The creative writing concentration provides students with an opportunity to explore and develop their skills as writers of poetry, fiction, drama, and/or screenplays. Combining individualized instruction with workshop interaction, the Department of English’s creative writing courses immerse students in the processes of discovery, expression, and rewriting; engages them with questions of form and structure; and gives them practice in the art of rewriting.
Courses in individual genres address more specific aspects of the writer’s craft: free verse and its challenges, narrative voice, dramatic dialogue, and screenplay format, to name just a few. By working with their writing at an advanced level, students deepen their sensitivity to language as a medium: its layers of meaning and association, its rhythms and music. Creative writing classes also address the process of getting creative work published.
In addition to working with the department’s distinguished and widely-published creative writing faculty, students have opportunities to participate in events organized by the Creative Writing Program, such as the annual Young Writers Institute. Each year, nationally known writers sponsored by the John C. Hodges Better English Fund offer readings and workshops. Recent visitors have included Richard Bausch, Lucille Clifton and Jack Gilbert. The Creative Writing Program also sponsors writing contests each year (with cash awards) for undergraduate and graduate student writing.
The creative writing concentration provides an excellent foundation on which students can continue to build as writers. Because of the extensive training it provides in writing, editing, advanced reading, and critical thinking, creative writing has prepared students for careers in all fields of writing, publishing, editing, advertising, business, education, public relations, and public service.
Students concentrating in creative writing complete the two-course sequence in either poetry writing or fiction writing, plus three additional writing classes. In fulfilling this latter requirement, students may take additional courses in creative writing, or they may elect to take courses in expository, argumentative, or technical writing, editing, and design. So that they may also develop a well-rounded background in British and American literature, students who concentrate in creative writing, like all English majors, take five courses in literature.
- English 363 (or 367) and 463; or 364 (or 368) and 464.
- Three other writing courses. In addition to those courses listed above, you may choose from the following list: 355, 357, 360, 365, 366, 367, 368, 455, 460, 462, 466, 470, 484, 495, 496.