Major in Creative Writing

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live."

-- Joan Didion

Does your love of literature go beyond scholarship? Are you an aspiring author who wants to add a practical, hands-on component to your university education? Then you've come to the right place: UTSC is the only campus at UofT where you can earn a Major in Creative Writing. Our dedicated faculty take a workshop-based, experiential approach to the study and practice of the literary arts. This means that while you learn how classic and contemporary authors pursue their craft, you also take the exciting first steps towards building your own writing practice.

Our Major program places a particular emphasis on professionalization and how to make your way as a writer in the real world. Our teaching faculty are active and award-winning writers themselves, and the program stream culminates in a practical seminar on "Creative Writing as a Profession." You will also benefit from working each year with a new Writer-in-Residence, and you will have the opportunity to connect with our close-knit and active creative writing alumni network, including recent graduates who have already had their work published.

As a creative writing student you will be part of a vibrant undergraduate community, and have access to a jam-packed calendar of readings, talks, festivals, and other events (just scan our Events page to see what's happened in the past and coming up in the future). You can also participate in C.O.W. (our creative writing club), enter contests, and get published in the UTSC arts journal Scarborough Fair.

There is no better place to immerse yourself in the literary arts than Toronto, the heart of Canada's publishing industry. Join UTSC's growing community of creative writers, and learn how to make your own literary mark on the world.

 

Here is a route map for navigating the Creative Writing Major (you can expand the map by right-clicking or option-clicking and choosing "View Image"):

 

Requirements for the Major in Creative Writing 

 

Admission to this program is by portfolio:

Enrolment is limited and admission is by portfolio. Students will be able to apply to the program after they have completed a minimum of 4.0 credits, including ENGA03H3.

Applicants must submit a portfolio of 15-20 pages representing their best writing in poetry, fiction (either short stories or selections from a longer work), and/or creative non-fiction; portfolios may include work completed prior to admission to UTSC. The portfolio must be accompanied by a brief letter of application (1-2 pages) addressed to the Program Advisor in Creative Writing. The letter should discuss the applicant's experience as a writer, their future goals in the creative writing program, and a work of literature that has inspired them. Portfolios should be submitted to creative-writing@utsc.utoronto.ca by the application deadlines for limited enrolment programs -- normally March/April for students applying at the end of the Winter session and June/July for students applying at the end of the Summer session. Students should visit the Office of the Registrar website for exact dates.

Students who are not successful in their first attempt at applying for the program will be eligible to apply again. By the deadlines outlined above, these students must submit a new portfolio of 15-20 pages representing their best work in poetry, fiction (either short stories or selections from a longer work), and/or creative non-fiction. The portfolio must be accompanied by a brief letter of application (1-2 pages) addressed to the Program Advisor in Creative Writing at the email address above. The letter should discuss the applicant's experience as a writer, their future goals in the creative writing program, and a work of literature that has inspired them.

 

A Note on Course Enrollment Procedures:

If you are a non-first year student and would like to apply for B-level Creative Writing courses, please submit a course-specific portfolio (including your student number). Here are the details and contacts:

- ENGB60 Creative Writing: Poetry I: Email 5-10 pages of poetry to daniel.tysdal@utoronto.ca. Please note if you are applying for the F or S term.

- ENGB61 Creative Writing: Fiction I: Email 5-10 pages of fiction or other prose writing to sindu.sathiyaseelan@utoronto.ca (for F term) or andrew.westoll@utoronto.ca (for S term)

- ENGB63 Creative Writing: Non-Fiction I: Email 5-10 pages of non-fiction, fiction, or other prose writing to andrew.westoll@utoronto.ca.

If you are a first-year student or new to Creative Writing we offer ENGA03 Introduction to Creative Writing and you will be guided on POSt (program of study) selection in this course.

If you have any questions, please email: creative-writing@utsc.utoronto.ca. We are happy to help and look forward to receiving and reading your work!

 

Students in the Major must complete 7.5 credits as follows: 

1. 3.0 credits: 

ENGA03H3 Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGB60H3 Creative Writing: Poetry I 

ENGB61H3 Creative Writing: Fiction I

ENGB63H3 Creative Non-Fiction I

ENGD95H3 Creative Writing as a Profession

[ENGC86H3 Creative Writing: Poetry II or ENGC87H3 Creative Writing: Fiction II or ENGC88H3 Creative Non-Fiction II]

2. 2.0 credits to be selected from:  

ENGC04H3 Creative Writing: Screenwriting 

ENGC05H3 Creative Writing: Poetry and New Media 

ENGC06H3 Creative Writing: Writing for Comics 

ENGC08H3 Special Topics in Creative Writing I 

ENGC24H3 Creative Writing: The Art of the Personal Essay

ENGC86H3 Creative Writing: Poetry II (if not already counted as a required course)

ENGC87H3 Creative Writing: Fiction II (if not already counted as a required course)

ENGC88H3 Creative Non-Fiction II (if not already counted as a required course)

ENGC89H3 Creative Writing and Performance

ENGD22H3 Special Topics in Creative Writing II 

ENGD26Y3 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Poetry 

ENGD27Y3 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Prose 

ENGD28Y3 Independent Studies in Creative Writing: Special Topics

3. 4.5 Additional credits in English

 

Note: A maximum of 1.0 credit in creative writing courses may be taken at another campus.

 

For more details on program requirements, visit the UTSC Calendar. Questions about the program should be directed to Professor Daniel Tysdal (creative-writing@utsc.utoronto.ca). 

Interested in learning more about how our courses are structured and how you might develop your own path through your Minor in Creative Writing? Visit our Routes and Threads page.