Creative Writing Courses and the Creative Writing Certificate Program


Creative Writing

The Cypress College English Department offers a range of in-person and online creative writing courses and a new Creative Writing Certificate Program.

The certificate program is designed for students seeking a broad appreciation of literature and increased skills in communication. In particular, it provides students with the opportunity to pursue their interest in creative writing through intensive study and practice of the literary arts. Students will immerse themselves in a structured, focused, and multifaceted curriculum of the writer’s art by studying literature and honing their own writing skills to create original, polished works of poetry and prose. Students will read, write, and engage in dialogue about creative works in a supportive workshop environment. Students will also receive mentorship about opportunities for publication, performance, and recitation.

The certificate is awarded upon the completion of 18 units of coursework, including one core course and five electives. A list of classes for this certificate is provided below for your convenience.

Required Core (3 Units)

  • ENGL 105 C Introduction to Creative Writing (3 Units)

Electives (15 Units)

  • ENGL 102 C Introduction to Literature (3 Units)
  • ENGL 126 C Introduction to Screenwriting (3 Units)
  • ENGL 127 C Introduction to Poetry Writing (3 Units)
  • ENGL 128 C Introduction to Short Story Writing (3 Units)
  • ENGL 130 C Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing (3 Units)

Course Details

ENGL 102 C Introduction to Literature (3 Units)

This course builds from the inferential reading and expository writing of the first semester course to demonstrate reading comprehension as well as composition of the analytical and critical essay. The content introduces students to techniques and major authors of narrative fiction, drama, and poetry, providing them with an opportunity to enrich their lives, enhance their understanding of the human condition, and develop an appreciation of good literature.

ENGL 105 C Introduction to Creative Writing (3 Units)

In this course, students will write short fiction, poetry, and, optionally, a short play. Students will gain an understanding of each literary type, create material in each area, and have their work critiqued in a workshop setting.

ENGL 126 C Introduction to Screenwriting (3 Units)

In this course, students will study the art of the screenplay and create their own. Students will critically analyze professional models, view excellent examples of film writing, and work on their own screenplay. Students will have the opportunity to have their work critiqued in a workshop setting.

ENGL 127 C Introduction to Poetry Writing (3 Units)
In this course, students will write original poetry, study forms, techniques, and literary elements of poetry, including classical poetic forms and free-verse tradition. Student work will be critiqued in a workshop setting.

ENGL 128 C Introduction to Short Story Writing (3 Units)
In this course, students will write original short stories while studying the evolution of the form and its narratological techniques and literary elements, including the form’s place in a variety of literary genres. Students will also critique each other’s work in a workshop setting.

ENGL 130 C Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing (3 Units)
In this course, students will write original works of creative nonfiction while studying the evolution of the form and its narratological techniques and literary elements, including the form’s place in a variety of literary genres. Students will critique each other’s work in a workshop setting.

For more information about the Creative Writing Certificate Program, please contact program coordinators Professor Bret Kaufman at bkaufman@cypresscollege.edu and Professor Stephanie Tran at stran@cypresscollege.edu.