Certificate in Popular Fiction Writing

Write the Kinds of Books You Love to Read


Program Details

  • Location: UW Seattle
  • Duration: 8 months
  • Class Times: Evenings
  • Cost: $2,280

Next start date

October 2017

Get Details

About this Program

There’s something magical about a compelling novel — a page turner that hooks you in and won’t let go. Popular fiction — the term for genres such as romance, science fiction, mystery and fantasy — makes up the lion’s share of sales in the fiction market. It’s time to make your own contribution to this important publishing category.

In this three-course certificate program, you’ll hone your popular fiction writing skills by producing the initial draft of a novel. We’ll examine the art of engaging readers with powerful scenes; dynamic plots; and intriguing, three-dimensional characters. You’ll develop your draft through peer workshops and gain an understanding of the marketing and publishing process.


Those interested in writing and publishing popular fiction.

See Requirements

Video Overview

Instructors for the Certificate in Popular Fiction Writing and the Certificate in Literary Fiction offer a behind-the-scenes look at these dynamic programs.

Duration: 04:33


  • Conventions of different genres of popular fiction
  • Essential elements of story, including theme, plot, character, conflict and setting
  • Methods for constructing a suspenseful storyline and writing believable dialogue
  • Techniques to address challenges related to the beginning, middle and end of novels
  • How to write query letters and proposals and pitch your story to agents and publishers


Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

Start Dates

Learning Formats


Attend class in person at one of our convenient locations. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. An online learning management system may be required to access some course materials and assignments.


Our special blended programs combine the convenience of online study with the vibrancy of in-person classes for a unique learning experience.

Not available for this program


Enjoy the flexibility of online learning, which allows you to participate in class activities, assignments and discussions on your schedule, from anywhere. Experience cutting-edge technology and a supportive, diverse learning community.

Not available for this program