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Writing Certificate

Memoir Writing Certificate Application Calendar:

The application window for Fall 2024 admission is April 15, 2024 through June 7, 2024. If you'd like to receive reminders and updates, please join our mailing list.

How to Apply:

Register and pay the $80 application fee.
Fill out application. (After you pay the fee, you will receive a confirmation email that includes a link to the application.)
Submit all materials by Friday, June 7 at 5:00 pm PT.

Please contact our office if you plan to apply to both programs (Memoir and Novel).


Writing Samples:
The application form will include instructions to upload the writing samples described below.
  • Personal Statement (300 words or fewer)
    • Tell us a little about yourself. Describe yourself as a person, student, and potential member of the Certificate cohort. What do you hope to gain from the program, and what will you bring to the community?
  • Project Description (300 words or fewer)
    • Tell us about the memoir that you are writing or hope to start writing in the program. In addition, please tell us the author and title(s) of 1-3 memoirs that have made an impact on you. Share a little about why these books moved you/what you loved about them.
  • Writing Sample (3,000 words or fewer)
    • Upload a sample of creative writing, ideally from a memoir-in-progress or personal essay, to give us a sense of how you write creative/narrative nonfiction. If you don’t have any such examples, you could submit a piece of critical writing (review, essay), a short story or section of a novel.
  • Writing Exercise (300 words or fewer)
    • Write to one of the following prompts. Include one image that makes an unexpected and vivid appeal to one of the five senses.
      • Option 1: Write about a time you stole something.
      • Option 2: What is the story you don't want your mother to know?
      • Option 3: Tell us about a piece of clothing from your past and what it means to you.
  • Classroom Feedback Sample (200 words of fewer)
    • Linked here is an excerpt from a memoir that a student in the program has been working on. Imagine that you are a member of this cohort, encountering this piece for the first time. Please provide a paragraph of constructive feedback intended to guide revision and help the student move forward.

Have questions before you apply? Watch the recording of our information session held on April 17, 2024.