creative writing masters programs in canada

  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Distance) (MFA)
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Creative Writers are at the heart of our cultural industries. Poets, novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, graphic novelists, magazine writers: they entertain, inform and inspire. For more than 15 years, UBC's Creative Writing program has been educating writers through distance education in a program which complements our long-standing on-campus MFA program.

A studio program with the writing workshop at its heart, the distance MFA focuses on the work created by students as the primary text. Through intensive peer critique and craft discussion, faculty and students work together with the same goal: literary excellence.

The MFA granted to distance students is the same degree as granted to on-campus students, and the same criteria of excellence in multiple genres of study apply.

For specific program requirements, please refer to the departmental program website

What makes the program unique?

UBC's Optional-Residency (Distance) MFA was the first distance education MFA program in Canada and remains the only full MFA which can be taken completely online. It is designed to be uniquely flexible, allowing students across Canada and around the world to study writing at the graduate level while still living in their local communities and fulfilling career and family obligations.

The program is unique globally for its multi-genre approach to writing instruction: students are required to work in multiple genres during the course of the degree. As a fine arts program rather than an English program, students focus on the practice of writing rather than the study of literature. Students may work on a part-time basis, taking up to five years to complete the degree.

My time in the Creative writing grad program at UBC has given me the discipline and focus I need to complete long-form writing pieces and larger poetry projects.

creative writing masters programs in canada

Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jnr.

Quick Facts

Program enquiries, admission information & requirements, program instructions.

The optional residency MFA (distance) program only has a July intake.

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum academic requirements.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

  • Canada or the United States
  • International countries other than the United States

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement : 90

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement : 6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

2) Meet Deadlines

3) prepare application, transcripts.

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest , sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.


Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Distance) (MFA)

Citizenship verification.

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Financial support.

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union .

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans .

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement .

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

Graduates of the MFA program have found success in varied fields related to writing and communication. The MFA qualifies graduates for teaching at the university level and many graduates have gone on to teach at colleges and universities in Canada, the United States and overseas as well as holding writing residencies. Many publish books and win literary awards. Others go on to work in publishing, and graduates have become book and magazine editors.

Although the MFA is a terminal degree, some graduates go on to further study in PhD programs in the US, UK and Australia.

The Optional-Residency MFA is particularly well suited to teachers: our teacher-students have been able to gain an advanced degree while continuing their careers.

  • Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Belcourt, Billy-Ray (Fiction; Nonfiction; Poetry)
  • Hopkinson, Nalo (Creative writing, n.e.c.; Humanities and the arts; Creative Writing: Speculative Ficton, Fantasy, Science Fiction, especially Other Voices)
  • Irani, Anosh
  • Koncan, Frances
  • Leavitt, Sarah (Autobiographical comics; Formal experimentation in comics; Comics pedagogy)
  • Lee, Nancy (Fiction; Creative Writing)
  • Lyon, Annabel (Novels, stories and news)
  • Maillard, Keith (Fiction, poetry)
  • Marzano-Lesnevich, Alex (Nonfiction)
  • McGowan, Sharon (Planning of film productions from concept to completion)
  • Medved, Maureen (Fiction, writing for screen)
  • Nicholson, Cecily (Languages and literature; Poetry)
  • Ohlin, Alix (Fiction; Screenwriting; Environmental writing)
  • Pohl-Weary, Emily (Fiction; Writing for Youth)
  • Svendsen, Linda (Fiction, television)
  • Taylor, Timothy (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Vigna, John (Novels, stories and news; Fiction, Literary Non-Fiction, Creative Writing)

Related Programs

Same specialization.

  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Same Academic Unit

  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Theatre (MFA)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Film Production and Creative Writing (MFA)

At the UBC Okanagan Campus

  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Further Information


Creative Writing combines the best of traditional workshop and leading-edge pedagogy. Literary cross-training offers opportunities in a broad range of genres including fiction, poetry, screenplay, podcasting, video game writing and graphic novel.

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Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form .

creative writing masters programs in canada

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  • Writing at Concordia

Program overview

Fast-track your skills in the company of other writers. Pursue your thesis with a professor whose expertise  complements your area of interest. Take literature seminars that broaden your understanding of others’ work and your own. The literary culture you encounter will enhance every aspect of your development as a writer.

You’ll have the freedom to explore your creative vision and find your voice as a writer and scholar in the artistically vibrant city of Montreal. Our program’s flexibility allows you to propose a thesis project in traditional or innovative genres and media, including digital.

By pursuing training as a writer in the context of a literature program, you’ll experience a learning environment informed by a multiplicity of insights. Your classmates will include people pursuing scholarly interests as well as those with their sights set on writing careers, publishing and editing, gaming, and teaching.

You’ll also have the opportunity to forge professional and artistic relationships that will last throughout your career.  Concordia is home to the Centre for Expanded Poetics, the Mordecai Richler Reading Room , numerous publications, and the Writers Read series , which attracts renowned and emerging writers alike.

Program Details

Admission requirements, english literature ma with thesis (option a), english literature ma with thesis (option b) (45 credits), creative writing with thesis (option c), degree requirements, degree requirements.

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

Please see the English Courses page for course descriptions.

English MA (45 credits)

Program options.

Degree options

You may choose one of three options. English Literature MA with Thesis (Option A) English Literature MA with Thesis (Option B) Creative Writing with Thesis (Option C)

Application process

Your completed application will include:

  • Application form and Fee
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three Letters of Reference and assessment form
  • Statement of Purpose (2 pages maximum) outlining your academic and creative writing background and areas of interest, potential thesis area, and objectives in pursuing graduate studies
  • Creative Writing  portfolio
  • For international students, a sample of your written work, such as a course paper (15 pages maximum).
  • Transcripts  for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable)
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, are required to submit  official language test scores , unless exempted.

Please apply  online . Read the  how-to guide  for application procedures.

Application deadlines

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of courses  and  read about upcoming, current and past course offerings .

Portfolio information

How to submit your portfolio 

Upload a PDF version of your portfolio on or before the application deadline.

If you are experiencing issues with uploading your portfolio, please send it to the Graduate Program Assistant  [email protected] .

Your portfolio MUST include the portfolio cover page   and a copy of your statement of purpose.

The subject line should read:   Last name, first name - graduate portfolio submission

About the portfolio

It is not necessary to submit all three genres; though you may wish to reflect your strengths in various genres, the focus should be on that in which you propose to complete your thesis. If you write prose, submit 35 to ( a maximum of ) 45 pages (double-spaced); if poetry, 20 to ( a maximum of ) 25 pages (single-spaced). If you are applying in drama, you must submit one complete play. In the case of a combined-genre portfolio, the total should not exceed 35 pages (unless drama is included).  Submit your strongest work that which you feel accurately represents your abilities and interests. Where possible, complete works are preferable to excerpts.

Students not accepted into the Creative Writing program may enter the Literature Option if they have met admission requirements and have indicated that they are interested in the other option on the  portfolio cover page form.

We’re committed to providing students the support they need to focus on their studies. Top students benefit from scholarships and teaching assistantships, and all students are eligible for conference awards and other funding .

Please also consult the English Department’s funding page and Financial Aid and Awards .

Faculty research interests

Our faculty members are accomplished scholars across many fields of literature. Learn about the diverse research interests through our research initiatives  and recent publications .

Student initiatives

Graduate students hold writing sessions and workshops, host literary and scholarly events, and publish a journal. Learn more about Concordia Write Nights , Headlight , and visit SAGE to get involved.

Your professional future

An MA in English prepares you for careers that require strength in research, writing, and communication.

You’ll also be qualified to teach in Quebec’s CEGEP system.

Our graduates  are well-placed to take on advanced study in a PhD program, in either English or Creative Writing.  Others have become icons of the Canadian literary scene. Still others work in such fields as editing (literary, copy), publishing (as employees or as small press publishers themselves), writing for online and print magazines (e.g. Maisonneuve , The Walrus ), developing video games, teaching CEGEP, teaching ESL, translating, and technical writing.

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English and Creative Writing (MA)

Feed your love of literature and creative writing through our English and Creative Writing graduate programs. Our graduate-level course seminars are guided by the expertise and research of our faculty, letting you become immersed in engaging topics—from the historical reception of the works of William Shakespeare, to the writing of the formal lyric, to the figure of the zombie in contemporary culture—all under the guidance of specialists in the subject. Our programs cultivate not only critical writers and readers, but also accomplished researchers and public speakers.

In our creative writing Master of Arts programs, you can find your voice and hone your craft as a writer of verse, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

Our graduate students have the choice of not only diverse course offerings and accomplished mentors and supervisors, but also of several distinct degree paths, allowing for extensive learning through coursework, for intensive individual study in the project or thesis route, and for the pursuit of one’s own craft as a writer through creative writing projects and theses.

We offer the following graduate programs:

Master of Arts in English (course-based)

The course-based Master of Arts consists of 10 seminar courses. In this program, you will achieve a breadth of knowledge in many areas of English literature and in the most current developments in the subject.

Master of Arts in English (thesis-based)

The thesis-based Master of Arts consists of five courses plus a thesis requiring in-depth research on one area of English literature.

Master of Arts in English (project-based)

The project-based Master of Arts consists of seven courses plus an academic project. In this program, students study English while completing a project the size of a scholarly journal article.  This program includes a public presentation of the completed project.

The Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English (thesis-based)

This program includes a creative writing workshop requirement. Of the five courses required, at least two graduate courses in creative writing must be taken. The remaining courses are advanced seminars in English literature or literary theory. The creative writing thesis takes the form of  a substantial manuscript of poems, short stories, or creative nonfiction, and it must include a critical introduction explaining the aims, methods and contexts for the creative work.

Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English (project-based)

This Master of Arts program has an emphasis on creative writing and requires the submission of an extended creative work (e.g., a chapbook collection of poetry; 1-2 short stories or creative nonfiction pieces; an excerpt from a novel). This program includes a public presentation of the completed project.

Of the seven courses required, at least two graduate courses in creative writing must be taken. The program also requires a substantial amount of work in the subject of English, which is a valuable part of the education of creative writers. It is intended for students who have aspirations in the fields of creative writing and editing but who have not had the extensive professional experience required with gaining admission to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program.

Regardless of the route you choose, all of our English and creative writing graduate programs offer excellent preparation for graduate studies at the doctoral level or in related fields, or for a wide range of careers.

English Meet Your Faculty

Quick facts, connect with us, why study english and creative writing at the university of regina.

The writing, reading, and research demands of our seminar courses and intensive, self-directed study equip students to be independent thinkers capable of processing complex information, of researching intricate issues, of identifying and solving problems, and of communicating findings clearly and compellingly. This sets them up to succeed in a wide range of workplaces.

By allowing students to cultivate their own voice in both creative and critical writing, and to pursue their passions in readings and assignments, our graduate programs also enrich our students’ lives and empower them to speak and write with eloquence and confidence.

Our faculty is noted for its diversity, its renown, its record of innovation, and is committed to mentoring graduate students.

A choice of routes – thesis, course-based, or project

Graduate students have the choice of five program routes:  coursework, English thesis, English project, Creative Writing and English thesis, Creative Writing and English project. The new project route emphasizes professionalization, while the English department’s ongoing commitment to a thesis degree gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a major independent research project under the supervision of expert professors. This is an experience fewer and fewer graduate programs in the field still offer.

Student support

The English department has a long-standing tradition of professorial availability and mentoring. Since the master's degree is the highest degree offered by the English department at the U of R, we can offer close support of Master's students and high-priority supervision of Master's theses that is often unavailable in departments with doctoral programs. 

Expert faculty members

We have a number of celebrated professors, including the U of R’s Canada Research Chair in Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Literatures, Dr. Michelle Coupal, as well as award-winning creative writers, scholars, and teachers.

Our faculty research interests include:

  • Renaissance, Romantic, and Modernist periods
  • Post-colonial literature
  • Prison writing
  • Fantasy literature
  • Literary and political theory
  • Canadian Indigenous literature
  • Creative writing in prose and verse
  • Film adaptation
  • Creative writing faculty members include novelists, Fantasy writers, short story writers, poets, and writers of memoir and creative nonfiction.

University library

The holdings of the University Library are ample for Master’s research in all traditional areas of literary study, and have particular strengths in the following areas:

  • Victorian writers and periodicals
  • Romantic poets and novelists
  • Literary theory
  • American fiction and periodicals 1741-1910
  • Hemingway and Fitzgerald
  • Canadian Institute for Historical Microproductions archive
  • Utopian literature
  • Criticism of fantastic literature (science fiction, fantasy, horror)
  • North American Indigenous Literature
  • Literature and religion, e.g. Patrologiae Cursus Completus

The University Library’s databases include extensive holdings in primary materials, such as:

  • Shakespeare in Quarto
  • Women Writers Online
  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online
  • Early English Books Online
  • British Library Manuscripts Online
  • Gale Primary Sources

The Library’s databases also include substantial secondary materials for literary research, such as:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Artemis Literary Sources
  • Literature Criticism Online
  • MLA Bibliography

The Dr. John Archer Library houses the University Archives, with archival staff to facilitate primary research using archival materials. Graduate students also have access to hands-on personal research support from the English Librarian, opportunities for digital humanities research supported by the Research & Scholarship Librarian, and more.

English and Creative Writing Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants must have a four-year bachelor’s degree in English with an overall grade point average of at least 75 per cent. Applicants with a strong background in English who hold degrees in other disciplines may be considered for admission as Qualifying students. Applicants must have successfully completed ENGL 399 or an equivalent course in Literary Theory.

You must also submit a writing sample and other supplementary materials (depending on which program you are applying to.)

Creative Writing: Writing Genre

This graduate-level creative writing seminar will focus on popular genres, including fantasy/science-fiction, detective fiction, horror, young adult literatures, and digital genres. Students will workshop their own creative texts while also reading criticism on genre studies and the craft of writing.

Life Writing: Experimental Memoir

This course introduces students to the creative non-fiction memoir and personal, lyric essay. It is a hybrid course; both academic and creative writing students can enroll.

Shakespeare as Cultural Icon

By studying the cultural reception of four popular, contested plays in the Shakespeare canon, this course examines the ways Shakespeare has been used as a national and international icon, both to maintain institutionalized power and to serve as a resistance point for underprivileged groups.

Indigenous Science Fiction and Speculative Storytelling

This course examines Indigenous science fiction and speculative storytelling as an emerging genre. Beginning with its origins in oral traditions and ending with contemporary short fiction and film, this course asks what makes Indigenous science fiction distinct from Western science fiction, and also from historical fiction about Indigenous peoples.

The Rhetoric of Apology in Canada

This course examines the rhetoric of government apologies in Canada as national mythologies or narratives of forgiving and forgetting government policies that defined, “who belongs and who does not belong to the nation.” We will examine ideological underpinnings of apologies and attempts at reconciliation through Canadian tragedies.

Security and Surveillance: The Making of "Bad" Subjects

This course will use Foucault's mid-1970s lectures on security and surveillance as a starting point to discuss how bodies and behaviours are policed. We will discuss how some cultural texts play a role in producing "good" citizens, while others challenge the boundaries that delimit what it is to be human. 

Yes! Once you have been accepted as a fully-qualified graduate student with no conditions or holds on your admission, then you are eligible to apply for our scholarships, awards, or graduate teaching assistant positions.

English Scholarships and Awards

  • Dorothy and Leon Goldman Award
  • Morris Shumiatcher Graduate Scholarship in English
  • Lloyd Person Scholarship
  • Lucy Murray Scholarship
  • Ken Probert Memorial Scholarship.

The English department also offers support for student travel to scholarly conferences.

Apply for these scholarships, and more, by visiting our Graduate Awards Portal (GAP), the U of R online graduate scholarship application system.

All Graduate Funding Opportunities

Visit our Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website to learn about all graduate funding opportunities including:

  • National Scholarships (including Tri Council funding)
  • Awards to Study Abroad
  • FGSR Funding/Special Awards
  • Funding for Indigenous Students
  • Funding for International Students
  • Other Awards and Scholarships
  • External Scholarship Opportunities
  • External Student and Faculty Awards

Yes! Mitacs Globalink is a student mobility and research funding program in Canada with many options for travel for graduate students for the purpose of conducting research. Some programs are open to all countries and applications are accepted throughout the year, while other programs are limited to partner countries and are call-based.

What Can You Do With an English and Creative Writing Degree?

Upon successfully completing your graduate program in English, you will be ready for the next step of your career. Some of our graduates pursue a doctoral degree or other advanced studies. The jobs that graduates go on to include:

  • Published author
  • Composer of hit pop songs
  • Senior policy analysts

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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Guelph

CW MFA Graduate Jael Richardson

Our MFA Program, located in Toronto, the most richly diverse city in the country, welcomes and is structured to nurture and support many voices and wide imaginaries. Our distinguished faculty and our many acclaimed graduates recognize the power of language to summon a different world. We offer workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, drama and poetry. Defining characteristics include innovative plenary courses, a semester-long mentorship with a professional writer, and the opportunity to design and teach creative writing workshops in downtown Toronto schools.

The deadline for consideration for Fall 2025 entry is Monday, December 2, 2024 at 11:59pm. 

Check out our monthly Speakeasy Reading Series . Upcoming dates and featured readers can be found on Facebook .

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Year in Review

CW MFA: 2022 in Review

We’ve had a fabulous first year with canisia lubrin at the helm of the mfa program and catherine bush continues to supervise mfa students and teach fiction for us and the many writers clamoring into the new creative writing undergraduate program at the university of guelph..

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Unique in Canada

UVic's grad program is the only one of three in Canada offering an MFA in writing, rather than an MA in English with a creative-writing option.

We are also the only Canadian institution with an emphasis not only on writing but on the  teaching  of writing, which is a specialized area of education. You'll take on teaching assistantships to gain experience in evaluating and assisting undergrads, and to acquire actual classroom teaching skills in the area of writing (rather than in English literature). Our program is designed so that teaching will be one of the skills you'll graduate with, to better prepare you for the job market.

MFA in Creative Writing

Our MFA program offers you:

  • a supportive environment in which to create a publishable or producible body of work in one of five genres (fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, film and poetry), and
  • training in the teaching of creative writing at the post-secondary level and for community groups.

You will work closely with internationally known and published faculty who respect and encourage their creative visions and voices. Through participation in workshop classes that simulate an editorial environment of critical feedback and positive reinforcement, you can develop a significant body of work in your genre.

Our department is connected to the lively literary community of Greater Victoria through off-campus readings and events, including the Open Word reading series and the Victoria Festival of Authors .

Find out  how to apply or consult our FAQ .

Deadline for applications: December 1.

Get to know our faculty

Check out our faculty profiles to learn more about the writers you could be working with!

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48 Best universities for Creative Writing in Canada

Updated: February 29, 2024

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  • Environmental Science
  • Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Mathematics

Below is a list of best universities in Canada ranked based on their research performance in Creative Writing. A graph of 246K citations received by 19.8K academic papers made by 48 universities in Canada was used to calculate publications' ratings, which then were adjusted for release dates and added to final scores.

We don't distinguish between undergraduate and graduate programs nor do we adjust for current majors offered. You can find information about granted degrees on a university page but always double-check with the university website.

Please note that our approach to subject rankings is based on scientific outputs and heavily biased on art-related topics towards institutions with computer science research profiles.

1. University of Toronto

For Creative Writing

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2. University of British Columbia

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3. University of Alberta

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4. McGill University

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5. York University

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6. University of Calgary

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7. University of Victoria

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8. Simon Fraser University

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9. Western University

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10. Queen's University

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11. University of Ottawa

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12. McMaster University

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13. University of Waterloo

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14. Carleton University

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15. University of Montreal

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16. University of Manitoba

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The best cities to study Creative Writing in Canada based on the number of universities and their ranks are Toronto , Vancouver , Edmonton , and Montreal .

Art & Design subfields in Canada

Study and Work in Creative Writing in Canada

What Creative Writing Students Learn Topics and concepts that are covered and the overall approach or focus taken in studying Creative Writing.

Career and Employment Opportunities in Creative Writing Professions or occupations available to graduates in Creative Writing and links to employment resources.

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Creative Writing

About this program.

Have you longed to explore your creative potential?

Embrace the unknown and start your journey here. As part of one of the largest Creative Writing programs in Canada, you can learn the essentials of excellent writing and put them into practice. Whether you aspire to write a novel or short story, explore poetry, pen a script or screenplay, or explore other writing styles, we have the courses you need to improve your skills.

Class sizes and writers workshops are kept small to ensure you receive the individual attention you need to help your writing thrive, whether you take your class in-class or online. 

Courses in the genres listed below can be applied to the Certificate in Creative Writing

  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Escritura Creativa en Español
  • Literary Fiction
  • Multi-genre
  • Poetry and Songwriting
  • Popular Fiction
  • Stage and Screenwriting
  • U of T Summer Writing School
  • Writing for Children

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creative writing masters programs in canada

  • MA Programs
  • MA in English

The MA in English at the University of Toronto is a one-year course based program.

U of T English MAs follow a variety of exciting career paths! Some go on to complete a PhD in English and pursue an academic career, while others enter the fields of education, publishing, journalism, communication, business, social work, and public policy, among many others.

Program Description

The MA program typically takes 12 months.

Students must successfully complete a total of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • ENG6999Y Critical Topographies: Theory and Practice of Contemporary Literary Studies in English (1.0 FCE) [please note that students in the MA in Creative Writing program are not required to take this course]
  • 3.0 graduate FCEs in English (6 one-term courses)

Students must attain a B standing in each graduate course.

With the approval of the Associate Director, MA, students may take up to 1.0 FCE of relevant coursework (1 full-year course or 2 one-term courses) outside of the Graduate Program in English.

Cross-listed courses (that is, courses taught by English graduate faculty in other units) and courses required for a collaborative specialization are equivalent to English courses and may be taken without special permission from the Department.

Entry Requirements

Please see the Application Information page (under “Programs”) for further information.

Admission to the MA program is based upon the applicant's undergraduate record, references, writing sample, and statement.

Minimum qualifications for entry into the MA program include:

  • A minimum of 7 full-year undergraduate courses in English or the equivalent in half-year courses (i.e., 14), or any combination of full-and half-year courses that add up to the equivalent of 7 full-year courses
  • An appropriate bachelor's degree (i.e., a four-year undergraduate degree), or its equivalent (preferably in English), with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 / B+ or better and evidence of first-class work in English. The department favours a broad training in the major genres and all periods of English literary history
  • Recommendations from two referees
  • A statement of purpose
  • A writing sample consisting of 12 to 15 pages

Admission to the program is highly selective: These are minimum requirements only.

In considering applications, the Department favours a broad training in the major genres and periods of English literature. While historical coverage is especially important, a strong grounding in the major literary genres is also an asset, as is study of the range of literary writing in English across national cultures and ethnic/racialized, gendered, and sexually diverse communities. 

Fees & Financial Assistance

Although we do not offer teaching assistantships to students in the MA program, we regularly make significant financial awards to our top MA applicants. In addition, many of our incoming MA students are supported by prestigious external awards, including Ontario Graduate Scholarships and Canada Graduate Scholarships. The department also offers unrivalled help to MA students applying for fellowships for further graduate study.

Deadlines for applications for external awards often precede the program application deadline, so your first step should be to consider applying for financial support. For more information, see  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Canada Graduate Scholarships - Masters (SSHRC CGS-M) and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS).

Please see the Department's  Finances & Awards page

Tuition fees for full-time domestic and international students are posted on Student Accounts site.

Further Information

  • Please see the Application Information page and the Frequently Asked Questions for prospective students
  • To learn more about financing options, see the Finances & Awards page

School of Graduate Studies

  • For more information on all of the graduate resources available to future students, please visit the Future Students page on the School of Graduate Studies website
  • For ongoing information for current students, start here

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  • Here are the important dates and course descriptions for the upcoming year
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creative writing masters programs in canada

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Creative Writing Courses in Canada

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  • Updated on  
  • Mar 3, 2023

Creative Writing Courses in Canada

As the name suggests, creative writing is a style where creativity is at the forefront and the imagination and aesthetic of the writer flow with each written word. Highly artistic individuals with an ability to connect to people through their writing, opt for this unique career path that offers a wide range of specializations. Creative writing goes beyond the bounds of academic and technical writing. It is a medium to express your feelings by jotting them down on the pages and complex subtleties of emotions related to them. The wide range of creative writing courses in Canada allows the aspirant to be well-versed with different composing styles and literary devices and reach great heights in the realm of writing.

Vaccination Rules for International Students Around the World!

This Blog Includes:

Why study creative writing in canada, list of creative writing courses in canada, types of creative writing courses in canada, certificate course, university of calgary, top colleges for creative writing courses in canada, specialisation, eligibility criteria, pre-arrival costs, cost of living (one-year), career scope .

  • Canada is an excellent destination for pursuing creative writing programs as its home to big publishing companies like HarperCollins Canada, Penguin Random House Canada, Dundurn Press, and Scholastic Canada.
  • The federal government in Canada has reported a tremendous increase in job opportunities in industries like marketing, digital marketing, and content development despite the ongoing COVID- pandemic making creative writing and copywriting an important skill.
  • Studying creative writing courses in Canada is also the gateway to getting a post-study work visa and eventually permanent residency in the country. Students who have completed their degrees in Canada can stay back in the country and join the Canadian economic force. 

Explore: Study in Canada without IELTS

  • Bachelor of Arts in English literature – Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Writing
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program
  • Master of Art with Creative Writing, Literature, and Language 
  • Masters of Art in Creative Writing and English
  • Ontario Graduate Certificate in Content Strategy
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing 

Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years, full-time)

Students who have a passion for writing and wish to study in Canada, and learn more about the creative industry are highly recommended to pursue this course. This course introduces you to the world of writing that is different from technical writing. The curriculum puts special emphasis on the area of poetry, films, essays, fiction, novels, and other writing genres. The students learn the basic skills required for writing and learn to put their creative tools to use and have a successful career in the field.

Master’s degree (1-2 years, full-time)

Another popular creative writing course in Canada is Masters. A Master’s degree in creative writing is a type of post-graduate degree that students usually aim for after completing their undergraduate degree. This course allows you to delve deeper into the aspects of literature writing by incorporating all the aspects of writing, from grammar and vocabulary to major areas like literary analysis, plot development, etc. After completing this course, the students acquire a deeper insight into the creation of novels, poems, film writing, etc. It offers a wide range of specializations to choose from. These include playwriting, comedy writing, fiction and non-fiction, and many more!

The University of Calgary offers a creative writing certification program in online mode. This creative writing course in Canada is a 200-hour certificate course that allows you to hone your core skills in creative writing. It will provide you with knowledge about various aspects of writing that include editing, and proofreading and help you further in content development in various genres. You receive extensive training and professional mentorship throughout the program which prepares you for becoming a published writer. After the completion of the course, you receive a globally recognized certificate that revamps your resume and opens up more job prospects in the field of creative writing.

  • Narrative Essay
  • Creative nonfiction 
  • Short Story
  • Stage and Screenwriting 
  • Popular Fiction 
  • Poetry and Songwriting
  • Fiction Writing

Eligibility criteria to get into creative writing courses in Canada varies depending on the course, university, level of degree, etc., but one of the most important prerequisites is your portfolio. To establish your reputation as a worthy writer, students are recommended to build a portfolio that includes samples of their best works.

Other than your portfolio, to be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

  • You would have to put together a strong portfolio of your works.
  • Some colleges might demand a minimal mark of 75% or a B+.
  • You must send a SOP or motivational letter outlining your interests and future goals in addition to your IELTS TRF, TOEFL, or Duolingo score (minimum score requirements are 6.5 to 7.5 on each test).
  • Your resume or work CV must also be included in the application package.

Want to Score a Perfect 8 Band in IELTS? Take Leverage Live Class Demo & Get Started!

Cost of Studying Creative Writing Courses in Canada

When it comes to studying abroad, Canada is comparatively more affordable than other international destinations. Still, there are a lot of expenses that need to be kept in mind while you plan on studying creative writing courses in Canada. The budget should be planned in accordance with the pre-arrival cost and the cost of living after arriving. The following table gives a brief overview of the broad expenses covered through the entire process of applying to study creative writing in Canada.

Explore: Life in Canada for Indians

The career scope for creative writing courses in Canada is vast. Students with experience and determination can find a diverse range of job profiles in creative writing, marketing, publishing, entertainment, and freelancing. Here are some job profiles to explore after creative writing courses:

  • Advertising copywriter
  • Creative director
  • Book Translator
  • Magazine journalist
  • Digital Copywriter
  • Legacy Writer
  • Content Developer
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Web content manager
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Lexicographer
  • Journalist 
  • Ghostwriter
  • Scriptwriter

University of Windsor. Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Sheridan College. Douglas College. University of New Brunswick.

The colleges in Canada have emerged as one of the top options for pursuing an MFA in creative writing due to their diverse learning programs.

Creative Writing in UK. Creative Writing in USA. Creative Writing in Canada. Creative Writing in Ireland. Creative Writing in Australia.

If you are an individual looking to hone your writing skills and acquire the power to absorb the readers’ attention through your writing, pursuing creative writing courses in Canada is the best path for you! Know about the best-fit university and courses that you can pursue in Canada with the help of our AI Course Finder. Sign up for a free session with our counsellors at Leverage Edu today!

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