Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.

Conciseness

Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.

Consistency

Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

Read This Next:

  • What Is a Prompt in Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 200 Examples)
  • What Is A Personal Account In Writing? (47 Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Short Story (Ultimate Guide + Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Romance Novel [21 Tips + Examples)

Writers.com

Are you looking for the best online creative writing courses? You may have found some promising classes online, but you may also be unsure if the course is actually good. How can you know you’ll benefit from the course without spending your money first?

The good news is, there are creative writing courses out there for everyone, and they’re sure to improve your writing. Even better news, the best online creative writing courses share many of the same qualities.

If you want to learn how to write creatively, or if you simply want to improve your everyday writing, the best online creative writing courses can transform your writing abilities. Let’s explore what you might learn in creative writing classes, and how they help writers of all skill levels.

The Best Online Creative Writing Courses: Contents

What do you do in a creative writing class?

  • Reputable Instructor
  • Clear Course Description
  • Promise of a Great Experience
  • Constructive Feedback
  • Focus on Craft
  • Respect Your Creative Autonomy
  • A Writing Community
  • Motivate You to Write
  • Jumpstart a Writing Habit
  • Broaden Your Literary Horizons
  • Offer a Healthy Creative Outlet
  • Give You Next Steps

How to Make the Most of Online Creative Writing Courses

Every online creative writing class is unique, and different courses emphasize different things. We have classes that are entirely generative, meaning the focus is on writing new poems, essays, stories, or making headway into a novel or memoir project. Other courses might have more of a workshop component, in which you share your work with the class and receive feedback on how to improve your writing.

Some online writing courses also focus on specific skills or types of writing. You might take a class focused entirely on learning the tools for revision, or on learning the elements of fiction writing so you can later employ them in a story or novel.

In short, the best online writing courses typically include the following:

  • Lectures and discussions on a topic of creative writing craft.
  • Assignments that help you generate new work or revise old work.
  • Opportunities to give and receive feedback with your fellow classmates.
  • Feedback on your work from the instructor, who themselves is a successfully published author of the type of writing you’re producing.
  • A weekly video call. Some courses, including ours, are entirely text-based and asynchronous, but many classes meet at least once a week on Zoom.

In addition to all of this, you will make new friends and connections in the best online creative writing classes. Writing is often a lonely experience for writers, and the bonds you make in creative writing workshops can last a lifetime.

12 Things to Look For In the Best Online Creative Writing Courses

The best online creative writing courses will sharpen your writing skills, help you find your confidence, and introduce you to new communities of writers. How do they do it? Here’s 12 things to look for to make sure you’re spending your money on the right online writing class. 

1. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Have a Reputable Instructor

Your course is only as good as the instructor who teaches it. For online writing classes to teach you the craft, they need to have reputable, trustworthy instructors. A great instructor will also be empathetic, community-oriented, adaptive to your writing needs, and a great writer themselves.

A great instructor will also be empathetic, community-oriented, adaptive to your writing needs, and a great writer themselves.

Do some research on the course instructor: they should have a terminal degree in their field (M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D., etc.), as well as a significant publication history. A reputable instructor will make all the difference in your course: as part of their education, the instructor should have undergone dozens of writing workshops, submitted to countless literary journals, and had their work scrutinized by critics and book lovers alike.

In order for an instructor to help you develop your creative writing skills, they need to be successful on their own. The best instructors are what make the best online creative writing courses.

2. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Have a Clear Course Description

What does the course teach you, and what will you learn week by week? In addition to listing a reputable instructor, the course description should tell you exactly what you’ll gain from taking the course.

In addition to listing a reputable instructor, the course description should tell you exactly what you’ll gain from taking the course.

Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting out of your online creative writing course, including what you might learn and write in the process. Consider what will help you the most as you embark on your writing journey: entering a course with certain goals or learning objectives will help you make the most of the course’s lectures and writing assignments.

There should be no ambiguity: if you’re paying for the course, you deserve to know exactly what you’re paying for. And, if you have questions, ask the program administrator before you enroll. They should be happy to hear from you!

woman taking the best online creative writing classes

3. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Promise a Great Experience

The best online creative writing courses prioritize one thing: YOU! Your learning, your goals, and your writing should be at the center of your experience. And, your course should guarantee that experience.

The best online creative writing courses prioritize your learning, your goals, and your writing.

Creative writing classes can be a risk, since they probably won’t confer university credit and you probably haven’t interacted with that instructor before. You want to be confident that your learning is guaranteed, otherwise you’ll only waste your time, money, and creativity.

Before you enroll in an online writing course, look to see if the program administrators have a student promise . Your experience in the course should be the number one priority of the instructor and administrators; otherwise, you’re better off looking elsewhere for the best online creative writing courses.

4. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Offer Constructive Feedback

In addition to useful lectures and assignments, creative writing courses give you access to helpful, instructional feedback. Most instructors hold Masters or Doctoral degrees in English or creative writing and, as a result, they have ample knowledge of what works in literature, as well as tons of experience in giving feedback.

Creative writing courses give you access to helpful, instructional feedback.

In the best online creative writing classes, an instructor will both inspire you to write and guide you towards being a better writer. Their feedback will cover the many aspects of great writing. For example, your instructor might comment on:

  • Unclear language
  • Ideas that need to be expanded
  • Sentences that are too wordy or passive
  • Opportunities to use more engaging vocabulary
  • Places to improve writing structure
  • Grammar and spelling corrections

Finally, an instructor will tell you what you are already doing well in your writing. When you write a really great metaphor , use interesting word choice, or find a moment of great insight, your instructor will tell you—highlighting the creative writing skills you have already mastered.

5. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Focus on Craft

You might be wondering how creative writing classes are different from high school English. The big difference is that, where a typical English class focuses on basic grammar and literacy skills, creative writing classes focus specifically on craft.

Creative writing classes focus specifically on craft: the elements of language and storytelling that make a work of prose or poetry successful.

What is creative writing craft? Craft involves the elements of language and storytelling that make a work of prose or poetry successful. Focusing on craft is how creative writing classes primarily improve your writing.

Your writing class might focus on the structure of a short story, the different types of literary devices , the importance of effective word choice , or the elements of storytelling . A writing class should break down successful works of literature into the components that make it work, giving you the tools to practice your own creative writing skills.

Additionally, craft-focused writing helps you with everyday writing. From improving your vocabulary to structuring an email, the creative writing practice translates to improved writing in every aspect of your life.

journaling in an online creative writing course

6. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Respect Your Creative Autonomy

One of the benefits of creative writing classes is the perspective you get from different writers. No two writers are working on the same projects, and in your course, you’re likely to work with students of different genres and writing styles.

your creative authority should be respected no matter how new you are to creative writing.

With so many different writing philosophies in one class, the new ideas you encounter can help strengthen your own writing. But in the worst-case scenario, a student or instructor might try to force their writing philosophy onto you. This is always unfair, as there is no one-size-fits-all writing advice, your creative authority should be respected no matter how new you are to creative writing .

For example, let’s say you’re writing a poem about your childhood cat, and the instructor thinks it should be a poem about your experiences growing up. No matter how many times you explain you want this poem to be about your cat, the instructor keeps telling you to write more about your childhood. By ignoring your goals for the poem, the instructor is not respecting your creative autonomy, because they think they know your writing needs better than you do.

No matter where you are in your writing journey, you are a writer, and you deserve respect and compassion as such. Every writer is on a constant journey of growth and discovery; your instructor and course should acknowledge and respect that. In your course, you will encounter many different ideas, but you should also encounter the freedom to accept or reject those ideas. It’s your writing: you get the final say!

7. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Foster a Writing Community

A creative writing course fosters a creative writing community . This community gives you the motivation to create, as it creates a safe environment to experiment, take risks, and grow in your writing practice.

A writing community gives you the motivation to create, as it creates a safe environment to experiment, take risks, and grow in your writing practice.

For even the most solitary of writers, writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Participating in a community of word enthusiasts can jog your creativity and give you useful feedback on your work. Additionally, the feedback you provide other writers in the community also helps you learn. It’s a self-fulfilling, self-sustaining process, where members of a writing group can continuously grow, improve, and fine-tune their love of the craft.

In fact, well-known authors throughout history have been a part of valuable writing communities, such as The Beat Poets, Stratford-on-Odeon, and other famous writing groups .

When you enroll in creative writing classes, you also take part in a writing community. Foster relationships, make new writing friends, and forge your own writing group—it may one day be famous, too!

8. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Motivate You to Write

Writing is a skill that you can only develop through practice. For anyone just starting on our writing journeys, the best online creative writing classes keep you motivated and accountable.

The best online creative writing classes keep you motivated and accountable.

Every instructor works differently, but you can expect the following in a creative writing class:

  • Creative writing prompts
  • Daily journaling assignments
  • Helpful revisions
  • Inspirational readings
  • Ideas to combat writer’s block
  • Different opinions on how to write creatively

Some courses are even designed to motivate you, such as our course Write Your Novel! The Workshop With Jack . Sometimes, the biggest struggle is simply to begin, and creative writing courses help you do that.

9. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Jumpstart a Writing Habit

The best online creative writing courses will get you into a writing habit. By combining lectures with thought-provoking assignments, one of the primary goals of a writing course is simply to get you writing.

You’ll gain the most from your creative writing courses if you block out the time to write every day.

To make the most of your creative writing classes, try to find time to write every day. It’s best to write at the same time every day, but if your schedule doesn’t allow this, sneak time where you can.

Here are some ways you can steal time as a writer:

  • Journal for 15 minutes before you go to bed.
  • Write while you wake up with your morning breakfast or coffee.
  • Keep a journal on your phone during work and lunch breaks.
  • Write on your commute to and from work. If you’re driving, consider keeping an audio journal, where you write by speaking into your phone’s recording device.
  • Write on your phone while running on the treadmill.
  • Put pen to paper while taking a bath.

These ideas won’t work for everyone, and it all depends on your schedule and lifestyle. Nonetheless, you’ll gain the most from your creative writing courses if you block out the time to write every day, no matter how brief that time is. And, your course should help you find the time to write!

10. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Broaden Your Literary Horizons

You need to read great writing to produce great writing. The best online creative writing courses will introduce you to great literature, giving you additional opportunities to explore the writing craft.

The best online creative writing courses will introduce you to great literature, giving you additional opportunities to explore the writing craft.

In creative writing classes, you might read both classic and contemporary literature. As writers, it’s good to have knowledge of both worlds. Classic literature introduces you to the bedrock of modern writing, including the devices and rhetorical strategies that make for effective poetry and prose.

Contemporary literature, on the other hand, gives you a glimpse into today’s literary zeitgeist. It’s important to understand today’s publishing landscape and the type of work that’s being published, even if you don’t intend to write like contemporary authors.

In fact, it’s better if you don’t try to write like anyone else! Reading other writers shows you what works in literature and what doesn’t, giving you opportunities to experiment with form and style. But, at the end of the day, your writing is for you, not for publishers or particular writing schools.

Use your creative writing classes as opportunities to explore literature, experiment with words, and discover what you’d like to write yourself.

reading in a creative writing course online

11. The Best Online Creative Writing Classes Offer a Healthy Creative Outlet

Creative writing classes offer a healthy outlet for your creativity and emotions.

A healthy writing space can supplement your emotional health and wellbeing.

How is that so? With a space to put thoughts to paper, many writers inevitably reach breakthroughs about their own feelings and experiences. This is true regardless of whether you write poetry, fiction, plays, articles, or creative nonfiction.

Now, even the best online creative writing courses can’t replace the benefits of therapy. But, a healthy writing space can certainly supplement your emotional health and wellbeing. Between the prompts, community, and writing habits that a creative writing class fosters, you’re sure to come away from your course with renewed emotional health.

12. The Best Online Creative Writing Courses Give You Next Steps

Your education doesn’t end at the end of your course. If anything, the best online creative writing courses are only the beginning of your writing journey!

The best online creative writing courses are only the beginning of your writing journey!

The best online creative writing courses give you opportunities for continuous growth. Those opportunities can take many forms, such as: a list of literary journals to submit to, further readings on a topic of interest, future creative writing classes, or even simply the instructor’s email.

If you’re ready to move on to the next level of your career, your instructor should provide you with next steps. And if you crave more learning, ask the instructor!

A creative writing course is much like life: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Being an active participant will teach you as much about creative writing as the instructor will, because engaging with language is how you grow as a writer. Actively working with suggestions and ideas, keeping a daily writing practice, and offering other students constructive feedback will all boost your creative writing skills.

A creative writing course is much like life: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Additionally, do your research before you enroll in the course, or you might end up taking a class that isn’t suited to your needs. Look up the instructor for the course, their teaching style and previous publications, and how much experience they have as a writing coach. If they don’t seem well suited towards your learning style, they might develop your creative writing skills, and they won’t be worth the cost.

Find the Best Online Creative Writing Courses at Writers.com!

Are you looking for a writing community? Are you ready to get writing? Check out some of the upcoming courses at Writers.com , the oldest creative writing school on the internet.

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  • Creative Writing

The vital presence of creative writing in the English Department is reflected by our many distinguished authors who teach our workshops. We offer courses each term in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, and television writing. Our workshops are small, usually no more than twelve students, and offer writers an opportunity to focus intensively on one genre. 

Apply to Creative Writing Workshops

Workshops are open by application to Harvard College undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and students from other institutions eligible for cross registration. Submission guidelines for workshops can be found under individual course listings; please do not query instructors.  Review all departmental rules and application instructions before applying.  

Fall 2024 Application Deadline: 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, April 7, 2024. Spring 2025 Application Deadline: TBD

Please visit our course listings for all the Fall 2024 workshops.

Our online submission manager (link below) will open for Fall 2024 applications on Friday, March 22 , 2024.

Students who have questions about the creative writing workshop application process should contact Case Q. Kerns at [email protected] .

submit

Featured Faculty

Teju Cole

Teju Cole  is a novelist, critic, and essayist, and is the first Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice. "Among other works, the boundary-crossing author is known for his debut novel “Open City” (2011), whose early admirers included Harvard professor and New Yorker critic James Wood." 

Faculty Bookshelf

The botany of desire by michael pollan (2001).

The Botany of Desire

No Planets Strike by Josh Bell (2008)

No Planets Strike

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (2007)

The Emperor's Children

Open City by Teju Cole (2011)

Open City

Creative Writing Workshops

  • Spring 2024

English CACD. The Art of Criticism

Instructor: Maggie Doherty Wednesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

This course will consider critical writing about art–literary, visual, cinematic, musical, etc.—as an art in its own right. We will read and discuss criticism from a wide variety of publications, paying attention to the ways outlets and audience shape critical work. The majority of our readings will be from the last few years and will include pieces by Joan Acocella, Andrea Long Chu, Jason Farago, and Carina del Valle Schorske. Students will write several short writing assignments (500-1000 words), including a straight review, during the first half of the semester and share them with peers. During the second half of the semester, each student will write and workshop a longer piece of criticism about a work of art or an artist of their choosing. Students will be expected to read and provide detailed feedback on the work of their peers. Students will revise their longer pieces based on workshop feedback and submit them for the final assignment of the class. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, April 7) Supplemental Application Information:  Please write a letter of introduction (1-2 pages) giving a sense of who you are, your writing experience, and your current goals for your writing. Please also describe your relationship to the art forms and/or genres you're interested in engaging in the course. You may also list any writers or publications whose criticism you enjoy reading. Please also include a 3-5-page writing sample of any kind of prose writing. This could be an academic paper or it could be creative fiction or nonfiction.

English CACW. Advanced Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Paul Yoon TBD | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Advanced fiction workshop for students who have already taken a workshop at Harvard or elsewhere. The goal of the class is to continue your journey as a writer. You will be responsible for participating in discussions on the assigned texts, the workshop, engaging with the work of your colleagues, and revising your work. Supplemental Application Information:   * Please note: previous creative writing workshop experience required. * Please submit ONLY a cover letter telling me your previous creative writing workshop experience, either at Harvard or elsewhere; then tell me something you are passionate about and something you want to be better at; and, lastly, tell me why of all classes you want to take this one this semester. Again, please no writing samples.

English CBBR. Intermediate Poetry: Workshop

Instructor:  Josh Bell   Monday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: Barker 018 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

Initially, students can expect to read, discuss, and imitate the strategies of a wide range of poets writing in English; to investigate and reproduce prescribed forms and poetic structures; and to engage in writing exercises meant to expand the conception of what a poem is and can be. As the course progresses, reading assignments will be tailored on an individual basis, and an increasing amount of time will be spent in discussion of student work. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, April 7)

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a portfolio including a letter of interest, ten poems, and a list of classes (taken at Harvard or elsewhere) that seem to have bearing on your enterprise.

English CCEP. Ekphrastic Poetry: Workshop

Instructor: Tracy K. Smith Wednesday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: Lamont 401 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site What can a poem achieve when it contemplates or even emulates a work of art in another medium? In this workshop, we'll read and write poems that engage with other art forms--and we'll test out what a foray into another artistic practice allows us to carry back over into the formal methods and behaviors of poetry. With poems by Keats, Rilke, Auden, Hughes, and Brooks, as well as Kevin Young, Evie Shockley, Ama Codjoe and other contemporary voices. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a writing sample of 5-10 poems and an application letter explaining your interest in this course.

English CCFC. Poetry Workshop: Form & Content

Instructor: Tracy K. Smith Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: Sever 112 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

In this workshop, we’ll look closely at the craft-based choices poets make, and track the effects they have upon what we as readers are made to think and feel. How can implementing similar strategies better prepare us to engage the questions making up our own poetic material? We’ll also talk about content. What can poetry reveal about the ways our interior selves are shaped by public realities like race, class, sexuality, injustice and more? Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26)   

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a writing sample of 5-10 poems and an application letter explaining your interest in this course.

English CCIJ. Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Jesse McCarthy Thursday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: Barker 269 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site This is an intermediate course in the art of writing literary fiction. Previous experience with workshopping writing is encouraged but not required. The emphasis of the course will be learning how to read literature as a writer, with special attention given to the short story, novella, or short novel. We will read these works from the perspective of the writer as craftsperson and of the critic seeking in good faith to understand and describe a new aesthetic experience. We will be concerned foremost with how literary language works, with describing the effects of different kinds of sentences, different uses of genre, tone, and other rhetorical strategies. Together, we will explore our responses to examples of literature from around the world and from all periods, as well as to the writing you will produce and share with the class. As a member of a writing community, you should be prepared to respectfully read and respond to the work of others—both the work of your peers and that of the published writers that we will explore together. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:  This course is by application only but there are no prerequisites for this course and previous experience in a writing workshop is not required . In your application please submit a short letter explaining why you are interested in this class. You might tell me a bit about your relationship to literature, your encounter with a specific author, book, or even a scene or character from a story or novel. Please also include a writing sample of 2-5 pages (5 pages max!) of narrative prose fiction.

English CCFS. Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Teju Cole Spring 2024: Tuesday, 6:00-8:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Spring 2025: TBD This reading and writing intensive workshop is for students who want to learn to write literary fiction. The goal of the course would be for each student to produce two polished short stories. Authors on the syllabus will probably include James Joyce, Eudora Welty, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Diane Williams.

Supplemental Application Information:   Please submit a cover letter saying what you hope to get out of the workshop. In the cover letter, mention three works of fiction that matter to you and why. In addition, submit a 400–500 word sample of your fiction; the sample can be self-contained or a section of a longer work.

English CLPG. Art of Sportswriting

Instructor: Louisa Thomas Spring 2024: Tuesday, 9:00-11:45am | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Spring 2025: TBD

In newsrooms, the sports section is sometimes referred to as the “toy department” -- frivolous and unserious, unlike the stuff of politics, business, and war. In this course, we will take the toys seriously. After all, for millions of people, sports and other so-called trivial pursuits (video games, chess, children’s games, and so on) are a source of endless fascination. For us, they will be a source of stories about human achievements and frustrations. These stories can involve economic, social, and political issues. They can draw upon history, statistics, psychology, and philosophy. They can be reported or ruminative, formally experimental or straightforward, richly descriptive or tense and spare. They can be fun. Over the course of the semester, students will read and discuss exemplary profiles, essays, articles, and blog posts, while also writing and discussing their own. While much (but not all) of the reading will come from the world of sports, no interest in or knowledge about sports is required; our focus will be on writing for a broad audience.  Supplemental Application Information:  To apply, please write a letter describing why you want to take the course and what you hope to get out of it. Include a few examples of websites or magazines you like to read, and tell me briefly about one pursuit -- football, chess, basketball, ballet, Othello, crosswords, soccer, whatever -- that interests you and why.

English CALR. Advanced Screenwriting: Workshop

Instructor: Musa Syeed Spring 2024: Wednesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBA Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Spring 2025: TBD

The feature-length script is an opportunity to tell a story on a larger scale, and, therefore, requires additional preparation. In this class, we will move from writing a pitch, to a synopsis, to a treatment/outline, to the first 10 pages, to the first act of a feature screenplay. We will analyze produced scripts and discuss various elements of craft, including research, writing layered dialogue, world-building, creating an engaging cast of characters. As an advanced class, we will also look at ways both mainstream and independent films attempt to subvert genre and structure. Students will end the semester with a first act (20-30 pages) of their feature, an outline, and strategy to complete the full script.

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a 3-5 page writing sample. Screenplays are preferred, but fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and plays are acceptable as well. Also, please write a short note to introduce yourself. Include a couple films/filmmakers that have inspired you, your goals for the class, as well as any themes/subject matter/ideas you might be interested in exploring in your writing for film.

English CNFR. Creative Nonfiction: Workshop

Instructor: Darcy Frey Fall 2024: Wednesday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students. Course Site Spring 2025: TBD

Whether it takes the form of literary journalism, essay, memoir, or environmental writing, creative nonfiction is a powerful genre that allows writers to break free from the constraints commonly associated with nonfiction prose and reach for the breadth of thought and feeling usually accomplished only in fiction: the narration of a vivid story, the probing of a complex character, the argument of an idea, or the evocation of a place. Students will work on several short assignments to hone their mastery of the craft, then write a longer piece that will be workshopped in class and revised at the end of the term. We will take instruction and inspiration from published authors such as Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Ariel Levy, Alexander Chee, and Virginia Woolf. This is a workshop-style class intended for undergraduate and graduate students at all levels of experience. No previous experience in English Department courses is required. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Sunday, April 7)

Supplemental Application Information:   Please write a substantive letter of introduction describing who you are as writer at the moment and where you hope to take your writing; what experience you may have had with creative/literary nonfiction; what excites you about nonfiction in particular; and what you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Additionally, please submit 3-5 pages of creative/literary nonfiction (essay, memoir, narrative journalism, etc, but NOT academic writing) or, if you have not yet written much nonfiction, an equal number of pages of narrative fiction.

English CKR. Introduction to Playwriting: Workshop

Instructor: Sam Marks TBD | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students This workshop is an introduction to writing for the stage through intensive reading and in-depth written exercises. Each student will explore the fundamentals and possibilities of playwriting by generating short scripts and completing a one act play with an eye towards both experimental and traditional narrative styles. Readings will examine various ways of creating dramatic art and include work from contemporary playwrights such as Ayad Aktar, Clare Barron, Aleshea Harris, Young Jean Lee, and Taylor Mac, as well established work from Edward Albbe, Caryl Churchill, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Harold Pinter. Supplemental Application Information:  No experience in writing the dramatic form is necessary. Please submit a 5-10 page writing sample (preferably a play or screenplay, but all genres are acceptable and encouraged). Also, please write a few sentences about a significant theatrical experience (a play read or seen) and how it affected you.

English CACF. Get Real: The Art of Community-Based Film

Instructor: Musa Syeed Wednesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 student Course Site

“I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us,” the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami said, “unless it’s inside a frame.” For our communities confronting invisibility and erasure, there’s an urgent need for new frames. In this workshop, we’ll explore a community-engaged approach to documentary and fiction filmmaking, as we seek to see our world more deeply. We’ll begin with screenings, craft exercises, and discussions around authorship and social impact. Then we each will write, develop, and shoot a short film over the rest of the semester, building off of intentional community engagement. Students will end the class with written and recorded materials for a rough cut. Basic equipment and technical training will be provided.

Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, April 7)

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a brief letter explaining why you're interested to take this class. Please also discuss what participants/communities you might be interested in engaging with for your filmmaking projects. For your writing sample, please submit 3-5 pages of your creative work from any genre (screenwriting, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc.)

English CAFR. Advanced Fiction Workshop: Writing this Present Life

Instructor: Claire Messud Thursday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Intended for students with prior fiction-writing and workshop experience, this course will concentrate on structure, execution and revision. Exploring various strands of contemporary and recent literary fiction – writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Rachel Cusk, Chimamanda Adichie, Douglas Stuart, Ocean Vuong, etc – we will consider how fiction works in our present moment, with emphasis on a craft perspective. Each student will present to the class a published fiction that has influenced them. The course is primarily focused on the discussion of original student work, with the aim of improving both writerly skills and critical analysis. Revision is an important component of this class: students will workshop two stories and a revision of one of these. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Sunday, April 7)

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit 3-5 pages of prose fiction, along with a substantive letter of introduction. I’d like to know why you’re interested in the course; what experience you’ve had writing, both in previous workshops and independently; what your literary goals and ambitions are. Please tell me about some of your favorite narratives – fiction, non-fiction, film, etc: why they move you, and what you learn from them.

English CAKV. Fiction Workshop: Writing from the First-Person Point of View

Instructor:  Andrew Krivak Tuesday, 9:00-11:45 1m | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site This course is a workshop intended for students who are interested in writing longer form narratives from the first-person point of view. The “I” at the center of any novel poses a perspective that is all at once imaginatively powerful and narratively problematic, uniquely insightful and necessarily unreliable. We will read from roughly twelve novels written in the first-person, from Marilynne Robinson and W.G. Sebald, to Valeria Luiselli and Teju Cole, and ask questions (among others) of why this form, why this style? And, as a result, what is lost and what is realized in the telling? Primarily, however, students will write. Our goal will be to have a student’s work read and discussed twice in class during the semester. I am hoping to see at least 35-40 pages of a project —at any level of completion—at the end of term.  Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, April 7) Supplemental Application Information:  Please write a substantive letter telling me why you’re interested in taking this class, what writers (classical and contemporary) you admire and why, and if there’s a book you have read more than once, a movie you have seen more than once, a piece of music you listen to over and over, not because you have to but because you want to. Students of creative nonfiction are also welcome to apply.

English CCSS. Fiction Workshop: The Art of the Short Story

Instructor: Laura van den Berg Tuesday, 12:00-2:45 pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site This course will serve as an introduction to the fundamentals of writing fiction, with an emphasis on the contemporary short story. How can we set about creating “big” worlds in compact spaces? What unique doors can the form of the short story open? The initial weeks will focus on exploratory exercises and the study of published short stories and craft essays. Later, student work will become the primary text as the focus shifts to workshop discussion. Authors on the syllabus will likely include Ted Chiang, Lauren Groff, Carmen Maria Machado, and Octavia Butler. This workshop welcomes writers of all levels of experience. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, April 7) Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a letter of introduction. I’d like to know a little about why you are drawn to studying fiction; what you hope to get out of the workshop and what you hope to contribute; and one thing you are passionate about outside writing / school. Please also include a very brief writing sample (2-3 pages). The sample can be in any genre (it does not have to be from a work of fiction). 

Write an Honors Creative Thesis

Students may apply to write a senior thesis or senior project in creative writing, although only English concentrators can be considered. Students submit applications in early March of their junior year, including first-term juniors who are out of phase. The creative writing faculty considers the proposal, along with the student's overall performance in creative writing and other English courses, and notifies students about its decision in early mid-late March. Those applications are due, this coming year, on TBA . 

Students applying for a creative writing thesis or project must have completed at least one course in creative writing at Harvard before they apply. No student is guaranteed acceptance. It is strongly suggested that students acquaint themselves with the requirements and guidelines well before the thesis application is due. The creative writing director must approve any exceptions to the requirements, which must be made in writing by Monday, February 7, 2022. Since the creative writing thesis and project are part of the English honors program, acceptance to write a creative thesis is conditional upon the student continuing to maintain a 3.40 concentration GPA. If a student’s concentration GPA drops below 3.40 after the spring of the junior year, the student may not be permitted to continue in the honors program.

Joint concentrators may apply to write creative theses, but we suggest students discuss the feasibility of the project well before applications are due. Not all departments are open to joint creative theses.

Students who have questions about the creative writing thesis should contact the program’s Director, Sam Marks .

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A Look Into Creative Writing | Oxford Summer Courses

Exploring the magic of creative writing with oxford summer courses.

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Defining Creative Writing

Creative writing , as taught at Oxford Summer Courses, is the process of crafting original and imaginative works of literature, poetry, prose, or scripts. It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative. Whether it's a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

The Magic of Imagination

Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring creative writing programs. Teleport readers to distant lands, realms of fantasy and creation, introduce them to captivating characters, and craft new worlds through the transformative art of storytelling. Discover more about our creative writing course here . Unleash your imagination and unlock the writer within.

What Are the Different Types of Creative Writing?

Creative Writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of Creative Writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

  • Biographies
  • Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Poetry and Spoken word
  • Playwriting/Scriptwriting
  • Personal essays

At Oxford Summer Courses, students have the opportunity to delve into these various types of Creative Writing during the Summer School.

The Benefits of Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses

Engaging in Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses offers numerous benefits beyond self-expression. By joining our dedicated Creative Writing summer school programme, you would:

  • Foster self-discovery and gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences.
  • Improve your communication skills, honing your ability to express yourself effectively and engage readers through refined language and storytelling abilities.
  • Enhance empathy by exploring diverse perspectives and stepping into the shoes of different characters, broadening your understanding of the world around you.
  • Gain new skills for further education or work, expanding your repertoire of writing techniques and abilities to enhance your academic or professional pursuits.
  • Nurture your creativity, encouraging you to think outside the box, embrace unconventional ideas, and challenge the status quo, fostering a life-long mindset of innovation and originality.

Embracing the Journey

To embark on a journey of creative writing, embrace curiosity, take risks, and surrender to the flow of imagination. Write regularly, read widely, embrace feedback from tutors and peers at Oxford Summer Courses. Begin to experiment with styles and genres, and stay persistent in your course of action. The path of creative writing requires dedication, practice, and an open mind. Join us as we provide tips to help you start your creative writing journey and unleash your full creative potential under the guidance of industry professionals.

Creative Writing is a remarkable voyage that invites us to unleash our imagination, share our stories, and inspire others. It offers countless personal and professional benefits, nurturing self-expression, empathy, and creativity. So, grab a pen, open your mind, and embark on this enchanting journey of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Let your words paint a vivid tapestry that captivates hearts and minds under the guidance of experienced tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. Join us as we explore the magic of creative writing and discover the transformative power it holds within through the renowned Oxford Summer Courses summer school.

Ready to study Creative Writing? Apply now to Oxford Summer Courses and join a community of motivated learners from around the world. Apply here .

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Discover the enchantment of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Unleash your imagination, explore different genres, and enhance your communication skills. Nurture self-expression, empathy, and creativity while gaining valuable writing techniques.

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Creative Writing

Stanford’s Creative Writing Program--one of the best-known in the country--cultivates the power of individual expression within a vibrant community of writers. Many of our English majors pursue a concentration in creative writing, and the minor in Creative Writing is among the most popular minors on campus. These majors and minors participate in workshop-based courses or independent tutorials with Stegner Fellows, Stanford’s distinguished writers-in-residence.

English Major with a Creative Writing Emphasis

The English major with a Creative Writing emphasis is a fourteen-course major. These fourteen courses comprise eight English courses and six Creative Writing courses.

English majors with a Creative Writing emphasis should note the following:

All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Courses taken abroad or at other institutions may not be counted towards the workshop requirements.

Any 190 series course (190F, 190G, etc.), 191 series course (191T, etc.), or 192 series course (192V, etc.) counts toward the 190, 191, or 192 requirement.

PWR 1 is a prerequisite for all creative writing courses.

Minor in Creative Writing

The Minor in Creative Writing offers a structured environment in which students interested in writing fiction or poetry develop their skills while receiving an introduction to literary forms. Students may choose a concentration in fiction, poetry.

In order to graduate with a minor in Creative Writing, students must complete the following three courses plus three courses in either the prose or poetry tracks. Courses counted towards the requirements for the minor may not be applied to student's major requirements. 30 units are required. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Prose Track

Suggested order of requirements:

English 90. Fiction Writing or English 91. Creative Nonfiction

English 146S Secret Lives of the Short Story

One 5-unit English literature elective course

English 190. Intermediate Fiction Writing or English 191. Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing

English 92. Reading and Writing Poetry

Another English 190, 191, 290. Advanced Fiction, 291. Advanced Nonfiction, or 198L. Levinthal Tutorial

Poetry Track

English 92.Reading and Writing Poetry

English 160. Poetry and Poetics

English 192. Intermediate Poetry Writing

Another English 192, or 292.Advanced Poetry or 198L.Levinthal Tutorial

Creative Writing minors should note the following:

To declare a Creative Writing minor, visit the Student page in Axess. To expedite your declaration, make sure to list all 6 courses you have taken or plan to take for your minor.

Any 190 series course (190F, 190G, etc.), 191series course (191T, etc.), or 192 series course (192V, etc.) counts toward the 190, 191, or 192 requirement.

For more information, visit the Stanford Creative Writing Program.

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 12 best creative writing colleges and programs.

College Info

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Finding a dedicated creative writing program at a school you're excited about can be a real challenge, and that's even before you start worrying about getting in. Nonetheless, there are some great options. In order to help you find the best school for you, this list rounds up some of the best colleges for creative writing in the United States .

The Best Creative Writing Programs: Ranking Criteria

You should never take college rankings as absolute truth —not even the very official-seeming US News ones. Instead, use these kinds of lists as a jumping-off place for your own exploration of colleges. Pay attention not just to what the rankings are but to how the rankings are determined.

To help with that, I'll explain how I came up with this highly unscientific list of great creative writing colleges. I started by narrowing my search down to schools that offered a specific creative writing major. (If you don't see a school you were expecting, it's likely because they only have a minor.)

In ranking the schools, I considered five major criteria:

  • #1: MFA Ranking —If a school has a great graduate creative writing program, it means you'll be taught by those same professors and the excellent graduate students they attract. Schools with strong MFA programs are also more likely to have solid alumni networks and internship opportunities. However, many schools with great undergrad programs do not offer MFAs, in which case I simply focused on the other four options.
  • #2: General School Reputation —The vast majority of your classes won't be in creative writing, so it's important that other parts of the school, especially the English department, are great as well.
  • #3: Extracurricular Opportunities —One of the key advantages of majoring in creative writing is that it can provide access to writing opportunities outside the classroom, so I took what kind of internship programs, author readings, and literary magazines the school offers into consideration.
  • #4: Diversity of Class Options —I gave extra points to schools with a variety of genre options and specific, interesting classes.
  • #5: Alumni/Prestige —This last criterion is a bit more subjective: is the school known for turning out good writers? Certainly it's less important than what kind of education you'll actually get, but having a brand-name degree (so to speak) can be helpful.

The Best Creative Writing Schools

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of schools! The exact numbering is always arguable, so look at it as a general trend from absolutely amazing to still super great, rather than fixating on why one school is ranked #3 and another is ranked #4.

#1: Northwestern University

Northwestern's undergrad creative writing program boasts acclaimed professors and an unparalleled track record of turning out successful writers (including Divergent author Veronica Roth and short-story writer Karen Russell).

Outside the classroom, you can work on the student-run literary journal, intern at a publication in nearby Chicago, or submit to the Department of English's yearly writing competition . The university is also home to a top journalism program , so if you want to try your hand at nonfiction as well, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

#2: Columbia University

Like Northwestern, Columbia is home to both a world-class creative writing program and a top journalism school (plus one of the best English departments in the country), so you have a wide range of writing-related course options. Columbia also benefits from its location in New York City, which is bursting at the seams with publishing houses, literary journals, and talented authors.

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#3: University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's big draw is the infrastructure of its graduate Writers' Workshop, which is often considered the best MFA program in the country.

As an English and Creative Writing major here, you'll take classes from great young writers and established professors alike, and get to choose from a wide range of topics. This major provides transferable skills important for a liberal arts major with a creative focus. You'll also have access to the university's impressive literary community, including frequent readings, writing prizes and scholarships, and the acclaimed literary journal The Iowa Review .

#4: Emory University

Emory is renowned for its dedicated undergrad creative writing program , which draws the very best visiting scholars and writers. Students here have the chance to attend intimate question-and-answer sessions with award-winning authors, study a range of genres, compete for writing awards and scholarships, and work closely with an adviser to complete an honors project.

#5: Oberlin College

A small liberal arts school in Ohio, Oberlin offers very different advantages than the schools above do. You'll have fewer opportunities to pursue writing in the surrounding city, but the quality of the teachers and the range of courses might make up for that. Moreover, it boasts just as impressive alumni, including actress and writer Lena Dunham.

#6: Hamilton College

Hamilton is another small college, located in upstate New York. It's known for giving students the freedom to pursue their interests and the support to help them explore topics in real depth, both inside and outside the classroom. Hamilton's creative writing program takes full advantage with small classes and lots of opportunities to intern and publish; it also has one of the best writing centers in the country.

#7: Brown University

Brown's Literary Arts program offers one of the top MFAs in the US as well as an undergraduate major . For the major, you must take four creative writing workshops and six reading-intensive courses, which span an array of departments and topics, from music and literature to Middle East studies and Egyptology.

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#8: Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University has an excellent creative writing MFA program, lots of super specific class options, and a number of scholarships specifically earmarked for creative writing students. This school’s undergraduate English program also offers a concentration in creative writing that allows students to specialize in a specific genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. If you’re interested in exploring your potential in a specific writing genre, Washington University could be a great pick for you.

#9: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT might not be a school you generally associate with writing, but it actually has an excellent program that offers courses in digital media and science writing, as well as creative writing, and provides plenty of guidance on how graduates can navigate the tricky job market.

Not to mention the school is located in Cambridge, a haven for book lovers and writers of all kinds. Though it probably isn’t a good fit for students who hate science, MIT is a great place for aspiring writers who want to build writing skills that are marketable in a wide range of industries.

#10: University of Michigan

University of Michigan is one of the best state universities in the country and has a top-notch MFA program. This school’s undergrad creative writing sub-concentration requires students to submit applications for admittance to advanced creative writing courses. These applications give students crucial practice in both building a writing portfolio and articulating their interest in creative writing to an audience who will evaluate their work. If you're looking to attend a big school with a great creative writing major, this is a fantastic choice.

#11: Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins is another school that's known more for engineering than it is for writing, but, like MIT, it has a dedicated writing program. As a major here, you must take not only courses in prose, poetry, and literature, but also classes on topics such as philosophy and history.

#12: Colorado College

Colorado College is a small liberal arts school known for its block plan , which allows students to focus on one class per three-and-a-half-week block. The creative writing track of the English major includes a sequence of four writing workshops and also requires students to attend every reading of the Visiting Writers Series.

Bonus School: New York University

I didn't include NYU in the main list because it doesn't have a dedicated creative writing major, but it's a great school for aspiring writers nonetheless, offering one of the most impressive creative writing faculties in the country and all the benefits of a Manhattan location.

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How To Pick the Best Creative Writing School for You

Just because Northwestern is a great school for creative writing doesn't mean you should set your heart on going there. (The football fans are completely terrifying, for one thing.) So where should you go then?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking at creative writing programs to help you determine the best school for you:

Does It Have Courses You're Interested In?

Look at the course offerings and see whether they interest you. While you can't predict exactly what classes you'll love, you want to avoid a mismatch where what you want to study and what the program offers are completely different. For example, if you want to write sonnets but the school focuses more on teaching fiction, it probably won't be a great fit for you.

Also, don't forget to look at the English courses and creative writing workshops! In most programs, you'll be taking a lot of these, too.

What Opportunities Are There To Pursue Writing Outside of Class?

I touched on this idea in the criteria section, but it's important enough that I want to reiterate it here. Some of the best writing experience you can get is found outside the classroom, so see what kind of writing-related extracurriculars a school has before committing to it.

Great options include getting involved with the campus newspaper, working on the school's literary journal, or interning at the university press.

Who Will Be Teaching You?

Who are the professors? What kind of work have they published? Check teacher ratings on Rate My Professors (but make sure to read the actual reviews—and always take them with a grain of salt).

If you're looking at a big school, there's a good chance that a lot of your teachers will be graduate students. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: a lot of the best teachers I had in college were graduate students. Just take into consideration what kind of graduate program the school has. If there's a great creative writing MFA program, then the graduate students are likely to be better writers and more engaged teachers.

What Are the Alumni Doing Now?

If you have a sense of what you want to do after you graduate, see if any alumni of the program are pursuing that type of career. The stronger the alumni network is, the more connections you'll have when it comes time to get a job.

What About the Rest of the School?

Don't pick a school for which you like the creative writing program but dread everything else about it. Most of your time will be spent doing other things, whether hanging out in the dorms, exploring off campus, or fulfilling general education requirements.

Many schools require you to apply to the creative writing major, so make doubly sure you'll be happy with your choice even if you aren't accepted to the program.

What's Next?

Are you sure a creative writing major is the right fit for you? Read our post on the pros and cons of the major to help you decide what path to take in college.

For more general advice about choosing a college, check out our complete guide to finding the right school for you. Some major factors to consider include deciding whether you're interested in a small college or a big university , an in-state or out-of-state institution , and a public or private school .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Alex is an experienced tutor and writer. Over the past five years, she has worked with almost a hundred students and written about pop culture for a wide range of publications. She graduated with honors from University of Chicago, receiving a BA in English and Anthropology, and then went on to earn an MA at NYU in Cultural Reporting and Criticism. In high school, she was a National Merit Scholar, took 12 AP tests and scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and ACT.

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Creative Writing and Literature

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Students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts program in Creative Writing & Literature will develop skills in creative writing and literary analysis through literature courses and writing workshops in fiction, screenwriting, poetry, and nonfiction. Through online group courses and one-on-one tutorials, as well as a week on campus, students hone their craft and find their voice.

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Creative Writing courses

Whether you’re looking to develop your own writing skills and editorial practice for your profession or for purely personal interest, our creative writing courses have much to offer you. Choose below from our range of qualifications.

Student writing

Creative Writing Degrees  Degrees Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree. Internationally respected, universally understood. An essential requirement for many high-level jobs. Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts. Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.

How long will it take?

Creative Writing Diplomas  Diplomas Widely recognised qualification. Equivalent to the first two thirds of an honours degree. Enhance your professional and technical skills or extend your knowledge and understanding of a subject. Study for interest or career development. Top up to a full honours degree in just two years.

Creative writing certificates  certificates widely recognised qualification. equivalent to the first third of an honours degree. study for interest or career development. shows that you can study successfully at university level. count it towards further qualifications such as a diphe or honours degree., why study creative writing with the open university.

Since 2003, over 50,000 students have completed one of our critically acclaimed creative writing modules. 

The benefits of studying creative writing with us are:

  • Develops your writing skills in several genres including fiction, poetry, life writing and scriptwriting.
  • Introduces you to the world of publishing and the requirements of professionally presenting manuscripts.
  • Online tutor-group forums enable you to be part of an interactive writing community.
  • Module workbooks are widely praised and used by other universities and have attracted worldwide sales.

Careers in Creative Writing

Studying creative writing will equip you with an adaptable set of skills that can give entry to a vast range of occupations. You’ll learn to evaluate and assimilate information in constructing an argument as well as acquiring the skills of creative and critical thinking that are much in demand in the workplace.

Our range of courses in creative writing can help you start or progress your career in:

  • Arts, creative industries, culture and heritage
  • Advertising, marketing, communications and public relations
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Public administration, civil service and local government

Looking for something other than a qualification?

The majority of our modules can be studied by themselves, on a stand-alone basis. If you later choose to work towards a qualification, you may be able to count your study towards it.

See our full list of Creative Writing modules

All Creative Writing courses

Browse all the Creative Writing courses we offer – certificates, diplomas and degrees.

See our full list of Creative Writing courses

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NEW VIDEO COURSE

Learn How to Write a Novel, Join Tom Bromley for a writing master class.

Learn How to Write a Novel

Join Tom Bromley for a writing master class and finish your first draft in 3 months.

596 Best Creative Writing Classes in 2024

Showing 596 courses that match your search.

2024 Youth Summer Camp: Sci-Fi/Fantasy ONLINE

Story Studio Chicago

Over the course of one week, writers will generate their own science fiction and fantasy pieces and workshop them with the help of their peers. They will learn the differences between the genres and read the works of notable authors.

Website: https://www.storystudiochicago.org/classes/youth/2024-you...

Categories: Book, Fiction, Fantasy, and Science Fiction

Start date:

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

8-week Writing Sprints: A Generative Class

Sackett Street Writers

Writing Sprints is an exercise-intensive course designed to “unstick” writers struggling to start or continue new projects, boosting writing productivity. The course relies heavily on writing exercises (for both fiction & nonfiction writers). This class is for writers of all levels looking for inspiration and motivation.

Website: https://sackettworkshop.com/writing/2024/03/05/8-week-wri...

Categories: Book, Fiction, and Nonfiction

September, 2024

Prerequisites: A writing sample is recommended for this class.

The Secret Life of Scenes Workshop with David Biespiel

Attic Institute

Do you feel your writing gets bogged down in announcing, recounting, and summarizing? What you need is some scene-making medicine. Work with Attic Institute founder and two-time Oregon Book Award winner David Biespiel to learn the keys to explain less and dramatize more.

Website: https://atticinstitute.com/node/2830

Categories: Book, Fiction, Nonfiction, Screenplay, and Short Story

what is creative writing course in english

How to Write a Novel

Your story matters. Unlock your potential with daily video lessons from bestselling ghostwriter Tom Bromley, and finish your first draft in just 3 months. Learn more →

2024 I Love to Write Camp

Kansas City Writers

Explore the creative writing process without worrying about your grade! These workshops include experience with free writing of many types of writing and techniques to help your writing come alive.

Website: https://www.kansascitywriters.com/workshops-for-kids.html

Categories: Fiction and Kids

Open all year round

Healing a Heart: Writing Your Way to Hope

Rockvale Writer's Colony

In this four-part class we'll explore the art and magic of writing as a healing process in a collaborative and supportive environment. Together, we will share our stories, read a variety of essays and short fiction in order to identify how others have utilized the written word to heal themselves.

Website: https://rockvalewriterscolony.org/workshops/november-8-10...

Categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Book, and Essay

November, 2024

Fall Virtual Workshop

Futurescapes

Futurescapes is an intensive, exclusive workshop, offering writers an unparalleled chance to work with top authors and agents in speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal).

Website: https://futurescapes.ink/fall-workshop

Categories: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Book, and Fiction

October, 2024

Prerequisites: You may submit any original written work for your application.

Teen Summer: Say It Like You Mean It

Whether characters are arguing, bantering, betraying secrets, or confessing their guilt, dialogue can be one of the most challenging parts of writing a scene. In this workshop, we’ll learn about the various ways you can use dialogue in your writing, such as to advance the plot or develop characters.

Website: https://grubstreet.org/workshop/teen-summer-say-it-like-y...

Categories: Screenplay, Short Story, Book, Kids, and Nonfiction

August, 2024

The Poetry of Play

Writers.com

In this class, we’ll enjoy a rollicking good time by responding to poetry’s call to do just that. Students will read a wide variety of playful poetry, then experiment with in-class writing prompts designed to awaken freedom and enjoyment.

Website: https://writers.com/course/the-poetry-of-play

Categories: Poetry, Book, and Short Story

January, 2025

The Art of Live Storytelling

Ever dreamt of captivating an audience with your storytelling, condensing your writing into a sharp pitch, or confidently speaking in public? This course is designed for you. Uncover the craft of powerful storytelling using the classic "pity, fear, catharsis" framework and contemporary engagement techniques.

Website: https://grubstreet.org/workshop/the-art-of-live-storytell...

Categories: Nonfiction, Essay, and Fiction

Prerequisites: For writers age 13 - 18 ONLY.

Writing Experimental Essays

The aim of this class is to open up your writing by embracing this experimentation with form and structure. You’ll learn about the lyric essay—braided, collage, and hermit crab and more.

Website: https://grubstreet.org/workshop/writing-experimental-essa...

Categories: Nonfiction and Essay

Teen Summer: DIY Comic Book Making

You love comics, and graphic novels, and you like to doodle, but perhaps you’ve never finished a multi-page comic story? Or, you are a veteran comics creator and want to draw a new one! Now’s your chance to create a mini-comic during one week this summer.

Website: https://grubstreet.org/workshop/teen-summer-diy-comic-boo...

Categories: Book, Short Story, and Nonfiction

Teen Summer: From Story to Screen: Intro to Screenwriting

In this screenwriting and film workshop, we will learn Aristotle’s poetics, character work, scene writing, and dialogue. Further, we will immerse ourselves in clips from movies and short films and discuss how they relate to our learning techniques.

Website: https://grubstreet.org/workshop/teen-summer-from-story-to...

Categories: Kids

What are the 5 best creative writing classes?

Congratulations! Deciding to learn how to creative write is often the hardest step of all. Now it's time for a choice that's almost just as difficult: picking which creative writing class you want to take in a market that's getting more crowded by the day.  

That’s why we built this directory of the best creative writing courses — so that you can more easily filter through all of the selections out there. But in case you don't have time to dive into them all, here are five of the best creative writing classes for you to take a look at. 

1. Reedsy Learning

💲 Cost: Free 👨‍🏫 Type: Email lessons

If you’re struggling to find time for creative writing classes, Reedsy Learning is for you. These bite-sized lessons are emailed to you once a day for ten days and can be read in five minutes or less. But don’t let their compact size fool you — each lesson is packed with practical tips, links to additional resources, and enough exercises to keep your skills sharp. There are also courses on editing, marketing, and publishing for when you’re ready to take your creative writing to the next level.

2. Gotham Writers’ Workshop

💲 Cost: $165 - $409 (plus registration fees) 👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, live Zoom classes, assignments, critique

The largest adult-education writing school in the US, Gotham Writers has been helping budding authors hone their skills since the 1990s. Based in New York City, they offer in-person classes as well as a variety of online options for students all over the globe. With self-paced courses, live Zoom lectures, write-ins, and several free events per term, Gotham Writers emulates the university feel wherever possible.

💲 Cost: $0 - $109 👨‍🏫 Type: Lectures (videos, slides, and text)

Founded in 2010, Udemy is a massive online open course (MOOC) platform, created to provide an alternative to in-person, university learning. Their primary audience is made up of professionals and students — some of their courses even offer credit toward technical certifications. Their creative writing courses are broad and geared mainly toward beginners, through there are some intermediate courses that get into specific niches.

💲 Cost: $0 - $998 👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

Another MOOC, edX was started as a collaboration between Harvard and MIT, but these days boasts classes from a wide variety of respected universities. Like Udemy, some of their courses also offer college credits. edX’s courses are weekly, consisting of short videos, interactive learning exercises, and online discussion groups. Their writing courses cover everything from novels to stand-up comedy to digital content. There are also related courses in journalism, composition, and grammar, among other specializations.

5. Coursera

💲 Cost: Free (Creative Writing Specialization) 👨‍🏫 Type: Video lectures, online assignments

One last MOOC for our list, this time founded by several Computer Science professors from Stanford University. But don’t let its history fool you — Coursera offers humanities classes as much as science and technology. In addition to general courses, Coursera also offers specializations, a series of courses that work together much like what you’d find in a university.

I have a long list of creative writing courses. Now what?

If you've narrowed down a list of writing classes in English you like, then it's time to commit to one of them. But how do you know which is the right fit for your needs and lifestyle?

Before committing to one of them, we recommend considering some of these questions.

  • What skill levels does the writing course cover?
  • What’s the price of the writing course? Does it match your budget?
  • How long does the writing course run for?
  • Who is the instructor of the course? Can you verify their credentials?
  • Is the writing course remote or in-person?

More creative writing resources

Whether you’re a new or established author, there are always evergreen resources out there to how to get a headstart on creative writing! 

Free online materials

  • Creative Writing Prompts (resource)
  • Book Title Generator (resource)
  • Character Name Generator (resource)
  • Plot Generator (resource)
  • How to Write a Novel (blog post)
  • How to Write a Book Proposal (blog post)
  • How to Edit a Book (blog post)

Recommended books

  • For writers in the UK:  Writers' & Artists' Yearbook  
  • For writers in the US:  Writer’s Market 2020

Join a community of over 1 million authors

Reedsy is more than just a blog. Become a member today to discover how we can help you publish a beautiful book.

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what is creative writing course in english

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Free online English Literature / Creative Writing courses

Creative writing and critical reading

Creative writing and critical reading

This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer’s development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas from examining other writers’ methods, as well as enhancing your critical reading skills. Examples will cover the genres of fiction, creative ...

Free course

Level: 3 Advanced

Writing what you know

Writing what you know

Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.

Level: 1 Introductory

Start writing fiction

Start writing fiction

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Many people have fond memories of the stories they encountered in childhood, perhaps especially of those wonderful picture books and illustrated tales which fired our young imaginations and transported us to magical worlds. To an adult’s eye, some picture books may seem remarkably simple, even oversimplified. However, in this free course, ...

Level: 2 Intermediate

Reading Shakespeare's As You Like It

Reading Shakespeare's As You Like It

Do you enjoy watching Shakespeare's plays and like the idea of finding out more about them? This free course, Reading Shakespeare's As You Like It, will guide you through some of the most important speeches and scenes from one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies.

Icarus: entering the world of myth

Icarus: entering the world of myth

This free course, Icarus: entering the world of myth, will introduce you to one of the best-known myths from classical antiquity and its various re-tellings in later periods. You will begin by examining how the Icarus story connects with a number of other ancient myths, such as that of Theseus and the Minotaur. You will then be guided through an...

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners

This free course concentrates on Sam Selvon's twentieth-century novel, The Lonely Londoners. It considers the depiction of migration in the text as well as Selvon's treatment of memory as a vital part of the migrant's experience.

Introducing Virgil’s Aeneid

Introducing Virgil’s Aeneid

This free course offers an introduction to the Aeneid. Virgil’s Latin epic, written in the 1st century BCE, tells the story of the Trojan hero Aeneas and his journey to Italy, where he would become the ancestor of the Romans. Here, you will focus on the characterisation of this legendary hero, and learn why he was so important to the Romans of ...

Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd

Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd

This free course, Exploring Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, is designed to tell you something about Hardy's background, and to introduce you to the pleasures of reading a nineteenth-century novel. Why do we believe in fictional characters and care about what happens to them? You will discover some of the techniques that Hardy ...

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

This free course, John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi, concentrates on Acts 1 and 2 of John Webster's Renaissance tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi. It focuses on the representation of marriage for love and the social conflicts to which it gives rise. The course is designed to hone your skills of textual analysis.

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

What does Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus tell us about the author and the time at which the play was written? This free course, Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, will help you to discover the intricacies of the play and recognise how a knowledge of the historical and political background of the time can lead to a very different ...

Approaching poetry

Approaching poetry

Do you want to get more out of your reading of poetry? This free course, Approaching poetry, is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary texts. You will learn about rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, poetic inversion, voice and line lengths and endings. You will examine poems that do not rhyme and learn ...

Approaching prose fiction

Approaching prose fiction

Do you want to get more out of your reading? This free course, Approaching prose fiction, is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary texts. You will learn about narrative events and perspectives, the setting of novels, types of characterisation and genre.

Approaching plays

Approaching plays

Do you want to get more out of drama? This free course, Approaching plays, is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary plays. You will learn about dialogue, stage directions, blank verse, dramatic structure and conventions and aspects of performance.

Approaching literature: reading Great Expectations

Approaching literature: reading Great Expectations

This free course, Approaching literature: reading Great Expectations, considers some of the different ways of reading Great Expectations, based on the type of genre the book belongs to. This is one of the most familiar and fundamental ways of approaching literary texts. The novel broadens the scope of study of a realist novel, in both literary ...

The poetry of Sorley MacLean

The poetry of Sorley MacLean

Sorley MacLean (1911-1996) is regarded as one of the greatest Scottish poets of the twentieth century. This free course, The poetry of Sorley MacLean, will introduce you to his poetry and give you an insight into the cultural, historical and political contexts that inform his work. MacLean wrote in Gaelic and the importance of the language to ...

Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts

Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts

This free course introduces Virginia Woolf’s last novel, Between the Acts (1941), with the aim of understanding how she writes about time, memory, and ideas about identity. It also considers why Woolf’s fiction is often considered difficult. Selected extracts from her essays on writing help to clarify some of these perceived difficulties, ...

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English, B.A. Program (120 units)

Program description.

The university offers the B.A. degree in English with three distinct concentrations: literature, creative writing, and English language and literacies.  The student seeking a degree must observe the general university requirements stated elsewhere in this catalog as well as the specific departmental requirements stated here.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. in English from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  • analyze and interpret literary genres represented by a range of texts;
  • write in clear and cogent prose;
  • demonstrate knowledge of key English language texts, including multicultural works;
  • use critical theory to examine literary texts;
  • conduct research relevant to the discipline of English studies and analyze connections among literary works and social issues.

Program Roadmaps

These program roadmaps represent recommended pathways through the program. Please see an advisor to create an education plan that is customized to meet your needs.

Career Opportunities

Advertising Copy Writer • Author/Critic • Bookstore Manager • Continuity Writer • Corporate Communications Director • Foreign Service Office • Freelance Journalist/Writer • Greeting Card Editor/Writer • Lawyer • Librarian • Media Specialist • Newspaper Reporter • Public Information Officer • Publication Editor • Publicity Director • Publishing Agent • Radio/TV Agent • Script Writer • Teacher/Professor • Writer

Degree Requirements

  • The major consists of 52 units (students must complete with a grade point average of 3.0 or better);
  • General Education (GE) & Graduation Requirements (GR) consists of 57 units;
  • Free electives may consist of 11 units (actual number of free elective units may depend on GE/GR units). 

Note: It may be possible to double count units within the graduation requirement. It may also be possible that a course satisfies both a graduation requirement and a major requirement. Students should contact their program advisors for information.

English Major Requirements (52 units)

Note: All courses must be completed with grade C- or better to be counted toward the major.

Lower Division Core

The following 12 units are required:

  • ENGL 204 - Writing About Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • Take one (1) additional lower- or upper-division English major elective course for 4 units.

Choose one (1) course in creative writing for 4 units:

  • ENGL 205 - Beginning Workshop in Fiction Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • ENGL 206 - Beginning Workshop in Poetry Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1

Upper-Division Core

The following 12 units are required:

Choose one (1) course in writing or theory for 4 units:

  • ENGL 303W - Advanced Expository Writing Units: 4; UWR
  • ENGL 304 - Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing Units: 4
  • ENGL 307 - Intermediate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction Units: 4
  • ENGL 340 - Critical Theory of Literature Units: 4

Choose one (1) course in linguistics for 4 units:

  • ENGL 350 - Study of Language Units: 4
  • ENGL 351 - Modern English Grammar Units: 4

Choose one (1) course in Shakespeare for 4 units:

  • ENGL 411 - Early Shakespeare Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • ENGL 412 - Late Shakespeare Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C

Concentrations

The Department of Writing, Languages and Literatures offers three concentrations for degree candidates. Students must choose one (1) of the following concentrations for 24 units as a major requirement:

  • English, B.A.: British and American Literature Concentration    
  • English, B.A.: Creative Writing Concentration    
  • English, B.A.: English Language and Literacies Concentration    

Senior Capstone Requirement

The following senior capstone for 4 units is required to complete the major:

  • ENGL 499 - Senior Seminar Units: 4

Creative Writing Concentration

English majors with a concentration in creative writing must complete six (6) additional courses for 24 units as described below:

One (1) beginning workshop for 4 units, whichever course was not taken in the core curriculum:

One (1) intermediate or advanced workshop course for 4 units:

ENGL 305 Intermediate Workshop in Fiction    

ENGL 406 Advanced Workshop in Poetry    

Take an additional two (2) workshop courses for 8 units:

Note: ENGL 305, 405 & 406 may be taken a second time for a total of 8 units for this section only

  • ENGL 305 - Intermediate Workshop in Fiction Units: 4
  • ENGL 405 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction Units: 4
  • ENGL 406 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry Units: 4

Take two elective courses for an additional 8 units: one (1) upper division course in 20th or 21st century literature and one (1) elective, from the following English Course Types:

  • American/Global Literature
  • American Literature
  • British Literature (except ENGL 309)
  • Foundation (ENGL 204 only)
  • Global Literature (except ENGL 330, 342, 343, 446)
  • Language/Grammar (except ENGL 354, 450, 451)
  • Literary Theory
  • World Literature 

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University’s baccalaureate requirements for graduation, which are described in the Undergrad Baccalaureate & Program Requirements    chapter of this catalog. 

Department Courses Listed by Course Type

Writing, language, and literatures courses, department of writing, languages, and literatures.

Writing, Languages, and Literatures

  • •  MLL 111 - Speaking of Love: Oral Communication in Multicultural Setting Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-A1
  • •  MLL 112 - Writing Horror: Written Communication in Multicultural Setting Units: 3
  • •  MLL 171 - Elementary Korean I: Language & Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 172 - Elementary Korean II: Language & Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 211 - Multicultural Cinema Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 216 - Asian Horror Films Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 225 - Transcultural Franco-Phone Cinema Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 334 - Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA) and Deaf Artists Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 372 - Korean Folktale and Culture Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  MLL 398 - Internship Units: 1-3
  • •  MLL 472 - Modern Korean Short Stories in English Translation Units: 4
  • •  MLL 490 - Independent Study Units: 1-4
  • •  MLL 497 - Issues in Modern World Languages and Literatures Units: 3
  • •  MLL 498 - Internship Units: 1-3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: American Literature

  • •  ENGL 220 - Immigration and Migration in American Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 319 - Moby Dick and Literatures of the Ocean Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • •  ENGL 320 - Major Works of American Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 322 - African-American Literature Before 1945 Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  ENGL 323 - African-American Literature After 1945 Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 324 - Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  ENGL 325 - Asian-American Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 421 - 19th-Century American Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 423 - Ethnic American Women’s Literature After 1900 Units: 4 ;Breadth Area GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 425 - American Novel After 1900 Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 444 - Short Story Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: American/Global Literature

  • •  ENGL 210 - Banned Books and Contested Narratives Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2; Social Justice
  • •  ENGL 328 - Latinx Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 343 - Crime Fiction Units: 4; Breadth Area GE-UD-C
  • •  ENGL 344 - Literatures of Environmental Justice Units: 4;Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Sustainability
  • •  ENGL 361 - Science Fiction: Speculative Fiction Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: American Sign Language

  • •  MLL 131 - Elementary American Sign Language I: Language and Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 132 - Elementary American Sign Language II: Language and Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 231 - American Sign Language III: American Sign Language and Deaf Cultures Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 232 - American Sign Language IV: American Deaf Sociocultural Issues Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-D1-2
  • •  MLL 331 - Advanced American Sign Language I Units: 4
  • •  MLL 332 - Advanced American Sign Language II Units: 4
  • •  MLL 333 - American Deaf Culture Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Diversity
  • •  MLL 335 - Classifiers in American Sign Language Units: 3
  • •  MLL 431 - Linguistics in American Sign Language Units: 3
  • •  MLL 432 - Sociolinguistics of Black American Sign Language Units: 4;Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Diversity

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: British Literature

  • •  ENGL 309 - Major Works of British Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 411 - Early Shakespeare Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • •  ENGL 412 - Late Shakespeare Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • •  ENGL 415 - 19th-Century British Literature Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Chinese

  • •  MLL 161 - Elementary Mandarin Chinese I: Language and Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 162 - Elementary Mandarin Chinese II: Language and Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 163 - Intensive Elementary Mandarin Chinese Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 261 - Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I: Hanzi Logographic Cultures Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 262 - Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II: Chinese American Sociocultural Issues Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-D1-2
  • •  MLL 362 - Chinese Folktales and Culture Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  MLL 366 - New Chinese Cinema in English Translation Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 462 - Modern Chinese Short Stories in English Translation Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  MLL 465 - Chinese Wisdom and Ink-wash Animation in English Translation Units: 3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Education

  • •  ENGL 398 - Internship Units: 1-3
  • •  ENGL 460 - Seminar in English Education Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 498 - Internship Units: 1-3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Film

  • •  ENGL 240 - Introduction to American Film Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 447 - Film Criticism Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Foundation

  • •  ENGL 100 - College Writing: Stretch I Units: 3
  • •  ENGL 101 - College Writing: Stretch II Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-A2
  • •  ENGL 102 - Accelerated College Writing Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-A2
  • •  ENGL 103 - College Writing: Stretch I (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Units: 3
  • •  ENGL 104 - College Writing: Stretch II (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-A2
  • •  ENGL 105 - College Reading for Fluency Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  ENGL 106 - Academic Vocabulary Development Units: 3
  • •  ENGL 109 - College Writing Lab Units: 1
  • •  ENGL 200 - College Writing II Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: Second Composition
  • •  ENGL 201 - College Writing II (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Units: 3
  • •  ENGL 204 - Writing About Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  ENGL 490 - Independent Study Units: 1-4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: French

  • •  MLL 121 - Elementary French I: Language and Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 122 - Elementary French II: Language and Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 221 - Intermediate French I: Francophone Cultures Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 222 - Intermediate French II: Francophone American Sociocultural Issues Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-D1-2
  • •  MLL 311F - Studies in Modern Languages and Literatures Francophones Units: 1
  • •  MLL 323 - Francophone Culture and Civilization through Cinema Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 324 - Francophone Literature in Translation Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 326W - Sexuality and Feminism in Francophone Literature and Cinema Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C ; Social Justice; UWR
  • •  MLL 421 - French-English Translation Units: 3
  • •  MLL 422W - LGBTQ Francophone Cinema Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice; UWR
  • •  MLL 425 - Postcolonial Francophone Rap/Hip-Hop Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 428 - French for the Professions Units: 4
  • •  MLL 429 - French for Reading Knowledge Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Global Literature

  • •  ENGL 310 - Medieval Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 311 - Dante’s Worlds Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 327 - LGBT Literature and Queer Theory Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  ENGL 341 - The Gothic Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 342 - Environmental Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Sustainability
  • •  ENGL 345 - Comics and Graphic Novels Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • •  ENGL 430 - Bible as Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 431 - World Mythology Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 436 - Contemporary Global Novel Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 446 - Modern and Contemporary Poetry Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 462 - Children’s Literature before 1900 Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 463 - Children’s Literature after 1900 Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Graduate

  • •  ENGL 600 - Introduction to Graduate Studies Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 602 - Graduate Workshop in Fiction Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 612 - Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 620 - American Literature to 1900 Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 621 - African-American Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 623 - Ethnic American Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 630 - Women’s Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 633 - Environmental Literature Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 651 - Theory and Practice of Teaching Oral Skills to Adults Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 652 - Phonology, Morphology and Lexical Semantics Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 653 - Theory and Practice of Teaching Reading to Adults Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 654 - Supervised Tutoring and Teaching Units: 2
  • •  ENGL 655 - Multilingualism and Second Language Acquisition Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 656 - Pedagogical Grammar Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 657 - Curriculum Design and Assessment in ESOL for Adult Learners Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 660 - Introduction to Composition Studies Theory and Methods Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 690 - Independent Study Units: 1-4
  • •  ENGL 691 - University Thesis Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 698 - Internship Units: 1-3
  • •  ENGL 699 - Departmental Thesis Units: 2-4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Japanese

  • •  MLL 151 - Elementary Japanese I: Language and Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 152 - Elementary Japanese II: Language and Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 153 - Intensive Elementary Japanese Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  MLL 251 - Intermediate Japanese I: Kanji Logographic Cultures Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  MLL 252 - Intermediate Japanese II: Japanese American Sociocultural Issues Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-D1-2
  • •  MLL 351 - Japan Headline News: A Japanese-English Bilingual Study Units: 4
  • •  MLL 352 - Japanese Folktales and Culture Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  MLL 358 - Experiencing Japanese Culture in English Translation Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social Justice
  • •  MLL 452 - Modern Japanese Short Stories in English Translation Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  MLL 455 - Japanese Manga and Anime Masterpieces in English Translation Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Language/Grammar

  • •  ENGL 350 - Study of Language Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 351 - Modern English Grammar Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 353 - Linguistic History of the English Language Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 355W - Language, Gender, and Social Change Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social Justice; UWR
  • •  ENGL 450 - Current Theories in Formal Grammar Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 451 - Language in the U.S.A. Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Diversity
  • •  ENGL 497 - Topics in the Study of the English Language Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Literary Theory

  • •  ENGL 340 - Critical Theory of Literature Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Other

  • •  ENGL 346 - Literature and Health Care Units: 4; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice
  • •  ENGL 390 - Occam’s Razor Literary Magazine Intensive Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 441 - Queer Early Modern Literature Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Rhetoric and Composition

  • •  ENGL 251 - Grammar for Writers Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 300W - Writing for Inquiry Units: 3; UWR
  • •  ENGL 301W - Writing for Inquiry (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Units: 3; UWR
  • •  ENGL 302 - Discursive Writing Units: 3
  • •  ENGL 303W - Advanced Expository Writing Units: 4; UWR
  • •  ENGL 304 - Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 499 - Senior Seminar Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Spanish

  • •  SPAN 141 - Elementary Spanish I: Language and Humanities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  SPAN 142 - Elementary Spanish II: Language and Arts Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  SPAN 146 - Beginning Spanish Language and Culture for Healthcare Professionals Units: 4 ; Breadth Area GE-C2
  • •  SPAN 241 - Intermediate Spanish I: Hispanophone Cultures Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  SPAN 242 - Intermediate Spanish II: Hispanophone American Sociocultural Issues Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-D1-2
  • •  SPAN 246 - Intermediate Spanish for Healthcare Professionals Units: 4
  • •  SPAN 341 - Spanish Conversation Units: 4
  • •  SPAN 343 - Spanish Composition and Syntax Units: 4
  • •  SPAN 344 - Spanish Linguistics and Phonetics Units: 4
  • •  SPAN 345 - Spanish Textual Analysis in a Multicultural Context Units: 4
  • •  SPAN 440 - Latin American Pop Culture: Narratives Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-D; Social Justice
  • •  SPAN 443 - Food Cultures in the Latinx Communities Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Diversity
  • •  SPAN 447 - Latin American Global and Cultural Studies Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C
  • •  SPAN 448 - Spanish Global and Cultural Studies Units: 3
  • •  SPAN 449 - Selected Topics in Hispanic Studies Units: 3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Spanish-American Literature and Culture

  • •  SPAN 441 - Introduction to Spanish American Literature: 1492 to 1900 Units: 3
  • •  SPAN 442 - Introduction to Spanish American Literature: 1900 to the Present Units: 3
  • •  SPAN 445 - Cultures of Spanish America Units: 3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Spanish Peninsular Literature and Culture

  • •  SPAN 444 - Survey Spanish Literature II: 18th Century to Present Units: 3
  • •  SPAN 446 - Cultures of Spain Units: 3

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: World Literature

  • •  ENGL 203 - Introduction to Dramatic Literature Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C2
  • •  ENGL 312 - Renaissance Humanism Units: 4

Writing, Languages, and Literatures: Writing Workshop

  • •  ENGL 205 - Beginning Workshop in Fiction Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  ENGL 206 - Beginning Workshop in Poetry Units: 4 ; Breadth Area: GE-C1
  • •  ENGL 305 - Intermediate Workshop in Fiction Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 307 - Intermediate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 308W - Writing Bad Bodies Units: 3; Breadth Area: GE-UD-C; Social Justice; UWR
  • •  ENGL 405 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction Units: 4
  • •  ENGL 406 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry Units: 4

Writing, Languages and Literatures Courses

  • •  MLL 111 - Speaking of Love: Oral Communication in Multicultural Setting
  • •  MLL 112 - Writing Horror: Written Communication in Multicultural Setting
  • •  MLL 171 - Elementary Korean I: Language & Humanities
  • •  MLL 172 - Elementary Korean II: Language & Arts
  • •  MLL 211 - Multicultural Cinema
  • •  MLL 216 - Asian Horror Films
  • •  MLL 225 - Transcultural Franco-Phone Cinema
  • •  MLL 334 - Deaf View Image Art (De’VIA) and Deaf Artists
  • •  MLL 372 - Korean Folktale and Culture
  • •  MLL 398 - Internship
  • •  MLL 472 - Modern Korean Short Stories in English Translation
  • •  MLL 490 - Independent Study
  • •  MLL 497 - Issues in Modern World Languages and Literatures
  • •  MLL 498 - Internship
  • •  ENGL 220 - Immigration and Migration in American Literature
  • •  ENGL 319 - Moby Dick and Literatures of the Ocean
  • •  ENGL 320 - Major Works of American Literature
  • •  ENGL 322 - African-American Literature Before 1945
  • •  ENGL 323 - African-American Literature After 1945
  • •  ENGL 324 - Women’s Literature and Feminist Theory
  • •  ENGL 325 - Asian-American Literature
  • •  ENGL 421 - 19th-Century American Literature
  • •  ENGL 423 - Ethnic American Women’s Literature After 1900
  • •  ENGL 425 - American Novel After 1900
  • •  ENGL 444 - Short Story
  • •  ENGL 210 - Banned Books and Contested Narratives
  • •  ENGL 328 - Latinx Literature
  • •  ENGL 343 - Crime Fiction
  • •  ENGL 344 - Literatures of Environmental Justice
  • •  ENGL 361 - Science Fiction: Speculative Fiction
  • •  MLL 131 - Elementary American Sign Language I: Language and Humanities
  • •  MLL 132 - Elementary American Sign Language II: Language and Arts
  • •  MLL 231 - American Sign Language III: American Sign Language and Deaf Cultures
  • •  MLL 232 - American Sign Language IV: American Deaf Sociocultural Issues
  • •  MLL 331 - Advanced American Sign Language I
  • •  MLL 332 - Advanced American Sign Language II
  • •  MLL 333 - American Deaf Culture
  • •  MLL 335 - Classifiers in American Sign Language
  • •  MLL 431 - Linguistics in American Sign Language
  • •  MLL 432 - Sociolinguistics of Black American Sign Language
  • •  ENGL 309 - Major Works of British Literature
  • •  ENGL 411 - Early Shakespeare
  • •  ENGL 412 - Late Shakespeare
  • •  ENGL 415 - 19th-Century British Literature
  • •  MLL 161 - Elementary Mandarin Chinese I: Language and Humanities
  • •  MLL 162 - Elementary Mandarin Chinese II: Language and Arts
  • •  MLL 163 - Intensive Elementary Mandarin Chinese
  • •  MLL 261 - Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I: Hanzi Logographic Cultures
  • •  MLL 262 - Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II: Chinese American Sociocultural Issues
  • •  MLL 362 - Chinese Folktales and Culture
  • •  MLL 366 - New Chinese Cinema in English Translation
  • •  MLL 462 - Modern Chinese Short Stories in English Translation
  • •  MLL 465 - Chinese Wisdom and Ink-wash Animation in English Translation
  • •  ENGL 398 - Internship
  • •  ENGL 460 - Seminar in English Education
  • •  ENGL 498 - Internship
  • •  ENGL 240 - Introduction to American Film
  • •  ENGL 447 - Film Criticism
  • •  ENGL 100 - College Writing: Stretch I
  • •  ENGL 101 - College Writing: Stretch II
  • •  ENGL 102 - Accelerated College Writing
  • •  ENGL 103 - College Writing: Stretch I (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • •  ENGL 104 - College Writing: Stretch II (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • •  ENGL 105 - College Reading for Fluency
  • •  ENGL 106 - Academic Vocabulary Development
  • •  ENGL 109 - College Writing Lab
  • •  ENGL 200 - College Writing II
  • •  ENGL 201 - College Writing II (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • •  ENGL 204 - Writing About Literature
  • •  ENGL 490 - Independent Study
  • •  MLL 121 - Elementary French I: Language and Humanities
  • •  MLL 122 - Elementary French II: Language and Arts
  • •  MLL 221 - Intermediate French I: Francophone Cultures
  • •  MLL 222 - Intermediate French II: Francophone American Sociocultural Issues
  • •  MLL 311F - Studies in Modern Languages and Literatures Francophones
  • •  MLL 323 - Francophone Culture and Civilization through Cinema
  • •  MLL 324 - Francophone Literature in Translation
  • •  MLL 326W - Sexuality and Feminism in Francophone Literature and Cinema
  • •  MLL 421 - French-English Translation
  • •  MLL 422W - LGBTQ Francophone Cinema
  • •  MLL 425 - Postcolonial Francophone Rap/Hip-Hop
  • •  MLL 428 - French for the Professions
  • •  MLL 429 - French for Reading Knowledge
  • •  ENGL 310 - Medieval Literature
  • •  ENGL 311 - Dante’s Worlds
  • •  ENGL 327 - LGBT Literature and Queer Theory
  • •  ENGL 341 - The Gothic
  • •  ENGL 342 - Environmental Literature
  • •  ENGL 345 - Comics and Graphic Novels
  • •  ENGL 430 - Bible as Literature
  • •  ENGL 431 - World Mythology
  • •  ENGL 436 - Contemporary Global Novel
  • •  ENGL 446 - Modern and Contemporary Poetry
  • •  ENGL 462 - Children’s Literature before 1900
  • •  ENGL 463 - Children’s Literature after 1900
  • •  ENGL 600 - Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • •  ENGL 602 - Graduate Workshop in Fiction
  • •  ENGL 612 - Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature
  • •  ENGL 620 - American Literature to 1900
  • •  ENGL 621 - African-American Literature
  • •  ENGL 623 - Ethnic American Literature
  • •  ENGL 630 - Women’s Literature
  • •  ENGL 633 - Environmental Literature
  • •  ENGL 651 - Theory and Practice of Teaching Oral Skills to Adults
  • •  ENGL 652 - Phonology, Morphology and Lexical Semantics
  • •  ENGL 653 - Theory and Practice of Teaching Reading to Adults
  • •  ENGL 654 - Supervised Tutoring and Teaching
  • •  ENGL 655 - Multilingualism and Second Language Acquisition
  • •  ENGL 656 - Pedagogical Grammar
  • •  ENGL 657 - Curriculum Design and Assessment in ESOL for Adult Learners
  • •  ENGL 660 - Introduction to Composition Studies Theory and Methods
  • •  ENGL 690 - Independent Study
  • •  ENGL 691 - University Thesis
  • •  ENGL 698 - Internship
  • •  ENGL 699 - Departmental Thesis
  • •  MLL 151 - Elementary Japanese I: Language and Humanities
  • •  MLL 152 - Elementary Japanese II: Language and Arts
  • •  MLL 153 - Intensive Elementary Japanese
  • •  MLL 251 - Intermediate Japanese I: Kanji Logographic Cultures
  • •  MLL 252 - Intermediate Japanese II: Japanese American Sociocultural Issues
  • •  MLL 351 - Japan Headline News: A Japanese-English Bilingual Study
  • •  MLL 352 - Japanese Folktales and Culture
  • •  MLL 358 - Experiencing Japanese Culture in English Translation
  • •  MLL 452 - Modern Japanese Short Stories in English Translation
  • •  MLL 455 - Japanese Manga and Anime Masterpieces in English Translation
  • •  ENGL 350 - Study of Language
  • •  ENGL 351 - Modern English Grammar
  • •  ENGL 353 - Linguistic History of the English Language
  • •  ENGL 355W - Language, Gender, and Social Change
  • •  ENGL 450 - Current Theories in Formal Grammar
  • •  ENGL 451 - Language in the U.S.A.
  • •  ENGL 497 - Topics in the Study of the English Language
  • •  ENGL 340 - Critical Theory of Literature
  • •  ENGL 346 - Literature and Health Care
  • •  ENGL 390 - Occam’s Razor Literary Magazine Intensive
  • •  ENGL 441 - Queer Early Modern Literature
  • •  ENGL 251 - Grammar for Writers
  • •  ENGL 300W - Writing for Inquiry
  • •  ENGL 301W - Writing for Inquiry (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • •  ENGL 302 - Discursive Writing
  • •  ENGL 303W - Advanced Expository Writing
  • •  ENGL 304 - Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing
  • •  ENGL 499 - Senior Seminar
  • •  SPAN 141 - Elementary Spanish I: Language and Humanities
  • •  SPAN 142 - Elementary Spanish II: Language and Arts
  • •  SPAN 146 - Beginning Spanish Language and Culture for Healthcare Professionals
  • •  SPAN 241 - Intermediate Spanish I: Hispanophone Cultures
  • •  SPAN 242 - Intermediate Spanish II: Hispanophone American Sociocultural Issues
  • •  SPAN 246 - Intermediate Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
  • •  SPAN 341 - Spanish Conversation
  • •  SPAN 343 - Spanish Composition and Syntax
  • •  SPAN 344 - Spanish Linguistics and Phonetics
  • •  SPAN 345 - Spanish Textual Analysis in a Multicultural Context
  • •  SPAN 440 - Latin American Pop Culture: Narratives
  • •  SPAN 443 - Food Cultures in the Latinx Communities
  • •  SPAN 447 - Latin American Global and Cultural Studies
  • •  SPAN 448 - Spanish Global and Cultural Studies
  • •  SPAN 449 - Selected Topics in Hispanic Studies
  • •  SPAN 441 - Introduction to Spanish American Literature: 1492 to 1900
  • •  SPAN 442 - Introduction to Spanish American Literature: 1900 to the Present
  • •  SPAN 445 - Cultures of Spanish America
  • •  SPAN 444 - Survey Spanish Literature II: 18th Century to Present
  • •  SPAN 446 - Cultures of Spain
  • •  ENGL 203 - Introduction to Dramatic Literature
  • •  ENGL 312 - Renaissance Humanism
  • •  ENGL 205 - Beginning Workshop in Fiction
  • •  ENGL 206 - Beginning Workshop in Poetry
  • •  ENGL 305 - Intermediate Workshop in Fiction
  • •  ENGL 307 - Intermediate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction
  • •  ENGL 308W - Writing Bad Bodies
  • •  ENGL 405 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction
  • •  ENGL 406 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry

All program-level Admissions and Progression Requirements are in addition to the  University of North Carolina at Charlotte Admission Requirements   .

Admission Requirements

Freshmen and transfers.

  • See University Admission Requirements    
  • Minimum GPA:  2.0
  • Transferable Credit Hours:   24

Currently Enrolled Students

D eclaration of Major:   Change of Major forms accepted year-round. Students must make an advising appointment during SOAR and when declaring the major.

Degree Requirements

Students in the major must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours in English courses, including 12 credit hours at the 4000-level.  No more than 12 credit hours in ENGL at the 1000- or 2000-level may be counted toward the major, with no more than 6 credit hours at the 1000-level. Of the 36 required credit hours, at least 3 credit hours must be in a departmentally designated diversity course.

General Education Courses (31-32 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the General Education Program   . Total hours to satisfy General Education Requirements may vary as some general education requirements may be double-counted in the major with departmental approval. Please see your advisor for information. 

Foreign Language Requirement (0-8 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the College of Humanities & Earth and Social Sciences Foreign Language Requirement   .

Foundation Course (3 credit hours)

  • COMM 1101 - Public Speaking (3)

Major Courses (21 credit hours)

Introductory creative writing courses (6 credit hours).

Select two of the following:

  • ENGL 2126 - Introduction to Creative Writing (3)
  • ENGL 2127 - Introduction to Poetry Writing (3)
  • ENGL 2128 - Introduction to Fiction Writing (3)
  • ENGL 2201 - Contemporary Poetry (3)
  • ENGL 2202 - Contemporary Fiction (3)

Intermediate Creative Writing Course (3 credit hours)

Select one of the following:

  • ENGL 3201 - Intermediate Poetry Writing (3)
  • ENGL 3202 - Intermediate Fiction Writing (3)

Advanced Creative Writing Courses (6 credit hours)

  • ENGL 4202 - Advanced Poetry Writing (3)
  • or   ENGL 4208 - Poetry Writing Workshop (3)
  • ENGL 4203 - Advanced Fiction Writing (3)
  • or   ENGL 4209 - Fiction Writing Workshop (3)
  • ENGL 4206 - Writing Creative Nonfiction (3)
  • ENGL 4207 - Writing Young Adult Fiction (3)
  • ENGL 4290 - Advanced Creative Project (3)

Literature Courses (6 credit hours)

Select one course from two of the following categories:

Pre-1800 British Literature

  • ENGL 3211 - Medieval Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3212 - British Renaissance Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3213 - British Literature of the Restoration and 18th Century (3)

Post-1800 British Literature

  • ENGL 3214 - Romantic British Literature, 1785-1832 (3)
  • ENGL 3215 - British Victorian Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3216 - British Literature in Transition, 1870-1914 (3)
  • ENGL 3217 - Modern British Literature (3)

Pre-1900 American Literature

  • ENGL 3231 - Early African American Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3233 - American Literature of the Romantic Period (3)
  • ENGL 3234 - American Literature of the Realist and Naturalist Periods (3)

Post-1900 American Literature

  • ENGL 3125 - Introduction to U.S. Latinx Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3235 - Modern American Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3236 - African American Literature, Harlem Renaissance to Present (3)
  • ENGL 3237 - Modern and Recent U.S. Multiethnic Literature (3)
  • ENGL 4325 - Trauma and Memory in Contemporary American Literature (3)

Children’s Literature

  • ENGL 3102 - Literature for Young Children (3)
  • ENGL 3103 - Children’s Literature (3)
  • ENGL 3104 - Literature for Adolescents (3)
  • ENGL 4102 - British Children’s Literature (3)
  • ENGL 4103 - American Children’s Literature (3)
  • ENGL 4104 - Multiculturalism and Children’s Literature (3)

Restricted Elective Courses (15 credit hours)

Select fifteen additional credit hours in ENGL courses at the 1000- or 2000-level or above, with no more than 6 credit hours at the 1000-level.

Unrestricted Elective Courses

Degree total = 120 credit hours, progression requirements.

A GPA of 2.0 or above in all English courses above the 1000-level is required for graduation.

Special Policies or Requirements

Students in the Creative Writing Concentration must complete ENGL 2126   , ENGL 2127   , ENGL 2128   , ENGL 2201   , or ENGL 2202   , or gain permission from their instructor before registering for creative writing courses as the 3000- and 4000-level.

Requirements for the Minor (12 credits)

A. introductory course (3 credits).

Grade of B- or better required.

  • ENGL 20500 - Introduction To Creative Writing Credits: 3.00

B. Writing Courses (9 credits)

  • ENGL 31600 - Craft Of Fiction From A Writer’s Perspective Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 31700 - Craft Of Poetry From A Writer’s Perspective Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 40700 - Intermediate Poetry Writing Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 40900 - Intermediate Fiction Writing Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 50700 - Advanced Poetry Writing Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 50900 - Advanced Fiction Writing Credits: 3.00
  • ENGL 58900 - Directed Writing Credits: 1.00 to 3.00
  • 50% of credits for CLA minors must come from Purdue University.
  • All Creative Writing courses except 20500, 31600, 31700 may be repeated once for credit.
  • The courses must be taken in order, the 40000 level taken before the 50000 level in any given genre.

College of Liberal Arts Pass/No Pass Option Policy

  • P/NP cannot be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Core, Liberal Arts major, minor, or certificate requirements.

The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements. Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student. The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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The English program offers majors in Writing and Literature   , and many students choose to double major in both. The program also offers minors in  English    and in Rhetoric and Public Writing   .

Requirements for the Major in English: Writing (B.A.):

The English: Writing major at Loras College offers extraordinary depth and range, together with the kind of close, sustained faculty mentoring which is only possible at a small college. Students choose from courses in Fiction (including Screenwriting), Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Professional Writing. Students write and defen a senior creative writing thesis.

English: Writing majors also take a number of Literature courses to develop critical reading and analytical skills, to increase awareness of authors and movements within literary traditions, and to deepen cultural understanding.

Student Learning Outcomes - English: Writing

  • Demonstrate critical reading skills required to articulate a persuasive and insightful close reading, and a persuasive and insightful formal or structural analysis of a literary text (Goal #1 is common to all Literature and Writing majors).
  • Demonstrate the rhetorical skills required to make a persuasive and insightful written argument using evidence from a literary text. (Goal #2 is common to all Literature and Writing majors).
  • Demonstrate the ability to write aesthetically interesting original works of creative writing.
  • Demonstrate, through their writings, a clear understanding of genre conventions and literary techniques, such as structure, plot, character, setting, point of view, dialogue, imagery, metaphor, symbolism, rhetoric, or prosody;
  • Demonstrate control of structure and form (unity, coherence, balance, emphasis)
  • Effectively revise and edit their own work for technical, stylistic, and grammatical effectiveness;
  • Orally articulate their composition and revision processes, and explain how the study of literature and individual authors provides them with models and an understanding of literary conventions and traditions which informs their own writing.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements     

Requirements for the major in English: Writing (B.A.):

  • L.ENG 135 - Intro to Creative Writing-EC Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 145 - Literature and Public Life-EI Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 245 - Critics and Creators Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 492 - English Senior Seminar-IN Credits: 3

Select one Fiction writing course

(Excludes General Education Courses)

  • L.ENG 237 - Fiction Writing Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 271 - Screenwriting Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 370 - Fantastic Fiction Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 384 - Fiction Genre Workshop Credits: 3

Select one Poetry writing course

  • L.ENG 238 - Poetry Writing Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 385 - Poetry Genre Workshop Credits: 3

Select one Creative Nonfiction writing or Professional writing course

  • L.ENG 278 - Grant and Proposal Writing Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 279 - Writing for New Media Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 380 - Nature Writing Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 383 - Nonfiction Genre Workshop Credits: 3

Select three Literature electives

Must be level 300+; (Excludes General Education Courses)

  • L.ENG 325 - American Literature: 1820-1860 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 326 - American Literature: 1861-1900 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 328 - American Literature: Modern & Contemporary Poetry Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 329 - American Literature: Modern & Contemporary Drama Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 330 - American Literature: Modern Prose, 1900-1945 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 331 - American Literature: Contemporary Prose, 1945-Present Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 332 - Major American Authors Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 333 - Shakespeare Before 1600 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 334 - Shakespeare After 1600 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 337 - Medieval & Renaissance British Literature Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 340 - Romantic Age: 1798-1832 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 341 - Victorian Age: 1832-1901 Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 342 - Victorian Age Novel Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 343 - British/Irish Poetry 1900-Present Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 344 - British Fiction 1900-Present Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 345 - British Drama 1890-Present Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 351 - Milton & 17th Century Literature Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 352 - 18th Century British Literature Credits: 3
  • L.ENG 355 - English Novel: 1800-1840 Credits: 3

Select two Writing electives

  • L.ENG 389 - Revision, Editing & Publishing Credits: 3

Double Major in Literature & Writing (B.A.):

Students must complete 12 core credits ( L.ENG 135   ,  L.ENG 145   , L.ENG 245   , L.ENG 492   ); 18 additional Literature credits, 18 additional Writing credits.

Undergraduate Programs Professional Writing Minor

  • Requirements
  • Course Descriptions
  • How to Apply

Fall 2024 Courses

Please note that many of our professional writing instructors spend fall quarter teaching lower-division writing courses to meet the needs of new ucla students. we therefore offer fewer pwm courses in the fall than in the winter or spring. pwm students should please plan accordingly..

For a tentative list of 2024-2025 course offerings, click here . Please note that the courses listed for Winter/Spring 2025 are not final and are subject to change. Please see below for detailed descriptions for Fall 2024.

Fall 2024- Professional Writing Core Courses

Professional writing: digital writing and web literacy.

English Composition 130A / Prof. Samuelson

Professional Writing: Science and Technology

English Composition 130C/ Prof. Hartenberger

Fall 2024- Professional Writing Electives in English or English Composition

First-person writing for aspiring professional writers.

Variable Topics in Professional Writing English 110V / Prof. Allmendinger

Writing in the English Major: Analytical

English 110A / Prof. Stephan

Westwind Journal

Undergraduate Practicum in English English M192.1 / Prof. Wilson

Fall 2024- Professional Writing Extra-departmental Electives

Please consult the reference list of eligible extra-departmental electives here , then refer to the UCLA Schedule of Classes for availability.

Fall 2024- Professional Writing Capstone Requirement

Declared minors will be invited to a capstone information session in their junior or senior year. The PWM capstone seminar, EngComp M185, is offered in the Spring quarter only.

Graduating in Fall 2024? Contact Sara Hosegera at [email protected].

The graduate program offers the Master of Arts (MA) in English. For the program, candidates specify a literature or creative writing focus at the time of application. MA candidates develop a broad knowledge of English literature and language, American literature and literary theory, other Anglophone literatures and criticism. Such breadth of knowledge is a prerequisite for advanced graduate study. Students who wish to apply for doctoral programs after the MA are advised to plan a curriculum that emphasizes the development of a broad knowledge of English, American and more broadly Anglophone literatures, although some specialization in a single field may be appropriate.

The department offers two options for the MA in English: the Master of Arts in English, and the Master of Arts in English with a Certificate in Creative Writing.

Admission Requirements

Qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree are eligible for admission to the program. An undergraduate major in English is desirable for admission. All applicants should submit a sample of their critical writing (10-20 pages). 

Those wishing to enter the MA program with a specialization in creative writing should so indicate on the front page of the application and should submit, together with a sample of their critical writing, a portfolio of their creative work (not more than 40 pages of fiction or 25 pages of verse). 

GRE general test scores are accepted, but not required for the MA program application.

The application deadline for fall admission to the MA is Jan. 27. The application deadline for spring admission to the MA is Nov. 15. All applicants for the MA should go to the graduate admissions website to apply online.

Program Requirements

Course requirements.

Students pursuing the MA in English must nine graduate level courses (or 36 credits), which includes:

  • One literature course before 1800
  • One course including literary theory
  • Seven additional topics courses

Students normally take no more than two appropriate courses in other departments and no more than two courses from the same faculty member. Students who wish to take independent study courses must seek the consent of a faculty member who is willing to direct the independent study as well as the graduate director. Students are limited to two independent study courses as part of their program.

Thesis Requirement

Students may wish to write a master’s thesis. Such students must submit to the graduate director a plan that shows adequate preparation for their proposed thesis, a brief prospectus of the proposed investigation, and a signed approval from the faculty member with whom the student wishes to work. The thesis is a substantial (50-75 pages) piece of original research or criticism. Only students whose thesis plan has been approved may register for ENG 599 Master’s Thesis. ENG 599 may be taken twice for credit, and it may be used for as many as two of the five electives required for the degree. 

When the thesis has been approved by the faculty advisor, the director of graduate programs appoints a qualified second reader to review it. The thesis must conform to the Graduate School requirements, as outlined in the Graduate School Manual. Students may plan a course of study that does not include the writing of a thesis.

Master of Arts with a Certificate in Creative Writing Program Requirements

  • Three workshops or tutorials in the writing of fiction or poetry
  • Four additional topics courses
  • ENG 599 Thesis, for four credits

Students may take no more than two appropriate courses in other departments and no more than two courses from the same faculty member. Students who wish to take independent study courses must seek the consent of a faculty member who is willing to direct the independent study. Students are limited to two independent study courses as part of their program.

At the conclusion of their coursework, students must submit to their thesis director a collection of poems, a collection of stories, a novel, or work in creative nonfiction. The director of the thesis and another faculty member evaluate this thesis. The thesis is the most important requirement for the MA in English/creative writing; it must be of substantial length and publishable quality, and it must conform to the Graduate School requirements for a thesis, as outlined in the Graduate School Manual.

Additional Information About the Program

The student must maintain at least a B (3.0) average to remain in the program; more than one C grade normally requires dismissal. 

Residency Requirement : A student not in residence must register each semester to remain in good standing.

For more information on the English MA program, please refer to the English, General Literature and Rhetoric website for more information. To apply to the English MA program, please visit the University Admissions website.

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    In summary, here are 10 of our most popular creative writing courses. Creative Writing: Wesleyan University. Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University. Introduction to Psychology : Yale University. Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course): Michigan State University.

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    Online Courses. Stanford Continuing Studies' online creative writing courses make it easy to take courses taught by instructors from Stanford's writing community. Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, these courses can be taken anywhere, anytime—a plus for students who lead busy lives or for whom regular travel to the Stanford ...

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  8. Creative Writing: The Craft of Style

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    Creative Writing. The vital presence of creative writing in the English Department is reflected by our many distinguished authors who teach our workshops. We offer courses each term in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, and television writing. Our workshops are small, usually no more than twelve students, and offer writers ...

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  20. Program: Creative Writing, BA

    All Creative Writing courses except 20500, 31600, and 31700 may be repeated once by Creative Writing majors for credit. (The 40000 and 50000 level courses should be taken in order in any given genre; exceptions are granted by the permission of instructor.) ENGL 31600 - Craft Of Fiction From A Writer's Perspective Credits: 3.00

  21. English, B.A.: Creative Writing Concentration

    Program Description. The university offers the B.A. degree in English with three distinct concentrations: literature, creative writing, and English language and literacies. The student seeking a degree must observe the general university requirements stated elsewhere in this catalog as well as the specific departmental requirements stated here.

  22. Program: English, Creative Writing Concentration, B.A.

    A GPA of 2.0 or above in all English courses above the 1000-level is required for graduation. Special Policies or Requirements Students in the Creative Writing Concentration must complete ENGL 2126 , ENGL 2127 , ENGL 2128 , ENGL 2201 , or ENGL 2202 , or gain permission from their instructor before registering for creative writing courses as the ...

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  24. Program: Creative Writing Minor

    B. Writing Courses (9 credits) ENGL 31600 - Craft Of Fiction From A Writer's Perspective Credits: 3.00; ... All Creative Writing courses except 20500, 31600, 31700 may be repeated once for credit. The courses must be taken in order, the 40000 level taken before the 50000 level in any given genre.

  25. Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot Course by Wesleyan University

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  27. Program: English, B.A., Writing

    The English: Writing major at Loras College offers extraordinary depth and range, together with the kind of close, sustained faculty mentoring which is only possible at a small college. Students choose from courses in Fiction (including Screenwriting), Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Professional Writing.

  28. Fall 2024 Courses

    This course counts as an elective for the Professional Writing minor. The course requisite is ENGL 4W. Students in the Professional Writing minor who have completed alternate Writing II credit may contact the English undergraduate advising office to enroll.

  29. Program: English, MA

    English, MA. The graduate program offers the Master of Arts (MA) in English. For the program, candidates specify a literature or creative writing focus at the time of application. MA candidates develop a broad knowledge of English literature and language, American literature and literary theory, other Anglophone literatures and criticism.