Creative Writing

Creative writing is the artistic practice of composing and refining fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. It is an area of study very different from others within English. Creative writing students generally take workshop courses in which they submit their own work for constructive critique by their classmates, as well as by faculty with a strong national profile in publication.

The creative writing faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno specialize primarily in fiction and poetry, though we offer periodic courses in other areas such as creative nonfiction and screenwriting. Our fiction writers create and are familiar with a wide range of approaches (including YA fiction and work written within commercial genres such as fantasy, mystery, horror and so on). Our poets write in a broad spectrum of poetic styles and have published books in narrative, lyric and experimental modes.

Tablet, keyboard, plant, open blank book, coffee closed notebook and pencils sit on a marble desk

Interested in exploring creative writing more? Consider applying for our Master's program.

Major in writing MFA in creative writing

Opportunities for students

A range of resources and opportunities are available for students to become involved in publishing and professional experience and to teach writing to the community. Many of our graduate students have presented their work at local readings and events.

Professor David Fenimore holds clipboard and teaches class

Teaching assistantships and financial support

Most of our students are awarded teaching assistantships (which pay a stipend and tuition waiver in exchange for teaching first-year classes in the Core Writing Program); other opportunities for teaching and campus employment are frequently available.

Student and professor show off book art in press lab

Publishing and professional experience

MFA students can work on a number of publishing projects via the program’s relationships with Reno-based Baobab Press and the University’s Black Rock Press. Several of our students have applied internship credit toward their degree and have worked for the University of Nevada Press and other local organizations.

Young female student writes at her desk

Community outreach

We encourage our students to be active members of Reno’s vibrant and active literary community, as well as good literary citizens. MFA students take part in Reno’s annual Literary Crawl, give readings to benefit charities, offer workshops for organizations such as Reno’s Holland Project and help run the annual University of Nevada, Reno Summer Youth Writing Program.

MFA students and professor stand next to Gabby Rivera

Visiting writers

Every year, between five and seven prominent writers visit campus to read from their work and visit with our creative writing students, including yearly short-residency visitors in both fiction and poetry. Recent short-residency visitors have included Saladin Ahmed, Cai Emmons, Manuel Gonzales, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Patricia Smith, Justin Torres, Srikanth Reddy and Robert Wrigley. Many other writers visit Reno frequently.

Faculty in creative writing

Casey Bell

I’m a fiction writer with a passion for helping students discover and hone their unique voices. My writing is sometimes literary, sometimes slipstream, and always feminist. I primarily write short stories, and my work has appeared in Sequestrum, Cream City Review, New South, The Boiler, Reed Magazine, The New Limestone Review, Timber and elsewhere. My short-story collection, Little Fury , is forthcoming from Metatron Press in spring of 2023. I also co-direct a summer music camp for self-identified girls, trans and gender-expansive kids called Girls Rock Reno. Currently, a novel is very hard at work on me.

Michael Branch

Michael Branch

I write creative nonfiction, usually with an environmental emphasis, and often crossing over into the neighboring territories of popular science, humor, and memoir. I’ve published over 300 essays and reviews in venues including CNN, San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, Outside, Pacific Standard, Huffington Post, Bustle, Utne Reader, Orion, Ecotone, National Parks, The Scientist, High Country News,, Places Journal, Whole Terrain, and Red Rock Review. My books include  Raising Wild ,  Rants from the Hill ,  How to Cuss in Western , and  On the Trail of the Jackalope . 

Chris Coake

Christopher Coake

I’m a fiction writer; I also currently direct the residential MFA program in creative writing. I’ve published two story collections— We’re in Trouble  and  You Would Have Told Me Not To —and a novel,  You Came Back , which was adapted into a feature-length, Italian-language film in 2020. My work is literary, and often edges into genre territory; I’ve had stories published in mystery, horror and fantasy anthologies (including Best American Mystery Stories and The Best American Noir of the Century), and I’m working on a fantasy novel, as well as a realist love story.

Linzy Garcia

Linzy Garcia

I am a fiction writer who fell in love with both (very) short-form and long-form literary fiction. My fiction explores female pleasure, shame, experience, and memory. My flash fiction appears in The Dollhouse (print), Lady/Liberty/Lit, Thin Air Magazine, NV Humanities, and The Normal School. I am currently working on a novel about a young woman who revisits her hometown and her past, unsure if they know the dark secret she ran away from: a secret affair with her high school teacher. Now, as an adult, she is forced to return and grapple with the lasting and interwoven threads of trauma and love. 

Frandsen Humanities

Steven Gehrke

As a poet, my interests include ekphrastic poetry, elegiac poetry, poetry about illness and recovery, poetry about fatherhood, and poetry about faith and religion. I am currently working on a new collection, tentatively titled  Football in America , that touches on many of these interests. I look for expansiveness and inclusiveness in poetry and am drawn to poetry that is able to tell a story while maintaining the intensity and linguistic invention of the lyric. I’ve also written several full-length screenplays, the latest of which details the life of the inventor of the dialysis machine.

Ann Keniston

Ann Keniston

I’m a poet, essayist, and scholar of contemporary North American poetry, with a particular interest in hybrid forms that combine research with introspection. I’m at work on a collection of poems about art forgery, the art market, and the self-portrait genre, and on a collection of hybrid personal-researched essays topics including collecting, the autopsy form, and more.

Joanne Mallari

Joanne Mallari

I write poetry, and I am currently working on a full-length collection. My debut chapbook,  Daughter Tongue , was published by Kelsay Books. As a teacher, I believe in making arts education more accessible, because I discovered my love of language through public programs like the Southern Nevada Writing Project. Outside the classroom, I enjoy collaborating with fellow readers, writers, and artists in the Reno community.

Claire Stanford

Claire Stanford

I am a fiction writer, and my debut novel,  Happy for You , was published in 2022. I am primarily a novelist, but I also write short fiction, flash fiction, and nonfiction. In both my teaching and my work, I am particularly interested in the political meaning of craft and form. Along with my MFA, I also hold a PhD in English, and my scholarship is focused on science fiction studies, Asian American literature, and posthumanism. I am currently at work on my second novel, which has a speculative bent.

Jared Stanley

Jared Stanley

My poems explore the ways spiritual traditions help us navigate the profound, ongoing weirdness of climate change. I’ve written four books of poetry, most recently  So Tough , winner of the 2022 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. I'm always looking for ways to present poetry outside of books, so I often collaborate with visual artists, making artworks that play with museums, archives, and monuments, which take various forms including billboards, decks of cards, ceramics and prints. I’m currently working on my fifth collection of poems as well as a novel,  Leave Here Satisfied.

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Schedule : weekly - wed 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm; starting 6/21/2023, ending 6/21/2023, tuition: $49.00, materials cost: $0.00, location: tmcc meadowood center  location :    tmcc meadowood center., instructor :   rene averett  , follow us on.

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Creative Writing

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Offering professional success and personal enrichment courses that serve everyone in our community, from children and teens to adults and esteemed elders.

Intro to Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry

This class is an introductory level creative writing class in which primarily the principles of poetry and fiction will be addressed, with some limited discussion of creative nonfiction. Students who successfully complete this course will have a working knowledge of the literary arts and the life of the literary artist and should be better prepared to go on to advanced study in the genre of their choice.

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creative writing class reno

Nevada Resources for Writers

Here you’ll find a collection of resources for writers in Nevada, from conferences to local critique groups to literary magazines. If you’re looking for writing groups near you, writing workshops near you, creative writing classes near you, or simply a place to hang out with writers or submit your work, these are some Nevada writing organizations you might want to check out:


For more than a decade, WriteByNight has helped writers in Nevada and beyond achieve their literary goals. And we want you to be next! Claim your free consultation  to learn about WBN’s customizable  one-on-one writers’ services , including:

Book Coaching :  If you’re writing a book and want some help along the way.

Manuscript Critique : If you’ve written a book and want a beta read, critique, or writing workshop.

Editing/Proofreading : If you’ve written a book and want someone to polish it for you.

Publication Assistance : If you’ve written a book and want help finding an agent or publisher.

Not ready to chat? That’s cool. Until you are, why not  sign up for our weekly message  full of education and inspiration for writers and aspiring writers. You’ll also receive a free diagnostic tool,  “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

Black Mountain Institute

An international literary center dedicated to promoting discourse on today’s most pressing issues. It provides an environment where creative writers and scholars can fight against entrenched perspectives, whatever their political or cultural source.

Brushfire Journal

Brushfire is Nevada’s oldest literary and arts journal, based at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Interim Magazine

Interim is a biannual creative writing publication that features poetry, translation, belles lettres, short fiction and book reviews.

A litmag accepting fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and black-and-white comics. Published out of Reno’s Truckee Meadows Community College.

Red Rock Review

A nonprofit biannual journal dedicated to publishing quality writing. Red Rock Review invites submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry from both established and emerging writers.

Sierra Nevada Review

An annual literary magazine published in May featuring poetry and short fiction.

Southern Nevada Writing Project

Committed to designing and delivering the highest quality professional experiences in an effort to improve and transform the teaching of writing.

Squaw Valley Workshop

Every summer for over 40 years, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has brought together poets, prose writers and screenwriters for weeks of writing workshops, individual conferences, lectures, panels, readings and discussions of the craft and the business of writing.

Help us add to this list, Nevadans! Do you know of writing groups near you, writing workshops near you, creative writing classes near you, or a Nevada literary journal we should be aware of? Let us know here

I am really glad I contacted WBN, I only wish I had done it sooner! Shelly B. Madrid, Spain

Client Credits

WBN has helped writers publish with:

Simon & Schuster Little, Brown & Co. St. Martin’s Press Amazon Slate Threepenny Review Huffington Post

WriteByNight, LLC 235 West End Avenue, 6H New York, New York 10023

646.374.8174 [email protected]

High Sierra Writers

The High Sierra Writers meet monthly at Scheels at Legends in Sparks, NV. The address is 1200 Scheels Drive, Sparks, NV 89434.

Meetings are usually on the second Saturday of the month at 10 am to noon. Check the main page for monthly meeting details.

Site Registration

To be notified by email when this page is updated or to receive information on upcoming writing contests and/or workshops, please signup on our mailing list:


Art Programs in Reno- General Information Previous Next

Almost time for our new writing camp for kids in reno.

Each child will construct their own creative story by doing writing exercises, games and fun activities. In addition, each child will create illustrations to accompany their story. At the end of the camp, every child’s story will be compiled into a published book. Giving your child an opportunity to strengthen their creative writing, while also offering them the affirming experience of holding their own published work in their hands, guarantees them a unique and stimulating summer adventure.

Not only is this writing camp an opportunity for your child to exercise their creativity, it also employs your child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as they will be challenged to construct storylines and use the writing skills they learned in school during the last school year. This writing camp is the perfect avenue for your child to use their academic abilities during the summer in a way that will be anything but boring.

We want to hear your child’s story and see them enjoy the world of creative writing. Drawn2Imagine’s summer writing camp for kids in Reno is a great opportunity for your child to open their imagination and dig into their most wildly original ideas. If you would like more information about this camp, please contact us, or just click here .

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Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

Find a home for your poems, stories, essays, and reviews by researching the publications vetted by our editorial staff. In the Literary Magazines database you’ll find editorial policies, submission guidelines, contact information—everything you need to know before submitting your work to the publications that share your vision for your work.

Whether you’re pursuing the publication of your first book or your fifth, use the Small Presses database to research potential publishers, including submission guidelines, tips from the editors, contact information, and more.

Research more than one hundred agents who represent poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, plus details about the kinds of books they’re interested in representing, their clients, and the best way to contact them.

Trying to get your work published can feel like wandering in a maze. If you are running into one dead end after another, not sure which way to turn, Poets & Writers can demystify the process and help you reach your destination—publication.

Every week a new publishing professional shares advice, anecdotes, insights, and new ways of thinking about writing and the business of books.

Stay informed with reports from the world of writing contests, including news of extended deadlines, recent winners of notable awards, new contest announcements, interviews with winners, and more.

Since our founding in 1970, Poets & Writers has served as an information clearinghouse of all matters related to writing. While the range of inquiries has been broad, common themes have emerged over time. Our Top Topics for Writers addresses the most popular and pressing issues, including literary agents, copyright, MFA programs, and self-publishing.

Our series of subject-based handbooks (PDF format; $4.99 each) provide information and advice from authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers. Now available: The Poets & Writers Guide to Publicity and Promotion, The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal, The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents, The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, and The Poets & Writers Guide to Writing Contests.

Find a home for your work by consulting our searchable databases of writing contests, literary magazines, small presses, literary agents, and more.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

Poets & Writers lists readings, workshops, and other literary events held in cities across the country. Whether you are an author on book tour or the curator of a reading series, the Literary Events Calendar can help you find your audience.

Get the Word Out is a new publicity incubator for debut fiction writers and poets.

Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more.

Well over ten thousand poets and writers maintain listings in this essential resource for writers interested in connecting with their peers, as well as editors, agents, and reading series coordinators looking for authors. Apply today to join the growing community of writers who stay in touch and informed using the Poets & Writers Directory.

Download our free app to find readings and author events near you; explore indie bookstores, libraries, and other places of interest to writers; and connect with the literary community in your city or town.

Let the world know about your work by posting your events on our literary events calendar, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Find a writers group to join or create your own with Poets & Writers Groups. Everything you need to connect, communicate, and collaborate with other poets and writers—all in one place.

Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Also included is information about more than fifty MA and PhD programs.

Whether you are looking to meet up with fellow writers, agents, and editors, or trying to find the perfect environment to fuel your writing practice, the Conferences & Residencies is the essential resource for information about well over three hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals around the world.

Find information about venues that host readings and author events, including bookstores, bars, cafes, libraries, literary arts centers, and more. The Reading Venues database includes details about how to schedule your own reading, admission fees, audience size, parking and transit information, and more.

Discover historical sites, independent bookstores, literary archives, writing centers, and writers spaces in cities across the country using the Literary Places database—the best starting point for any literary journey, whether it’s for research or inspiration.

Search for jobs in education, publishing, the arts, and more within our free, frequently updated job listings for writers and poets.

Poets & Writers Live is an initiative developed in response to interviews and discussions with writers from all over the country. When we asked what Poets & Writers could do to support their writing practice, time and again writers expressed a desire for a more tangible connection to other writers. So, we came up with a living, breathing version of what Poets & Writers already offers: Poets & Writers Live.

Establish new connections and enjoy the company of your peers using our searchable databases of MFA programs and writers retreats, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Bring the literary world to your door—at half the newsstand price. Available in print and digital editions, Poets & Writers Magazine is a must-have for writers who are serious about their craft.

View the contents and read select essays, articles, interviews, and profiles from the current issue of the award-winning Poets & Writers Magazine .

Read three decades of essays, articles, interviews, profiles, and other select content from Poets & Writers Magazine .

View the covers and contents of every issue of Poets & Writers Magazine , from the current edition all the way back to the first black-and-white issue in 1987.

In our weekly series of craft essays, some of the best and brightest minds in contemporary literature explore their craft in compact form, articulating their thoughts about creative obsessions and curiosities in a working notebook of lessons about the art of writing.

The Time Is Now offers weekly writing prompts in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to help you stay committed to your writing practice throughout the year. Sign up to get The Time Is Now, as well as a weekly book recommendation for guidance and inspiration, delivered to your inbox.

Every week a new author shares books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired and shaped the creative process.

Watch videos, listen to audio clips, and view slideshows related to articles and features published in Poets & Writers Magazine .

Ads in Poets & Writers Magazine and on are the best ways to reach a readership of serious poets and literary prose writers. Our audience trusts our editorial content and looks to it, and to relevant advertising, for information and guidance.

Start, renew, or give a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine ; change your address; check your account; pay your bill; report a missed issue; contact us.

Peruse paid listings of writing contests, conferences, workshops, editing services, calls for submissions, and more.

Read select articles from the award-winning magazine and consult the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print.

Each year the Readings & Workshops program provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops. Learn more about this program, our special events, projects, and supporters, and how to contact us.

Find information about how Poets & Writers provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops.

University of Nevada, Reno

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MFA Program

Poetry: Steve Gehrke, Ann Keniston, Jared Stanley Fiction: Christopher Coake, Claire Stanford

The program offers partial funding, which includes teaching assistantships.

The program is friendly to fiction applicants who work in genre writing and aspire to produce work of literary quality.

Applicants are not required to provide GRE scores.


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  1. Creative Writing

    The creative writing faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno specialize primarily in fiction and poetry, though we offer periodic courses in other areas

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    Discover the primary character types as you learn from a published author how to write for children and adults. Course ID/# : 485/WR105C. Tuition: $119.00. Back

  6. Intro to Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry

    This class is an introductory level creative writing class in which primarily the principles of poetry and fiction will be addressed, with some limited

  7. Resources for writers in Nevada

    If you're looking for writing groups near you, writing workshops near you, creative writing classes near you, or simply a place to hang out with writers or

  8. High Sierra Writers

    Use it as an outline before writing or an aid to revision. We'll have examples, ... Have you finished your great American novel? ... Reno, NV 89510

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    We're excited to welcome Bill M. West, college instructor, professional writer and owner of GhostWest (a writing firm in Reno) to teach writing classes to

  10. University of Nevada, Reno

    Reno, NV. Genre: Poetry, Fiction. Residency: Full. Duration: 3 Years. Incoming Class Size: 6-10. Application Deadline: January 15, 2023. Application Fee:.