Popular Fiction Writing


Course Details

Next Start Date:


This course is part of a certificate program. You can also take it without enrolling in the program.

This course has no current offerings.

About this Course

There’s something magical about a compelling book, a page turner that hooks you in and won’t let go. Many of these works fall into the category of popular fiction — top-selling genres such as romance, science fiction, mystery and fantasy. If you are a fan of this type of writing, perhaps you are ready to make your own contribution to the field and find success.

This course offers an introduction to the basics of writing popular fiction. We’ll cover all segments of the five-act story structure (or the seven-act structure, if the story includes a “hero’s journey”). You’ll discover techniques for creating an inciting incident that sets in motion a desire quest, and how this principle works across genres. Learn how to get your ideas on the page and develop your own unique style.

Designed For

Those interested in writing and publishing popular fiction.

See Requirements

What You’ll Learn

  • How to recognize and understand the conventions of your chosen genre
  • Ways recognize and use three kinds of heroes
  • The essential elements of point of view
  • How to bring about endings with strong reversals

Get Hands-On Experience

You’ll be introduced to the peer writing workshop process

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, you need to complete the equivalent of three full-quarter courses (nine continuing education units) in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

Learning Format


Attend classes part time at one of our convenient locations in the Puget Sound region. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. Learn More »

Course Sessions