Meet Chair Aimee Phan

Writers do not often choose their craft. The craft chooses us. And while scribbling in your notebook or typing on your computer can feel at times isolating, the writing life doesn’t have to be lonely.

While many writers begin as thoughtful readers who enjoy sitting in the corner and escaping reality with an inspiring poem or captivating novel, they also grow up to realize the pleasure and community found in sharing these books with other like-minded artists.

There is nothing more thrilling than exchanging a great book with another fellow writer and reader, and to realize the lasting power and influence of beautifully crafted language.

Here at CCA, you will encounter many bookworms in the Writing and Literature Program. But we’re not shy at all. We are excited to share our love of writing and literature with you, and in one of the most engaging and thriving literary communities in the country.

Our Mission Statement

The Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts combines the intellectual resources of students and faculty to build an environment focused on the study and practice of writing. The program emphasizes a historical knowledge of literature, interdisciplinary exploration, and critical inquiry to help students create a writing life.

We offer students the opportunity to cultivate their potential in an inspiring and intensive studio environment. Under the guidance and support of our talented faculty, students approach the study of writing and literature as a living art.

Writing and Literature Curriculum

Our comprehensive curriculum challenges students to think critically and develop their individual voice. Our writing workshops cover not only traditional prose and poetry but also drama, the graphic novel, screenwriting, improvisation, and more.

Our literature courses, ranging from the historical and foundational (Reading Walt Whitman, Romantic Radicals, Gothic Literature) to the contemporary and experimental (Mad Girls Bad Girls, Down the Rabbit Hole, San Francisco Reader) enhance skills in both critical analysis and creative writing.

Students graduate from the program with a polished manuscript thesis in the genre of their choice.

The Bay Area

Our location in the San Francisco Bay Area could not be more ideal for burgeoning young writers. Students will have their pick, on a daily basis, from a variety of readings and lectures, offered by the country’s most renowned writers and critics. While the undergraduate and graduate writing programs offer readings on both campuses, students will also have the opportunity to attend other literary events hosted by local bookstores and literary organizations.

Our Writing Community

Our diverse faculty of practicing writers (please see our faculty page), and our current majors together have created a supportive and inspiring community where we can nurture and cultivate our art. Students are encouraged to participate in our monthly faculty-student Hearsay reading series and the student-run literary journal, Humble Pie. Students can also take advantage of resources associated with CCA’s MFA Program in Writing.

The Rewards

The writing life is not an easy journey, but as our faculty can attest, it can be incredibly rewarding, fulfilling, and inspiring. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!