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Professional Writing Track

Any survey of business and nonprofit leaders shows that mastery of writing skills is a top priority when hiring—and woefully lacking in the current applicant pool. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for technical writers will increase 11% until at least 2024, a higher-than-average growth rate.

To meet the need for highly skilled professional writers, Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing offers curriculum designed to give you structured yet individualized study in aspects of professional writing most useful to your career goals.

Why Study Professional Writing at Spalding?

It’s not hard to find programs that teach professional writing. But only Spalding enriches the professional writing curriculum during residency with carefully selected creative writing texts and even brief creative writing assignments.

Why? Because we strongly believe that your skills as a professional writer will be enhanced by the opportunities to read and study imaginative writing. Technical writing depends on the same kind of precision in language as poetry does. A real estate brochure or a restaurant review requires careful and colorful descriptive writing. A grant narrative depends on strong storytelling skills to argue for an organization’s proposal. Effective speechwriters must pay strict attention to their client’s “voice.” The collaborative, community-based conversations about good writing we have during residency are part of what makes our program in professional writing unique. Our professional writing students enjoy and indulge in this opportunity!

As a student in the Master of Arts in Writing  or Graduate Certificate program, you can choose the Professional Writing track to accomplish a variety of career goals:

  •  to enter the workforce holding a master’s degree or certificate in a field useful across numerous professions that will enhance your resume and polish a highly desirable skill set.
  • to advance in your current career by refining your professional writing skills or learning new skills that allow you to publish in your field. Your employer may provide reimbursement for tuition.
  • to change your career path or begin work as a professional writer in nonprofit organizations or the business sector.

Through the Professional Writing track, you’ll master the writing skills highly prized in today’s workplace, including arts and humanities organizations, government agencies, corporations, and small businesses.  For instance, you may explore opportunities for

  • writing for trade and consumer media, including reviews, profiles, interviews, and articles for sports, food, travel, health and science and other publications
  • creating marketing materials and commemorative book projects
  • writing for museums
  • developing press releases
  • ghostwriting
  • speechwriting
  • grant-writing and proposal development
  • conducting research
  • writing white papers

The curriculum is also designed to help you advance in soft skills valued in the workplace, such as critical thinking, collaboration, organization, presentation, and communication skills.

The professional writing track delivers intensive writing and reading curriculum through 10-day residency courses on campus and independent study courses at home. As a certificate student or first-semester MAW student, you’ll focus on aspects of professional writing including narrative structure, persuasion, editing, publishing, and specific professional writing modes. As a second-semester MAW student, you will complete a portfolio that showcases your writing and editing for the professional world. View the semester-by-semester curriculum for the MAW.

In keeping with our commitment to affordability, we make it possible for students in our certificate and MAW programs to matriculate into the MFA degree if they want a terminal creative writing degree, earning both the certificate + MFA or the MAW + MFA for about the same cost as the MFA alone.

Our Professional faculty includes, among others, Jason Howard, Erin Keane, Charles Maynard, and Keith Wilson—accomplished writers and editors working in the worlds of online and print publishing, podcasting, gaming, and more.