The creative writing coursework concentration addresses not only the production of creative writing but also its contemporary theory, history, and pedagogy, beginning with ENGL 504: Creative Writing Theory and Practice. Students who pursue this concentration will be able to focus on their own creative work in the context of two or more advanced workshop courses, explore the connections between that work and contemporary scholarship, and prepare to teach creative writing at the college and university levels. Their selected courses will ideally be a mixture of practicum and focused literary scholarship that provide a wide range of marketable skills, preparing them for an academic job market that calls on them to teach in more than one area.

English doctoral students who pursue the creative writing coursework concentration work closely with the creative writing faculty to pursue writing and teaching in several genres. The concentration is satisfied by the completion of the following:

  • English 504 and two 400-level workshop courses with a grade of B or better
  • An approved experience in or around Writers House (serving on a program committee, leading a writing group, engaging in community writing, etc.)
  • A portfolio that includes a syllabus for a college-level creative writing course, a collection of the student’s own creative work, and a critical introduction

The concentration’s guidelines need not be completed in the first two years of coursework (the Fellowship Course Option can be used to supplement regularly required courses), and there is no expectation that students include creative writing as part of qualifying exams or subsequent dissertation work. On the other hand, students who wish to pursue further scholarly work in the theory and history of contemporary creative writing may do so under the guidance of an approved doctoral committee. (Please see the doctoral program’s guidelines for constituting committees and preparing for exams.)