Creative Writing

Pursue the art of writing with a degree in Creative Writing from RWU, where students study with a practicing faculty of published authors and produce a national literary magazine. Through writing and analyzing creative works, you’ll learn how to express your ideas, tell stories and apply creative thinking to careers in writing, publishing, journalism, advertising and more.

Degree Requirements

The Creative Writing Major

Click to Open

Creative writing majors must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the College speech requirement, COMM 210. In addition, the creative writing major must successfully complete the fourteen (14) courses listed below and sufficient electives to total 120 credits. Majors are encouraged to apply electives toward a minor or second major.

Foundation Courses

SubjectNumberTitle
CW210Form in Poetry
CW220Narrative in Writing the Short Story
Four (4) courses from the English major

Advanced Bridge Courses (Take two)

SubjectNumberTitle
CW350Writers Reading Poetry Seminar
CW360Writers Reading Fiction Seminar
CW440Writing Contemporary Poetry
CW450The Use of Style in Writing Fiction

Advanced Breadth Courses (Take two)

SubjectNumberTitle
CW241Introduction to Playwriting
CW242Screenwriting
CW310Creative Nonfiction
CW330Literary Publishing
CW430Special Topics in Creative Writing

Breadth Course in the Fine Arts (Take one)

(Some of these courses may have pre-requisites; refer to course descriptions for details)

SubjectNumberTitle
DANCE150Introduction to Dance Technique
DANCE161Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I
DANCE200Elementary Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation I
DANCE220Intermediate Contemporary Modern Technique and Improvisation II
MUSIC170Basic Musicianship
VARTS101Foundations of Drawing
VARTS231Foundations of Sculpture
VARTS241Printmaking: Relief
VARTS261Foundations of Photography
VARTS281Foundations of Painting
VARTS301Advanced Drawing
VARTS351Intermediate Concepts of Photography
VARTS352Advanced Photography
VARTS381Painting: The Figure
DSGN100Introduction to Design Communication
DSGN110Introduction to Typography
THEAT110Acting I
THEAT123Design for the Theatre
THEAT210Acting II

Thesis Courses (Take both)

SubjectNumberTitle
CW480Creative Writing Senior Seminar I
CW481Seminar II – The Thesis

The Creative Writing Minor

Click to Open
SubjectNumberTitle
CW210Form in Poetry
CW220Narrative in Writing the Short Story
One 200 Level English course

Take one Advanced Bridge Course

SubjectNumberTitle
CW350Writers Reading Poetry Seminar
CW360Writers Reading Fiction Seminar

Take one 400 Level Advanced Bridge Course

SubjectNumberTitle
CW440Writing Contemporary Poetry
CW450The Use of Style in Writing Fiction

Take one Advanced Breadth Course

SubjectNumberTitle
CW241Introduction to Playwriting
CW242Screenwriting
CW310Creative Nonfiction
CW330Literary Publishing
CW430Special Topics in Creative Writing

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Description of the undergraduate student learning outcomes (clear statement of expected learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge, skills, competencies)

Foundation Courses

The required Foundation Courses include ENG 100 Introduction to Literature, CW 210 Form in Poetry, CW 220 Narrative in Writing the Short Story, and four courses from the English major. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:

  • Identify literary terms and develop a literary vocabulary
  • Use the library and Internet to locate research materials relevant to course work
  • Analyze literary texts and identify poetic forms and the elements of narrative structure
  • Draft and present formal critical essays emphasizing some aspect of a particular literary work
  • Draft and present imaginative work in the form of fiction and poetry that indicates a student’s experimentation with the specific elements that serve as the foundation of each genre
  • Draft and present formal writing that indicates thoughtfulness and recognition of decisions made during the revision process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of literature written in the English and non‐English tradition

Advanced Bridge Courses

The required Advanced Bridge Courses include CW 350 Writers Reading Poetry Seminar, CW 360 Writers Reading Fiction Seminar, CW 440 Writing Contemporary Poetry, and CW 450 The Use of Style in Writing Fiction. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:

  • Conduct sophisticated analyses of fictional and poetical texts from a practitioner’s perspective
  • Create sophisticated fictional and poetic texts that reveal a command of literary craft
  • Understand and comment upon the relationship between an author’s life and his or her work

Advanced Breadth Course

Creative Writing majors complete two of the following Advance Breath Courses: CW 310 Creative Nonfiction, CW 330 Literary Publishing, CW 340 Introduction to Playwriting, CW 430 Special Topics in Creative Writing. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:

  • Conduct sophisticated analyses of literary works outside the genres of fiction and poetry
  • Create literary works in genres other than fiction and poetry

Breadth Courses in the Fine Arts

To satisfy this requirement, Creative Writing majors must complete one from a list of courses in Dance, Music, the Visual Arts, Graphic Design, or Theatre. After completing this course, Creative Writing majors should be able to:

  • Implement the creative process in an art form other than writing
  • Understand the relationships among the various art forms

Thesis Courses

To satisfy the thesis requirement, Creative Writing majors complete CW 480 Creative Writing Senior Seminar I and CW 481 Seminar II—Thesis. After completing these two courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:

  • Revise their own creative work
  • Complete an annotated bibliography
  • Compose a thesis including both creative and critical work
  • Present critical work in an interview with creative writing faculty
  • Present creative work in a public reading