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Creative Writing
Expanded offerings for English students

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Cropper

“The Cropper Reading Series brings great, contemporary literature to life for students through high-profile authors visiting campus; naturally, students become excited about practicing creative writing themselves.”

Halina Duraj, PhD

The Department of English has expanded its offerings to include an emphasis in creative writing. Appreciation for the written word is strong on campus, thanks largely to the Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing and Memorial Writers Series. The new program provides a customizable focus for English majors, and expanded course offerings for all students. Assistant Professor Halina Duraj, PhD, shares her thoughts on what Jericho Brown, former director of the writing center once called, “the beginning of a long and lovely journey.”

The Department of English recently introduced a Creative Writing Emphasis. What new opportunities will this program provide for English students?

In these new courses, students will have the opportunity to explore a single genre in depth. Higher levels of creative writing courses allow students to hone critical reading, creative thinking, and writing and communication skills. These skills are not only essential to the budding writer, of course, but also are highly valued in all professional fields and integral to the creation of a whole, well-rounded graduate of a liberal arts college.

Halina Duraj, PhD

“We write with the belief and intention that what we write can indeed change the way we live and the way our readers think.”

Halina Duraj, PhD

The Lindsay J. Cropper Memorial Writers Series brings remarkable poets and writers to campus. How does this reading series augment the Creative Writing Emphasis?

The success of the Lindsey J. Cropper Memorial Reading Series has stimulated campus-wide and community interest in the literary arts. The Cropper Reading Series brings great, contemporary literature to life for students through high-profile authors visiting campus; naturally, students become excited about practicing creative writing themselves.

Professor Duraj, as an accomplished writer and curator of the Lindsay J. Cropper Memorial Writers Series, how would you describe your creative writing processes? How does the art of creative writing affect your perceptions the world?

We labor over and belabor over the smallest of words and gestures while attempting to keep an eye on the whole of a piece. We write with the belief and intention that what we write can indeed change the way we live and the way our readers think.

What are your goals for the future of the program?

We mean to build closer communities to inspire young people to become better writers.

- Anne Malinoski ‘11

Requirements for English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing

English majors complete 12 units of upper division creative writing courses. Basic requirements are:

One course of:
ENGL 375 Introduction to Creative Writing

Two courses in a specified genre including:
ENGL 381 Intermediate Poetry Writing
ENGL 391 Advanced Poetry Writing
or
ENGL 382 Intermediate Fiction Writing
ENGL 392 Advanced Fiction Writing
(*Enrollment in intermediate creative writing courses is by consent of the instructor with preference for students who have completed ENGL 375 and students who have completed at least one English Department literature course covering poetry or fiction, respectively. Intermediate courses are the prerequisites for the advanced courses.)

One “crossover” course in a genre other than the student’s specified genre in any of the following:
ENGL 376 Topics In Creative Writing: Screenwriting (*Enrollment by consent of the instructor)
ENGL 381 Intermediate Poetry Writing
ENGL 382 Intermediate Fiction Writing
ENGL 494 Writing Autobiography
ENGL 494/THEA 365W Playwriting

Useful Links

Halina Duraj, PhD Biography

English Department

USD Professor earns prestigious Creative Writing Fellowship

Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing