Part-time, in class or online The Writer’s Studio

Frequently asked questions about this program

Q: What kinds of students apply to the Writer’s Studio?

A: We welcome a wide variety of writers of different ages, cultural and racial backgrounds, writing sensibilities, and lived experience.

Our writers' educational backgrounds range from high school diplomas to PhDs. Some have had no formal creative writing training. Others have taken a few courses or full creative writing programs such as those at Humber College and The Banff Centre.

In the Writer’s Studio, like other creative writing programs, women outnumber men.

The majority of our writers are between 20 and 50, but a good number are in their 50s and 60s. Although many applicants have had their writing published, this is not a requirement for acceptance.

All of our writers are passionate about, and dedicated to, writing. They are highly self-motivated and eager to learn as much as they can during their year in the Writer’s Studio.

Q: What do I need to do to graduate?

A: Students in our Vancouver program who successfully complete the core courses, two elective courses, and receive a pass on their final portfolio will be eligible to receive the Creative Writing Certificate. To see the list of core and elective courses, please visit the curriculum page

Students in our online program must successfully complete all required modules and receive a pass on their final portfolio to be eligible to receive the Creative Writing Certificate. To see the list of modules, please visit the online program curriculum page.

Q: Why was my application rejected?

A: After giving all applications careful consideration, each mentor chooses nine writers for their mentor workshop group. The mentors choose writers to whose writing they feel drawn and to whom they can provide the right kind of training and support. We typically invite between 60 and 70 percent of applicants to join the Writer's Studio.

You may request feedback if your application is unsuccessful. We have had writers apply two or three times before they are accepted into the program. Sometimes this happens because a new mentor has joined the program. It may also happen if the same mentor sees an improvement in your writing, your dedication and your involvement in writing activities and training.

We encourage you to keep learning and growing if your application is unsuccessful. You're welcome to try one of our manuscript consultations or standalone creative writing courses to strengthen your writing for the next time you apply.

Q: What is your refund policy?

A: The admission and tuition fees are non-refundable three weeks after the program starts. If you must withdraw, the following fees will apply:

  • Between two and four weeks prior to the start date, there is a charge equal to 10 per cent of the full tuition fee
  • Less than two weeks prior to the start date, there is a charge equal to 20 per cent of the full tuition fee
  • Between the start date and the third week of the program, there is a charge equal to 40 per cent of the full tuition and the $100 admission fee

Any request for cancellation must be received in writing.

Q: Are scholarships or other financial aid available?

A: Thanks to the generosity of a number of donors, the Writer’s Studio is able to provide two partial scholarships. Visit our tuition and scholarships page for details.

Because this program is part-time, it does not currently qualify for Canada or B.C. student loans. You may try to obtain funding through other sources, such as your personal banking institution.

Q: While in the program, do I have to write in one specific genre?

A: Our mentors write in multiple genres just like our students. If you would like to submit writing to your workshop that is outside of the genre, you will have the opportunity to do so. Before submitting, please discuss this with your mentor and mentor group, as each mentor will have their own workshopping guidelines.

Frequently asked questions about SFU Continuing Studies

Q: Where do your courses take place?

A: Simon Fraser University has three campuses: in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey. While undergraduate and graduate courses take place at all three campuses, we offer SFU Continuing Studies courses primarily at the Vancouver and Surrey campuses as well as the Surrey City Centre Library.

Please check course or program pages to find out where classes meet.

SFU Continuing Studies also offers online programs and courses, which are available to students anywhere in the world.

Q: When do your courses start?

A: While undergraduate and graduate courses start at the beginning of each semester (January, May and September), SFU Continuing Studies programs begin throughout the year. Please check course or program pages for start dates.

Q: Do I need to apply for admission if I want to take SFU Continuing Studies courses?

A: You do not have to apply for admission to register for most Continuing Studies courses, but there are application procedures for our certificate and diploma programs. Visit the certificate or diploma program pages for details.

Q: Can I apply for a study permit for SFU Continuing Studies programs?

A study permit is not needed if you want to take short-term courses or programs of study of six months or less. Our part-time Dialogue and Civic EngagementExecutive LeadershipSocial Innovation and Urban Design certificates as well as The Writer's Studio, and our full-time English Language and Culture Program and Interpretation and Translation Program are the only programs that may entitle you to qualify for a study permit. For more information on study permits, contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada directly. The permit procedure for undergraduate and graduate students is available on SFU's Student Services website.

Q: Is there a different fee structure for international students?

A: Although undergraduate and graduate programs have different fee structures for international students, fees for Continuing Studies courses and programs are the same for domestic and international students.

Q: How do I find out about your free public events?

A: Click on the public lectures and events link on the sidebar.

Q: Do you have a course about ... ?

A: Please search our website for courses and programs that might interest you. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, we probably don't yet offer a course or program in that area. Please contact us at learn@sfu.ca or 778-782-8000 if you have questions.

Q: How do I request a transcript?

A: Go to our online form to request a transcript of courses you have completed through SFU Continuing Studies.

Q: Can I access my grades online?

A: Once you have an account, you can review your courses, schedule and grades online. Instructions for accessing your grades are available in our online guide.

Q: Will I receive an income-tax receipt for my tuition?

A. If your SFU tuition fees exceed $100 in one calendar year, they may qualify as a tax credit. The payment receipt that we'll email you after you register is your official tax receipt. To determine whether your tuition fees qualify, consult the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

Q: What is your policy on course cancellations and instructor substitutions?

A: We reserve the right to substitute instructors or cancel courses without liability. In the event of a cancellation, we will make every effort to give registered students adequate notice. To make this process easier, when you register for courses, please provide full contact information, including your home and business telephone numbers, email address(es) and a fax number.

Q: When I complete my program, what will my alumni status be?

A: Graduates of SFU certificate and diploma programs become SFU alumni, complete with all of our alumni benefits.

Q: What is a cohort?

A: We call several of our programs cohort programs. This means you will work through the program courses with a group of your peers (called a cohort). Some program courses are available only to cohort students—that is, students who have been accepted to and are working through the entire program.