How to Become a Creative Writing Teacher (And Enjoy It)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 19th, 2023

become a creative writing teacher - featured image

If you’re passionate about writing and want to share your love of the craft with others, becoming a creative writing teacher may be for you.

Creative writing is an art that offers students the opportunity to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Teaching this discipline requires not only expertise in writing but also the ability to inspire and guide aspiring writers on their journey to becoming better wordsmiths. Whether you’re looking to make extra money on the side or considering a full-time career, this guide will walk you through the steps of becoming a creative writing teacher, including dissertation data analysis help and resources for aspiring educators.

Become a Creative Writing Teacher: The Basics

The first step is getting the right qualifications, which typically include at least a bachelor’s degree in English or another related field. Having prior teaching experience and certifications would be a big plus. Once you have these things lined up, familiarize yourself with different lesson-planning resources and strategies. It will propel you to start strong when it’s time to teach. Finally, always be open to feedback from both your students and colleagues so you can continue growing as an educator. If you have a passion for writing and enjoy teaching, becoming a creative writing instructor could be a fulfilling career path. Now let’s get into the specifics, so you can have a better understanding of what the job entails.

5 Tips for Becoming a Creative Writing Teacher

Teaching others how to write it’s very fulfilling and allows you to share your unique perspective with your students. But there are several requirements you will need to meet to do it properly. Keep reading to see what they are:

1. Get a Degree in English or Creative Writing

While not required, having a relevant degree can give you an edge when applying for teaching positions. Formal education on the subject gives you the foundation in literature and composition that will be helpful when teaching how to write. People who wish to become creative writing teachers often attend college for additional writing training before sharing their expertise with others. This equips them to use various teaching approaches, whether it be through a traditional academic setting, an online course, a summer camp workshop, etc.

college graduates in creative writing

2. Consider Getting a Teaching Certification

Many states require teachers to have certain teaching certifications. Although it is not required for all positions, having one can make you more attractive as a candidate. Full-time courses usually take three to four years, while part-time courses take four to six years. If you have undergraduate credits from previous studies, you might complete a course in two years. There are also a lot of online writing certificate programs you can explore. Some of them are even conducted by bestselling authors and renowned educators, so you should check them out.

3. Start Your Own Writing Group or Workshop

This is a great way to get experience leading other writers. You’ll gain some insights into what it takes to be an effective teacher and learn how to communicate with your students. The most wonderful thing about starting a creative writing group is that you can build it exactly what you want it to be. It could be a workshop-style group where you read each other’s work. You can form a group where you meet up together and write, or just talk about writing or each other’s personal experiences in honing their craft. There are no rules. You can contact your writing sessions in a local café, or if that’s not possible, you can host the whole thing on a Facebook group.

4. Volunteer to Teach Creative Writing in Local Schools

Many educational institutions have after-school programs or summer camps that are always looking for volunteers. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and see if teaching is right for you. Most schools collaborate with volunteers who are or want to learn how to become creative writing teachers. You can teach how to edit and publish creative writing.

5. Be Patient and Persistent

Getting a job as a creative writing teacher can be competitive. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t land your dream position right away. Keep applying and refining your resume, and eventually, you’ll find the perfect fit! To become a creative writing teacher, consider getting a degree or teaching certification in English or creative writing. You can also start your writing group or workshop, or volunteer to teach creative writing in local schools. These will give you the training and experience you need to get closer to your goal.

teaching excellence in creative writing

Teaching Writing With True Excellence

We all know the importance of teaching writing. After all, as the saying goes, “If you can’t write well, you can’t think well.” And in today’s world, with so much emphasis on effective communication and clear thinking skills, it’s more important than ever to make sure our students are receiving a top-notch education on learning how to write. So what does true excellence in teaching writing look like? Here are five key concepts to consider:

1. High Expectations

As teachers, we need to have high expectations for our students’ writing abilities. This doesn’t mean that we should be unrealistic or overly critical. Rather, it means that we should expect them to produce quality work that meets or exceeds our standards. By setting the bar high from the beginning, we’ll give them a goal to strive for and help them develop their skills more quickly.

2. Quality Feedback

For our students to improve their writing abilities, they need regular quality feedback. This feedback needs to be specific and objective. Simply telling them “good job” or “nice work” will not help them improve. We need to point out what they’re doing well and where they can make improvements so that they can see their progress. The more specific you can get while providing feedback, the better.

3. Focus on the Process

It’s important to remember that writing is a process, not a product. This means that we should focus on helping our students with each step of the process, from brainstorming ideas to editing and revising their work. By focusing on the process, we’ll help them develop strong writing skills that will serve them well through life.

4. Setting an Example

Another important aspect of teaching writing is modeling good behavior for our students. If we want them to produce quality work, then we need to show them how it’s done. We can do this by sharing our writings with them (with permission, of course), or by demonstrating proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation usage in our daily communications with them. Another great idea is to encourage them to read as much as possible and introduce them to the classics so they can fully grasp what a great piece of literary art looks like.

5. Encouragement

Finally, one of the best things we can do as teachers is to encourage our students in their writing endeavors. This includes offering positive feedback when deserved, but also giving them that extra push in the right direction when the going gets tough. Letting them know you believe in their ability to improve and achieve great things will go a long way in helping them reach their full potential as writers. Teaching writing effectively requires high expectations, quality feedback, a focus on process, modeling, and encouragement.

creative writing teacher encouraging students

Testing Your Students Through Writing Tasks

As a creative writing teacher, it’s essential to test your students’ skills and knowledge regularly. One way to do this is through writing tasks. By setting regular writing assignments, you can gauge your student’s progress and identify areas that need improvement.

Here are some tips for making the most of the writing tasks in your classroom:

  • Make sure the task applies to what your students are currently studying. This will help them engage with the material and produce their best work.
  • Clearly instruct what you expect from the finished product. This includes specifying word count, formatting requirements, etc.
  • Provide feedback on each student’s performance after they submit their work. This helps them understand where they need to improve. It will also give you an idea of how well they are grasping the concepts being taught.

In short, get your students engaged in their learning by setting regular writing tasks. By making the tasks relevant and providing clear instructions, you’ll help them produce their best work. Don’t forget to provide feedback so they can understand where they need to improve. Many writing teachers are worried about the influence of artificial intelligence on the writing process. That’s why you need to explain that using AI bots for writing will teach them how to write, as it’s a form of “creative plagiarism.”

FAQ About How to Become a Creative Writing Teacher:

1. How do I start teaching creative writing?

There is no single answer to this question since there are many ways to become a creative writing teacher. The best way to teach creative writing will depend on your qualifications, experience, and goals. For example, if you have a degree in English or Creative Writing, you may teach at the college level. Alternatively, if you have significant experience as a writer but no formal education in the field, you may teach creative writing courses at community colleges or adult education centers. There are also online programs that allow people with no teaching experience to lead classes on specific topics related to creative writing. This could be an option for someone looking for flexibility and wanting to share their expertise with others without committing to traditional employment. No matter what route someone takes to become a creative writing teacher, they must possess excellent communication skills, patience, and creativity so they can encourage students to reach their fullest potential.

2. Can you teach writing when only have a creative writing degree?

Yes, you can teach creative writing with a degree in the subject. There are many ways to become a creative writing teacher, but most involve some level of formal education. Many universities offer degrees in creative writing, and there are also specialized schools that focus solely on teaching the craft of writing.

3. What degree do you need to teach creative writing in college?

Requirements for teaching creative writing at the college level can vary depending on the institution. However, most colleges and universities will require that their creative writing instructors have at least a master’s degree in English or Creative Writing. Many institutions may also prefer or require that candidates for teaching positions have prior experience teaching at the college level.

4. How Much Does a Creative Writer Make?

According to Zip Recruiter, the average yearly salary for creative writing teachers is $53, 608.00. But the range goes to as low as $46,000 a year for beginners, and up to over $100,000 a year for those who are in the biz for several years.

Conclusion

If you’re passionate about writing and want to share your love of literature with others, becoming a creative writing teacher may be the perfect career for you. By imparting your knowledge and expertise to students, you can help them develop their skills and find their voice as writers. Are you interested in becoming a freelance writer, working remotely, or improving your productivity and side hustle? I offer coaching and consulting services to help you achieve your goals. Visit my website or contact me today to learn more about how I can help you reach your full potential. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to become a columnist.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building three small companies, an educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.