Why pursue a Master’s in English with a Creative Writing option?
Fast-track your skills in the company of other writers. Pursue your thesis with a professor whose expertise complements your area of interest. Take literature seminars that broaden your understanding of others’ work and your own. The literary culture you encounter will enhance every aspect of your development as a writer.
You’ll have the freedom to explore your creative vision and find your voice as a writer and scholar in the artistically vibrant city of Montreal. Our program’s flexibility allows you to propose a thesis project in traditional or innovative genres and media, including digital.
By pursuing training as a writer in the context of a literature program, you’ll experience a learning environment informed by a multiplicity of insights. Your classmates will include people pursuing scholarly interests as well as those with their sights set on writing careers, publishing and editing, gaming, and teaching.
You’ll also have the opportunity to forge professional and artistic relationships that will last throughout your career. Concordia is home to the Centre for Expanded Poetics, the Mordecai Richler Reading Room, numerous publications, and the Writers Read series, which attracts renowned and emerging writers alike.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts in English — Creative Writing (Option C)
To elect this option a candidate must have applied specifically for the Creative Writing option. A fully qualified candidate will take a minimum of 12 600-level credits from the regular academic course offerings, and 12 course credits in creative writing drawn from courses numbered 670-674 (ENGL 670 and ENGL 671 are Creative Writing courses). Only six credits of creative writing workshop (from ENGL 672, 673 or 674) may be elected in any year. A creative writing thesis of book length, the proposal of which requires approval by the Graduate Committee, must be submitted to the department by May 15 for Fall graduation and by February 1 for Spring graduation. For purposes of registration, this work will be designated as ENGL 692 (Creative Writing Thesis).
Creative Writing Option students may NOT substitute creative writing courses for any of the required 12 course credits of academic credits.
Note: In addition to the regulations governing the examination of master’s theses outlined in this calendar, the Department of English has specific procedures for thesis examinations. Students should consult the Graduate Program Director for details.
Admission Requirements. The Master of Arts program, with the exception of the Creative Writing option, requires an Honours degree or its equivalent in English with a minimum of a B+ (3.30 GPA) average. The Creative Writing option requires a major in English Literature or its equivalent with a minimum of a B+ (3.30 GPA) average, together with a portfolio (five copies) of the applicant’s literary work. The portfolio will be evaluated. Details about the composition of the portfolio may be obtained from the Graduate Program Director. Portfolios will not be returned to applicants but may be picked up. Applicants who lack one or two courses (12 credits or less) towards equivalency of an Honours degree, but who are otherwise well qualified, may be admitted with the provision that they take additional undergraduate courses as part of their master’s program. Applicants requiring three or more courses (more than 12 credits) to complete the Honours equivalent will be required to take a qualifying program of prescribed undergraduate courses, and reapply to the master’s program after successful completion of this course work. Applicants should feel free to consult with all members of the English Department about the program. Specific matters should be addressed to the Graduate Program Director or to the Graduate Program Assistant.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Two (2) copies of the portfolio must be mailed directly to the following address.
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of English
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
DO NOT use any special binding or folders and do not submit your work on a CD.
Portfolios will NOT be returned.
Your work must demonstrate a willingness to take creative and/or intellectual risks and the capacity for success in a graduate program that trains students as both writers and literary scholars.
Please collate each of the portfolios separately. Do Not staple but separate the copies with either a sheet of coloured paper, cardboard or individual envelopes. Each copy of your portfolio should have a Portfolio Cover Page included. Students not accepted into the Creative Writing program may enter the Literature Option if they have met admission requirements and have indicated that they are interested in the other option on the Portfolio Cover Page form.
Two (2) copies of the portfolio are to be submitted, and may be in prose, poetry or drama, or some combination. Submit your strongest work, that which you feel accurately represents your abilities and interests. Where possible, complete works are preferable to excerpts.
It is not necessary to submit all three genres; though you may wish to reflect your strengths in various genres, the focus should be on that in which you propose to complete your thesis. If you write prose, submit 35 to (a maximum of) 45 pages (double-spaced); if poetry, 20 to (a maximum of) 25 pages (single-spaced). If you are applying in drama, you must submit one complete play. In the case of a combined-genre portfolio, the total should not exceed 35 pages (unless drama is included).
We’re committed to providing students the support they need to focus on their studies. Top students benefit from scholarships and teaching assistantships, and all students are eligible for conference awards and other funding.
An MA in English prepares you for careers that require strength in research, writing, and communication.
You’ll also be qualified to teach in Quebec’s CEGEP system.
Our graduates are well-placed to take on advanced study in a PhD program, in either English or Creative Writing. Others have become icons of the Canadian literary scene. Still others work in such fields as editing (literary, copy), publishing (as employees or as small press publishers themselves), writing for online and print magazines (e.g. Maisonneuve, The Walrus), developing video games, teaching CEGEP, teaching ESL, translating, and technical writing.