Creative Writing

Craft your writing in a wide variety of studio courses: novels, screenplays, poems, plays, and/or non-fiction narratives, under the guidance of widely published, award-winning faculty. Whether students take just one course in Creative Writing, or a minor or a major (BFA), our engaged community of writers welcomes students to a wide variety of experiential learning inside and outside the classroom: poetry slams, Interactive eZine, Mt. Hope Literary Magazine, and international Advocacy courses, famous visiting writers, informal writing groups, and much more. We also offer guidance to help students market their writing skills for successful employment after graduation.

Degree Requirements

The creative writing program leads to the Bachelor of Fine Arts. By dedicating their collegiate study to creative writing, students commit to becoming writers; they can expect to be treated as serious writers. As such, they will engage in the formal and rigorous study of craft through reading, revising, and developing the methodical and critical skills that assist in improving their own creative work as well as the work of others. If students apply themselves deliberately to the study of writing in their time at RWU, they can expect to establish solid foundations for these essential practices, common to all writers/artists.

Each year, the creative writing program brings to campus such writers as Rick Moody, Kim Addonizio, Marjorie Agosin, Steve Almond, Ann Waldman, Tom Chandler, Stuart Dischell, Mark Halliday, Stewart O’Nan, Dan Chaon, Tobias Wolff, Jennifer Haigh and C.D. Wright who speak on literature and writing and read from their works.

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.

See Course Requirements

Students in the CW major will focus on the following six general areas:

  • 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.

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Program Highlights

  • Studio Courses: from Young Adult Literature to ScreenWriting
  • Mt. Hope Literary Magazine: Experiential Learning; Join our Student Staff 
  • Poetry Slam: The Most Widely Attended Event on Campus
  • Visiting Writers: Talking in the Library Series 
  • Voices Ezine:  For Students, by Students
  • Advocacy:  Make a Difference 
  • Career Events:  Targeted specifically for Creative Writers 

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