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Programs for Writers and Editors Explore the Written Word at the UW
Programs for Writers and Editors Explore the Written Word at the UW

Careers in writing come in many forms: you can craft copy for publications and companies as a freelancer, work in-house writing and editing content for an organization or, who knows, publish seven whimsical novels about a boy wizard that make you a billionaire. 

Whether you want to put your own story on your page, shape others’ words or produce consistent copy as a marketer, copywriter or technical writer, we’re here to help you find your path forward. University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education provides numerous opportunities to enter the working world of the written word.

Read on to see which of our various programs may be the right fit for you.

UW Certificate in Writing

The Certificate in Writing is designed for current and aspiring writers who want to develop their craft in one or more genres.

You’ll learn how to create vivid characters and scenes, develop your own voice and style, understand the elements of a story that hook the reader and get your work published — whether it’s in fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting or children’s literature.  

This program will help you produce the kind of crisp, engaging writing that captures the attention and imagination of readers. Whether you’re looking to sharpen your overall writing chops or focus on a particular type of writing, the writing certificate program can help you refine your skills and accomplish your goals.

Our flexible Certificate in Writing program allows you to personalize your experience and select courses that match your area of interest. To earn the certificate, simply complete any three courses in two years — course categories include fiction, nonfiction, memoir, screenwriting, publishing and children's literature. The program culminates with a manuscript or finished piece of writing that you can submit for publication or other formal use.

UW Certificate in Professional Technical Writing

If you have a solid writing background and a desire to learn and craft content across a diverse array of subjects and formats, the Certificate in Professional Technical Writing can help you break into the world of technical communication.

The three-course technical writing program covers all the fundamental concepts and practical applications of technical writing — from the principles of visual and user-centered design to the role of style and structure in technical communication.

You’ll learn about the styles, formats and requirements for different kinds of technical communication — be it white papers and scientific publications, software documentation or web content - and how to adapt for each. Through in-class projects, peer workshops and a final development plan and portfolio document, you’ll become a well-trained, confident technical writer ready to hit the ground running in a high-demand field.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics at UW Bothell

If you’re serious about a career in writing, including the opportunity to teach writing at the college level, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell can help you develop your creative work through a course of study that encourages exploration and discovery.

The MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics organizes its curriculum by areas of inquiry rather than genres, so, unlike many MFA programs, you’ll enjoy the freedom to experiment across genres and media. The program emphasizes experimental and hybrid forms of writing, empowering you to participate in a community concerned with the pursuit of creative writing in a rapidly changing society.

This sense of community permeates the program from start to finish: each academic year kicks off with the Fall Convergence, a gathering of renowned writers and artists to engage topics in contemporary poetics, and ends with the Spring Festival, where graduating students share their thesis work publicly.

The two-year program lets you dig deep into your own writing among a vibrant community of like-minded creative writers — and gain the credentials to teach creative writing or composition at the college level.

UW Certificate in Editing

If you have a passion for making written copy shine — whether they’re your own words or someone else’s — then you’re an editor at heart. If you’re interested in channeling your passion for polishing prose into a profession, the Certificate in Editing can help you get there.

In the three-course certificate program, you’ll explore key techniques for developmental editing, copy editing, line editing, structural editing, content editing and collaborating with writers. The program culminates in developing and carrying out an editorial project with a working writer, giving you first-hand experience with the editorial process.

In the Certificate in Editing, you’ll develop the expertise to transform a rough draft — be it web copy, book-length manuscript or short-form media — into polished work. Whether you want to edit your own writing, work for someone else or launch an editorial business, you’ll gain the skills and confidence you need to make it happen.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional editor or advancing in the field, the Certificate in Editing will teach you how to edit for myriad audiences and content types while earning a credential that can help you pick up freelance editing work.

UW Course in Business Writing: Reports, Proposals & Documents

Clear and engaging writing is a crucial skill in every industry, and the Business Writing: Reports, Proposals & Documents course is designed to help you master the core elements of business writing.

You’ll learn how to write documents that are easy to read and persuasive. You’ll also explore basic layout and design concepts that will help keep readers actively engaged with your content.

We’ve built in plenty of opportunities to practice your writing and receive feedback so that you’ll have the skills you need to confidently write long-form documents for work.

UW Course in Foundations of UX Writing

Companies need to ensure that their products and services are intuitive and easy to navigate. That’s why UX (user experience) writers are some of today’s most in-demand professionals. The Foundations of UX Writing course will teach you how to write clear and precise copy so you can create great user experiences.

You’ll learn about voice and tone so that your content matches the needs of the user and the organization. You’ll practice writing inclusive, accessible and appropriate content for a variety of experiences, using tools of the trade.

By the end of this course, you’ll have several original pieces to add to your portfolio that showcase your UX writing skills and your ability to work with design documents, wireframes and templates.

UW Course in Proofreading Essentials

Even the best writers make mistakes. That's where proofreading comes in. It's critical to have a fresh set of eyes proofread any content before it’s published to ensure that it's free of errors and adheres to style.

Set yourself up for success with this new seven- week course that’ll give you the skills to provide the final polish to a piece of content. Taught by Christy Karras, who has experienced the publishing world as both a writer and an editor, Proofreading Essentials teaches how to proofread various materials and tackle specific grammar, style and design issues.

Whether you want to develop or improve your proofreading skills, you’ll leave this course with tips on why, when and how to make changes in a document as well as knowledge of employment opportunities in the field.

Keep Learning

There are as many paths to becoming a writer as there are types of writers; at UW Professional & Continuing Education, we can help you navigate the next step in your writing or editing career.

For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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