Master of Arts in Creative Writing

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Graduate Program in Creative Writing

To become a publisher in the 21st century requires dynamic literary, editing, and technological skills. Whether you aspire to start your own company, teach or work for a large publisher, you’ll need a thorough education and hands-on experience in the world of publishing.

Program Overview

Step into the shoes of a publisher.

Western’s Publishing concentration includes a thorough study of the publishing industry—editing, design, production, marketing, distribution and bookselling. The program also covers new technologies that have changed the industry for writers, publishers, booksellers and readers. You’ll have the unique opportunity to create books that will be released by a commercial publisher by the end of the program. This includes an original anthology that you have jointly edited and produced, as well as a public-domain “classic” reissued from scratch in print and e-book formats.

Prepared for success

Western’s innovative publishing program prepares students for careers in writing, editing and publishing—both in traditional publishing houses and the fast-paced world of e-books and new technologies.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Concentration in Publishing

The concentration in Publishing brings together the study and real-world practices of traditional, independent and new models of publishing in a rapidly changing industry. The concentration provides training in traditional and alternative methods of publishing, including the various print, electronic, and audio formats, as well as training in editorial, production, and marketing of published materials. Courses include extensive work in designing and producing original and reprint books, formatting for the electronic market, and a wide variety of other publishing business skillsets, including copyright law, and working with authors and agents.

The MA Concentration in Publishing requires the following 30 credits:

CRWR 600Summer Orientation (taken two times with different emphasis each summer)2
CRWR 613Introduction to the Publishing World2
CRWR 614Traditional Publishing I6
CRWR 615Publishing and Marketing a Book2
CRWR 623Independent and New Model Publishing I6
CRWR 624Traditional Publishing II6
CRWR 625Independent and New Model Publishing II6
Total Credits30


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

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The Program

Advance your career in publishing.

The Publishing program begins with a two-week summer intensive on Western’s campus where you’ll learn the basics of the publishing industry and briefly intern for a small commercial publisher. As your main project for the coming year, you will develop a concept for an original anthology and solicit submissions.

The fall and spring semester each consists of two online courses, one focused on the traditional publishing industry and one on independent publishing. To acquire hands-on experience, you’ll read the “slushpile” submissions for your anthology project and select the stories to be included, all while adhering to a budget. You’ll also analyze typical book and short story contracts and issue contracts for the accepted anthology stories. In the spring semester, you’ll work to design, proofread and produce the printing masters for the anthology. As a solo project, you’ll select a public-domain “classic” to reissue from scratch. You’ll market your finished books and participate in a book signing event upon graduation, which takes place at your second summer residency.

Hands-on experience

Publishing students will work hands-on to create books that will be released by a commercial publisher by the end of the program—an original anthology they have jointly edited and produced, as well as a public-domain “classic” reissued from scratch in print and ebook formats.

News & Research

Newly Published Anthology

Western’s Publishing Grad Students Release First Anthology

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Nature Writing MFA names new director

Nature Writing MFA names new director

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New York Times publishes op-ed by Western’s Genre Fiction Director

New York Times publishes op-ed by Western’s Genre Fiction Director

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Genre Fiction Director, Fran Wilde

Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction

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Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

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Department Information

Graduate Program in Creative Writing


Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Program Support Coordinator

Corinne Sublette

Program Support Coordinator

Contact Information


Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 117
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231