Creative Writing Emphasis

We established an emphasis in creative writing as part of the English major in 2011 in response to student interest generated by the Lindsay J. Cropper Memorial Writers Series and Cropper Creative Writing Contest.

The creative writing emphasis offers concentrated study in three tracks: poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction. Each of these tracks requires students to complete 12 units of creative writing courses.

All emphasis students must take the introductory, multi-genre creative writing course, which gives them fundamental skills in poetry and prose-writing. Then students build on those skills in an intermediate and advanced sequence of two courses in their chosen genre of specialization, as well as one "cross-over" course in another genre, allowing writers to broaden and deepen their creative writing skills.

The emphasis gives developing writers the skills essential to honing their craft outside of an academic environment or through graduate study. These skills are not only essential to the budding writer, 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.

Emphasis Requirements

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

One course of:

  • ENGL 301 (formerly 375) Introduction to Creative Writing

One "crossover" course of:

Must be in a genre other than the student's specified genre

  • ENGL 385 (formerly 376) Topics In Creative Writing: Screenwriting (Enrollment by consent of the instructor)
  • ENGL 381 Intermediate Poetry Writing   
  • ENGL 382 Intermediate Fiction Writing
  • ENGL 383 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 304 Advanced Composition: Writing Autobiography
  • ENGL 494/THEA 365 Playwriting

Two courses in a specified genre including:

  • ENGL 381 Intermediate Poetry Writing
  • ENGL 401 (formerly 391) Advanced Poetry Writing


  • ENGL 382 Intermediate Fiction Writing
  • ENGL 402 (formerly 392) Advanced Fiction Writing


  • ENGL 383 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 403 (formerly 393) Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing

*Enrollment in intermediate creative writing courses is by consent of the instructor with preference for students who have completed ENGL 301 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.

Questions? Contact:

Prof. Brad Melekian
Assistant Professor, English Department
Director, Cropper Center for Creative Writing