Creative Writing Process
1. Students apply on-line to the Creative Writing Program with a manuscript of writing which is evaluated by our faculty.
2. Students simultaneously send original copies of their undergraduate transcripts (see our transcripts section for details) and apply to UBC by using the Graduate Studies on-line application form.
3. Our faculty will select the successful applicants through a competitive reading process. We usually accept less than 25% of applicants.
Successful applicants will be submitted to UBC for formal admission.
4. UBC will then accept the student, presuming academic qualifications are met.
We hope to inform all applicants of the outcome of the reading process by February 2014.
All on line applications must be completed by 9am PST on Monday January 6, 2014. Mailed transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution. Please contact us if you have any difficulties obtaining paper documents.
On Line Application & Manuscript Submission - Creative Writing
Please send us your application manuscript using our on-line application form here: http://creativewriting.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate/grad-application/mfa-application/
You must also apply to UBC using the Graduate Studies application form: On-Line UBC Application: Graduate Studies
Apply via the on-line application service:
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/apply-online Please read the instructions on the website. Please note, you must apply for the degree “Master of Fine Arts” and select “Creative Writing”.
If you don’t already have a UBC student number the system will generate an 8 digit reference number. This will become your student number if you are accepted by the Creative Writing Program. The current fee is CDN $93 for Canadian applicants. International applicants pay CDN $153. This fee is set by UBC Graduate Studies.
Please pay the on-line application fee by credit card. If you do not have a credit card, another cardholder may pay on your behalf. If you cannot pay on-line, you may fill out the on-line application form, print it and mail it to Graduate Studies with a cheque, bank draft or money order (made payable to UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies). Do not send cash, wire, transfers, Eurocheques, or UNESCO cheques. Please also make this request as early as possible, as applying by mail is slower than applying on-line.
Students must have an existing four year undergraduate degree (or the equivalent for international students) with a minimum B+ average in order to pursue graduate studies at UBC. Please see the Prospective Students section of the Faculty of Graduate Studies website at
www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students for more information. We strongly recommend reviewing all UBC Graduate requirements in advance of your application to determine eligibility and to help you prepare for the process. If you are not considered eligible by
Graduate Studies you will not be able to enter the program, even if we have accepted your manuscript. Under some circumstances, students with a below B+ average may be accepted by Graduate Studies; there is no guarantee, and the closer your senior level course average (3rd and 4th year courses) is to the B+ average, the better.
GRE/GMAT & Other Academic Scores
GRE, GMAT and other academic scores are not required.
Transcripts & Letters Of Reference
Applicants must send two official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. Please note that the official transcripts must be mailed to Pat Rose directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts issued to the student are not acceptable. Detailed information about transcript requirements can be found at: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/application-components-required-documents
UBC requires three letters of reference with each application. We accept reference letters on paper and also accept them using UBC’s E-reference system, which is part of the Graduate Studies on-line application system.
They do not have to be academic references if you are not able to get current references from academic sources –work or personal references are acceptable.
Reference letters must come directly from the referee or if issued to the
student, they must be in a sealed envelope with the referee’s signature across the seal. Faxed or emailed reference letters are unacceptable.
Referees may use the official Graduate Studies form, letterhead or
e-mail address for each referee (Please note, that we are unable to accept e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, MSN or other freee-mail accounts for referees.) A unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an on-line reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.
Full information including the official referee form can be found on the Graduate Studies website at
The form which may be used for application to Creative Writing is the standard Graduate Student Reference Form.
NOTE: If you are applying to both the on campus and the optional-
Residency MFA programs, you only need to send one set of transcripts and letters of reference and apply to Graduate Studies on-line once. However, you will need to apply with your manuscript to both the
Opt-Res and on campus MFA programs on our website, and also mention clearly in your application that you are applying to both programs. You are not required to send the same manuscript to each program. Each application will be read separately by faculty in the program to which you are applying.
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 (paper version); 213 (computer version). Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission, and photocopies of test scores are not acceptable. See the Graduate Studies website for more information -
All work must be in English. All work must be uploaded using our application form on the Creative Writing Program website. If you submit a piece that is longer than our guidelines we will return it to you. We cannot provide critiques of manuscript submissions or detailed explanations to students who are not accepted into the program, nor can we provide pre-evaluation of manuscripts. To find out if you will be accepted, you must apply.
All files must be in Microsoft Word, PDF (Adobe Acrobat) or Rich Text Format. Screenwriting submissions may also be sent as PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files. Electronic submissions in other formats will be rejected by our website.
Please send your submission as separate files: one containing the cover letter, literary CV (if applicable) and table of contents, then one file for each genre of written material which you are submitting. Please add page numbers to your documents.
Please name your file attachments with your last name. For example, Charlotte Bronte’s application in three genres might be structured and named as follows:
Bronte Charlotte _poetry
Bronte Charlotte _fiction
Bronte Charlotte _screen
All submissions should include a brief cover letter. Please include your full contact information including address, phone and email. The letter should also include a brief description of your educational background and/or life experiences relevant to your writing and the program. It’s also helpful to state the main genre in which you prefer to write.
Be assured, acceptance into the program does not depend on the lyricism of your cover letter. We only consider the originality and vitality of your writing manuscript. However, a letter may help provide a useful context for the material which you submit as well as assist with any letters we may have to write to Graduate Studies on your behalf (common if undergraduate marks are below B+).
Include a record of publications, productions, awards, and teaching experience if applicable. This is not required if you have not yet been active in these areas.
Table of Contents
Include a Table of Contents for the writing manuscript with the genre of each piece indicated beside its title. Your main genre should be at the top of the list.
-All pages must be numbered. It is also helpful to place your last name on every page as part of the page footer.
-Please adhere to the page requirements (see below).
Your manuscript must include a minimum of two different genres. Three genres is preferable but not absolutely essential. We would rather you send work in two strong genres rather than including a weak genre to make three. The page requirement for each genre submitted should be followed as closely as is reasonable without exceeding it
–manuscripts which are longer than requested will be returned for resubmission. For example: in short fiction, if you have one short story which runs 15 pages, you could submit it alone, but if you submit only one story of 5 pages, this is not sufficient. You may send more than one
piece in a particular genre, as long as the cumulative page count in that genre does not exceed our requirements. Short & long fiction are not considered separate genres, therefore you must send in another
genre in addition to fiction.
Do not use non-standard fonts, font sizes or page margins in order to squeeze in more material; our faculty will be able to evaluate your writing based on the page requirements stated.
Please do not submit a piece that is longer than our guidelines below. However, if it is over/under by a page or two that would be acceptable.
Poetry: 15 pages, single-spaced, one poem maximum per page. Any format.
Short Fiction – 20 pages in total, double-spaced. For example this could be two 10 page short stories totalling 20 pages or one 20 page story.
Novel – excerpt of 20 pages double-spaced (outline optional).
If you choose to submit both long and short fiction, submit no more than 20 pages in total. For example: 10 pages of short fiction and 10 pages of long fiction. (Note: short & long fiction are not considered separate genres; therefore you must submit a second genre in addition to fiction.)
Screenplay: The first 20 pages of a screenplay as well as a two-page outline for the same screenplay, or a 20 page short screenplay. Sample scripts (also called show scripts) from pre-existing television series as
well as adaptations or collaborations of any kind are not acceptable --
the writing, development of characters, etc., must be original to you.
Stage Play: 50 page excerpt from a full-length play, or two one-acts totalling 50 pages all together.
The exception to this rule: Applicants to the Joint Creative Writing/Theatre Program are allowed to submit one full-length play and/or three one-act plays. There is no page limit for these applicants’ manuscripts.
Creative Non-Fiction: 25 pages double-spaced of creative non-fiction. Up to 20 pages of creative nonfiction. This may include, autobiographical writing (including diaries or journals), personal essays (but not academic essays), travel writing, literary journalism (but not newspaper reporting), commentary, and cultural reviews (but not technical reviews). In essence, we are looking for any non-fiction written in your own opinionated voice – as opposed to the more neutral, formulaic style characteristic of most academic, technical or newspaper writing. If you have an insufficient amount of creative non-fiction you may also include up to 10 double-spaced pages of short fiction as a substitute. For further information please contact Andreas Schroeder at email@example.com.
Radio Drama:20 pages (1/2 hr. drama).
Children’s Literature: 25 pages double-spaced text (no illustrations) in any genre or combination of genres. Work should be intended for children and young adults. If you have only adult work, submit work that best shows your ability to inhabit the voice of your characters.
Translation: 15 pages double- spaced, except poetry, which should be single-spaced (one poem per page). Submit translated work in English in any literary genre. Mail photocopies of original text only in Spanish or French; original text does not count towards the page requirement.
Lyric and Libretto: 20 pages. Pieces can be song lyrics or short prose/poems you deem conducive to being reworked as song. For libretto, submit 10-20 pages as text, with or without score. In addition to either of the above, upload three musical pieces.
On Campus MFA Application Checklist
you work in and include a note about your educational history if
Writing samples consisting of a minimum of two different genres and a maximum of three. Pages numbered, and table of contents included. Note: long & short fiction are considered only one
Complete manuscript submitted on-line in Microsoft Word, PDF or Rich Text Format to http://creativewriting.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate/grad-application/optional-residency-mfa-application/
Application to Graduate Studies: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online/index.asp
3 letters of reference, either electronic through the Graduate Studies application, or sent by postal mail to Pat Rose.
TOEFL (if applicable), sent directly from the institution to the Creative Writing Office, attention Pat Rose. One original test score is required.
Arrange to have 2 official transcripts sent from each post-secondary institution attended. Transcripts should be sent by January 6, 2014
Manuscript Deadline: January 6, 2014 (before 9:00 a.m. PST) Transcripts: Sent by January 6 2014.
Send TOEFL Scores, Letters of Reference & Transcripts to:
Mrs. Pat Rose
UBC Creative Writing Program
Buchanan Room E462
1866 Main Mall *
*Couriers should be told to deliver to the East Mall side of the building. Or they can call (604) 822-0699 for directions.
The address must be written exactly as stated above. Failure to do so may result in problems with your application. Your material will not be automatically sent to the Creative Writing office if received in another UBC office.
Email is the primary means of communication for this program. All
applicants will be informed by email when their application has
been received. Applicants will be notified by email of the results of
the competition. No letters will be sent by postal mail.
Please let us know if your email address changes after your
application is received. Applicants accepted by the Creative Writing Program must also be accepted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Acceptance by Creative Writing does not guarantee Graduate
Students are accepted for the academic year beginning
in September 2014.
Contact Linda Svendsen
Professor and Graduate Advisor
(604) 822-3058 linda.svendsen [at] ubc.ca
(604) 822-0699 patrose [at] mail.ubc.ca