the master's program with an expected completion of 2017. She had kept journals since elementary school and written stories for her children, but didn't give writing serious thought. "In 2011, while attending another online school for graphic design, a microeconomics class required us to write 'engaging and interesting papers with less math and more creativity.' With my first assignment I experienced the big 'Aha' moment and realized I had to change my focus and find a creative writing program," she said. "After speaking to admissions counselors at SNHU, I knew this was where I was supposed to be."
Perhaps you're like Einertson and you've been looking for online writing courses and just haven't found the right fit yet. She said, "I was lost in looking for a great English program. The local universities and colleges didn't offer the program that I was looking for. I was just about to give up when I saw a commercial for SNHU on the TV. I immediately went online and looked at the programs. SNHU's English and creative writing program was exactly what I was looking for."
Diane Walters '15 had already finished a program with a writer's group, but still wasn't feeling confident enough in her writing skills to pursue publication. She had a need for more.
"Although the staff told me I was ready to submit to magazines, I was still unsure of myself: the logic of writing, the grammar and English. I was noticing that every writer who knocked off my socks had a master's degree in English or creative writing," she said. "I found that SNHU had the best creative writing program and called them." Walters completed her bachelor's degree in creative writing and English and is now pursuing the master's degree.
Donna Kilgore is finishing up her bachelor's degree in creative writing and English with plans to graduate this year. She put her writing dreams on hold to focus on being a wife and mom for many years - and then she turned 40.
"I have always been a writer," she said. "I enrolled in a writing school, and began working freelance and as an aspiring novelist. I became published for the first time while enrolled there, and I earned my completion diploma. But I wanted more. I wanted to get a degree in writing - a real one." She was daunted by the dream. She was a wife, mother to a special needs child, homeschooled her kids, and ran a dog rescue. Was it even possible for her to find the time or energy to go back to college?
She decided that an online option would be the only way to go. "I began seeking out schools that offered writing degrees. I did some research and made a few calls. It had been two decades since I'd earned my associate degree, and I was nervous and excited to get started," she said.
Kilgore enrolled in SNHU's online creative writing program and hasn't looked back since. "This has been one of the most amazing and worthwhile things I've ever done for myself," she said. "I love the classes offered. The professors are amazing. The advisors are involved and encouraging, and even though I'm an off-campus student, I truly feel a part of the experience at SNHU."
SNHU offers a bachelor's degree in creative writing and English and a master's degree in English and creative writing, so no matter what experience you have in writing, SNHU is ready to help you meet your writing goals.
The BA in Creative Writing and English offers a course in new media within each of the four concentrations. If you choose to pursue a poetry, nonfiction, fiction, or screenwriting concentration, you'll find this course introduces you to the latest trends in new media writing and publishing where you'll get insight into how today's digital environment affects your area of interest. The course shows you how to apply your writing skills to the more modern/digital platform you'll use on the job and how to showcase your work.
Einertson said, "My experiences with SNHU have taught me new communication and organizational skills that I wouldn't have learned through another school."
In the bachelor's program for online creative writing, you develop your talent for crafting stories through a general track, or by choosing a concentration to tailor to your interests in poetry, nonfiction, fiction, or screenwriting. You'll learn from published writers and professionals who share their experience and insights with you.
Raymond finds SNHU's online creative writing courses exceptionally helpful in improving her writing talent and finding her voice.
"The skills I wanted to focus on strengthening were finding my voice, narrative description, and developing characters (in both fiction and nonfiction). I enjoyed the writing workshops in my undergrad program because I learned to hone these skills, plus with all of the assignments - writing almost a story a week - I developed a portfolio of stories for submission," she said. "I did submit many of the stories and was published in both print and online. The publications and writing experience gave me the background needed to work for a local newspaper writing feature stories - for pay!"
"The advisors are amazing and I have had the best ones so far," Einertson said. "The advisors are always available and are really helpful with questions about anything."
"SNHU offered me the exact program I wanted and the support I needed to not only stay on track, but excel," Kilgore said. "And, I do it all while still managing my home life, and all that that implies!"
The master's program is structured the same as the bachelor's in that you can focus on a general English and creative writing program or you can select one of the four concentrations: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or screenwriting.
In the master's program, you develop more of your ability to communicate through writing in any career path you choose. Your final classes in the master's program will be either a thesis if you choose the general track, or a portfolio of your creative work and a retrospective essay if you choose a concentration.
Walters, who is currently in the graduate-level creative writing program, says she is still trying to master the art of the English language. "Even growing up with it, to me, it is still the hardest, most confusing language there is," she said. "I can write. But that isn't enough. I want to dazzle, make the words dance and sing on the page, move people to laughter and tears. That is what I am focused on now - the art."
"The graduate program has further developed my writing skills," Raymond said. "For example, the class Place and Setting helped me learn how to describe where the characters and story took place. The Creative Nonfiction class helped me find my narrative voice and write about past events from my own life."
There is a plethora of opportunities for you with a writing and English degree. Companies are always seeking competent wordsmiths to help them tell their stories. Whether that is through advertising and marketing copy, technical writing, speech writing, or straight product copy writing is moot. What matters to them is finding someone with a passion for words and for wanting to make an impact on an audience.
You may have a desire to be a poet, novelist, screenwriter, playwright or journalist. If any of those are your passions, you can pursue employment on your own, through publishing houses or calls for submissions.
Both the bachelor's degree in creative writing and English and the master's degree in English and creative writing from SNHU will give you the foundation and knowledge you need about the publishing world and learn more about potential opportunities for writing professionals.
Excellent writing skills are needed in professional areas such as law, marketing, finance, sales, journalism, government, high tech, and business management to name a few.
With the master's in English and creative writing, you can move forward into a PhD program with confidence or pursue teaching at the collegiate level.
Walters is finding a lot of variety in opportunities for someone with a writing and English background. Since 2010, when she first started the online writing classes at SNHU, her interests have changed. "My writing career has not settled in a specific direction," she said. "Ultimately, I'd like to 'get a job,' and then write magazine articles on the side. I'd love to work for a nonprofit organization."
"I didn't pick a specific concentration in either program because I enjoy writing in several genres," Raymond said. "By not picking a focus, I've been able to take fiction, nonfiction and screenwriting workshops which helped me with all of my writing."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for writers and authors is $60,250 per year.* So if you're interested in writing fiction, poetry, or screenplays, don't be shy. There are so many possible career options for you with a degree in writing and English, since so many jobs can use presentations, marketing, process guides, sales pages, newsletters, technical briefs and more.
Raymond has very specific goals in mind for her new writing acumen. "My career plans are to continue my freelance writing and editing business. Then, once I obtain my master's degree, I plan to teach English and creative writing to online college students," she said. "My passion is to help others express themselves as I've learned and coming from an online environment I understand how one might feel isolated without being in a traditional classroom."
Still not quite sure if SNHU online creative writing courses are for you? Here are some personal recommendations from people who have taken the online writing courses or gone through the programs you are now considering.
"I highly recommend SNHU. I enjoyed every class because my professors cared about me. They wanted me to succeed and helped when I had questions or concerns," Raymond said. "The staff, advisors and professors have all been wonderful and I know I wouldn't be where I am personally and professionally without SNHU."
"I was immediately impressed with SNHU's nonprofit status, the staff and the quality of the programs offered," Kilgore said. She also felt the price was right. "I knew I'd found the right place, and enrolled. I'm majoring in English and creative writing, with a minor in psychology. Once I earn my BA in creative writing, I plan to continue on to a master's in creative writing."
Einertson, who will finish her bachelor's in creative writing and English in 2018 said, "I have really enjoyed my time here at SNHU, and I am looking forward to so much more learning from the wonderful professors, advisors and my fellow students. I am so grateful I found this university and this program."
Walters offered this advice to anyone considering either of the SNHU online creative writing and English programs, "Do it! But, don't do it if you think you are going to write a book and retire from it. Do it because you love to write. Do it because you have something to say to the world. Do it because the writing is so in your heart that you just can't stop. If you have that passion and drive, the rest of life's particulars will follow you."
Specifically impressed by the part-time option, Kilgore said, "It's still challenging, but never overwhelming. I've encouraged anyone seeking a degree to consider SNHU. I truly believe that the level of student success speaks for itself. I am living proof that success is attainable. Anyone who knew me in high school will tell you I barely squeezed by with just passing grades. I was never a 'straight A' kind of gal. It might be that I'm older and wiser now, but I definitely think the support and encouragement I've gotten from my advisors, professors and peers lies at the heart of my success thus far. I am academically stronger than I have ever been. But more importantly, my self-confidence has soared knowing that nothing can stop me from following my dreams all the way to the end."
After you graduate from SNHU with an online degree, a new relationship with the university begins as an alum. You'll be able to continue taking advantage of all the resources the university has to offer to help you succeed. Resources include: in-person and online networking opportunities, mock interviewing, mentorships and so much more to help you further your career. Career advisors can even help you with your job search -- and offer all of these services as you are earning your degree, too.
"With the right school and the right support, you really can succeed," Kilgore said. "Follow your dreams. Give your all to making them come true, and know that you can and will achieve all you hope for and even more. Through my experiences at SNHU, I've learned just how determined, strong and patient I can be. I've used that lesson both inside and outside of the classroom. In the process, I've proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind on, and put my heart into. There's no stopping me now!"
Through SNHU's private social network, SNHUconnect, you'll be able to stay in contact with your fellow online students, too. There are many resources in place to help you succeed, that you'll quickly see why so many students are turning to online programs at SNHU.
"One thing I really appreciated about SNHU was how classmates and professors bonded with each other in classes I took," Raymond said. "Many of them have become friends and we continue to keep in touch long after our classes finished."
If SNHU's bachelor's degree in creative writing and English or the master's degree in English and creative writing sounds like a good fit for you, learn more by contacting the SNHU admission team now. Your future is only a mouse click or phone call away.
*Job market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. SNHU cannot guarantee employment.
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