Don't Waste Your Money

5 Things to Look for in Creative Writing Program
12 April 2024 by
Viz Dum

Have you ever dreamed of becoming the best-published author or a charismatic storyteller? Do you wish to publish your book or want to be a book writer? Many such dreams exist in this world, as many people have chosen the writing field as their career. So, you are not alone. According to a 2023 study by Statista, the global book publishing market is expected to reach a value of over $280 billion by 2025, showcasing the ever-growing demand for fresh and engaging narratives. Knowing this ignited so many aspiring writers to enhance and develop their writing skills and share their exclusive voices with the world.

Enrolling in a creative writing program can be a strategic step on this literary journey. These programs offer a supportive environment to learn, grow, and connect with other passionate writers. But with so many confusing options available, from prestigious universities to online courses, choosing the right writing program or writing course can leave you feeling a bit lost. Worry Not! This blog from Vizdum will provide you with the knowledge to choose the perfect program for your writing journey.  

Here are the 5 crucial factors to consider before investing in a creative writing program: 

1. Program Focus and Faculty Expertise 

Finding Your Niche: Creative Writing encompasses a wide variety of genres, from poetry and fiction to playwriting and screenwriting. A 2022 study by the Pew Research Centre showed that mystery and thriller books are the most loved genres in the US, followed by romance and science fiction. However, genres like historical fiction, fantasy, and young adult literature also have many fans. Explore and identify what you love in creative writing. Do you want to write exciting stories that take readers on adventures, or maybe emotional poems that make people feel deeply? Knowing what you enjoy can help you choose the right creative writing program that fits your personal goals. 

Faculty Expertise: Once you've identified your genre, check out programs with faculty members who are established authors, playwrights, or screenwriters in your chosen field. Their real-world experience and mentorship are invaluable assets, as they can provide insights and guidance specific to your writing style and aspirations. Look for faculty members who have published works or produced plays/screenplays that appeal to you or connect with you. 

Workshop Format: Many creative writing programs have workshops where you can share your writing work and get helpful feedback from peers. Such a collaborative environment fosters growth and helps you refine your writing skills. Choose a writing program that aligns with your learning style; some have small group sessions, while others offer bigger classes with one-on-one meetings. 

For instance, if you're an aspiring sci-fi writer in the US who loves dystopian stories, you might look into the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, known for its focus on speculative fiction and its esteemed faculty of acclaimed sci-fi authors like Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Ted Chiang. At Clarion West, they're known for helping new writers get their work published. 

2. Program Structure and Flexibility 

Balancing Life and Writing: Consider your lifestyle and existing commitments. Do you want to dive fully into writing, or do you need a writing course that fits your busy life? Many universities have both full-time and part-time options, like MFA (Master of Fine Arts)  programs or shorter certificate courses in creative writing. So, choose after analyzing your daily life commitments.  

Location Considerations: Don't limit yourself geographically! The rise of online learning platforms has opened doors to prestigious programs worldwide. For international students or those facing geographical limitations, online programs offer flexibility and access to top-tier institutions. Online writing courses are often cheaper because they save on building and maintenance costs, and materials with digital resources. Students also save on commuting and housing, and faculty can teach more flexibly across time zones. 

For instance, maybe you're a working professional in the UK and have a desire to write poetry. The University of Manchester offers a flexible, part-time MA in Creative Writing that allows you to balance your writing journey with your career. 
Similarly, we at Vizdum have created an online, personalized, affordable, and time- effective writing program for you that will bring balance to your life once you enroll. 

3. Cost and Financial Aid Options 

Thinking About Costs: When choosing a creative writing program, think about tuition fees, living costs, and any extra materials you might need. Look into financial help like scholarships, grants, and assistant positions that many writing programs offer to ease the financial burden. 

What You Get in Return: While it's important to follow your passion, also think about what you'll gain in the long run. A good creative writing program can give you the skills and connections to build a successful writing career. Check out the achievements of past students from the programs you're interested in. Have they published books, won awards, or got great writing jobs? 

If you're in the US, then you can check that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provides grants and fellowships specifically for creative writing.  

4. Alumni Network and Career Resources 

Connecting with Others:  A strong alumni group or network can be a game changer and can make a great difference. Hence, look for writing courses with active alumni communities that offer mentorship, collaboration opportunities, and potential career connections. 

Help for Your Career: Check if the program provides special services for creative writers. This could be workshops on getting your work ready for publishing, insights into the publishing world, or help with finding an agent. These resources can be super useful when you're trying to kickstart your writing career after finishing the writing program. 

For your help, The University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK has a great alumni network with famous authors like Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. Being part of this network gives aspiring writers access to valuable advice and chances to connect with industry professionals. 

5. Program Reputation and Accreditation 

Research the Program: Before choosing, look into the program's accreditation, the qualifications of the faculty, and what current and past students have to say. Programs recognized by well-known creative writing groups are a good sign. Reading reviews and testimonials can give you a clear picture of what it's like to study there. But be aware sometimes, reviews can be fake as well. So, word of mouth is the key. 

Look Beyond Just Rankings: While rankings can be helpful, they shouldn't be the only factor you consider. Think about what you personally want from a program. A program might not be at the top of the rankings but could be a perfect fit for your needs, offering a comprehensive curriculum and strong support system. 

Let's say you're a fantasy writer in the US. While Harvard's writing program might be famous but not specialize in fantasy. On the other hand, the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle focuses on speculative fiction, including fantasy. So, it could be a better choice for you! Don't be afraid to explore and find the program that aligns with your specific writing goals. 


Choosing the right creative writing program is a crucial step towards achieving your dream of becoming a successful writer. With the global book publishing market on the rise and numerous aspiring writers aiming to make their mark, it's essential to find a program that aligns with your interests, offers flexibility, and provides valuable resources and networking opportunities. From considering the program's focus, faculty expertise, and structure to evaluating costs, alumni support, and reputation, there are multiple factors to weigh. 

Remember, the best program for someone else might not be the best for you. So, take your time, do thorough research, and choose a program that resonates with your writing goals and lifestyle. However, research takes a lot of time, and if you want to save time, enroll in Vizdum’s creative writing program where we assure you that you will become proficient in crafting compelling stories, in writing your book like one of our instructors Vidhya had done by writing her book-“My Ph.D. in Living”, and many more. So, visit us to mark your beginning in the literary world.