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Most Classes Begin Jun 24
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Writing Certificate


It was a big deal for me, being accepted into Stanford’s Novel Writing Certificate program. I felt pumped for days. In the previous four years I’d completed a largely self-taught draft of my first novel and was far into a draft of my second. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and both needed serious help. First online class meeting with my cohort and I’m sure it felt like moving from college sports and stepping into the pros. Everyone there appeared smarter, stronger, faster. And, they were from a far-reaching pool of national and international candidates. Our instructors surgically guided us through those quarters, with productive critiques of each other’s works, readings and discussions regarding craft, dissecting the works of past and current A-list authors, and we formed bonds that remain. The final one-on-one quarter was especially intense and beneficial. After completing the program, one of my classmates got a publishing contract at about the same time I signed with Running Wild Press. HJ Brennan

When Black Lawrence Press called to say they wanted to publish my novel (they published my novel!!) I thought that would be the most significant result of my two years in Stanford’s Novel Writing Certificate Program. It wasn’t, not nearly so. Almost a decade after graduating, and as I work toward finishing a second novel, Stanford’s program remains the undercurrent of my writing life. Those close relationships developed with our stellar instructors? They’re still intact: those hard-working writers still answer my questions, still cheer me on and inspire me with their own work. All that time spent critiquing the words of my cohorts and the work they put into helping me toward becoming an author? We’re still supporting each other, sometimes meeting daily, often weekly. Being a part of this community is what I’m most proud of. But also, my novel is on bookshelves!
Cathey Daniels


The Novel Writing Certificate Program was such an important part of my path to publication. I learned so much about writing, and myself as a writer, in an incredibly supportive environment. Over the course of the program I had the opportunity to continually workshop and improve my manuscript. I also created wonderful working relationships that continue many years later.
Tracey Lange