The Writers’ Program also offers several Specializations that are made up of three or four courses designed to give students a quick burst of knowledge on a specific topic. Specializations carry many of the same benefits as certificates and require only a modest application fee.
The following Specializations are currently available to students:
- Specialization in Short Fiction
- Specialization in MFA Application Prep
- Specialization in Television Writers Fellowship Prep
- Specialization in Writing and Directing Short Films
Specialization in Short Fiction
The art of short fiction offers readers sharp insight into characters’ lives through compression, description, and evocative details. Contemporary literature is alive with masters of the form, including Alice Munro, George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lydia Davis, Junot Diaz, and many others. This 3-course Specialization provides students with an intensive approach to both generating new work and revising it in the collaborative environment of a workshop. Over the course of three quarters, students receive dedicated instruction on the form of the short story, with directed readings of its best examples. At the conclusion of the three courses, students will have three completed stories and two additional stories in-progress.
It is said that all of us have locked inside at least one good story to tell. Through lectures on craft, short writing exercises, assignments, and discussion, you learn how to tell yours. Topics include plot, point-of-view, setting, description, conflict, characterization, dialogue, tension, rewriting, and submission strategies. The course goal is to draft and revise at least one short story. This course is a prerequisite for students who are continuing in the short-fiction sequence.
This UC-transferable workshop covers the key elements of fiction writing, including plot, characterization, setting, point-of-view, and various story development techniques, as well as publication markets. Your goal is to complete or rewrite three stories of average length.
Focusing on close textual analysis and intensive writing practice, you create two short stories and revise one in this 10-week workshop. Weekly lectures on technique, analysis of published stories, and in-depth instructor and peer critique develop and deepen your understanding of the art and craft of short story writing. Strategies for approaching the marketplace also are discussed.
The short story, one of the most challenging of all literary forms, requires the precision and imagistic intensity of poetry combined with novelistic elements of structure, setting, and characterization. This workshop helps you to realize your fictional intentions through detailed written critiques and to prepare your stories for publication in targeted markets. The course goal is to complete two new stories and one revision.
Students receive priority registration for coursework after payment of candidacy fee plus a 50% discount on one consultation within six months of completion of the Specialization.
Specialization in Television Writers Fellowship Prep
For aspiring TV writers, winning a network fellowship is one of the quickest ways to get staffed on a show for the first time. These competitive programs require stellar writing samples and a solid understanding of the culture and procedures of a writer’s room.
This Specialization consists of four courses and takes you from concept through execution to help you develop both a spec and a pilot in either comedy or drama. The Specialization can be completed in two to four quarters, depending on individual schedules and goals.
1. Beginning Television (You may choose your area of focus, but both courses must be completed within your chosen format)
SCRIPT X 421.3 – Beginning Writing for the One-Hour Spec I and SCRIPT X 421.4 – Beginning Writing for the One-Hour Spec II
SCRIPT X 421.1 – Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec I and SCRIPT X 421.2 – Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec II +
2. Intermediate Television
3. Intermediate/Advanced Television
Courses here may substitute for Writing the One-Hour Drama or Half-Hour Comedy Pilot II
• Advanced Television Writing (subject to acceptance by instructor)
• Priority registration for coursework after payment of candidacy fee
• Save money on application fees when entering the Television Writing competitions
• 50% discount on one consultation within six months of completion of Specialization
Approximately $1975 plus $50 Specialization candidacy fee.
“The incisive feedback I received in my short fiction class challenged me to rethink and rework my stories in new creative directions. My instructor’s encouragement gave me the push I needed to send my manuscript out into the world.”
Siel Ju, whose novel-in-stories Cake Time was published by Red Hen Press