Major with a Creative Writing Emphasis

Major with a Creative Writing Emphasis

Students who want to major in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing—whether a course major or honors major—must complete three credits of creative writing in addition to the department's historical requirements for the major. The three creative writing credits will normally consist of two workshops (ENGL 070A, B, C, D, E, F, or G) and ENGL 070K, the Directed Creative Writing Project.

Note: Students may count toward the creative writing emphasis no more than one workshop offered by a department other than English literature.

Creative writing and the Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program may present work in creative writing as a preparation for either a major or a minor in English Literature. Normally the two-credit preparation is defined as a one-credit workshop (most typically 070A, 070B, 070C, or 070H) paired with a one-credit Directed Creative Writing Project (070K), but it is also possible in some circumstances for a student to develop a portfolio through writing done entirely within workshops.

Creative writing portfolios

Student writers may pursue a Directed Creative Writing Project (070K), completing a portfolio of independent work under the guidance of a faculty member.  Some students have used the Directed Creative Writing Project as an opportunity to extend and polish a project begun in workshops—a novel, a linked collection of short stories, a sequence of poems responding to photographs, for example—while others have worked intensively and rigorously to master the sonnet form, or explored through their own work the implications of a theoretical premise—the blurred distinction between dramatic monologue and poetic confession, for example.  Because our writing faculty is small, the department sponsors only a limited number of writing projects each year.  Students interested in pursuing independent creative writing work typically declare their intention in the sophomore plan and, after consulting with the chair of the department and members of the writing faculty, submit a prospectus to the department in the semester before they hope to begin their project.

Admission into the creative writing program will depend upon the quality of the student's work and the availability of faculty to supervise the work. Students who are interested in the creative writing program are urged to talk both with the department chair and with one of the department faculty who regularly teach the workshops.

For additional information about the Creative Writing program, including more details about the courses mentioned here,  see Read more about the Creative Writing program. Printed information about the program is also available in the department office.