Writers connect with and empower people by sharing stories, experiences, perspectives, and other complex forms of knowledge through the written word. Elevate your writing craft and your career with a Master of Arts in Writing.
Earn your master’s in writing at PLNU in two years. Whether you’re seeking to strengthen your practice in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, PLNU’s M.A. in Writing program is designed to expand your knowledge of written art and craft through a flexible curriculum and expert mentorship.
Graduates of undergraduate writing programs — those who demonstrate clear expertise in the field of creative writing, are interested in focused time and space to expand the art and craft of their writing, and are interested in writing theory, tutoring, and pedagogy — are well-situated to pursue this master’s program.
PLNU Writing Graduate Teaching Assistant Positions
M.A. in Writing students will have the opportunity to be selected for various graduate teaching assistant positions. The positions require 20 hours of work per week and, during employment, compensate students with a 100% tuition remission and approximately a $10,000 annual stipend. Most students will tutor in the Point Loma campus Writing Center during year one of the program, and then in year two of the program, students will have the opportunity to be selected to teach WRI 1010: College Composition.
Strengthen your craft in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry courses, building toward a creative thesis project. Further, you will:
- Study literature in a variety of genres.
- Learn editing skills while working on a state-of-the-art online literary journal.
Full-time graduate teaching assistants will have the opportunity to:
- Take robust writing pedagogy courses.
- Tutor in a Point Loma campus writing center.
- Partner with a writing faculty mentor while learning how to teach college-level writing.
- Teach WRI 1010: College Composition as an instructor of record.
PLNU's M.A. in Writing program is designed to prepare knowledgeable and career-focused professionals who can write, teach, communicate, and tutor — practical skills that are in high demand in nearly any industry students are interested in pursuing.
While learning from faculty and professional colleagues through a flexible and customizable curriculum, M.A. in Writing students will:
- Develop a deeper understanding of how to faithfully expand the art and craft of their writing to evidence literary and stylistic merit.
- Create various forms and genres of writing.
- Collaborate in writing workshops.
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the conventions and terminology of creative writing.
- Foster relationships with well-known writers through PLNU's Writer’s Symposium by the Sea.
- Collaborate in editorial and publishing processes through campus publications for external audiences.
- Gain exposure to literary journals, literary agents, and editors.
- Perform advanced creative work to formal audiences while demonstrating strategies for audience engagement and oral communication of written work.
- Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a professional writing center environment.
- Build and practice writing theory and pedagogy in the university composition classroom to prepare for employment as writing teachers.
M.A. in Writing students must select a genre of focus when applying, which will be pursued in their master’s thesis — an independent thesis project written under the guidance of a faculty member at the culmination of their degree program. The project will be a book-length work of poetry or prose, or a significant number of pages toward a longer project.
Students interested in writing novels, novellas, and/or short stories will study with Dr. Breeann Kirby.
Students interested in writing essays, memoir, and/or researched nonfiction will study with Professor Robbie Maakestad.
Students interested in writing poetry will study with Dr. Katie Manning.
M.A. in Writing graduate teaching assistants will be enrolled in a 6-unit, two-course sequence of pedagogy courses which will prepare them to tutor in the Point Loma campus Writing Center during their first year in the program, and to teach WRI 1010: College Composition in the program’s second year. During this two-course pedagogy sequence, graduate students will be assigned a teaching mentor and will shadow an instructor’s WRI 1010: College Composition course. All students will tutor in the Point Loma campus Writing Center during the pedagogy course sequence, and then toward the end of the first year of the program, students will apply to teach WRI 1010: College Composition. Select students will have the opportunity to teach as instructors of record during their second year in the program. Students in the Pedagogy Concentration will study with Dr. Holland Prior, director of the Writing Center.
4+1 Writing, M.A. Track
The 4+1 Writing M.A. track allows you to earn your master’s more quickly than the traditional timeline. This will allow you to start earning graduate-level credits as you complete your upper division baccalaureate courses.
If you’re currently enrolled in the Writing B.A. program or planning to, talk to your academic advisor to find out how you can earn your master’s in writing strategically and efficiently. Students in the B.A. program must decide to enroll in the 4+1 track by the end of their sophomore year.