5 Best Creative Writing Schools in the World (Req., FAQs) | 2023

Creative writing is an art form that calls for special skills, talent, and imagination. Writing has become increasingly popular, inspiring many budding writers to seek the best creative writing programs.

The best schools for creative writing provide student writers with opportunities to meet and work with other writers, broaden their worldview, discover new sources of inspiration, test out new approaches to writing, and learn from some of the field’s most respected academics.

Learning to examine written work critically helps students develop their critical thinking, inventiveness, empathy, language, and logical skills.

After graduation, these abilities will serve writers well in various fields. However, picking the best school for creative writing might take time and effort.

This article will discuss the best creative writing schools along with admission requirements, degree completion times, and other tips that might be helpful to aspiring writers.

Admission Requirements For Creative Writing Schools

Admission requirements for creative writing schools vary depending on the school and the program. However, most schools require applicants to submit the following documents:

  • Application fee
  • Completed online application form
  • Personal statement
  • Writing sample
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Language proficiency result (TOEFL or IELTS or any other required by the university applied to)
  • Financial aid application (For financial aid applicants)

Thus, prospective students must research the admission requirements for every school they wish to apply to ensure they meet the criteria before applying.

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How Long does it Take to Complete Creative Writing Schools?

The time it takes to complete a creative writing degree varies from institution to institution.

It can take up to four years to finish a full-time Bachelor of Arts (BA) program in writing. On the other hand, two to three years is required to finish an MFA in creative writing.

What are the Best Creative Writing Schools in the World?

The United States is home to many of the world’s best schools for creative writing. However, here is a compilation of some of the world’s best creative writing programs:

1. Department of Literary Arts at Brown University (Providence, RI, USA)

Edwin Honig, a poet, translator, and critic, founded the Department of literary arts in the mid-1960s. The Department did not provide any undergraduate programs in the arts until 2005.

A new undergraduate emphasis on literary arts was introduced in the spring of 2005.

Brown University’s Department of Literary Arts has been a hub for the literary avant-garde in the United States for over fifty years.

Fiction, poetry, electronic writing (hypertext), and mixed-media writers may all find a supportive community at Brown University through the Department of Literary Arts.

The literary arts program has a history of employing and maintaining well-known authors nationally and internationally.

The program typically honors 12 graduate student writers with the MFA and 35 undergraduates with honors or capstone certificates yearly.

The mission of the Department of Literary Arts is to be a place whereby people of all backgrounds and identities may freely express themselves through the arts.

The Department of Literary Arts fosters a welcoming and safe space for all students, teachers, staff, and visitors via workshops, programs, and daily interactions.

2. MA Writing Program at John Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA)

The MA Writing program at Johns Hopkins represents the university’s commitment to excellence in research and the arts.

The high-quality program is challenging and encouraging, focusing on craft and its leadership from professional authors.

Participants can expect clear, direct, and insightful criticism, and the environment fostered by the program fosters experimentation.

At Johns Hopkins, students may improve their writing, rewriting, and editing abilities and also their ability to read like a writer, provide and receive criticism, discover new publication opportunities, and live a writer’s life.

The program allows students to major in either creative non-fiction or creative fiction.

Each track features a unique set of mandatory courses and electives focusing on specific art aspects, such as structure, voice, and style.

Students take poetry, theater, playwriting, and screenwriting classes in addition to chosen concentration classes.

Students will round out their schedules by taking courses in various writing genres, including those in science writing and teaching writing.

Professional writers and editors who are skilled educators populate the Writing Program’s faculty.

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3. MFA Program in Creative Writing at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA)

Poetry and fiction MFAs are available through the Creative Writing Program.

MFA students dedicate two years to studying with faculty members dedicated to academic and artistic excellence.

Only eight MFA candidates are accepted each year, four in each concentration.

Due to its manageable size, the Department can provide total funding for all its students. Graduate students have access to a vast and varied staff with expertise in many literature, theory, and culture areas.

Within the general framework set by the Department, each student picks a special committee of two faculty members who work closely with the student to construct a course of study.

Each semester, students enroll in a graduate writing workshop and take six additional courses for credit, with a minimum of four courses focused on literature (English or American, comparative, modern or classical, or cultural studies).

It is one of the best creative writing schools in the world.

4. College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA)

Undergraduates who choose to major in creative writing at the University of Michigan join a long line of accomplished American writers.

They sharpen their artistic skills by pushing their creativity to its utmost. Some of the things they write along the road are not easily forgotten.

Numerous award-winning novelists, short story writers, and poets teach in the creative writing department.

Both historical and modern works are included in the curriculum.

Students in the program are encouraged to view creative writing as an ongoing dialogue that has been going on for centuries yet is always open to hearing fresh perspectives.

The Helen Zell Writers’ Program is a fully funded two-year MFA program in creative writing that includes a guaranteed, fully funded one-year post-MFA residency in Ann Arbor.

The program hosts and co-presents the Zell Visiting Writers Series with the University of Michigan Museum of Art, bringing some of the most exciting voices in contemporary fiction and poetry to Ann Arbor for public readings.

5. Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA, USA)

Not only does the department offer master of fine arts in poetry and fiction writing, but the English department at the University of Virginia also offers majors in poetry and literary prose for undergraduate students.

It is one of the best creative writing schools in the world.

The university’s master of fine arts program is widely rated as among the best in the country, producing poets and novelists whose work has appeared in or is forthcoming from prestigious publishing companies and won prestigious awards.

Each year, eight poets and eight fiction writers are accepted into the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia.

The program is a full-time one that necessitates local participation. The admissions procedure is highly competitive due to the program’s limited size.

The University of Virginia attributes the program’s popularity among prospective students to several factors, including the caliber of its creative writing professors, the generous funding provided to all MFA students, and the prestige of its libraries, special collections, and English Department.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Best Creative Writing Schools in the World

What is the admission process for creative writing schools?

The admission process for creative writing schools varies depending on the school and the program. However, most schools require applicants to submit a portfolio of their best work, including poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. Some schools may also need applicants to submit a personal essay or statement of purpose.

How many years does it take to complete a graduate creative writing program?

Different schools and programs offer MFAs in creative writing for different amounts. A typical MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program in creative writing takes two to three years to complete.

What can one achieve with a degree in creative writing?

A degree in creative writing can lead to various careers, including writing, editing, publishing, journalism, and teaching. Many graduates also pursue careers in advertising, marketing, and public relations.

Can creative writing be a pastime?

Studying creative writing and writing as a pastime are two entirely different things. It’s also a lot harder to engage in creative writing than writing. Creative writing entails more than just coming up with a plot.


Ambitious writers who want to refine their art and establish their voice and vision must carefully consider their options while choosing a school for creative writing.

The schools listed above are some of the best in the world for creative writing, giving their students access to illustrious professors and valuable publishing business experience.

Remember to research the admission requirements for each school and the program duration to ensure you find the fit for your needs and goals.

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