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 Digital Storytelling and Multi-Platform Strategy Program
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.

Short Story I

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.


Creative Writing: Short Story

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.


Short Story II

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.

Short Story III

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.

Enroll here or contact a Writers’ Program advisor at (310) 825-9415 or writers@uclaextension.edu.

Specialization in MFA Application Prep

Acceptance to Master of Fine Arts programs in creative writing can be fiercely competitive, with some programs receiving hundreds of applications for just a handful of spots. Most schools look very closely at applicant writing samples to determine if the student is both prepared for graduate study and a good fit for the faculty in their program.

Our Specialization in MFA Application Prep offers potential MFA applicants an opportunity to polish their writing sample with some of the best writers in Los Angeles. Take your writing through several stages of revision before submitting it as part of your application materials. A final course will help you craft your personal statement and determine which MFA programs and faculty suit your needs, passions, and aspirations.

2-3 quarters of study

Short Story III
Our most advanced short story course will help you craft and finish at least one complete story in a workshop environment with other highly motivated writers. Acceptance to this class is by application only.

Intensive Revision
In this course, every student comes in with a strong draft of a story in progress and goes through two rounds of comments and revision. The goal is to have a publishable piece by the conclusion of the quarter that is appropriate for use as an MFA Application work sample.

MFA Preparation
With nearly 400 MFA programs nationwide, it can be challenging to determine which programs suit you best. Learn about various program models from guest speakers to narrow your list of top choices, and work with our experienced instructor to finalize your personal statement, identify your recommendation letter writers, and complete your application.

Students receive an Award of Completion from UCLA Extension and a one-on-one consultation with a Writers’ Program instructor on up to 25 pages of their MFA application writing sample.

The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program partners with local MFA programs to waive application fees for some students.  Click here to enroll or contact a Writers’ Program advisor at (310) 825-9415 or writers@uclaextension.edu today for more information.

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)

One-Hour Dramas
X430.4 Beginning Writing for the One-Hour Spec I and X431.4 Beginning Writing for the One-Hour Spec II
Half-Hour Comedies
X430.6 Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec I and X431.6 Beginning Writing the Half-Hour Spec II

2. Intermediate Television

X442.1 Writing the One-Hour Pilot I or X431.7 Writing the Half-Hour Pilot I

3. Intermediate/Advanced Television

X433.7 Writing the One-Hour Drama or Half-Hour Comedy Pilot II
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
• Entrance fee for UCLA television writing competitions waived for declared Specialization students
• 50% discount on one consultation within six months of completion of Specialization

Approximately $1975 plus $50 Specialization candidacy fee.

Click Here to Enroll!

Specialization in Writing and Directing Short Films

This specialization gives aspiring filmmakers a quick route to go from concept to completion. Two courses in screenwriting teach you the basic skills you need to write your script, and two courses in directing set you on the path to making your cinematic vision a reality. This series is great for people completely new to filmmaking, or experienced artists in one area who want mentorship in the other.


Students must earn a 2.0 in each course in order to fulfill requirements. The pass/no pass option is not allowed


  • Receive advance notice of upcoming Writers’ Program courses and enroll before the general public each quarter
  • 50% discount on a 1-on-1 consultation on your short film script with a Writers’ Program instructor after completion of coursework
  • Save money on application fees when entering the UCLA Extension Feature Film or Television Writing competitions
  • Receive preferential placement on wait lists

Estimated Cost:
Application & Candidacy Fee: $50.00*
Estimated Program Tuition: $2,530.00
Estimated Program Textbook/Materials: $50.00
Estimated Total Cost: $2,580.00

Cost estimates do not include incidental costs such as parking fees or copying fees. In some cases, a book may be required.

*This program is open admission. The Application & Candidacy fee establishes your candidacy in the certificate for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and allows you to access a variety of program benefits.

Click here to Enroll.

Specialization in Digital Storytelling and Multi-Platform Strategy Program

The Digital Storytelling and Multi-Platform Strategy Specialization is designed for those interested in digital content creation, social media and digital marketing, and AR/VR. The platforms emerging from the rapid desiloization of storytelling and technology will impact both the creative and business development process of content creation, promotion and distribution. Content creators, digital marketing and social media ambassadors and media executives who are looking to augment their creative, business and technical understanding in today’s evolving media landscape will benefit from this program. Case studies, readings, screenings and guest speakers will support this unique exploration into the cutting edge of digital content. By the end of this specialization, students will have had the opportunity to workshop a creative and/or business proposal on a relevant topic of their choosing.

COURSE 1: MGMT 838.1
Digital Content Foundations: An Overview of Storytelling Across Platforms

This foundational course seeks to demystify the myriad new ways that audiences are consuming and interacting with content.  Across social media, SVOD and even AR/VR, we will explore how new platforms stimulate new business models as well as new consumer behaviors.  What makes a show “binge-worthy?” is one such question we’ll explore as we identify companies and content creators who are contributing to this shifting landscape.  Additional topics will include fandom, franchises, and the portability of content across mediums.  By tracking the evolution of today’s media landscape, we will touch on trends that speak to hypotheses about future storytelling delivery.  This broad overview will provide students with new industry insights to inform their own content creation.

COURSE 2: MGMT 838.2
Digital Content Creation: Tools and Technologies for 21st Century Storytelling

Today’s entertainment industry presents a rich world of opportunities, but also a new set of challenges. It is now equally as important to understand content creation techniques, production technologies and distribution platforms as it is to understand how to weave a compelling narrative. Whether you are a writer, producer, marketer or executive, you must be able to understand the ‘how’ as well as the ‘why’ and the ‘what’. This course will provide a broad overview of the current entertainment landscape and where it’s headed as well as an in-depth look at the specific tools, companies and technologies shaping today’s great content. Through discussion, demos, and guest speakers, we will cover AR/VR, digital video platforms, mobile, social media, multi-platform storytelling and more.

COURSE 3: MGMT 838.3
Digital Content Monetization: Distribution, Marketing and Developing Audiences

In this course we’ll explore new models of marketing, distribution and monetizing digital content to ensure it is seen and provides a return on investment. By analyzing entertainment success stories in new media content production, digital brand marketing, social media marketing and crowdfunding, students learn methods and business models to know, find and build audiences around digital content. We’ll also explore VR content and unlock the distribution and monetization opportunities for this new storytelling tool. Students will walk away with knowledge of various digital distribution strategies, digital marketing strategies and innovative ways to produce and monetize content in this digital age.

For information, please contact Joon Lee at 310-206-2556 or jlee@uclaextension.edu.

“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

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