The minor in creative writing requires 15 credit hours. Students will take courses in two genres—poetry and fiction—and will be required to have an intro/intermediate sequence in one of those genres (e.g., ENGL 213 and ENGL 303).


15 credit hours, which includes the following:

  • 9 credit hours in creative writing courses (at least 6 credit hours in one genre)
  • 6 credit hours in any 200- or 300-level ENGL courses

Students should take two 200- or 300-level ENGL classes. These courses may be in other disciplines if cross-listed with English (e.g., World Literature). Up to 6 credit hours may count toward either the English major or another minor (but not both).

In addition to the required coursework, students must submit a creative writing portfolio.

(For a downloadable minor declaration form, go here.)

The Portfolio

We require the assembly of a creative writing portfolio as the cornerstone of a student’s academic and post-academic career. It would include

  • A selection of the student’s best creative work at CWRU. (Fiction: Two short stories or an excerpt from a novel that have been workshopped in class, between 20-30 pages. Poetry: 15-20 pages that have been workshopped in class.)
  • The critical introduction to the creative writing portfolio should be 8-10 pages (double-spaced) in length. It should introduce a reader to the work in the portfolio by framing its major aims, themes, technical strategies, and so on. The introduction is “critical” in the sense that it asks the writer to put her/his work in the context of other writers. The writer should cite 3-5 texts (craft essays, and/or works of fiction or poetry) that have had some bearing on her/his practice. These citations should be done in MLA style, with a corresponding Works Cited at the conclusion of the introduction.

The portfolio should be submitted electronically to both the student’s creative writing minor advisor and Susan Grimm ( in the department office by the Monday after classes end in the term in which you plan to graduate.