MA in English & Creative Writing - Nonfiction

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Online Master’s in English and Creative Writing - Nonfiction Concentration

Expand your knowledge of the field of nonfiction - earn a Master’s in English and Creative Writing online with a Nonfiction Concentration. Nonfiction covers a wide swath of styles and subjects, encompassing everything from the personal essay, autobiography and memoirs to travel writing and magazine features. Study compelling storytelling in this English and Creative Writing MA in nonfiction and learn to meld research with your own narrative voice.

Nonfiction is the art of telling real stories - ones that people can learn from, relate to and understand. By studying these essays and narratives, you will improve your own storytelling skills and take on a deeper appreciation of nonfiction. At the culmination of the program, you will develop your own professional-quality piece of nonfiction, one that takes you deep into subjects that matter to you and helps you develop the skills you need for great storytelling. From short essays to the beginning of your memoirs, you will put pen to paper and tell your tale.

The skills you learn from the Master’s in English and Creative Writing Nonfiction Concentration

You will learn how and why writers craft nonfiction narratives. The tools they use, shared by fiction writers, will become your own and you will develop factual material based on research or your own (or someone else's) experiences. Gain insights into publishing, broadcasting and professional production while you explore your creative boundaries and perfect your own craft.

Careers for online Master’s in English and Creative Writing Graduates

Like other areas of creative writing, graduates with an online Master's in English and Creative Writing will see career opportunities expand. This program does more than just expose you to literature and new writing skills - you can apply the communications skills you learn directly to any profession. Apply the communications skills you learn to any profession, including journalism, law, marketing and technical writing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of authors, writers, and editors is expected to grow by 6 percent through 2020. Employment in salaried writing and editing positions is expected to increase slightly as jobs become more prevalent throughout the economy. Opportunities for the nonfiction writer are everywhere - magazines, newspapers, books, the Internet and more.

The following careers are expected to follow this growth trend:

  • Writer/Author
  • Literary Agent 
  • Publisher 
  • Manuscript Reader

Nonfiction Concentration

ENG-530: Non-Fiction Fundamentals
In this course, writers study several genres of creative nonfiction, including reportage and memoir, personal essay and biography, travel writing and science writing, literary journalism, and biography. Writers explore and master structure and technique through critical reading of modern and contemporary sources in these subgenres and through writing workshops in which they revise their own work and comment on classmates' writing. In addition to becoming better critical readers, writers begin to develop their own unique writing voices.
Take ENG-550 for 2014 catalog and prior and ENG 51
ENG-541: Non-Fiction Thesis Writing
In this course, writers produce and revise work to include in their theses, continue to offer constructive feedback on class members' writing, and read and discuss major texts of creative nonfiction. Writers also reflect on their creation and revision processes, and begin to draft a preface that not only describes their own craft, influences, and intentions, but also provides an overview of the thesis.
ENG-530 and 24 completed credits
ENG-551: Non-Fiction Thesis Completion
Writers select the work they will include in their theses, continue to revise them, and complete a significant portion with a clear outline for the future of their work. They also offer constructive feedback on class members' writing and complete the preface they began in their previous coursework. In the preface, writers reflect on their craft, articulate their influences, and introduce the thesis.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Additional requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree (can be in a discipline outside of the intended MA degree program).
  • Statement of Purpose: 200-500 words explaining why you wish to enter the program.
  • Writing Sample:  Minimum 3-5 pages (i.e. research paper, creative work, critical analysis of a literary piece, or work from previous academic studies).

Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on your educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study. This policy is effective for new students enrolling for the 15TW4 graduate term starting April 27, 2015.

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