Creative Writing Minor

For a printable version of this information, please see the Creative Writing Degree Plan. The creative writing minor, as part of the English Department, is a rigorous immersion in the craft of literature and will assist those who wish to pursue careers in writing, editing and publishing; those who wish to teach creative writing; those who wish to study literature from the vantage point of the writer; and those who wish to augment their academic study with an emphasis on creative writing. The minor sharpens students’ writing and editing skills; introduces them to various genres; and helps them to understand the nature, process, and publication of creative writing.  Additionally, the creative writing minor provides opportunities for participants to hone analytic, presentational, cognitive, and creative skills related to reading, writing, analyzing, and presenting written texts. Students who choose to minor in creative writing will complete eighteen credits in creative writing as well as three credits in modern or contemporary literature.

The course sequence is as follows:

Creative Writing Minor Course Sequence: 21 credits

Required course: 3 credits

  • ENGL 180—Fundamentals of Creative Writing

Choose one of the following courses: 3 credits

  • ENGL 203—Introduction to Poetry Writing
  • ENGL 204—Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 205—Introduction to Fiction Writing

Choose one of the following courses (in student’s chosen genre of emphasis): 3 credits

  • ENGL 303—Intermediate Poetry Writing
  • ENGL 304—Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 305—Intermediate Fiction Writing

Required course (in student’s genre of emphasis): 3 credits

  • ENGL 410—Advanced Creative Writing

Choose two of the following courses: 6 credits

  • ENGL 306—Special Topics in Creative Writing
  • 200-level Creative Writing workshop course (ENGL 203, 204, or 205) in a genre other than student’s genre of emphasis
  • 300-level Creative Writing workshop course (ENGL 303, 304, or 305) in a genre other than student’s genre of emphasis

Choose one course from English department literature offerings, in appropriate genre, in consultation with Creative Writing faculty (please note that these courses do have prerequisites, and that students will be responsible for fulfilling those prerequisites on their own)

Outcomes for Minor

Creative writing is a unique discipline and field of study with distinctive content, goals, and methodology, but the pedagogy of teaching, its emphasis on developing the writer as well as the skill of writing, and its profound connection with established and emerging literary traditions intimately connect creative writing to the study of English language, literature, and writing in general.  In many ways outcomes for creative writing courses parallel the outcomes for any rhetoric and writing course; in some ways outcomes are unique: Knowledge of craft and discipline:

  • Learn terms, tools, and skills necessary to create original texts
  • Understand how genres of creative writing are alike and how they are different
  • Appreciate, identify, and produce genres and sub-genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction
  • Become conversant with writing theory and its bearing on practice
  • Understand the relationship between a writer’s ethics and aesthetics
  • Investigate classic and contemporary writers and their works, often as an apprentice

Critical reading and writing:

  • Learn behaviors and skills necessary for workshop participation as a writer and a reader
  • Become rigorous and careful readers, attending as much to how a piece of writing works as to what it means
  • Know that one must read well to write well, learning to identify, diagnose, and practice the particular features of a given genre
  • Understand the relationships among language, identity, creativity, and expression through production and criticism of original texts and analysis of published texts
  • Read diverse texts that represent difference in gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, genre, and style as integral to the study of writing theory and practice

Writing processes:

  • Develop strategies for invention, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading texts
  • Generate multiple drafts to complete a successful text
  • Mature in technique, voice and ability
  • Understand and participate in the process of preparing and submitting work for publication
  • Incorporate computer technology when appropriate in the writing process

Conventions:

  • Demonstrate control over written language, including syntax, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling, but also appreciate how breaking conventions creates meaning
  • Use appropriate formats and conventions for each genre and know the differences and meanings inherent in format choices
  • Demonstrate understanding of best practices using sources and citations in creative work

Assessment

In each class, assessment will be accomplished through several means of evaluation, all linked to outcomes:

  • Instructor evaluation of individual creative pieces
  • Workshop evaluation of individual creative pieces
  • Self-assessment of individual creative pieces
  • Instructor evaluation of portfolios of revised pieces
  • Self-assessment of portfolios of revised pieces

At the close of the advanced course for his or her chosen genre, Engl. 410, the student will present a cumulative portfolio that represents his or her creative and critical work completed during the creative writing minor, which will be evaluated according to specific criteria that reflect the outcomes. Students are expected to progress in breadth and depth as readers; in the regularity and quality of their writing; in their discipline as writers; in their understanding of terms, concepts and theory; and in their knowledge of their chosen genre of emphasis.