Creative Writing FAQ

1. Who can minor in creative writing?
As opposed to the old creative writing concentration, which was restricted to English majors, the new minor is open to any major within the university. It started in fall 2010.

2. How is the creative writing minor different from the old concentration?
The concentration in creative writing consisted of any four creative writing courses, for a total of 12 credits. The minor consists of six courses for a total of 18 credits. Part of that coursework includes a sequence of beginning, intermediate, and advanced single-genre workshops in either poetry or fiction. Two other creative writing workshops, which can be in any genre and at any level, are required in addition to the sequence track. Finally, you must take a literature course in your chosen genre. See the creative writing minor curriculum guide for more details.

3. Can I still concentrate in creative writing?
Starting with the fall 2010 semester, we started phasing out the concentration, which means no new concentrators. However, students who declared concentrations before the fall 2010 semester are allowed to finish their course of study under the old plan. Those who are already declared creative writing concentrators before Fall 2010 can complete their courses of study if they don’t choose to minor. All courses under the old concentration count towards the minor.

4. If I’m already a creative writing concentrator, how do I switch to a minor?
You must sign a minor declaration form, downloadable from the English department website, and bring it to the department office.

5.What are the advantages to minoring in creative writing rather than concentrating in it?
Students who minor in creative writing will receive priority over others when registering for creative writing courses. Also, the minor is a more substantial accomplishment. The capstone projects at the advanced workshop level represent work that we hope will be of publishable quality.

6. Can I take a single creative writing course rather than minor in it?
Any student can take a 200-level workshop in any genre we offer, and the 300-level and beyond by achieving a B or above at the 200-level.

7. How does a beginning workshop differ from an intermediate or an advanced one?
At the beginning level, students learn the basics of craft, with a lot of exercises and guidance. By the intermediate level and beyond, students are expected to writing more in both quantity and higher quality. The teaching is also pitched at a higher level, from techniques to discussion and analysis.

8. If I already have some writing experience, do I have to start with a beginning-level workshop?
We request that all students start at the 200-level, unless they have transfer credits. Students wishing to transfer a multi-genre introductory course can count that as a creative writing elective, but we ask that they take ENWR 212 (Beginning Poetry Workshop) or ENWR 213 (Beginning Fiction Workshop) to get experience in a genre.

9. What happened to ENWR 200, the old three-genre workshop?
We stopped offering it in spring 2010 and now channel students to either ENWR 212, Beginning Poetry Workshop; ENWR 213, Beginning Fiction Workshop; or ENWR 215, Beginning Drama Workshop.

10. Can I pursue a genre other than fiction or poetry?
The minor offers electives in creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, memoir-writing, and other occasional special topics, but only fiction and poetry are currently offered at all three levels. Therefore, students must focus on either poetry or fiction in their creative writing sequence. We encourage students to explore genres other than their main genre through electives.