Department of English

Creative Writing Program

B.A.,

Certificate in Creative Writing,

M.A.

M.F.A.

Links of Interest

The B.A.

Classes in the undergraduate program are small and intensive, with an average of 8-15 students in each, which allows for much more student-teacher contact than other, larger programs can provide. Majors enjoy not only the benefits of personalized instruction but also the opportunity to work closely with distinguished contemporary writers. See the Course Requirements for the Major at http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/english/engldata.htm#majcw

The program also offers a minor in creative writing for undergraduates pursuing other studies. This option is especially popular among students interested in law, medicine, and other majors requiring creative thinking and clear expression. See the Course Requirements for the minor at http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/english/engldata.htm#minorcw

Undergraduate Courses

(The courses listed below are for the major itself. For a full list of required courses, consult the Creighton catalogue or speak to one of the faculty members in the program. To learn the actual schedule of course offerings, refer to the Registrar's schedule of classes. Note: all undergraduate creative writing courses have been designated "certified writing" courses.)

ENG 300: Introduction to Creative Writing (offered Fall and Spring terms)
English 300 is the first course in the creative writing sequence. Here, students are introduced to the techniques, strategies, and issues of writing poetry and fiction. We regard creative writing as an essential process for building and appreciating character requiring the highest professional standards. (Prerequisite: English 150 or Director's approval.)

ENG 301: Narrative Forms (offered every Fall term)
The course provides practical guidance in the writing of fiction and a forum for discussing the theory and appreciation of fiction. (Prerequisite: English 300 or Director's approval.)

ENG 302: Poetic Forms (offered every Spring term)
The course provides practical guidance in the writing of poetry and a forum for discussing the theory and appreciation of poetry. (Prerequisite: English 300 or Director's approval.)

ENG 403: Seminar in Creative Writing (offered Fall and Spring terms)
The course is a workshop in creative writing, the text for which is primarily the writing of the students enrolled. (Prerequisite: English 301 or 302; or Director's approval. Course can be taken three times for credit.)

ENG 404: Screenwriting (Consult Registrar's schedule)

The course is a workshop in the art and craft of screenwriting. Students produce a full-length screenplay. (Please note that ENG 404 is not required for the creative writing specialization.) (Prerequisite: English 300 and 301 or 302, or Instructor Permission.)

ENG 499: Senior Project (offered Fall and Spring terms)
This course is the culmination of the undergraduate major's work in the program, a book-length collection of fiction and/or poetry suitable for submission to publishers and/or graduate programs in creative writing. (Prerequisite: Sr. standing; English major or minor.)

The Creative Writing Certificate

For those who already have an undergraduate degree of some kind, and who don't want to pursue a full undergraduate degree in creative writing, we offer a program of study leading to a certificate. For more information, visit the University College web page describing the certificate program at http://www.creighton.edu/UnivCol/Certificates/cw.htm

The M.A.

The M.A. in creative writing is a two-year program providing training and guidance in poetry and/or fiction writing. Graduates of the program are prepared to take jobs in publishing, to teach part-time at the university level, and to enter Ph.D. programs in English and Creative Writing. It's important for prospective students to realize that people pursue an education in creative writing out of passion. For those who intend on becoming professional writers, a graduate degree is one of the first steps, not the last.

Like the undergraduate courses, graduate workshops and seminars in creative writing are small and intensive, with an average of 8-11 students in each, allowing for much more student-teacher contact than other, larger programs can provide. Graduate students enjoy not only the benefits of personalized instruction but also the opportunity to work closely with distinguished contemporary writers. Creative Writing faculty with graduate status take turns teaching the courses to allow for a variety of genre, content, and teaching style.

In addition to the workshop, graduate students in the program participate in hosting writers for a series of readings and for the annual Writes of Spring festival. Those interested in preparing themselves for a career in teaching can shadow a faculty member teaching an undergraduate workshop in creative writing. And on- and off-campus opportunities exist for those interested in experience and training in editing, proofreading, and other publishing skills.

Graduate Courses

ENG 640: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing
The core of the program, English 640 is a small workshop in which students discuss each other's writing under the guidance of a creative writing faculty member with graduate status. Graduate students take English 640 every term they're enrolled in the program.

English 683: Supervised Practicum in the Teaching of Creative Writing
Students shadow a full-time creative writing faculty member in an undergraduate creative writing workshop (English 300). The teacher mentors the student in the principles and methods of teaching creative writing.

ENG 798: Master’s Thesis
Working closely with the thesis advisor in a one-on-one setting, the student carries out the final writing and editing of a publishable book-length novel, work of creative non-fiction, or collection of stories or poems, the culmination of work the student has done in the program. Details on length and scope will be worked out with the faculty advisor, falling within the current standards set by publishers.

The M.F.A.

The Creighton University Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a two-year residential program whose focus is on the book. Students create book-length manuscripts and prepare them for publication through a series of workshops, craft classes, and literature seminars. Eight-week terms provide flexible scheduling that includes built-in writing time. Students develop their writing skills at the same time that they learn to become contributing members of the literary community. Fellowships, some with teaching opportunities, are available, as well as training and real-world experience in editing and publishing. For more information, click here.


Links of Interest

Nebraska Center for Writers
Sycamore Review blog on literary journal publishing
MFA Weblog
Seth Abramson's MFA Rankings


Brent Spencer, Director
Creative Writing Program
Department of English
Creighton University
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: (402) 280-2192
Fax: (402) 280-2143
brentspencer@creighton.edu