Diploma in Writing and Publishing

Campus Vernon (Jan, Sep), Kelowna (Jan, Sep)
Delivery Part-Time, Full-Time
Credential Diploma

Please note: The full first year can be taken in Kelowna or Vernon. During the second year, required courses are scheduled in both Vernon and Kelowna so travel between campuses will be necessary.

This program is student loan eligible.

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Program Highlights

There's more to writing and publishing than you think. This two-year diploma blends study in English, creative writing, editing, and communications theory with applied technical skills in graphic design, typography, coding, and book publishing.



Tuition and Fees

2021-22: $5,186.38

  • Fees listed are for first year (two semesters) for a typical, full-time student taking 5 courses per semester. Depending on the courses selected fees may vary. 
  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.
  • International students will pay International tuition fees

Program Details

The publishing industry has been transformed by an unprecedented surge of activity as individuals and organizations share text and post images as never before. This has led to exciting changes and challenges in the way writers and publishers look at publishing. Graduates of this two-year diploma program will have the technical skills and wide range of experience crucial to navigating this industry.

Our applied and academic courses take students through the first stages of the writing process to the final post-production stages of publishing in a variety of formats. Our goals are to foster students' writerly personae, to hone their critical voices, and to teach them how to write professionally for multiple audiences. From creative writing workshops to web publishing labs to book design studios to professional editing classes, our courses help students acquire the skills necessary to ensure their work resonates on both page and screen.

We teach our students using industry-standard software, beginning on the first day of class and carrying through each semester of the program. Students can also take advantage of unique hands-on opportunities to put their skills into practice. Okanagan College features a working letterpress print shop, as well as other in-house elements such as Kalamalka Press and Ryga: A Journal of Provocations. These are only some of the opportunities for students to build the sort of portfolio that demonstrates to prospective employers how lessons learned in the classroom contribute to the broad skill set of a qualified professional.

Graduates of the program have a variety of options. Some may pursue employment in a range of traditional and new media outlets, from independent presses to commercial publishing houses. Others may choose to continue their studies in fields such as creative writing, journalism, marketing and media studies.

Transfer options for graduates of this diploma include:

  • Athabasca University, Bachelor of Professional Arts, Communication Studies

  • University of the Fraser Valley, Bachelor of Arts

  • Vancouver Island University, Bachelor of Arts, English

Career options available after transfer and additional study include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Professional Writer
  • Book and Magazine Editor
  • Publisher
  • Art Editor
  • Literary Agent
  • Publicist


Admission Requirements

Regular Applicants: A regular applicant will be a secondary graduate or a secondary school student, or its equivalent, who has or who will complete the requirements for senior secondary graduation, or its equivalent, not less than one month prior to commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter. The following minimum entrance requirements will apply to regular applicants:

  • B.C. secondary graduation, or equivalent.

  • English 12 with minimum 60% or alternatives.

Students with a passing grade of less than 60% in English 12, English 12 First Peoples or TPC 12 will be admissible to the first year of the program, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Registration is restricted to courses for which the student satisfies the prerequisites. Registration in first-year English courses is, therefore, prohibited.

  2. Successful completion of the English entrance requirements within the first year of studies. This may be done in one of the following ways:

    • Successful completion of English 12, English 12 First Peoples or TPC 12 or an equivalent course with a minimum grade of 60%. This may be done concurrently through the College's Adult Basic Education Program or by completing an equivalent course through a distance education program.

    • Writing the LPI and obtaining a score of at least 24/40 (level 4).

      The LPI Test is no longer being offered after July 31, 2020. Okanagan College will continue to accept LPI Test results for two years from the date an applicant tested. Approved alternatives are available. Please consult academic entrance requirements.

Mature Applicants: A mature applicant will be at least 19 years of age and will not have attended secondary school on a full-time basis for a minimum period of one year.

Secondary graduation is waived for mature applicants. The English entrance requirements, as stated above, must be satisfied prior to admission. Admission may be granted on the condition that the entrance requirements will be completed prior to the commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter.


Program Outline

Year one:
Two first-year English literature courses (any two of):
Two first-year creative writing courses:
Two first-year publishing courses:
Two first-year communications courses (two of):
One first-year marketing course:
One elective course*
Year two
Two publication design courses
Two intermediate applied English courses:
One intermediate English literature course:
One publishing course focusing on the production process:
One web design course:
One professional editing course:
Two intermediate creative writing courses:

Chair: SJohnston@okanagan.bc.ca

The Diploma in Writing and Publishing may be granted for the successful completion of 60 credits of Okanagan College courses including at least 30 credits of 200-level courses as outlined. Only 30 credits of courses can be from a single discipline.



Additional Information

View the official Calendar details and policies
Learn more about the Department
View the Tuition and Fees page




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