Write the Kinds of Books You Love to Read
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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.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in writing workshop or work experience.
If you're not a native English speaker, you’ll need to have advanced English language skills to participate in this program. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.
To enroll in this program, international students must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see Admission Requirements for International Students.
You must have access to a computer, and we recommend a high-speed Internet connection.
You earn the certificate by regularly attending class and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Completing Your Program.
Instructors for the Certificate in Popular Fiction Writing and the Certificate in Literary Fiction offer a behind-the-scenes look at these dynamic programs.
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.
Popular Fiction: The Beginning
Popular Fiction: The Middle
Popular Fiction: The End
Certificate in Popular Fiction Writing
Approved by the UW Department of English.
With the exception of the one-time application fee, certificate program fees are charged on a quarterly basis. Payment is due when you register.
Course fees do not include any costs for class materials such as textbooks and software.
Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds
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.
Dive into complex writing topics including different types of storytelling and the five-focus plot structure. Consider the nuances of character, language and voice in your work.
Study the elements of literary short stories and novels, including character development, narrative voice, themes and point of view. Discover how to bring your own creative ideas to life.
Explore the world of children’s literature and develop your voice as an author. Take a story from concept to finished work and gain an understanding of the children's book publishing market.