First and foremost, we are a program that emphasizes the development of an artistic craft. Whether students are taking Studio courses or “Reading as Writers” courses students will be producing their own writing by practicing skills from the literary tradition under the guidance of outstanding faculty mentors. Students will also learn to apply their creative writing skills to real world situations, using creative solutions, learning research and analytical techniques, and getting on-hands experience in publishing and advocacy.
RWU creative writing alumni have moved onto professional fields that include journalism, public relations, marketing, publishing, library science and political communication. Our alumni have also gone onto graduate schools that not only include creative writing and publishing, but also law school, business school, journalism school, library sciences and even veterinary school.
We emphasize outcomes that are both specific and general, but spread over four years in a way that leads from basic understanding of forms and strategies as freshmen, to sustained reflection in genres of the students’ choosing. In their senior year, students will work with their portfolios to trace their progress and apply their improved skills to significant projects of their own.
In the 40 years of the program, numerous RWU graduates have gone on to publish novels, short stories and poetry. We have also had publications by current students in venues such as The Santa Clara Review, The Allegheny Review and other literary journals.
We believe the study of literary writing makes one a better human being, through the deep examination of the human condition and human nature. We seek to instill a love of literature, empathy to others, a more evolved way of looking at the world, and an appreciation of aesthetic beauty of all kinds.
While our classes do not limit themselves to one genre, such as horror, fantasy, romance, or crime, student projects often focus on specific genres, incorporating the storytelling craft students are learning in all their coursework.
- Language and Style: Students will develop awareness of standards and conventions of good writing and demonstrate their command of language in relation to specific writing projects and distinctive use of voice
- Honoring of diverse perspectives and identities: Students will reflect upon the relationship of individual background to their writing and articulate awareness of a diverse literary tradition
- Literary Influences: Students will situate their writing in relation to historical traditions and recognize contemporary literary trends
- Form and Literary Design: As students write and revise their work, they will exhibit their understanding of literary form and to explore literary design
- Revision and the Writing Process: Students will practice effective revision techniques as they revise own work. They will often work productively in a team-environment involving critique and editing of peer work.
- Applied and Experiential Learning: Students will engage in applied and professional writing settings and/or reflect on the relationship between academic learning and applications to professional contexts.