Certificate in Publishing

September 21, 2018: Exciting News! Next week, under the leadership of Certificate of Publishing Director Kevin J. Anderson, we will be presenting a curriculum proposal to transform the Certificate in Publishing into a fully-fledged one-year M.A., which can also be taken as a second concentration in all other M.F.A. tracks by enrolling for a third year after completing the first M.F.A.

This change will mean that students in the M.A. in Publishing are eligible for federal loans on their way to earning an accredited degree. Stay tuned! 

For the time being, the material that follows below reflects the current program--please check back regularly to hear about our progress towards offering the new degree. If it is approved, we should know by late in the fall semester.


Certificate in Publishing

In our 13-month course of study, aspiring writers, editors and publishers learn about the rapidly evolving publishing industry from those who work directly in it.

The Certificate in Publishing offers a rigorous curriculum along with direct experience in the industry, in all media, both in traditional publishing models and new independent publishing methods. In addition to coursework, students produce, from start to finish, a commercial anthology to be released through a mid-sized publisher. Students develop the anthology, solicit, read, and select submissions, which they then edit and work through all stages of production, including proofreading, book design, and cover design. The anthology is released in time for their culminating summer intensive program, where students learn distribution, publicity, and reviews. During this process, students also learn how to edit their own writing, and they regularly critique writing from peers to prepare it for submission to magazines and presses. Throughout, students work with professionals in the publishing industry to gain insight into the rapidly changing field. As part of the curriculum, students may also produce a volume of Manifest West, the literary anthology series of Western Press Books. Students can also work on THINK, the program's national journal of poetry and criticism. Graduates of the Certificate in Publishing Program are prepared to enter the publishing field at traditional publishing houses, to start their own small presses, or to establish a career as independently published authors.


Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information

The Program

  • Come to Western’s campus in Gunnison, high in the Colorado Rockies, for two weeks during two consecutive summers in late July. Study the publishing industry, work on your writing, and learn how to present work to editors and agents.
  • Learn about publishing house operations, including acquisitions, editorial, design, marketing and sales, as well as record-keeping and fulfillment.
  • Study the changing environment of the publishing world, including the integration of electronic media and on-line publication.
  • Participate during the fall and spring terms in an online editorial board to plan and prepare a book for publication through Western’s press.

The Curriculum

The course of studies includes summer face-to-face classes, a series of integrated self-paced modules, and synchronous discussions online. See the list of specific courses here: