Build on your MFA with an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing
Ready to finish your story? The Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing is a low-residency program designed for students who have already completed an MFA in creative writing and wish to revise, reconceive or complete a creative manuscript.
The program has tracks in fiction and nonfiction. You’ll also have the option of choosing one of two supplementary tracks:
- Book business and self-promotion; or
- Teaching of composition
If you haven’t earned your MFA, and would like to enroll in one of our online or campus programs, check out our graduate writing options:
See Yourself Succeed with an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing at SNHU
Mountainview’s Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing will give you the tools and resources you need to draft, edit or revise your manuscript.
- An award-winning, nationally-recognized faculty
- A curriculum designed to help each student revise an excellent, publishable book
- A vibrant and supportive creative writing community
- Biannual residencies at the picturesque Mountain View Grand
- Visiting authors, agents, and editors in attendance at each residency
- Awards and scholarships
- Highly competitive tuition costs
- No GRE required
To qualify for this program, all applicants must first successfully complete one of the following:
- SNHU’s Mountainview Low-Residency MFA in Fiction or Nonfiction
- SNHU’s Online MFA in Creative Writing
- Any other MFA program in creative writing
SNHU requires an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (or equivalent) for admission.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our two 22-week graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within 2 weeks of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply begin by completing our online application form.
How to apply
- Submit the Program Application Form.
- Submit an official transcript from the college or university that conferred your MFA degree. Please have electronic transcripts sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you received your MFA at SNHU, you do not need to submit a transcript.
- Submit a 20- to 30-page, double-spaced writing sample, using 12 pt. font, in fiction or nonfiction. If fiction, your writing sample may consist of a novel excerpt, a story or multiple stories. If nonfiction, it may consist of a memoir excerpt, a creative essay or multiple creative essays.
Students may transfer credits from a previously completed creative writing MFA program as appropriate. But transfer credits may not be applied to Creative Manuscript I or Creative Manuscript II, as the main focus of the advanced certificate program is advanced-level work on a creative manuscript that builds on the work already completed on a creative manuscript in an MFA program.
The Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing offers a supportive community of experts and peers who can help you craft your story. Our full-time faculty members have won numerous awards – including two Whiting Awards – published bestsellers, had their work featured in Granta’s Best Young American Novelists, and received international acclaim in every literary category from young adult to lyric essay to crime. Their work appears in such forums as The New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories. In our mentorship-based teaching model, faculty work one-on-one with students, helping each student find a literary voice, master craft and produce a manuscript worthy of publication.
The program takes one year to complete. Students attend two residencies (one in June, one in January) and enroll in two semesters, each approximately 5-months long, with the outcome of revising, reconceiving or completing a creative manuscript of the highest possible literary merit, ideally ready to be represented by an agent for publication.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|Advanced Graduate Studies in Creative Writing (Post Master's Certificate)|
|Courses May Include|
|Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Creative Writing Campus|
|MFA 610||Creative Writing Residency I - Fiction||Students attend the same residencies as students in the Mountainview MFA, participating in the Mountainview peer workshops each morning, offering sections of their creative manuscripts for critique and offering critiques of other students' work, following the same workshop guidelines as Mountainview MFA students. Rather than attend the MFA craft talks in the afternoon, however, they attend advanced-level craft talks tailored to the needs of students attempting to reconceive and revise a long work. The talks might also engage with topics not typically covered in an MFA program. Subjects might include: Rewriting; Comedy; Landscape.|
|MFA 611||Creative Writing Residency II - Fiction||The second residency of the certificate program is structured in the same fashion as the first residency, but its craft talks are tailored by faculty to suit students in the final stages of the manuscript revision process. Subjects include but are not limited to: Copy Editing, Endings, Prologues and Epilogues.|
|MFA 612||Creative Manuscript I - Fiction||In this course, the student is assigned a faculty member as a one-on-one mentor. The mentor will begin the semester by reading the current draft of the full creative manuscript, up to 300 pages in length. After the mentor has read the manuscript, the student and mentor will conduct a conference in person, or by phone if an in-person conference isn't viable. If possible, the mentor and student should take advantage of a residency to discuss the manuscript face-to-face. During the initial conference, the mentor and student discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript and decide on goals for the semester ahead. Every kind of revision and rewriting is on the table. That is, the mentor and student might decide that an entire manuscript should be scrapped and started over. On the other side of the spectrum, they might decide on a course of line-level revisions. From that point forward the student submits 30 pages of creative manuscript every five weeks, for a total of four additional submissions. The mentor's responses to these submissions should center on marginalia and phone conferences, with thorough line-by-line edits and comments responding to passages. The mentor's responses should be like those of an excellent, devoted, unusually hands-on book editor. There should be a great deal of conversation; the responses to the packets should not be one-way instruction. This reflects the fact that the student has already completed an MFA program and is a somewhat experienced writer, in all likelihood preparing the manuscript for submission to literary agents.|
|MFA 613||Creative Manuscript II - Fiction||As in Creative Manuscript I, the semester begins with the student and faculty member holding a conference to discuss the manuscript, the faculty member having read the complete current manuscript (up to 300 pages long) beforehand. As in Creative Manuscript I, the student and mentor will then set goals for the coming semester, this time with a greater emphasis on editing and polish, less emphasis on rewriting and experiment. Six weeks later, the student submits the first half of the revised manuscript. In another six weeks, the student submits the second half of the revised manuscript. Six weeks after that, the student submits the complete, final manuscript. The mentor should treat each of the submissions as an exceptional book editor might treat portions of a manuscript (see guidelines for Creative Manuscript I). At the end of the semester, the faculty member and student should have a conference about the manuscript's prospects for representation and publication, with the faculty member advising a course of action for any student interested in obtaining representation by a literary agent.|
|MFA 614||The Book Business||This is a course in the publishing industry and book promotion. As a general rule, it should be taken during the second semester of the Advanced Certificate program, concurrent with Creative Manuscript II. A faculty member with sufficient expertise in the workings of the publishing industry and current book-promotion methods should assign the student a number of brief response papers (3-5 pages) analyzing books, articles, social media feeds, podcasts, and/or other relevant works. The course should be focused on knowledge of practical use to an author, but it should also be a primer useful for a student who one day decides to seek internships and/or entry-level jobs in publishing.|
|Total Credits: 33|
Advanced Creative Writing Certificate Cost
Our Manchester campus aims to keep tuition and related costs low for our students so that you can pursue your degree and your goals.
Beyond low tuition rates, we help our students save through transfer credits, credit for prior learning, grants and scholarships, tuition assistance and more.
This certificate is not eligible for federal financial aid. Students seeking alternatives to federal financial aid can explore tuition assistance, grants and scholarships, as well as private loans. To learn more about private loans, visit our Funding Your Education with Student Loans page.
Summer Residency Fee
Winter Residency Fee
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.