Creative Writing Certificate

Hone your writing skills while you compile a portfolio of original writing in a variety of literary genres with a Creative Writing Certificate from PennWest.

If you believe in the power of the written word, take the next step in making your own writing more meaningful and memorable.

The Creative Writing certificate from PennWest is the perfect complement to any undergraduate degree. It provides you with practical knowledge in a wide range of genres, from fiction and nonfiction to poetry, screenwriting, and writing for digital media, as well as business and technical writing.

You’ll learn under the guidance of distinguished professors who continually produce new work of their own. Along the way, you’ll develop a practical understanding of contemporary writing and an appreciation of the wider literary tradition.

As you compile a portfolio of original writing, you will practice the techniques common to all good writing, apply a variety of styles and approaches unique to individual genres, position your creative texts in a larger literary tradition, and deepen your experience of writing as an artistic discipline.

You’ll graduate well-prepared for graduate study or for professional employment in the fields of writing, editing, or publishing.

View courses

Credits: 12

William Hunter


Take classes in person or online.

Distinguished faculty

Learn from experts in their own genres who are committed to your success.


Contribute to one of PennWest’s award-winning student literary/art journals.

Creative Writing
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Careers and Salaries

In addition to creative writers, there’s a need for writers in a variety of industries to effectively communicate information about products, services, and more. You may find employment in the fields of business, education, product development, and manufacturing—in fact, in most any industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for technical writers will grow faster than most occupations from now until 2032. The median annual wage for technical writers was $79,960 in 2022, while the median annual wage for writers and authors in general was $73,150.

Program Outcomes

  1. Make appropriate choices regarding form, diction, style, structure, and mechanics to produce compelling literature that ruptures, or aligns with, the conventions of a chosen literary genre.
  2. Critically read and analyze “mentor” texts in a variety of literary genres to acquire an understanding of successful creative writing technique.  
  3. Develop a critical and theoretical vocabulary to assess creative texts.
  4. Develop an understanding that original literature emerges from a complex matrix of social, historical, and aesthetic contexts.
  5. Compile a revised portfolio of creative work that can help prepare alumni for the rigors of graduate study or professional employment in the fields of writing, editing, or publishing.

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.