Creative Writing


On this page:

Why Creative Writing

Everyone writes.

We’re social beings. We tweet. We blog. We post status updates. Send emails that describe and shape descriptions of our day-to-day life for friends, family, and colleagues.

We turn in papers and lab reports that meet our professors’ expectations. Perhaps we keep a journal to reflect on the pleasures and ironies of daily experiences that take us by surprise.

Everyone writes.

But sometimes we put words on a page and we’re not sure what they are.

The Creative Writing Certificate is designed to give students a space where you can figure out what kind of writing you do. What shape it can take.

Let us help you to discover what your writing might become.

Our Mission

Open to all majors, the Creative Writing Certificate is designed to support young writers. Our distinctive mentorship program encourages conversations between faculty and students, between peer writers, as well as the many guest writers who visit UB each semester in our nationally regarded Exhibit X Fiction and Poetics Plus Series.

The Creative Writing Certificate program particularly invites students from outside the Humanities to take our courses. Whether you’re studying Architecture or Engineering, Business and Management, Arts or Dance, or programs in Applied, Computer, Cognitive, or Pharmaceutical Sciences, our faculty can find a way to work with you and your creative interests.

The Creative Writing Certificate is founded, above all, in a supportive community of writers who participate equally in the workshop experience. Faculty writers endeavor to see the promise in each student’s work. And we encourage our students to see the potential in the workshop space they develop together. Our shared task is to help you to discover the idiom of your art: to evolve your worlds as words.

In our courses, students will be encouraged to view writing as an experience—a process that may end in finished work, the beginning of a new project, or the exploration of related roles in careers as diverse as publishing, advertising, public relations, journalism, communications, web content management and social media platforms, information technology, law and jurisprudence, as well as television and media.

Our Courses

The Creative Writing Certificate invites you to view your writing as an exploratory process in its own right: a mode of inquiry that arises from the books we read, the lives we lead and imagine, the cultural landscapes we traverse and experience, as much as the problems we’d like to solve. In our classes, we present writing as a situation layered by critical examination, inventive thought, wild speculation, complex, often paradoxical feelings, multiple, entangled media platforms and social circuits, differing perceptions of time, and an ongoing translation of languages, as much as people and cultures.

In our workshops, students explore an array of questions that help corral and cultivate writing practices across genres and art forms:

  • What ideas do you want to examine? Or work towards seeing differently? How can you use writing as a way of speculating about problems that resist taking any part of the question as a given?
  • What new stories are being told? How can you push these narratives even further, perhaps in entirely new directions?
  • What materials—from books or from culture at large—can you meaningfully assemble, reform, and deform in your work?
  • How can writing help you to recognize and explore your own place in a globalized world? How might it help you to rethink your relationship with other peoples, cultures, borders?
  • How might working closely with words, sentences, paragraphs, change the fabric of your thoughts?
  • How is your language changing? What new forms of language might you observe and deploy? What can you make your language do?
  • What forms of adventurous, uncomfortable, dazzling writing will make an impact on your reader?

Our Literary Magazine

Students involved in the Creative Writing Certificate edit and produce NAME, our annual Undergraduate Literary Magazine. NAME publishes creative fiction and poetry from currently enrolled UB undergraduates. Its primary mission is to encourage and foster a thriving and vital community of undergraduate creative writers at UB. NAME was co-founded in 1998 by Jessica Smith with Matt Chambers, Rebecca Stigge, and Chris Fritton. The faculty advisor is Professor Christina Milletti.

Our Curriculum

1. Three (3) required courses:

  • English 207, “Introduction to Writing Poetry & Prose Fiction” (prerequisite)
  • English 392, “Literature, Writing, Practice," or a course in contemporary literature
  • English 480, “Capstone,” a course in which students complete a major creative project

2. Three (3) electives from the following:

  • English 390: Creative Writing: Poetry
  • English 391: Creative Writing: Fiction
  • English 434: Advanced Poetry Workshop
  • English 435: Advanced Fiction Workshop

 Students may request substituting one 300-level writing workshop with a similar writing workshop course in a different genre, such as English 393, “Literary Non-Fiction” or Theatre and Dance 485, “Play Writing.”

The certificate is awarded concurrently upon completion of all program requirements and completion of a Bachelor’s Degree at the University at Buffalo. It cannot be awarded as a stand alone certificate either before or after the student has earned a Bachelor's Degree.

Millonzi Distinguished Honors Scholarship

Millonzi Distinguished Honors Scholarship

One four-year scholarship covering all resident tuition and fees, minus any other aid received, is available to an undergraduate Honors student in the creative or performing arts. To be considered, students must have an unweighted high school average of at least 90 and a combined SAT critical reading and math score of at least 1230 or an ACT score of at least 27. A personal interview and a separate scholarship application are required. Contact the Honors College to request an application.

For the Honors College, link to the following:

How Do I Apply?

To apply, contact the Director of the Creative Writing Program.

Christina Milletti

Dimitri Anastasopoulos

Associate Professor; Director of Creative Writing


429 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0689; Fax: (716) 645-5980