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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Features + news.

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..

MFA in Writing

Established 2011.

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69 graduates and counting

"the mfa in writing is dedicated to mentorship, student support, and an inclusive community. writing can be a solitary activity. in the mfa at university of saskatchewan, you belong to a program but more than that, to a welcoming community that values compassionate rigour, innovation, and diversity. many of our graduates, while continuing to write and publish, work in the cultural sector, as editors, and literary entrepreneurs.", ---dr. jeanette lynes, mfa in writing director, what's new, about the mfa in writing.

The goal of the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program is the training of a writer in the professional and creative aspects of the craft. The MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan balances the intensive study and practice of writing in several genres with an interdisciplinary flexibility. To the study of poetry, fiction and playwriting, the program adds a variety of non-fiction genres, allowing students to merge a wide variety of intellectual interests with their writing ambitions.

Books by MFA in Writing Students

Our MFA in Writing students maintain a robust publishing program, both during and after their MFA studies. Their work appears regularly in literary magazines and journals. Listed below are some of their book publications:

Sarah Ens,  The World is Mostly Sky (Turnstone Press, Forthcoming)

Meaghan Hackinen,  South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels  (NeWest Press, 2019)

dee Hobsbawn-Smith,  Bread & Water  (Forthcoming)

dee Hobsbawn-Smith,  What Can't Be Undone: Stories (Thistledown Press, 2015)

dee Hobsbawn-Smith,  Wildness Rushing In , (Hagios Press, 2014)

dee Hobsbawn-Smith,  Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet (TouchWood, 2012)

Katherine Lawrence,  Stay  (Coteau Books, 2017)

Katherine Lawrence,  Never Mind  (Turnstone Books, 2016)

Katherine Lawrence,  Lying to Our Mothers  (Coteau Books, 2006)

Katherine Lawrence,  Ring Finger, Left Hand  (Coteau Books, 2001)

Shannon McConnell,  The Burden of Gravity  (Caitlin Press, Forthcoming)

Allison McFarland,  Disappearing in Reverse  (University of Calgary Press, Forthcoming)

Mika Lafond,  nipê wânîn: my way back  (Thistledown Press, 2017)

Taidgh Lynch,  First Lift Here and Other Poems (JackPine Press, 2019)

Patrick O'Reilly,  A Collapsible Newfoundland (Frog Hollow Press, 2020)

Program Information

The MFA in Writing is a two-year program. Students will normally convocate in the fall at the end of the two years. This means that the students will normally defend their theses at the end of August and/or the beginning of September. In exceptional circumstances, a student may defend his or her thesis in June. This is a Full-Time program. Students should be prepared to devote the bulk of their time to it. The writing workshops are on-site only and do not have an on-line component. In both years students take a variety of courses; in the second, students also complete a thesis. The thesis can be a novel, a work of creative non-fiction, a play, a collection of poems or short stories.

The First Year

In the first year, all students in this program are to take two 3cu Workshop courses (fiction and non-fiction), in which students are required to present work in two genres.

  • WRIT 800.3 - The Craft of Writing Fiction is to be taken in fall term.
  • WRIT 802.3 - Non-Fiction Workshop is to be taken in winter term.
  • Elective - As well, each student will take their 3 cu elective as an 800-level or approved undergraduate 300 or 400 level course in another subject. The relevance of this course to the student’s writing must be demonstrated, and prerequisite requirements must be satisfied or waived.

Each student will also take part in the program’s WRIT 990 colloquium (the Profession of Writing), and in GPS 960 (Introduction to Ethics and Integrity) and also in WRIT 994 (the thesis).

During the first year, each student will be assigned an approved faculty supervisor. An established writer from the community with professional affiliate status in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, will also be assigned as your writing mentor starting April 1st of your first year and ending September 30th of your second year.

The Second Year

In the second year, upon successful completion of year one’s requirements, all students in the program will be required to take two more Workshop courses.

  • WRIT 801.3 -  Poetry Workshop is to be taken in fall term.
  • WRIT 803.3 -  Capstone Workshop Extended Forms is to be taken in winter term.

All students will continue to participate in WRIT 990 and WRIT 994 . With regular supervision, including supervision throughout the summer, students will propose and carry out the thesis. The second year will be completed with the submission and successful defense of the thesis.

Mentorships

The six-month mentorship is a key component of the MFA in Writing. Students must achieve a minimum mark of 80% to be eligible for a mentor. It affords students the opportunity to work with published authors from the Saskatchewan writing community. The mentorship begins in the spring after the student’s first year and continues until September of that year. Mentors will respond to regular submissions of student work via in-person meetings, Skype, email, regular post or some combination of the above. The Coordinator will assign each student a mentor based on a ‘fit’ between the mentor’s work and the student’s proposed writing project. The student is free to suggest a mentor pending the Coordinator’s approval. The assignment of mentors will depend, of course, on the availability of the mentor. The creative project on which the mentor and student work together will essentially constitute a portion of the student’s MFA thesis.

WRIT 800.3 - The Craft of Writing Fiction

This course focuses on how to write dynamic and engaging fiction. The course offers compositional strategies for writing short stories and novels. Writ 800.3 is an intensive workshop consisting of peer critiques, a craft seminar, and discussion of assigned readings. Students will meet weekly and will be required, every week, to produce writing of their own and submit it for analysis by the rest of the class and the instructor. 

WRIT 801.3 – Poetry Workshop

Students in this course will meet weekly for a three-hour seminar, in which they will examine the key theories and issues in the writing of poetry. A professional writer should have experience in more than one genre: exploring the specific demands and opportunities of verse is fundamental to this program. The students will be required, every week, to produce writing of their own – commentary, then poems – and submit it for discussion by the rest of the class and the instructor.

WRIT 802.3 – Nonfiction Workshop

Students in this course will meet weekly for a three-hour seminar, in which they will examine some leading theories and methods in the making of nonfiction that could include biography, history, and investigative journalism. This course will develop the student’s proficiency in writing nonfiction for a general audience. The students will be required, every week, to produce writing and submit it for discussion by the rest of the class and the instructor.

WRIT 803.3 – Extended Forms

This capstone workshop focuses on the conceptualizing and creation of a book-length manuscript of prose (fiction, creative non-fiction) or poetry. It is also meant to sharpen editing skills and the ability to construct a theoretical basis for a writing project as well as situating that writing project within its broader literary context(s). The theory and aesthetic informing the writing project will be articulated in an Artist’s Statement. Each student will also be required to present a graduating craft talk, based on their writing project and open to other MFA students in the program. The student presenting the craft talk will be, in essence, teaching craft, using his or her own writing and reading as a basis. Extended Forms is the final workshop in the MFA. 

WRIT 990.0 – The Profession of Writing

Detailed, practical attention to the professional aspects of authorship provides a crucial dimension to training to undertake a career in writing. With completion of this course, students will have a grasp of the business of writing. Students in each year of the program are required to attend the seminars comprising this course. These seminars take place approximately once a month; they provide opportunities for students to consider and discuss various public and practical aspects of their work. The seminars, whose topics may include Submitting Work for Publication, The Role of the Editor, Intellectual Property and Copyright and Writing on Contract, will be led by experts from around and beyond the University.

WRIT 994.0 – Thesis

The Major Work culminates the MFA in Writing. The objective is a substantial, original piece of writing: a novel, a collection of short stories, a sequence of poems, a play, or nonfiction book or series of nonfiction work. The Major Work is to be completed in the second year of the program. At the end of the second year, the student will submit the completed work, meet with an examining committee, and defend the work submitted.

Thesis Length Requirement: Long form prose thesis (ie novel, memoir): to a maximum of 200 double-spaced pages Short story thesis: to a maximum of 150 double-spaced pages Poetry thesis: 40-60 pages Artist Statement: 15-20 pages

Note: In a special case situation where a student requires more than two years to complete the MFA in Writing program, continuous registration in WRIT 990 and WRIT 994 will be required on completion of the MFA.

How to Apply

Entry into the MFA in Writing requires a four-year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of 70% in the last two years, and a strong portfolio of writing. In exceptional cases, applicants without the degree may enter the program on a probationary basis: equivalency will be judged on previous participation in reputable workshops such as those offered by the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Sage Hill Writing Experience, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild; on relevant work experience; and on substantial publication.

Minimum Admission Requirements to the College of Graduate Studies and Research for Masters Degree, please click  here .

Applications should be submitted by  January 31st  each year to be considered for admission in the following September. Late applications will be considered only under exceptional circumstances.  The MFA in Writing Program has only one intake a year, in September.

Application Deadline: January 31st 

Application checklist, all applications for admission must include:.

  • online application for admission:  http://grad.usask.ca/programs/writing.php
  • a non-refundable application fee of $120 (in Canadian or equivalent US funds), which is payable online through the online application process
  • three letters of reference (the referees whose email addresses you provide in your online application will automatically be directed to an online form to submit). Please ask your references to assess your writing ability and work ethic, and your ability to work within a collaborative group workshop setting
  • statement of intent, indicating the genre(s) of literature in which you wish to specialize.  Applicants should be as detailed as possible with respect to the writing project they aim to undertake during their study (to be uploaded on your online application)
  • CV (resume) (to be uploaded on your online application)
  • This portfolio will be judged for evidence that the candidate has achieved a preliminary standard of originality, craft, style and literary sophistication. This can be submitted electronically in PDF format.   The writing portfolio will constitute a substantial portion of the applicant's qualification for admission. (to be uploaded on your online application)
  • transcripts from all post secondary institutions attended (to be uploaded on your online application)
  • test results of proof of English language proficiency from applicants from non-English speaking countries (eg. TOEFL, IELTS).  Click  here  for details.

MFA Student Resources

Sample artist's statement.

A good example of an artist's statement is found  here  (PDF file will open in new window).

Used with permission of Elise Godfrey, 2014.

SAMPLE THESIS FRONT MATTER

A good example of the front matter of a thesis can be found  here  (PDF file will open in new window). 

Used with permission from Leah MacLean-Evans.

Faculty from the Humanities and Fine Arts departments will participate in the MFA in Writing as instructors and supervisors.

MFA Mentors, Past & Present

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Jacqueline Baker

Sandra Birdsell

Sandy Bonny

Kelley Jo Burke

David Carpenter

Micheline Chevrier

Michael Crummey

Kristyn Dunnion

Nicholas Eames

Marina Endicott

Laurie D. Graham

Matthew Hall

Lee Henderson

Trevor Herriot

Terry Jordan

Barbara Klar

Barbarba Langhorst

Sylvia Legris

Dave Margoshes

Sean Michaels

Rosemary Nixon

Elizabeth Philips

Alexandra Popoff

William Robertson

Candace Savage

Merilyn Simonds

Arthur Slade

Karen Solie

Jennifer Still

Leona Theis

Guy Vanderhaeghe

Katherena Vermette

Edward Willet

Sheri-D Wilson

Alissa York

What Our MFA In Writing Students Are Saying

  • 2023 WinterTide Newsletter
  • Newsletter Archive

MFA Variety Show

The MFA in Writing Variety Show is a collaborative, creative space for current students, alumni, faculty, and mentors of the program to share writing they love with the wider community. 

The idea for this project was born in the spring of 2020, during a time of unexpected isolation and uncertainty. We hope that the MFA in Writing Variety Show celebrates our community of writers, boosts morale, and showcases a collection of imaginative work for us to enjoy together.

The River Volta Series

River volta review of books.

The River Volta Review of Books (RVRB) is edited and published by the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Writing. There are three components to RVRB: 1) book reviews; 2) interviews by our MFA students with their mentors and other established writers; and 3) short essays analysing elements of craft in literary works.

Writing is solitary, but we believe in the value of a literary community that encourages and expands the possible via reading suggestions and critical attention to craft. We believe in celebrating our student-writers and aim to provide them with a place to share their voices.

For more information, please visit their website .

River Volta Reading Series

The River Volta Reading Series is a monthly series founded and run by MFA  in Writing Students. The series was established in 2014 by MFA alumni Sara-Jane  Keith and Chelsea Forbes. Each month The River Volta presents featured authors  followed by open mike readings. The series takes place in a cozy cafe, and offers  a friendly, warm environment for writers of all levels to test-drive new work at  the open mike. The last River Volta reading for 2016 was a packed house to hear  featured authors Guy Vanderhaeghe and Lloyd Ratzlaff, followed by an open  mike. In 2017, the new organizers for The River Volta are MFA students Geoff  Pevlin, Daniel Kim, and Simon Bohm. Many thanks to outgoing River Volta  organizers Shannon McConnell and Lindsay Kiesman! The River Volta  Reading Series is supported by The ICCC and The MFA in Writing.

News Archive

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Writing & Publishing

Master of fine arts in creative nonfiction, we’ve got your book..

Whether you are a mid-career writer, a journalist, or an aspiring author, King’s MFA is designed for you. Bring us your idea for a novel, a collection of short stories, a narrative nonfiction book, a collection of essays, or a biography or memoir and we can help you turn it into a manuscript that’s on the road to publication.

We’ll help you learn the craft and practice of being an author as you hone your skills under the mentorship of award-winning writers and editors. With the additional help of top publishing professionals in Canada and the United States, you’ll do all this and more in just two years. The bonus, of course, is that you earn a prestigious MFA degree along the way.

Come to one of our Meet & Greet sessions in person or online

mfa writing canada

Download our free ebook Mastering Nonfiction: Tips & Techniques from the Mentors and Faculty of the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction

The MFA is a two-year limited residency program. During annual June residencies on the campus at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, students deepen their understanding of the art and craft of nonfiction writing through lectures, seminars, panels, workshops and readings as well as work intensively on their own projects with their mentors. During two online six-day January residencies, one featuring guests primarily from New York and one featuring guests from the Canadian publishing industry (most based in Toronto), students learn about the latest trends in the publishing industry and discuss their writing projects with editors, agents and publishers based in North America’s main publishing hubs. Between residencies, students take part in occasional online webinars and readings and continue to work off-campus on their two major projects—a book proposal and their book manuscript—with the support and guidance of their mentors. This low-residency feature, and the exclusive focus on creative nonfiction, make the King’s MFA the only program of its kind in Canada.

Director of Writing & Publishing, Gillian Turnbull , Cohort Directors Kim Pittaway ,  Stephen Kimber and Dean Jobb – along with the stellar group of writing mentors – are all published authors, award-winning journalists and highly successful writing instructors. Together they have written or edited more than fifty books and been nominated for at least a hundred national magazine or newspaper awards. So far, almost 50 graduates of the program have published or are under contract to publish nonfiction books , and our alumni have been finalists for and winners of numerous nonfiction book awards, including the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award (Non-Fiction), the Pottersfield Creative Nonfiction Contest and more.

We invite you to take the challenge. Join other talented writers and our award-winning faculty and turn your great idea into an equally great book.

Read about MFA book deals

mfa writing canada

The MFA is a limited-residency program, with one nine-day summer residency and an online one-week winter residency each year. Students will pursue independent writing and research in the interim, in collaboration with a project mentor. Students are free to live anywhere in these interim periods.

The summer residencies run for nine days in June, and are focused on the crafts of structure, research and writing. They aim to develop a strong narrative focus and scope for your work. The residency is a high-volume learning experience that comprises morning sessions with mentors, afternoon readings, lectures and guest lectures and evening sessions featuring student readings and talkback.

The winter residencies run online for one week in January, and are focused on the business of writing, and developing the skills necessary to be a working writer in nonfiction. Students will meet with literary agents, editors and publishers, and learn crucial skills like developing marketing plans for their book. In addition, they will meet with their mentors to continue development on their book proposal and manuscript.

In the interim terms, students work with a mentor to progress on their book proposal and manuscript. They will establish a contract of deliverables with their mentors to be reviewed and updated each summer and winter session. Students may have a variety of mentors over the course of the program. Mentors are assigned to help students develop specific skills vital to the progress of their project.

Explore courses

Summer/fall, nonfiction writing craft i, wpub6100.03, nonfiction mentorship i, wpub6101.06, nonfiction publishing i, wpub6102.03, nonfiction mentorship ii, wpub6103.06, nonfiction writing craft ii, wpub6200.03, nonfiction mentorship iii, wpub6201.06, nonfiction publishing ii, wpub6202.03, nonfiction mentorship iv, wpub6203.06, the king’s mfa is a combination mfa for writers and creative writing boot camp..

Havard Gould

Havard Gould

CBC TV National Correspondent, MFA in Creative Non-Ficton, 2015

Faculty & Staff

Gillian turnbull, director of writing & publishing, kim pittaway, cohort director, mfa in creative nonfiction, inglis professor, cohort director, mfa in creative nonfiction, dido devlin, administrative support, writing & publishing, cooper lee bombardier, mfa mentor, creative nonfiction, charlotte gill, david hayes, lezlie lowe, mfa mentor, creative nonfiction & instructor (part-time), lori a. may, ken mcgoogan, omar mouallem, lorri neilsen glenn, karen pinchin, carol shaben, kelly s. thompson, harry thurston, ayelet tsabari.

Students cover travel, meal and accommodation costs themselves for the summer residencies. These expenses are not covered by tuition. If you are in need of accommodation during the summer residency, contact King’s Conference Services .

Get more information about graduate-level writing and publishing programs

Related news & blogs, september 28, 2023, peter mansbridge creates award for investigative journalism and writing at king’s.

The Peter Mansbridge Investigative Writing Award will benefit students in King’s Master of Journalism and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction A $100,000 gift from esteemed Canadian journalist Peter Mansbridge will endow a new scholarship, the Peter Mansbridge Investigative Writing Award, to be awarded annually to a student in the second year of the…

Tags: Journalism Writing & Publishing Campus & Community Current Students Giving & Gratitude Scholarships

May 23, 2023, class of 2023 profiles: mfa graduands find the push they need to succeed.

Deb Dundas Deb Dundas says her “pandemic project” was to get a master’s and write a book. She accomplished both through the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction—her first book was published on May 9, and she’s already signed a deal with a major publishing house for the next one. These may seem like lofty goals,…

Tags: Alumni Campus & Community Current Students Student Profiles

May 16, 2023, writing for 'the girl in mississauga...'.

‘It felt like I wasn’t doing something insane on my own’ An interview with Sheima Benembarek “Who am I writing this for? What is the point of this? What’s the reading experience that I want people to have?” Those are the central questions Sheima Benembarek (2020) asked herself as she began writing her manuscript as…

Lana Hall MFA'2023

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Related Events

April mfa book club - the tides of time, april 25, 2024, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, halifax central library, 5440 spring garden rd., halifax, ns.

Join us April 25th at 7 p.m. ADT at the Halifax Public Library, Main branch for our MFA Book Club. April brings Suzanne Stewart, MFA'16,…

Tags: Alumni Campus & Community Current Students MFA Writing & Publishing

Alex fountain memorial lecture - emily wilson: "re-translating homer: why it matters", march 06, 2024, alumni hall - new academic building, 6350 coburg rd., halifax, ns.

Emily Wilson, the first woman to publish an English translation of Homer’s Odyssey in 2018 to huge acclaim, and who recently released her translation of The…

Tags: Special Lectures

Humanities today lecture series, march 11, 2024, halifax central library, 5440 spring garden rd., halifax.

Join us for the inaugural lecture of the new Humanities Today Lecture Series hosted by the Halifax Humanities Society. Dr. Roosevelt Montás of Columbia University…

Tags: Campus & Community CSP+ Current Students Early Modern Studies FYP

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Graduate studies

Graduate student looking at graphic novel artifacts

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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  • 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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mfa writing canada

  • MA Programs
  • MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing

The Department of English at the University of Toronto launched the MA Program in English in the Field of Creative Writing (MA CRW) in 2004-05. The program draws both on the expertise of faculty at the University of Toronto and on the extraordinary vitality of Toronto’s writing community. Internationally acclaimed writers, a multiplicity of cultural traditions, and an energetic publishing industry provide the environment for nurturing new talent. Students have at their disposal the academic and creative resources of the English Department, including its strengths in historical research and traditional scholarship, numerous interdisciplinary collaborations, its acknowledged expertise in world literature, and a faculty engaged in new theoretical studies in culture, race, and gender. Students also have access to one of the world’s great library systems, including the manuscript collections at the Fisher Rare Book library. While the program is designed to prepare participants for careers as professional writers, it will also qualify those wishing to pursue further graduate studies.

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Admission Requirements

The MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing requires students to attend graduate-level English courses. The degree can lead to a PhD in English. Therefore, students must have at least seven full-year undergraduate courses in English or the equivalent in half-year courses (i.e., fourteen), or any combination of full- and half-year courses that add up to the equivalent of seven full-year courses .  It is not necessary to have an English major, as long as you have the seven undergraduate English courses. Students who do not meet this requirement cannot be admitted into the program.

A B+ average (GPA of 3.3) is the minimum requirement for entry into the program. Once this is met, the primary basis for the selection of candidates is the quality of the portfolio submission. It is not expected that students will have publication credits. Applicants do not need to provide GRE results.

Applications must be submitted online and are considered complete only when the following documentation has been received by the Department of English:

  • Two academic letters of reference submitted online by academic referees/recommenders, each addressing your performance in university English and/or Creative Writing coursework. At least one letter must discuss your performance in English coursework. Do not use editors, publishers, employers, or fellow writers as referees.
  • A statement of purpose, submitted electronically
  • Digital Transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended (in pdf format), uploaded to the application, and UPON REQUEST ONLY official paper transcripts mailed directly to the Department. For more detailed information and instructions regarding submitting transcripts, please visit  "Checklist for a Complete GradAPP Package" in the section entitled Academic Transcripts  on our  APPLICATION INFORMATION page.
  • Do not submit academic essays.
  • To view the application details and requirements, please visit the SGS website here  SGS Admissions & SGS Application Requirements  and the application instructions on the SGS  How to apply  page. Additionally, here is the link to the School of Graduate Studies' publication,  CONNECT TO YOUR FUTURE: Graduate Student Viewbook 2023-24 .   

Program Requirements

The MA program in English in the Field of Creative Writing usually requires 18-24 months to complete. Applicants must have an overall average of B+ or better and evidence of first-class work in English for admission to the program. The program requires the completion of two FCE’s (full course equivalents) in English; ENG6950Y Writing Workshop; and a supervised Writing Project (the equivalent of a thesis) completed under the direction of a mentor.

All candidates must complete the Writing Workshop in the first year of their program. Some sessions may feature on-campus visits from editors, publishers, professional archivists, researchers, and agents so that students can learn the pragmatics of the publishing industry. In their second year, students undertake a book-length Writing Project in a genre of choice – poetry, drama, fiction, or creative non-fiction. Each student is assigned a faculty member or adjunct faculty member with whom to consult on a regular basis about the Project. All advisors are published writers.

Writing Workshop

ENG6950YY: All candidates for the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing must complete this workshop in the first year of their program. Students will also submit creative work in order to receive feedback from the instructor and fellow students, and this will allow them to develop their portfolios.

Writing Project

In the second year of the program, students will undertake a book-length Writing Project in a genre of choice (poetry, drama, fiction, or creative non-fiction). Each student will be assigned a faculty member or adjunct faculty member with whom to consult on a regular basis about the Project. All mentors will be published writers. The completed Project should normally be submitted before the beginning of April of the second year. The Department will then arrange an oral defense, to be chaired by the Director of the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing. The Writing Project can be designated as Pass, Fail, or Distinction.

Student Funding

Students accepted into the MA Program in English in the Field of Creative Writing are eligible for teaching assistantships, including a number in Creative Writing courses. All incoming students are considered for incoming scholarships.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for external funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. For more information visit the Department of English Finances & Awards  webpage.

Faculty, Mentors, and Alumni

  • MA CRW Program Adjunct Faculty (Mentor) Biographies
  • MA CRW Faculty Biographies
  • MA CRW Alumni Biographies

How many students are admitted each year?

We admit seven students each year.

I do not have 7 full-year (or equivalent) undergraduate courses in English. Can I still apply?

Because the program is an MA in English, students must have a strong background in English literature. Students who do not have sufficient undergraduate training may wish to take additional courses in English in order to qualify for admission.

My average is less than a B+. Can I still apply?

The academic requirements for admission to the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing are very strict. The B+ minimum must be met or a student’s portfolio will not be considered. Students who do not have an adequate GPA may wish to take additional courses in order to improve their academic standing and qualify for admission.

I have taken courses in literature in a language other than English. Can I apply?

Unless the texts were studied in English translation, courses in literature in a language other than English do not qualify students for admission to the program.

How should I choose what to submit?

Choose your best writing.

Can I apply to enrol in January?

There is only one entry point for students in the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing, which is September. Students may not begin the program in January.

Can I enrol in the MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing part-time?

Students must enrol full-time.

How much Financial Support can I expect?

Currently we are able to offer students in the Creative Writing program a TAship each year (number of hours TBA at the start of the program), to a maximum of two years. Successful applicants for the SSHRC CGS-M award can expect $17,500. OGS award holders can expect up to $15,000. All incoming students are considered for incoming scholarships.

For more information please contact us by e-mail, phone or by mail.

[email protected]  Director, MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing Department of English 170 St. George Street University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Canada M5R 2M8

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MFA Program

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It was the reputation of UBC’s Creative Writing program that convinced me to focus on an MFA. The faculty sounded wonderful, and I loved the idea of the optional-residency program, which would allow me to go ahead with my plans to move to Europe while still enjoying the benefits of a UBC education.

Featured news, defining love through the lens of arts with mandy catron, indigenous writer in residence leanne betasamosake simpson brings creativity and insight to ubc, new work by creative writing faculty to add to your winter to-do list, faculty highlights, see recent publications and productions from our faculty..

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Scriptwriting and Story Design (MFA)

Part of  The Creative School

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Format:  Full-time

Degree Earned: MFA

This uniquely interdisciplinary program nurtures emerging, storytelling voices in the art of script-based creative writing for stage, screen and cutting-edge media platforms. The final thesis project is a full script for a feature film, a stage play, television or other form of scripted media.

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  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline from an accredited institution
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) or equivalent of 3.00/4.33 (B)
  • Statement of interest
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Example of written creative work
  • English language proficiency requirement

More information on  admission requirements . Due to the competitive nature of our programs, it is not possible to offer admission to everyone who applies that meets the minimum entrance requirements for the program. 

Students are encouraged to submit applications prior to the first consideration date to increase their chances of securing  financial support  for their graduate studies. Applications received after the first consideration date will be accepted and reviewed based on spaces remaining in the program.

See  application dates .

For detailed graduate tuition and fees information please visit  Fees by Program .

For information on scholarships, awards and financing your graduate studies visit  Financing Your Studies.

  • autobiographical and personal narratives
  • collaborative creative processes
  • contemporary narrative 
  • cultural diversity in the script and story development process
  • linear and non-linear story design 
  • live- events scripting 
  • narrative structures, styles and dramaturgical methodologies
  • occupational dynamics of stage and screenwriters
  • story iteration across multiple media forms

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Admissions information and how to apply

Graduate Studies Admissions Office Phone:  416-979-5150 Email:  [email protected]

Program Contacts

Michal Conford Interim Graduate Program Director Telephone: 416-979-5000  ext. 556879 Email: [email protected]

Elaine Nie Graduate Program Administrator Email:  [email protected]   

Program Profile  (external link) 

Engage your creative voice and tap into industry experts across the media and film industries with an MFA in Scriptwriting and Story Design.

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Find curriculum, course descriptions and important dates

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Once you’ve made an informed choice about which program(s) you are going to apply to, preparing your application requires careful research and planning.

At Toronto Metropolitan University, we understand that pursuing graduate studies is a significant financial investment. Funding comes from a combination of employment contracts (as a teaching assistant), scholarships, awards and stipends. There are a number of additional funding sources – internal and external – available to graduate students that can increase these funding levels.

As an urban innovation university, Toronto Metropolitan University offers 60+ cutting-edge, career-oriented graduate programs, as well as 125+ research centres, institutes and labs, in a wide range of disciplines. Our close connections with industry, government and community partners provide opportunities to apply your knowledge to real-world challenges and make a difference.

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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.

mfa writing 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.

Supervision

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 Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator 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

Specialization.

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 .

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Top 5 colleges in Canada for MFA in creative writing

Top 5 colleges in Canada for MFA in Creative Writing Programs

Creative writing needs a lot of practice, vocabulary, and vision. it can be achieved with proper guidance. mfa in creative writing in canada will give you exactly that. read on to learn more., table of contents, best writing programs in canada, what is creative writing, what is mfa in creative writing , top 5 colleges in canada for mfa in creative writing program, the university of toronto, the university of british columbia, the university of montreal, york university, the university of ottawa, the curriculum of mfa in creative writing, specialization subjects in mfa in creative writing, the admission requirements, key takeaways.

Dumbledore in Harry Potter said, “words are the most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” This sentence shows the power of words. A writer is a magician who makes us feel emotions we never knew we could through words. Creative writing plays a vital role in this magic.  

An MFA creative writing can be your chance to explore this magic within you and help the world see it. Let’s learn more about this course and the top universities in Canada to pursue the degree. 

It is a stream where you can explore the realm of literature. In creative writing, you explore different types of literature and work in one that suits your taste. You can write essays, articles, columns, technical blogs, a book, poetry, screenplay, lyrics, or a slogan for advertisement. There are several genres of literature that you can explore with creative writing.

The field of creative writing demands a unique vision and an awareness of the factors necessary to sell it.  In this digital era, we have plenty of sources of information and entertainment. If you want to make creative writing a profession, you will have to know how to make money with it. The MFA in creative writing is a great way to learn that.

MFA in Creative Writing

Master of Fine Arts in creative writing is a postgraduate degree program. If you are interested in writing, you can enroll in this course. It is known to be a versatile course with multiple opportunities. It will help you strengthen your writing skills, develop editing skills, and build professional relationships with your peers. 

This course covers all the genres of writing. The students learn about literature, technical writing, journalistic writing, and business-oriented writing. The course includes experimental learning to prepare students for professional opportunities in the industry. 

The colleges for MFA in creative writing organize events like writing conferences, writer’s retreats, and guest lectures to build students’ professional skills. They also get university fellowships and internships in publication houses. You can even pursue a career in teaching literature with this degree.

Canada is a beautiful country with landscapes, ice skating, maple syrup, and northern lights. It has all the colors of nature and the beauty of humanity. The literature in Canada is known to be bilingual. It is divided into English and French literature. That’s why studying MFA creative writing in Canada has become more interesting. 

Let’s look at some top universities that conduct the MFA in creative writing. 

Let’s know more about these universities in Canada.

The University of Toronto was established in 1827. Since its establishment, it has been research-oriented. It has ranked in the top list of universities across the globe for many other courses. The university is spread over 177 acres. It has 3 campuses. 

This university hosts more than 5,60,000 graduate students. The tuition fee for the course ranges from CAD 25,000 to 30,000. For more information, visit the official website of the university.

This U niversity of British Columbia was founded in 1908. It is a public university in the state of British Columbia. It has the motto ‘tuum est,’ which means ‘it is yours.’ It is ranked among the top universities in the world. It offers 244 post-graduate degree programs in science, business, health, fine arts, etc. 

This university has 8 Nobel laureates as alumni. It conducts MFA in different domains like acting, filmmaking, and writing. The course fee for MFA in creative writing is over CAD 9,229.

University of Montreal was established in 1878 in Quebec, Canada. It is a non-private research institution. The main campus of this university is on Mount Royal. It is spread over 65 hectares. This university gives equal importance to fine arts as research and science. 

York University was initially affiliated with the University of Toronto. In 1965, it became an independent university. It ranks third in the list of largest universities in Canada. It emphasizes more liberal education in the arts and science stream. 

York University has over 28 research centers on its campus. It is currently home to over 55,700 students. The MFA in creative writing program at this university is for 4 years. It provides students with an extensive learning program through this degree. 

University of Ottawa was established in 1848. It is one of the oldest public research universities in Ottawa. It is also known to be the largest bilingual university. This university has 3 campuses. They are in Ottawa, Toronto, and Windsor. The main campus in Ottawa is spread over 100 acres. 

The University of Ottawa conducts more than 50 specialized post-graduation courses. One of those courses is MFA in creative writing.

You don’t need to hold a degree in the same domain to get admission to this course. It is a full-time course of 2 years duration. The course starts in the fall session. It has 36 credits. They are divided as follows.

The course has 4 semesters and an internship. Each semester, the students have to attend one writing workshop and a literature seminar. In the final semester, you will have to work closely with your faculty advisor to complete the writing thesis and literature project. 

MFA in Creative Writing

The MFA in creative writing course offers you to choose a specialization in your writing. There are a few options available for you to specialize in. Let’s take a look at these subjects.

  • Fiction- Students work on a story, its narrative arc, emotions, plot, tension, and character building in this subject. They must study several fiction writers’ works and understand the writing process. They will also need to attend seminars and workshops on the same process. In this degree program, the students also learn about flash fiction, novels, graphic narration, and more. 
  • Non-fiction- This genre of writing is especially popular in digital media. People love to read non-fiction e-books on their smartphones and kindle. It includes personal narratives, essays, memoirs, and a certain form of journalism. They learn to apply productive critiques through revision. 
  • Poetry- Sometimes rhymes come naturally to the poet. Some people are born with the talent to express emotions through poetry. This MFA in creative writing course only solidifies that talent to become a professional and well-known poet. The curriculum includes craft classes that teach students about poetic forms, terms, blank verses, villanelle, and pyrrhic. 
  • Screenplay- It is a form of writing that connects live theatre and visual art through a script. In MFA, students learn to write for television shows and films. Screenwriting has also gained an important place in video games. Students get new occupation opportunities as the demand for story-driven video games increases. 

The admission process for MFA creative writing in Canada is pretty simple. You can apply for the course online on the university’s official website. Along with the admission form, you need to submit some documents. They are as follows.

  • Bachelor’s degree in any stream.
  • A CV or supplemental information about your professional experience as a writer.
  • You need to score a minimum of 2.5 GPA in your previous education.
  • An unofficial academic transcript.
  • A letter of recommendation.
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score.
  • Application fee for the admissions. 
  • IELTS scores for international students.
  • MFA in creative writing gives you a broader perspective and a chance to explore your writing skills.
  • With different learning programs, the universities in Canada proved to be one of the best choices to pursue an MFA in creative writing.
  • This degree can cost you over CAD 30,000 to 40,000 for the first year. It can vary depending on the university and your living situation.

We hope you find this information helpful. Write to us your comments.

Liked this blog? Read next: 5 best colleges for MFA in the United States- QS world ranking.

Q1. Can you pursue a career in teaching creative writing with an MFA degree?

Answer: With an MFA in creative writing, you will be eligible to teach in an elementary school.

Q2. How much does a writer earn?

Answer: According to the survey, a full-time writer can earn over $20,300. 

Q3. What can I do with an MFA in creative writing degree?

Answer: You can become a copywriter, art director, copy-editor, newspaper journalist, digital marketer, social media manager, etc. 

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mfa writing canada

  • School for the Contemporary Arts

mfa writing canada

The SCA's Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts program provides advanced, professional interdisciplinary training in a university setting for artists in and across the fields of dance, film, music, theatre, and visual art.

The program develops student's individual artistic practice, creativity, interdisciplinary research, technical skill and critical awareness of art's relationship to contemporary society. Several kinds of artist thrive in this program: those who have a strong background in a single discipline and value the stimulation of an interdisciplinary environment; those whose studio practice fuses two or more disciplines; and those who want to develop the theoretical or scholarly context of their practice.

For information about applying to the program, please follow the links at the Future Students section of our site.

Program Information

MFA students work closely with faculty members. Our faculty consists of nationally and internationally recognized dancers and choreographers; filmmakers, videomakers, and screenwriters; composers; directors, actors, and a dramaturge; visual artists; and historians and theorists.

MFA students normally pursue a seven-semester program of original research and studio work, culminating in a graduate artistic project supported by an essay and documentation. The program is full-time, normally takes two years, and requires students to be in the Vancouver area.

Please see the MFA Handbook (online) for detailed information about the MFA program.

Program Requirements

MFA candidates complete a minimum of 35 units, including 25 of course work, and a project which is the equivalent of 10 units. Normally, this project is an art presentation accompanied by appropriate documentation with an oral defence.

CA 811 – Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar I (5)

Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar I

Critical study of contemporary issues in the fine and performing arts, with emphasis on concerns common to diverse artistic disciplines and the interaction between art and society. Students with credit for FPA 811 may not take this course for further credit.

CA 812 – Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar II (5)

Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar II

Continuation of CA (or FPA) 811. Students with credit for FPA 812 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: CA (or FPA) 811.

CA 813 – Interdisciplinary Graduate Studio (5)

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studio

A selected topics studio course with an emphasis on interdisciplinary artistic projects. Students with credit for FPA 813 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: CA (or FPA) 811.

CA 883 – Studio in Fine and Performing Arts I (5)

Studio in Contemporary Arts I

Intensive studio work, concentrated in a particular art discipline, but with opportunity to involve interdisciplinary materials and techniques. Students with credit for FPA 883 may not take this course for further credit.

CA 898 – Master of Arts Graduating Project (10)

Master of Fine Arts Graduating Project

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Students with credit for FPA 898 may not take this course for further credit.

And one of:

CA 885 – Studio in Fine and Performing Arts II (5)

Studio in Contemporary Arts II

Continuation of CA (or FPA) 883. Students with credit for FPA 885 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: CA (or FPA) 883.

CA 887 – Selected Topics in Fine and Performing Arts (5)

Selected Topics in Contemporary Arts

Study of particular artistic techniques or issues. The topic varies from term to term.

CA 889 – Directed Study in Fine and Performing Arts (5)

Directed Study in Contemporary Arts

Students with credit for FPA 889 may not take this course for further credit.

MFA Application Process

Applications are now open, with a deadline of January 15, 2024 .

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in visual culture, art history, cinema studies, performance studies, cultural studies, communications, literary studies, or other degrees focusing on the arts. Applications with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees that include substantial scholarly studies will also qualify.

All applicants who submit complete applications will be notified of their status by the end of March. Candidates accepted into the MFA program will begin their courses in September.

Please be sure that your mailing and e-mail addresses are current, as you will be notified of application results by e-mail and by letter.

The only hardcopy documents we need to receive are your official sealed transcripts, please submit everything else online .

A COMPLETE APPLICATION REQUIRES:

1. Online Application for Graduate Studies.

ALL CANDIDATES MUST COMPLETE AN ONLINE APPLICATION

If you have not submitted the online application, you will not be considered for the program. All graduate program applications are processed through Graduate Studies . In order to use the online application system, you will need to pay an application fee of $90 CAN (students with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CAN (students with international transcripts) by credit card (MasterCard or Visa). The online application includes a checklist of the documents that you will need to submit to us to support your application. This checklist will be updated online as we receive your documents. Please refer to the online checklist to ensure that all documents are received. NOTE: Due to the number of applications, it is not possible for us to monitor every applicant's checklist closely.

2. Official sealed  Transcripts  of all post-secondary education. Sealed transcripts should be sent directly to the address below by the academic institution. Non-English language transcripts must include an official English translation. (For the purposes of lowering costs, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to an application for review. If an offer of acceptance is given, all official sealed transcripts will be required.)

Graduate Studies Maggie Benston Student Services Centre 1100 Simon Fraser University 8888 University Drive Burnaby, British Columbia Canada V5A 1S6

3. A Curriculum Vitae .

4. An Artist's Statement indicating your background and the nature of your creative practice, including primary discipline and any interdisciplinary interest. Your goals in pursuing a Master's degree at Simon Fraser would also be of interest to the committee.

5. Three short scenarios (150-200 words each) of Artistic Projects you might undertake during graduate study. These will not necessarily evolve into your major project, but should indicate the creative directions you wish to pursue and your conceptual clarity.

6. A Portfolio of your work, including a list which prioritizes the viewing/listening order of materials. You may upload video, audio, images, or PDF documents (less than 10 Mb each). Unfortunately, we are unable to accept physical media (DVDs, CDs, etc.). For works that involve a creation and production team, please make your role (Director, Choreographer, etc.) clear.

7. A sample of Academic Writing . Acceptable samples include senior undergraduate essays or other academic writing, published articles, and grant applications.

8. Three (3) Letters of Reference from (preferably) academic or professional sources. Letters can be uploaded online directly by each reference. He or she will receive login information and instructions for uploading his or her letter once you have named him or her as a reference.

We do not have a template for reference letters; your referees can use their preferred format.

9. International students : English is the language of instruction and communication at SFU. The School for Contemporary Arts requires English proficiency as outlined on the  Graduate Studies website . Please note that we must receive test results directly from the testing agency. Copies of documents sent directly by students will not be accepted.

What are the approximate tuition and fees for this program?

This is a rundown of the Fall 2023 fees (they tend to go up a bit each year). The application fee is about $125 CND. If accepted into the program, a deposit of $250 is needed to secure your place. It is a per-term fee schedule, not per-unit. Please note: international students pay the same tuition as domestic students.

These are the  Fall 2023 fees in CND:

  • U-Pass BC Transit pass Fee: $180.40
  • GRAD Student Athletic Fee: $84.94
  • GRAD Student Activity Fee: $75.65
  • GRAD Student Services Fee: $50.99
  • GRAD Tuition (T2202A): $2066.11
  • Graduate Graduation Fee: $12.00
  • Grad Health Plan Dental: $280.67
  • Grad Health Plan Medical: $204.33
  • International & US Graduate Students

Fall Total International: $3,224.09+ $75 Per Month BC MSP Health Fee

Fall Total Domestic: *$2,943.09

Spring Total: *$2,458.09 (+ $75 Per month BC MSP Health Fee is only for International Students)

In the Spring and Summer Terms, students are not charged for the Graduate medical and dental plans because they are an annual fee, so roughly: *$2,458.09 CND for the other two terms of the year. Living expenses are separate.

After 6 completed terms of full-time fees in a regular fee master's program, tuition is reduced to half of the full-time fee as the continuing fee.

A completed term is defined as a term a student is not on leave, or has not withdrawn (extenuating or otherwise).

*These are approximate amounts and are subject to change each year.

More details on tuition and fees can be found on the SFU Graduate Studies website .

Do International students in this program pay an international rate for tuition?

International students pay the same tuition rate as domestic students.

Can my application fees be waived?

SFU and SCA are not waiving application fees at this time.

Where can I find information on housing arrangements and costs?

Information on housing can be found here:

  • Housing Options
  • Off Campus Housing

What kind of funding is provided for incoming MFA students?

MFA Students are eligible for:

  • internal awards (Graduate Fellowships @ $3500/semester; special entrance awards of $2000+)
  • external awards (MA SSHRC: $17,500: application deadline: December 2021. Canadian citizens and permanent residents only)

Graduate Grants PDF

Gaming Grants PDF

Associations Canada: Search Examples PDF

  • teaching assistantships (~$3500-$5000/semester)
  • research assistantships
  • travel and research funds ($500-$1500 per annual cycle)
  • funds for presentation of artistic work ($450 for spring show; $900 for grad project)

Average funding packages (including TAships):

  • 1st year: $13,000+
  • 2nd year: $10-12,000

Will a Teaching Assistantship position cover some of the 2 additional international health care fees?

Yes. As international students have two additional costs, the SFU Teaching Support Staff Union ( TSSU ) of which all TAs are members, can provide support for these costs while graduate students are working. More details can be found HERE .

What are the Graduate English proficiency requirements?

International applicants will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a  degree  at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the  primary  language. All University Graduate English proficiency requirements can be found on the SFU Graduate Studies website .

Do you accept Duolingo English test results?

The Duolingo English Test (DET) has been approved on a provisional basis, effective Summer 2024 through to the Fall 2026. The minimum required score for the DET is 130 overall with a minimum of 120 in each section. 

Can I apply if I do not meet all the English proficiency test minimum scores?

All applicants must meet the Graduate English proficiency minimum requirements. Please note, meeting the minimum scores does not guarantee entrance into the SCA grad programs.

Can I still apply if my GPA is below 3.0?

Yes, on occasion we accept students with lower GPAs but only if they have demonstrated that their professional art practice is significant enough and they are a fit in this interdisciplinary program. Students with lower GPAs normally have a condition in their offer letter to maintain a CGPA of 3.0 in the first terms of the program.

Can I still apply if I do not have an undergraduate degree?

Yes, in rare occasions we accept students if they have demonstrated that their professional art practice is significant and they are a definite fit in this interdisciplinary program. Students without Undergraduate degrees normally have a condition in their offer letter to maintain a CGPA of 3.0 in the first terms of the program.

Does this program require GRE results?

The SCA Graduate programs do not require GRE results.

Will you look at my CV and Portfolio before I apply to see if I am eligible?

Due to the high volume of applicants, Staff and Faculty are not able to review application materials. The review process is part of the application process.

Do I need to contact and establish a potential supervisor before applying?

MFA students do not need to be matched with a supervisor upon admission. Students are assigned an interim Supervisor in the first term. Supervisors are later established in the second term of the program.

Is an interview part of the application process?

Yes, but only if an applicant is selected for an interview. The program selection committee reviews all applications in an initial round of assessment. Successful applicants from this initial assessment are then contacted for an interview.

Will you still accept applications after the deadline?

Due to the high number of applications each year, SCA does not accept applications past the application deadline.

If I am accepted into the program, can I defer my start in the program to the following year?

At this time SCA will not be granting deferrals for starting the following year.

Is there a waitlist for this program?

Yes, we have a waitlist for this program.

How many MFA students are accepted each year?

Approximately 10 to 11 students per year.

Does this program have a Spring or Summer intake?

No. All SCA Graduate programs start in the Fall Term.

Can I transfer course credits into this program from another institution?

No. All course credits for each SCA Grad program are to be taken during the span of the program.

Can I take classes remotely in this program?

No, SCA Graduate courses are in-person only.

What are the COVID-19 protocols for the University?

Please see the SFU Return to Campus Website HERE .

Can I study one discipline area such as painting in this program?

While each student has their artistic strengths and interests (in one or more discipline), our MFA program is focused on and designed to foster interdisciplinary work. So there is less of an emphasis on the program providing training in a specific discipline. Students are accepted into the program based on their previous artistic practices and it is their training and experience that they bring to the program. This program is not a conservatory program and the courses are focused on interdisciplinarity.

Can I take undergraduate SCA courses for credit in this program?

SCA Undergraduate courses can be taken with permission from the instructor. However, credit for these courses will not count towards your graduate degree. Many students opt to sit in the class or audit the course instead.

Can I take graduate-level courses from the MA and PhD programs?

Yes. With permission from the instructor, MFA students can usually take other 800-level courses as their elective course.

Do I need to supply my official transcripts in my application?

For the purposes of lowering costs and saving paper, unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to an application for review. If an offer of acceptance is given, all official sealed transcripts will be required.

Is there a minimum word length or limit for the Artist’s Statement?

The Artist’s Statement is approximately 400 words, indicating your background and the nature of your creative practice, including primary discipline and any interdisciplinary interests.

How many items should I include in the portfolio?

The average number of portfolio items is 5 to 7. More can be included, but please keep in mind the selection committee will be reviewing a fair number of other applications.

Can I provide links to sound recordings and videos in my portfolio?

Yes. It is much easier to review applications where links to sound recordings and videos are provided in a .pdf file. It is best to provide these examples in the order of importance/relevance to your application. If the videos or sound are hosted on a specific artist website, provide a link to the page where the video is rather than just a link to the entire website. Links to other media sites such as Soundcloud, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are fine also.

I don’t have any art related samples of academic writing. What should I submit?

Acceptable samples include senior undergraduate essays or other academic writing, published articles, and grant applications.

Can my references come from non-academic email addresses?

Yes, SCA will consider non-academic references from professionals; however, it is preferred that there is at least one academic referee.

Can I get an un-conditional letter of offer?

It is best to meet the requirements of the University prior to submitting all of the application material. As many official transcripts will not have been received within the application period, a condition of receiving the official transcripts will likely be included in the letter of offer as detailed HERE .

If I am offered acceptance, when should I address any enrolment conditions in the offer letter?

As soon as possible, but definitely by July, before enrolment opens. Many conditions will prohibit enrolment in classes until they have been met.

Will you provide feedback on my application if I’m not accepted?

Due to the high volume of applicants, Staff and Faculty are not able to provide feedback on applications.

Is there an information session for this program?

There is usually an in-person information session each November. For the last couple of years, we have hosted our information sessions online. If you have missed the latest information session you can request a link to the video from the Graduate Program Coordinator at [email protected] .

Projects & Activities

mfa writing canada

The Comparative Media Arts Journal (CMA Journal)

The CMA Journal is a newly established open-access, student-run, peer-reviewed journal, publishing the best of graduate and postgraduate essays, artworks and experimental content, created and run by SCA MA students. MORE INFO: CMA Journal

mfa writing canada

Audain Visual Artist in Residence program

The SCA's Audain Visual Artist in Residence program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. E: [email protected]

For an archive of past Audain Visual Artist in Residence guests, exhibitions, and projects, please click here .

The program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.

mfa writing canada

With approximately four talks per term, the free and public 611 Talks series at the Alexander Studios, which is organized by the SCA Visual Art area, features curators, international and local artists, both distinguished and emerging, and other cultural producers presenting on their practices, projects, and ideas. The series is a productive occasion for working artists and students to discuss their methods and concepts and to explore the contexts and theories of contemporary art while also engaging with visual culture in a broader way.

For an archive of past  611 Talks guests, please click here .

mfa writing canada

  • Audain Gallery

As the location for yearly student exhibitions, SFU Galleries' Audain Gallery at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts extends the pedagogy of the SCA. Through exhibitions, seminars, panels, artist talks, studio visits, and working directly with visiting artists, the programing and activities of the Audain Gallery offer our undergraduate and graduate students a unique opportunity to participate in high-profile, internationally focused and engaged artistic practices.

Audain Gallery Simon Fraser University Goldcorp Centre for the Arts 149 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC, Canada V6B 5K3

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, 12–5pm & Thursday, Friday, 12–8pm E: [email protected] P: 778.782.9102

For an archive of past SCA exhibitions at the Audain Gallery, please click here .  

Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts

Claudette Lauzon: [email protected]

Graduate Programs Coordinator:  [email protected]

Graduate General Regulations

MFA Handbook (online)

SCA Academic Calendar

Community Research Ethics Policy

CMA Journal

Graduate Journal List (updated 2019)

COVID-19 FAQs for Grad Students

Graduate Student Funding Database

Justine A. Chambers

NiNi Dongnier

Chris Chong Chan Fui

Simone Rapisarda

Noé Rodríguez

Nadia Shihab

MUSIC & SOUND

Arne Eigenfeldt

Stefan Maier

Mauricio Pauly

Eldritch Priest

Sabrina Schroeder

THEATRE PERFORMANCE

Erika Latta

Young Joo Lee

Ryan Tacata

THEATRE PRODUCTION & DESIGN

Kyla Gardiner

Miwa Matreyek

Wladimiro A. Woyno R

Sabine Bitter

Raymond Boisjoly

Elspeth Pratt

Jin-me Yoon

ART, PERFORMANCE & CINEMA STUDIES

Peter Dickinson

Claudette Lauzon

Laura U. Marks

Denise Oleksijczuk

Christopher Pavsek

Current MFA Students

Sca pathways.

SCA Courses

All CA courses list

Fine Arts Master of Fine Arts

APPLY TO: MFA

Visit our Graduate information page to find out about the application process and timeline for the SCA MFA program.

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MFA Fall Application Deadline Extended until March 1

The deadline for fall applications to our creative writing mfa program has been extended until march 1 2024., apply online.

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Fall 2018 MFA in Creative Writing Events

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Mostly dividing his time between New York City and Tehran, Iran, Salar regularly publishes personal essays and short stories, plus numerous translations of other authors that appear in journals across the world.

A professor at the City University of New York’s CITY COLLEGE campus in Harlem, he teaches workshops in the English Department’s MFA program and also serves as Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing. Website: salarabdoh.com

mfa writing canada

Author Website

Spring 2020

Spring 2019

Portrait of Michelle Valladeras

She has been anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond, and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians . Her honors include a Pushcart Prize Nomination and she was awarded “The Poet of the Year” by the Americas Poetry Festival of New York. She is currently working on a book about faith called Searching for Tara.

mfa writing canada

Naima’s second novel,  Didn’t Never Know , is the story of the integration of a public high school in a small Southern town, which sets off a chain of events that bonds two families together in unexpected and complicated ways over the course of their lives. It is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing.

Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in the  New York Times , the  Rumpus ,  Aster(ix) ,  Kweli ,  The Paris Review Daily , and elsewhere. She has taught writing to students in jail, youth programs, and universities. Naima is currently visiting faculty at the MFA program at City College in Harlem and Antioch University in L.A.

mfa writing canada

Unger has been a featured writer in book festivals in San Juan, Miami, Los Angeles, Guatemala, Sharjah, Managua, Bogotá, Lima, La Paz, Oaxaca, and Guadalajara.

mfa writing canada

She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University.  She teaches a range of subjects from feminist and critical literary theory, poetics, film studies, contemporary literature, and women’s literature.

mfa writing canada

He has taught poetry and nonfiction workshops. An independent book editor with an interest in the ways writers engage with the culture, he has also led MFA courses in publishing and authorship.

mfa writing canada

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    The MFA in Film Production and Creative Writing is a joint program with UBC Theatre & Film and is primarily a film production degree with an additional focus on screenwriting. The final thesis for this MFA is a completed film which the student normally writes, directs and produces. UBC Graduate Studies launch Admissions launch

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