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Writing, Publishing, and Media Careers

English teaches essential skills like connection, empathy, and creative thinking.

UT English majors find careers as writers in a variety of fields, from creative writing to journalism to marketing. Majors can focus on creative writing in classes like 364, 365, 463, and 464 as they hone their craft as poets, novelists, screenwriters, or creative non-fiction writers. Literature courses in contemporary fiction (436) or poetry (459) as well as those classes that unfold the longer histories of form and genre (406, 412, 422, 424, 431), whether it’s the poetry of Milton, the novels of Jane Austen, or the early American essay help all writers grasp the rich human history written into language itself. Practical courses like Technical and Professional Writing (360), Persuasive Writing (455), or Writing for Publication (462) have also helped majors navigate the textual landscape of advertising and publishing.

Interviews with Alumni in the Field

UTK English Roundtable on Careers in Journalism

Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith sat down with University of Tennessee English alumni Claire Dodson, Daniel Dassow, and Christopher Moyer for a roundtable discussion on how their English degrees helped them in their future careers in journalism.

Monica Brashears

Monica Brashears: From English Major to Novelist

Monica Brashears’ debut novel, House of Cotton, comes out this April.

Austin L. Church

Finding Your Own Way: Austin L. Church On a Career in Freelancing

“A freelancing career thus looks like a continuous process of strategic discomfort. You have to be willing to do things you’re not good at because being not good for a while is the only path to getting better.”

R.A. Dickey

MLB Player and English Major R.A. Dickey Talks about Why English Was His Choice

Dickey says the ability to communicate well leads to success, and it’s a skill he says he got from his time spent as an English major at The University of Tennessee.

Claire Dodson

English Major to Teen Vogue: Claire Dodson’s Career Path

“English is making you a better writer and making you a better person in the world that thinks critically about things”

Rodney Thompson

From English to Video Game Design: Rodney Thompson

Rodney Thompson’s love of storytelling brought him to English and now game rooms everywhere.


“English is making you a better writer and making you a better person in the world that thinks critically about things.”

—from an interview with English Major Claire Dodson (’15)