Creative Writing Courses: Overview of Common Creative Writing Courses

Published Aug 12, 2009

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Creative Writing courses cover a variety of topics, such as fiction writing, poetry, screenwriting and writing for children. These courses are widely available at schools across the United States and often serve as electives for other non-writing degree programs. This article identifies common Creative Writing courses and describes the coursework for each.

Common Creative Writing Courses

Writing Fiction

Fiction writing courses vary from introductory courses to advanced fiction writing. However, all of these courses discuss basic fiction principles, such as plots, character development, point of view, effective dialogue, writing style and voice. Like many Creative Writing courses, writers learn from both the instructor as well as from the constructive criticism of classmates.

Creative Nonfiction

Nonfiction courses teach writers perspective. Nonfiction writers learn how to see with an objective view, observing environments as if they were brand new. By doing so, creative nonfiction brings out a different perspective for most writers. It encourages writers to see and question and write about new fields. As a result, writers learn how to write true stories as if they were fiction.


Poetry is a popular Creative Writing Course and encourages writers to learn from the classic and modern poets. Poetry courses teach writers about personification, alliteration, simile and metaphors. Often, writers are evaluated through interactive workshops in which they are required to write their own poems and share with the class for constructive criticism.


Screenwriting walks writers through the process of crafting a fledgling movie idea into a full-fledged movie-ready screenplay. Students learn different screenplay genres, such as drama or comedy. They also learn how to produce and market modern screenplays. Basic concepts, such as plot development, structure and dialogue are covered in Creative Writing screenwriting courses.

Journalistic Writing

Journalistic writing courses teach writers how to cover the who, what, where, when, why and how of news stories. They also hone writers' skills so concise, clear articles are written. This type of Creative Writing course also delves into feature articles, profiles, columns and opinion pieces. Journalistic ethics may also be discussed.

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