Google+ Writers' Program | FAQs
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FAQs

Do I have to apply formally or go through any special enrollment procedures in order to take courses in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program? 

No.  As the largest university-related continuing education writing program in the nation, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has an open admissions policy and welcomes writers of all levels who are 18 years or older to our 450 courses annually in creative writing and screenwriting. There is no formal application process; students may sign up for as many or as few courses as they like at the appropriate level (beginning, intermediate, or advanced) to help them meet their writing goals.

In addition to the regular curriculum, does the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offer any special events, services, or opportunities to meet and network with other writers?

The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offers a variety of writing-related events throughout the year to help students not only meet their writing goals but also give them a chance to interact with a wide range of aspiring and professional writers. These include free events such as the Writers Faire and Publication Party.  The Writers’ Program also offers the Writers Studio, an intensive 4 days of instruction and writing. Additionally, the Writers’ Program offers master classes for advanced study, mentorship and consultation services, certificate programs, feature film and television writing competitions, and curriculum advisement.

Does the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offer any online courses?

In addition to more than 250 on-site courses each year, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offers more than 175 annual online courses in screenwriting and creative writing. No matter where you are in the world, all you need to take online courses is a computer and a reliable Internet connection. Because the online course format is asynchronous, you can log on to participate at any time of day or night. Online certificate program options also are available.  For a self-paced tutorial on Online Courses at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, click here and then click on “Blackboard Orientation.”   To see a sample online course, click here. Type in username: coursesample and password: writer. Click on “Sample Beginning Fiction Course” on the right-hand side. Once inside, click on any of the buttons or links to get an idea of the level of interaction in a typical online writing course.

Does the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offer certificate programs?

Yes. The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offers students several options for earning a certificate. The Certificate in Feature Film Writing and the Certificate in Television Writing provide students with a focused and results-oriented course of study in which they write one to three feature film scripts or two to three television scripts. The Certificate in Fiction Writing and the Certificate in Creative Nonfiction are designed to give students a wide array of choices and a well-rounded writing education. For more information on certificates, including online options, call (310) 825-9415 or email writers@uclaextension.edu. Students who are not interested in a certificate are welcome to take courses on an individual basis and in any order, depending on their personal goals and interests.

Are there any opportunities to study 1-on-1 with a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor?

Yes. Students who seek individual feedback from an instructor may sign up for our Manuscript Consultation Service or Screenplay Consultation Service. Depending on availability, students may request to work with a certain instructor, or they may ask an advisor to make a recommendation.

Additionally, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offers Screenwriting and Novel Writing Mentorship Programs,  4-week customized courses of instruction in which you work at your own pace on a new idea for a feature-length script or on a novel-in-progress.

How can I learn more about the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructors?

In addition to the instructor bio printed at the end of each catalog course description, you can learn more about an instructor by visiting his or her page on our website. You’ll find a photo (when available), and an instructor bio and statement. The statements reveal each instructor’s teaching philosophy and approach to the craft of writing. Some instructors have their own websites or blogs and their web addresses are printed with their statements. Additionally, instructors will occasionally be profiled in features on this website. You can also meet instructors in person at Writers’ Program events, including the annual Writers Faire and Publication Party.

How can I contact an instructor directly?

Due to privacy concerns, we cannot release instructor contact information. If you have questions about instructors, courses, assignments, syllabi, readings, etc., we suggest that you first contact our knowledgeable Writers’ Program advisors—they will likely be able to help you. If you still have questions, you may email an instructor at writers@uclaextension.edu and we will forward your message (no attachments, please). Because our instructors do not maintain office hours, we cannot guarantee that they will respond.

What opportunities are there for advanced students working on a novel, memoir, or screenplay?

In addition to the advanced-level courses in novel writing, memoir writing, and screenwriting, advanced students may apply for admission to the Master Class in Novel Writing or the Master Class in Feature Film Writing. Limited to 8 highly motivated students, these nine-month workshops are designed specifically for writers on the verge of producing professional-quality work. The application deadline is usually late August and classes usually begin in October. Advanced students may also choose to work 1-on-1 with an instructor through our Manuscript Consultation Service or Screenplay Consultation Service. (See also, “Are there any opportunities to study 1-on-1 with a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor?”)

Does the Writers’ Program offer any internships?

Depending upon the instructor’s availability, the Writers’ Program offers online development internships to a select group of qualified students. Six students are chosen to participate in this highly focused 10-week course. Each student is paired with an established production company (i.e. the company has a first-look deal with a major studio or is of comparable status) and receives professional feedback on the coverage they write during the internship. In addition, each student develops the structure of his or her own original script during the course and receives in-depth instruction from Writers’ Program instructor and professional story analyst Barney Lichtenstein.

This course is designed to help students gain greater analytical skills, valuable feedback on their screenwriting, and significant experience with a production company. In order to qualify for the program, students are required to have successfully completed the course X 478.39 Writing Coverage: Story Analysis for Film and Television. For additional details or to request an application, please call (310) 825-9415 or email writers@uclaextension.edu.

Does the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offer professional placement services?

Each year the Writers’ Program offers some courses focused on publishing, pitching, and the business aspects of writing, but the Program’s focus is more on the craft than the business of writing. We do not place students in jobs, but we do help students perfect their writing with a goal toward having it published or produced.  Additionally, for a nominal fee, certificate students have access to UCLA Extension’s Career Spot, where 100’s of jobs on the BruinView Job Board can be accessed.

What if I want to take a course, but I haven’t met the prerequisites?

Prerequisites for each course are carefully thought out by Writers’ Program staff and instructors and are in place to help guide students toward courses best suited to their level of experience. The Writers’ Program does, however, have an open enrollment policy that allows students to bypass a prerequisite if he or she feels adequately prepared. It’s important to note, though, that a student who has had no workshop experience, or who has written a manuscript or screenplay but has never studied the basic elements of fiction or screenwriting, is unlikely to flourish in an upper-level course. If you intend to bypass the prerequisites for any course, it is always best to talk it over first with a Writers’ Program advisor.

Which course should I take?

Each quarter, the Writers’ Program offers more than 125 courses in many areas of creative writing and screenwriting, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, writing for the youth market, publishing, feature film writing, and television writing. With so many courses, at levels from beginning to advanced, and of varying length and scope, selecting from these options can be daunting. To find out more about our courses, call a Writers’ Program advisor. Our advisors are highly qualified and have extensive practical and academic experience. Whether you are interested in a single course or certificate program, the goal is the same: to put you in the right course with the right instructor. For advisement and course information you can reach program representatives at the following direct numbers:

Screenwriting (Onsite and Online):  Jeff Bonnett at (310) 206-1542 or jbonnett@uclaextension.edu

Creative Writing (Onsite): Sarah Lim at (310) 825-9416 or slim@uclaextension.edu

Creative Writing (Online):  Phoebe Lim at (310) 825-0107 or plim@uclaextension.edu

I understand that many of your courses are workshop-based. What exactly does that mean?

A standard model for writing courses is the writing workshop. In a supportive and respectful environment, students share their writing with their peers, and in turn comment on the work of others. The instructor also provides feedback on the pages. As workshops are designed to be participatory, students should expect to receive feedback on their own work and to read and respond to their classmates’ work.

Are there any age restrictions on Writers’ Program courses?

As UCLA’s principal provider of continuing education, the majority of UCLA Extension courses are designed for the post-baccalaureate professional-level student. Enrollment is therefore normally reserved for adult students 18 years of age and older. The Writers’ Program may consent to enroll younger students based on special academic competence and approval of the instructor. Students under 18 who enroll in a Writers’ Program course without first receiving permission of the instructor are subject to withdrawal. To request instructor approval, please contact the Writers’ Program at (310) 825-9415.

Does the Writers’ Program offer any courses specifically for students under the age of 18?

We occasionally offer onsite writing courses during the summer quarter, appropriate for high-school aged youth.  Please contact the Writers’ Program for more details.

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