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.

The Creative Writing Major

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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.
Incoming freshmen are accepted to the creative writing program on the basis of a portfolio, containing both creative and analytical writing, submitted as part of the application process. Matriculating students may enter the creative writing program by earning a grade of B- or higher in CW 210 and CW 220, on the basis of a portfolio, or by recommendation of one or more full-time creative writing faculty members. (See: Special Requirements for Applicants section of the catalog.)
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.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

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

CW210Form in Poetry 
CW220Narrative in Writing the Short Story 

Four (4) courses from the English major

Advanced Bridge Courses (Take two)

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

Advanced Breadth Courses (Take two)

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)

DANCE150Introduction to Dance Technique 
DANCE161Tap and Theatre Dance Styles I 
DANCE200
Elementary Contemporary Modern
Technique and Improvisation I
 
DANCE220
Intermediate 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)

CW480Creative Writing Senior Seminar I 
CW481Seminar II – The Thesis 

Minor in Creative Writing

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CW210Form in Poetry 
CW220Narrative in Writing the Short Story 
One 200 Level English course

Take one Advanced Bridge Course

CW350Writers Reading Poetry Seminar 
CW360Writers Reading Fiction Seminar 

Take one 400 Level Advanced Bridge Course

CW440Writing Contemporary Poetry 
CW450The Use of Style in Writing Fiction 

Take one Advanced Breadth Course

CW241Introduction to Playwriting 
CW242Screenwriting 
CW310Creative Non-Fiction 
CW330Literary Publishing 
CW430Special Topics in Creative Writing 

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