Writing, MA Publishing and Professional Development Specialization

Students enrolled in the publishing and professional development specialization will pursue studies designed to immerse them in the milieu of contemporary literary publishing where artistic and commercial exigencies are sometimes at odds. Courses are taught by faculty with hands-on, professional experience in the book industry.


Course Title
Writing Workshops in any genre (3 units)
Poetry Workshop
Fiction Workshop
Popular Fiction Workshop
Creative Non-Fiction Workshop
Poetry for Prose Writers
Prose for Poets
Publishing and Professional Development Courses (3 units)
The Publishing Industry - Book Publishers and Literary Journals
Practicum in Teaching Creative Writing
Practicum in Publishing
Any other related Publishing and Professional Development courses identified by the SPS Graduate Office
Graduate-level literature courses taken from LIT, ENGLISH, COMP_LIT, or other departments of literary study (2 units)
Elective (1 unit)
Special Topics in Creative Writing
Independent Study
Students may request permission to take one additional Publishing and Professional Development course as an elective
Students may take a graduate-level literature course as an elective
Capstone Writing (1 unit)
Capstone Writing & Revision

About the Thesis

The final project for the MA in Writing program is a creative thesis, an original work of high literary merit (judged on the basis of art as well as craft). Prose work should be at least 75 double-spaced pages and no more than 100 pages. Poetry should be 25 single-spaced pages and no more than 35 pages, with each poem on separate pages. The creative thesis is structured and revised under the supervision of a faculty member (or faculty mentor) and a second reader. The project may be one long piece or a series of shorter pieces. It may include or be an expansion of work written during the student's course of study as long as it represents a culminating effort to shape stories, prose pieces, a long piece, or a group of poems into a coherent, self-sufficient work. This large-scale project supplements the smaller-scale study of craft with the invaluable experience of creating a larger work. And for students who plan to pursue book-length publication after graduation, the master's creative thesis may be the first version of a work in progress. (Note: Students may not take writing workshops alongside thesis.)