Writing

Helping writers everywhere, aspiring and experienced, to improve their craft and achieve their goals

UW-Madison Continuing Studies’ Writing program offers writing classes and workshops in-person and online, manuscript critiques, two annual writing retreats, and the Midwest’s premiere writing conference, Writers’ Institute. Our instructors are world-class experts—published authors, accomplished instructors, agents, publishers, and editors.

The Writer magazine applauds our June retreat!

The September 2017 issue of The Writer magazine features the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat in a colorful two-page spread. The Writer said: “It’s like two semesters of an MFA program. You work so hard and get so much to take home with you.” The article features an extensive interview with Christine DeSmet, director, and instructor of one of the event’s novel Master Classes. Writers from across the country and working in every form of writing attend the program held in June. It offers sections for all levels.

The 20th edition will be held June 11-15, 2018 on the UW-Madison campus. Registrations begin in January, but Master Class applicants can apply any time of year. Thanks to The Writer magazine for its support of this program!

Writer's success story

Laurie Buchanan’s book garners magazine’s pick-of-the-month
Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan is on Aspire Magazine’s list of the Top 10 inspiring and motivational books for September 2017.

Laurie, of Boise, Idaho, used UW-Madison Continuing Studies Critique & Coaching Services. She has also been a Writers’ Institute guest instructor.

More success stories»

Writing instructor Laurie Scheer shares what you'll gain from the online course "How to Compose Your Selling Book Proposal," one of the many writing courses we offer.

Upcoming writing classes and workshops
(Click class title for details and to register)
Sat, Oct 7, 1-4:30pm  •  $70
4 weeks; Tue, Oct 10-31, 6-8pm  •  $160
Sat, Oct 28, 1-3:30pm  •  $50
Fri-Sun, Nov 3-5  •  Fees vary
4 weeks; Tue, Nov 7-28, 6-8pm  •  $160
Sat, Nov 25, 1-3:30pm  •  $50
Sat, Dec 2, 1-3:30pm  •  $50
Sat, Dec 16, 1-3:30pm  •  $50
Online writing classes
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  1-6 units: 1.0 CEUs, $85 per unit | All 6 units: 6.0 CEUs, $430 (save $80)
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 2.0 CEUs, $175 | Option 2: 3.0 CEUs, $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 2.0 CEUs, $175 | Option 2: 3.0 CEUs, $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEUs, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 2.0 CEUs, $175 | Option 2: 3.0 CEUs, $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $150
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEUs, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 3.0 CEUs, $200 | Option 2: 5.0 CEUs, $300
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $150
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $150
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $150
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $150
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEU, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $395
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 3.0 CEUs, $275 | Option 2: 9.0 CEUs, $495
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEUs, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 2.0 CEUs, $175 | Option 2: 3.0 CEUs, $200
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEU, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 3.0 CEUs, $200 | Option 2: 9.0 CEUs, $495
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 3.0 CEUs, $200 | Option 2: 9.0 CEUs, $495
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 3.0 CEUs, $275 | Option 2: 18.0 CEUs, $575
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1.0 CEU, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 1 CEU $150 | Option 2: 2 CEUs $175
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Unit 1: 3.0 CEUs, $195 | Unit 2: 5.0 CEUs, $195 | Both units: 8.0 CEUs, $375 (save $15)
Start anytime, complete within 1 year  •  Option 1: 2.0 CEUs $175.00 | Option 2: 3.0 CEUs (includes critique) $200.00
Conferences, retreats, more
An anthology featuring the works of writers and artists tied to the unique environs of Wisconsin’s rolling hills and other Midwest prairies.
Innovative instruction in teaching scientists to communicate clearly and effectively with a wide range of audiences. Classes have both for-credit and non-credit options.
We help all types of writers hone their skills and overcome roadblocks on the way to publication, successful freelance writing, or writing for pure enjoyment. We critique fiction and nonfiction, including nonfiction book proposals.
Our annual June retreat features sessions for beginners and advanced writers (including Master Classes), and offers optional graduate credits in English.
The novel-writing conference, providing professional instruction for all novelists, from aspiring to experienced. This annual fall conference is small, intensive, supportive, and all about the novel.
A place for sharing your news and views on writing and publishing. Each newsletter is filled with tips, funny stuff, wisdom, and camaraderie.
Held every spring, it's the Midwest's premier writers' conference, filled with 3 days of education, entertainment, and writing inspiration.

Summer programs for young writers (as well as teachers) through the UW-Madison School of Education’s Greater Madison Writing Project.