In today’s world you write more than ever…

Words matter. Effective communication matters even more. Creative writing permeates our lives through smart phones, the web, magazines, newspapers and books. Accurately expressing thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams through creative writing is critical to success in every field, and our liberal arts degree in creative writing will help you achieve that success.

Aspiring authors in fiction or non-fiction, as well as those thinking of careers in marketing, strategic communications, education, grant writing or fundraising/development will benefit from our creative writing degree program.

General Education (18 cr)

  • GNED-3210 Experience and Expression (3)
  • GNED-3250 Modes and Methods of Learning (3)
  • GNED-3350 Culture, Conflict, and Social Research (3)
  • GNED-3450 Foundations of Civilization (3)
  • GNED-3510 Ecology, Technology, and Society (3)
  • GNED-3550 Leadership (3)

NOTE: GNED-3310 Literary Analysis and Argumentation is optional; students are encouraged to take this as elective.

Language Arts Concentration (18 cr)

  • COM-3900 Diversification & Acquisition of Language (3)
  • LIT-4500 Contemporary Theory & Criticism (3)
  • LIT-4620 English Literature (3)
  • LIT-4650 Shakespeare (3)

Choose one of the following 2 courses:

  • LIT-3630 Mixed-Race Women’s Literature (3) OR
  • LIT-4420 African American Literature (3)

Choose one of the following 2 courses:

  • LIT-4320 Literature of the Americas (3) OR
  • LIT-4520 American Literature (3)

Writing Genre Concentration (21 cr)

  • COM-3570 Short Story Writing (3)
  • COM-3580 Playwriting and Performance (3)
  • COM-3650 Multi-Genre Writing (3)
  • COM-4220 Poetry Writing (3)
  • COM-4320 Social Media and Social Change (3)
  • COM-4700 Antioch Writers’ Workshop (3)

Choose one of the following 2 courses:

  • COM-3700 Professional Writing (3) OR
  • COM-4540 Creative Nonfiction (3)

Senior Project (3)

  • PRO-4970 Senior Project (3)
GNED-3210 Experience and Expression
Students discover the uniqueness of each human life by reading and comparing life stories about transformative experiences. They learn to write in their own voice from their own life experience employing rhetorical modes such as narration, description, and reflection.
GNED-3250 Modes & Methods of Learning
This course shows ways to identify and apply diverse modes of learning to achieve ends such as acquiring knowledge of nature, self and others, solving problems, producing works of art, or engaging in public speaking. Students learn to distinguish values from facts, intuition from logic, imagination from objective representation, beliefs from arguments, synthesis from analysis, and qualitative from quantitative reasoning. They practice self-awareness and employ evidence and reason as foundations of inquiry.
GNED-3310 Literary Analysis & Argument
Students travel the world of literature to explore ideas, passions, and lives of people in other times and places. Discussions focus on viewpoints and aims of characters, narrative techniques, cultural contexts, and intentionality in reading and writing. Students refine their ability to read closely and critically and to analyze literary texts using a variety of academic approaches. They learn both how to construct analytical arguments about literary themes and how this skill can be transferred to other professional situations.
GNED-3350 Culture, Conflict & Social Research
Introduces students to the historic and cultural origins of contemporary conflicts and the attitudes and institutions that perpetuate them. They learn methods of research that can effectively address the issues and questions that arise in conflict situations. Students learn how to pose productive questions, formulate hypotheses, design logical and effective research strategies, address issues of bias, reliability, and validity, and observe ethical protocols. They each conduct and compose a modest research project and make an oral presentation according to professional standards.
GNED-3450 Foundations of Civilization
This course focuses on understanding differences between cultures and civilizations, including how both evolve from specific environmental conditions, and are shaped to address local challenges.  This course examines the religious, economic, and political systems in such foundational zones as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, India and China, and Greece and Rome. 
GNED-3510 Ecology, Technology & Society
This course explores the interdependency of natural and social systems, the factors that contribute to the evolution and disappearance of species, and the human impact on natural environments by factors such as overpopulation, pollution, war, and excess consumption.  It also examines more sustainable initiatives in waste management, and agricultural production, the use of alternative energies and technologies, and policy efforts to both conserve natural resources and ecosystems and build more sustainable communities.
GNED-3550 Leadership
The course explores the concept of Leadership as science, as art, and as service.  In the process of studying cases of successful and failed leadership the course requires students to reflect on how to make their lives meaningful and productive through the cultivation and exercise of leadership skills.  They learn how to employ creative means to achieve constructive ends and how, in the process, to serve with integrity as they draw upon the capacities of diverse human resources and deploy the skills of community building.
COM-3570 Short Story Writing
Through this course, students will gain appreciation for the short story form through writing their own stories as well as through analyzing short story literature. Students will be expected to create a well-crafted short story by doing multiple drafts, which will provide experience in developing story ideas, characters, plot, setting, theme and dialogue as well as in story writing techniques such as pace, voice, tension, and description that can be applied to creating fiction of any length.
COM-3580 Playwriting and Performance
Students will develop their understanding of the basic principles of play construction and acting. They will do so by acting out monologues and dialogues written by published playwrights, and by acting out their own written materials.  By the end of the course, the class should have written and performed at least one play for an invited audience.
COM-3650 Multi-Genre Writing
This course is an introduction to the basic processes that underlie most creative writing, regardless of genre.  It serves as a first experience for those who have never tried to write a poem, fiction, or play, and as a vital reminder of the primal bases of the experience for those who have written.  Students will develop their competencies in several different genres of writing, and will also learn how to mix genres to enhance whatever they are working on.
COM-3700 Professional Writing
This course will help prepare students for writing as a profession.  Students will do hands-on editing work, and will work with publishers and academics to refine their writings.
COM 3900-Diversification & Acquisition of Language
This course comprises two areas of study.  First, it traces out the broad evolution and diversification of human language from the earliest history to the present age with a particular emphasis on English.  Second, it covers the psycholinguistic processes of language acquisition both of native languages and of second languages.  Attention will also be paid to nonverbal communication as used in relation to speech, bilingualism, and the acquisition of sign language.
COM-4220 Poetry Writing
Students will examine some of the fundamental aspects  of contemporary lyrical, narrative, and conversational works of poetry.  They will explore how to develop line, stanza, voice, meter, rhythm, and scheme in order to deepen and broaden their ranges of poetic expression.
COM-4320 Social Media and Social Change
Students will hone their abilities to interface with the public through such media as Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and other social media, as well as through audio-visual media.  In addition, students will develop their ability to use conventional public media outlets, such as local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations.  This course will differ from traditional media courses in that students will develop these social media skills in relation to vital social issues within a social justice framework, with the goal of changing the world.
COM-4540 Creative Nonfiction
Students will explore ways of writing factual information while exploring methods of expression that usually are attributed to fictional works; thus the course involves detailed attention to stylistics.  Samples of creative non-fiction in such fields as sports writing, biography, food writing, travel writing, etc., will be explored as well as various means to develop the craft of writing in this genre.
COM-4700 Antioch Writers' Workshop
Students will develop and hone their craft through participation in the Antioch Writers’ Workshop summer program.  Students focus their work in one of the following genres: poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction or memoir.  After the AWW workshop, students refine their writing based on feedback from faculty and peers.
LIT-3630 Mixed Race Women's Memoirs
This course is designed as a multidisciplinary exploration of race, gender and identity utilizing oral and written narratives of Black-white mixed race women from the mid-nineteenth century to the present as source material.  Drawing from elements of cultural studies, African American studies, American studies and women’s studies, students will construct critical and historical contexts for self-identity and perceptions of that identity in women of interracial descent.
LIT-4320 Literature of the Americas
This course is a study of representative works of fiction from Canada, the United States, and Latin America, including the Caribbean.  The novel as a literary form and as a means of presenting cultural history and national identity are primary focuses.  Fiction of the 20th century is emphasized, and novels of literary quality are highlighted.  Students learn to analyze novels from a number of perspectives.
LIT-4420 African American Literature
This course explores the location of Black writers in literature. Oral traditions,folklore and literature as definition for culture and as documentation and validation are stressed. Concentration is on 20th century writers.
LIT-4500 Contemporary Theory & Criticism
This course introduces some of the most penetrating and challenging contemporary theories which are currently applied to the analysis of literary texts:  e.g., Marxism, psychoanalytic theories, structuralism, phenomenology, feminism, deconstructionist, and post-colonial cultural studies.  Emphasis will be placed on how these theories can open up complementary ways of understanding and interpreting texts.
LIT-4520 American Literature
The literature in this course spans both the history of the U.S. and the cultural diversity of writers, both male & female. Within this broad frame, students read works which embody characteristic American themes such as conflicts over race, the struggle for equality, the pursuit of individual freedom, the questions of truth and destiny, the role of religious belief in a secular world, and the emergence of a multi-ethnic society. Students will discuss the distinctiveness of American contributions to world literature.
LIT-4620 English Literature
This course surveys the literature of the British Isles from the late eighteenth century to the modern day. It explores trends such as Romanticism, Imagism and Formalism, while addressing such themes as individual freedom, alienation, industrialism, the changing role of the family, and the impact of Imperialism. This course includes the study of poetry, short stories, short novels, and essays from a representative sample of important modern British authors.
LIT-4650 Shakespeare
This course will examine Shakespeare’s major writings, including his important plays and sonnets. It will also include some biographical information, including some of his personal correspondences, so that students gain insight into the relationship between his personal life and his authorship.  Besides reading Shakespeare’s works, students will also engage in critical research on his writings.
PRO-4970 Senior Project
 In this seminar, each student develops and carries out a project relevant to professional goals. The project generally involves background study or research, planning, implementation, evaluation, and preparation of a written report. Instructor permission required.