The Secret Lives of Objects:
Creative Writing at the MMFA


Course Description

This course is perfect for creative writers in all genres who want to stimulate their imagination while exploring the exhibits currently available online at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Students will saunter through the museum's digital catalogue, entries from which will serve as the basis for creative writing exercises.

Distinctive material objects are superior launch pads for creative projects. Have you ever looked at a Renoir portrait and wondered what the woman with the downcast eyes was thinking? What dramatic scenes might Napoleon's tricorn hat have witnessed from on top of the Emperor's head? What divine powers were supposed to infuse that Egyptian sarcophagus? And is it just me, or does this avant-garde sculpture look a bit like a rooster? Let the museum be your muse.

The course will lead students through a sequence of exercises intended to fuel creativity and stimulate productivity. Students may, if they wish, work cumulatively on a single longer work within a genre of their choice—short story, book chapter, poem, essay, etc.

Books to purchase:


Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 15 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note that we do not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

First Session: Wednesday 16 June 2021

Course Length: 7 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. 

Instructors: Emmy Huot, Matthew Rettino

Degree Credit: Half credit

Course Fees: 

$125.00 (standard tuition) 

$85.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$155.00 (standard tuition)

$115.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at