While the challenges of 2021 are somewhat different from 2020, it’s still an unexpectedly difficult year for us, and for many. However, as we worked through our first fully virtual year of instruction and events, the Writers’ Program continues to see record enrollments and engagement, for which we are VERY grateful. Every WP staff members is also a writer, and we understand the sacrifices and commitment needed to dedicate to your craft. Thank you to all our students, instructors, staff, and partners who made this wild year one of exceptional achievement.

Some staff changes and adjustments, as well as new institutional programs and standards, have made accommodating the number of students challenging, but we’re doing our best. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we once again pivot our instruction methods to include more flexible online offerings, and the return of in-person classes. A limited number of in-person courses are returning starting in Winter quarter. Depending on enrollments, instructor availability, and the state of the world, we look to expand in-person offerings in Spring and beyond. However, the Writers’ Program has had a wide range of course offerings (and most of our Certificate programs) online for many years prior to the pandemic, and we will continue to offer as many virtual options as we can.

Most of our staff will be taking a well-deserved break during UCLA’s two week holiday closure (12/17-1/2). However, we’ll have LIMITED staff on hand from 10am-2pm PT Monday-Wednesday during the closure to respond to urgent inquiries and advising.
Once we’re back on January 3rd it’ll be hectic but we’ll do our best to respond to emails and calls in a timely manner. Also, many of our classes don’t start until the week of 1/10 so even if you wait until after the new year to start making/engaging those writing goals, odds are we’ll still have a class for you!

2021 was the year of the virtual event, with the Writers Studio, Open Houses, Publication Party and more being offered online, making previously inaccessible events available to a much wider audience. We do love connecting with people in person though, and are thrilled to announce that (pandemic permitting) we are planning to host the 2022 Publication Party in person at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 9th. More details coming soon!

We also continue to grow and evolve our membership program, WP NOW. We’ve been blown away by the success of this endeavor and continue to work on new and improved ways of developing, connecting, and nurturing writers outside the classroom environment. (The exclusive discount on courses does remain extremely popular, though.) And we continue exploring partnerships with writing and writing-related organizations. Additionally, we continue to offer no-cost and low-cost seminars on varied writing related topics, as do other program at UNEX via the UCLAxOpen initiative.

We are launching courses in a new discipline: Written Communication. These courses will be focused on strengthening general and professional writing for adult learners who wish to develop skills in communication through writing, but not necessarily storytelling. Courses in this area may evolve into a Certificate program if there is enough interest and enrollment.

We also continue to celebrate the success of students and alumni of the Program. This year we had some notable feature articles on the career path of several alumni, as well as continuing to promote success stories weekly. If you have a success story, we want to hear about it! Click here.
We’ve been extending our reach to new audiences with the fourth season of our podcast The Write Process, featuring notable students, alumni, and instructors talking us through a single project from start to finish. There are a couple more episodes still to come in season four and we’ve just begun planning for season five! Catch up on all episodes (and check out some writing themed playlists curated by our staff) on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wishing everyone a safe, restful, and mindful holiday season!

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