Creative Writing

OCAD University’s Creative Writing program is a hands-on, studio-based program about writing as artistic creation. Unlike other creative writing programs, you can blend writing with art and design studio classes at Canada’s biggest art and design university.

More About the Creative Writing Program

This program combines written, performance and visual expression. You’ll participate in:

  • An online and print journal
  • Symposia, workshops
  • Showcasing and public performances
  • A book, zine and publications fair
  • Field trips to local readings, conferences and festivals
  • A digital and analog writing lab and access to sound studio
  • A reading series featuring established, emerging and student writers
  • Mentorships, as both mentees and later as mentors
  • University slam team
  • A nurturing and supportive emerging literary community
  • Mentorship by faculty

This program is for both new and emerging writers. You’ll become part of a nurturing and supportive literary community. By the end of your degree, you’ll complete a body of work aimed at publication or exhibition to launch your career.

At the end of this four-year program, you will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Learn more about the program.

  • For Ontario high school students, a minimum overall average of 70%
  • Statement of Intent
  • Official transcripts
  • Other requirements
  • Portfolio featuring one of these:
    • Up to 5 pages or equivalent poetry, spoken word, and/or hip hop
    • Up to 10 pages prose (fiction, creative nonfiction)
    • Up to 5 pages or equivalent (15 minutes) hybrid or experimental form
    • Up to 15 pages (total) in more than one genre

Graduates of this program can work in:

  • Professional writing
  • Journalism
  • Artistic practice
  • Performance art

OCAD U offers so much more than co-ops because creative careers take many forms. Our approach is specialized, and individual to every student’s needs and goals. You will be able to take advantage of:

  • Short experiential learning placements from among hundreds of organizations
  • Creative in-class projects with real-world industry partners
  • Exclusive summer internships
  • Gallery exhibitions of your work
  • Freelance creative opportunities
  • Jobs after graduation

OCAD University’s dedicated support services will help you build a professional community, valuable experience and skills necessary for a meaningful career.



In first year, you will take art or design studio courses based on your interest as well as:

  • Art history
  • English class of your choice
  • Introduction to History and Practice of Creative Writing
  • Research, Reading and Editing for Creative Writers
  • Writing in Community

In second year and third year, you will take art, design, social science and humanities courses based on your interest and:

  • Creative Writing: Introduction to Four Genres
  • Language and the Land
  • Nano Publishing: Independent Publications
  • Intro to Dub and Spoken Word

In third year you will have options to take classes in art and design that interest you but you’ll focus more on creative writing. Classes include:

  • Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Non-fiction
  • Short Fiction
  • Studies in Canadian Literature
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Publications: Editorial

In fourth year, you’ll work on your thesis project and will showcase your work at OCAD U’s Graduate Exhibition, the biggest free art and design exhibition in Toronto with over 40,000 visitors.