Graduate Creative Writing
Aided by the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program, the Creative Writing program attracts national and international acclaim. Faculty and students actively contribute to the Calgary and Canadian arts communities.
MA with creative thesis
You may apply to submit a substantial work of poetry or fiction as a creative project for the MA thesis in English. However, we caution that permission is needed to undertake the creative option. We cannot promise that admission to the MA in English, nor completion of Creative Writing classes at this or any other university, guarantees permission to pursue the Creative Writing project.
We do encourage you to continue writing and to continue applying for Creative Writing courses at the graduate level.
Submit a substantial portfolio of previous work during your graduate program application (published work, five to eight short poems or one to two short stories, chapters of a novel, or a combination of poetry and prose).
Outline critical awareness of the approach you expect to take.
If the proposal is for poetry, you must present a critical discussion of the proposed work, calling attention elements like themes, verse-forms, groups of poems, experimental or traditional approaches, etc.
If the proposal is for fiction, you must present a critical discussion of possible approaches to characterization, theme, point of view, narrative stance, experimental or traditional approaches.
The finished product must have an introduction or afterword, normally of 20–30 pages, showing some critical awareness of the approach taken.
The average length of a poetry project is normally about fifty pages. Fiction projects are normally about one hundred and fifty pages.
PhD with creative dissertation
We offer a PhD in English with a Creative Writing option. You may be permitted to submit a substantial book-length manuscript of poetry or fiction for the PhD thesis in English. However, because of the high standards expected for such a project and the Department's limited resources in the area of creative writing, permission to undertake this option is highly competitive. While an indication of writing and publishing experience is essential, such publication by itself does not guarantee either admission to the doctoral program or approval of a creative dissertation project.
Submit a portfolio of writing and published works during your graduate program application.
Your dissertation essay must show extensive critical awareness of the approach you expect to take. Expect, as part of your studies, to do research within the genre.
The finished product, when presented as a dissertation for examination, must be previously unpublished and must be accompanied by a critical essay showing a sophisticated critical and/or theoretical awareness of the approach taken.
Although quantity and quality cannot be equated, the body of work presented must be substantial; as with the dissertation for a critical Ph.D., it should fulfill expectations of originality and publishability.
Creative Writing faculty
Clara A.B. Joseph
L. Rain Prud'homme-Cranford
Aritha Van Herk
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Graduate program contacts
Contact us for any questions you may have about the programs we offer in the Department of English.