Writing Badges and Certificates

NEW! Online-course Writing Badges & Writing Certificates in Fiction and Nonfiction

BADGES

What is a badge?

A badge is a formal way of marking your accomplishments in developing your writing skills.

Badges are used:

  • in a variety of workplaces to reward or record skill achievements
  • by writers who want a well-planned pathway in their writing career
  • by individuals who want to build credentials to help them apply for work in the publishing/writing industry
  • by those wishing to build credentials for college or an MFA program

Badges can be included within documents such as resumes, emails to an editor, or query letters to agents.

Online courses in the badge program at UW-Madison Continuing Studies also award Continuing Education Units (CEUs), a nationally recognized way of recording time and effort spent in UW-Madison non-credit programs.

Badges associated with online courses can be used to earn two certificates:

  • UW-Madison Continuing Studies Certificate in Fiction
  • UW-Madison Continuing Studies Certificate in Nonfiction

What is required to earn the UW-Madison Continuing Studies Online Writer’s Badge?

The Online Writer’s Badge rewards those who are growing or updating their writing skills by engaging in and finishing an array of UW-Madison Continuing Studies online courses in writing at a competent level.

Badges are awarded for every two online courses the writer completes within a one-year period.

For courses with two levels, writers may use Level 1 for the badge EXCEPT where a course stipulates Level 2 being required. (Courses with rigorous Level 2 work—such as completing a screenplay or 100 pages of a novel—may be used as part of a capstone project for a Writing Certificate, with approval of the Badge/Certificate administrator.)

Multiple badges can be earned. Two badges (or the equivalent of 4 online courses) are required for the awarding of the UW-Madison Continuing Studies Writing Certificates in Fiction and Nonfiction. (A capstone project is also required for earning writing certificates.)

Writers may repeat a badge course—particularly if their current badge is more than two years old or feels outdated, if the writer did not successfully complete a course at a competent level, or if the writer has a new project they want to take through badge courses. Students/writers must pay the instructional fee again when repeating a course.

Will more badges or courses be added? What happens if courses are discontinued?

The UW-Madison Continuing Studies offers almost 30 online courses. Within that array you’ll find many courses for fiction and nonfiction writers.

The UW-Madison will continue to add and retire courses to keep current with publishing norms, but your work completed within a one-year period required for a badge will always be honored. If a course is discontinued but you need to re-take that course to achieve a certain level of competency, we will recommend several alternate courses to help you earn your badge or certificate.

Is there a fee?

Badge fees are built into course fees at this time. There is an administrative fee of $250 for each writing certificate, payable when committing to your capstone project.


CERTIFICATES

Writing Certificate in Fiction

What is the Writing Certificate in Fiction?

The Writing Certificate in Fiction is awarded to writers who demonstrate a high level of competency in writing as a result of enrolling in and finishing UW-Madison Continuing Studies online courses in fiction and finishing a capstone project.

The Writing Certificate in Fiction requires the following:

  • Successful completion of 2 badges (four online courses), plus the capstone course: My Manuscript Coach or the equivalent.
  • Example of equivalents: Attending Writers’ Institute and writing a short paper + participating in the Pathway to Publication coaching program with a writing project approved by the certificate administrator and your writing coach.
  • Other equivalents may include successful completion of large projects through such courses as Writing Your TV Pilot Parts 1 and 2, Screenwriting: Write Your First Draft Fast/Level 2, and Write Your Novel Fast & Sure/Level 2.

Administrative fee for Certificate: $250

Writing Certificate in Nonfiction

What is the Writing Certificate in Nonfiction?

The Writing Certificate in Nonfiction is awarded to writers who demonstrate a high level of competency in writing as a result of enrolling in and finishing UW-Madison Continuing Studies online courses in nonfiction and finishing a capstone project.

The Writing Certificate in Nonfiction requires the following:

  • The successful completion of 2 badges (four courses), plus the capstone course: My Book Proposal Coach, or the equivalent.
  • Examples of equivalents: Attending Writers’ Institute and writing a short paper + participating in the Pathway to Publication coaching program with a writing project approved by the certificate administrator and your writing coach; or such courses as Screenplay: Write Your First Draft Fast/Level 2, or What’s Your Story? Writing the Memoir/Level 2.

Administrative fee for Certificate: $250

How do you begin your badge or certificate program?

Enroll in a UW-Madison Continuing Studies online course! That’s how to get underway. Tell your instructor you’re interested in earning a badge (and a Writing Certificate if that applies).


Questions? Contact Christine DeSmet, badge and online writing certificate administrator, christine.desmet@wisc.edu, 608-262-3447.

 

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Earn a badge or complete a certificate from anywhere in the world, even your living room!