Creative Writing at Willamette

The creative writing concentration in the English major at Willamette offers students extended training in writing as a mode of literary analysis, a means for artistic and social expression, and a method of engagement with the world.  Gaining experience writing in multiple genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, dramatic writing, and songwriting), creative writers choose from an array of writing and literature courses, meet and interact with visiting writers, and can apply for the opportunity to produce a creative senior thesis in a genre or genres of their choosing.

The creative writing concentration incorporates rigorous study in literary tradition, offers opportunities for co-curricular involvement and writing-related field trips, and is designed for students who want to pursue careers or lives that significantly incorporate writing.  It is also an excellent double major choice for students wishing to augment their other university coursework with a range of writing skills.

Program Requirements

Core Courses (3)

  • ENGL 201  Close Reading (1)
  • ENGL 202  (W) Introduction to Literary Theory (1)
  • ENGL 203  (W) Fundamentals of Creative Writing (1)

Two Courses in Literature Written Before 1800, Only One of Which can be Shakespeare Course (2)

Two Courses in Literature Written After 1800, with at Least One in American Ethnic or Postcolonial Literature (2)

Two Additional Creative Writing Courses (2)

  • ENGL 135  Introduction to Creative Writing (1)
  • ENGL 329  (W) Creative nonfiction (1)
  • ENGL 331  Intermediate Fiction Writing (1)
  • ENGL 332  Intermediate Poetry Writing (1)
  • ENGL 339  Special Topics in Creative Writing (1)

Senior Experience (1)

  • ENGL 498  (W) Senior Seminar in Creative Writing or
  • ENGL 499  (W) Senior Seminar in English or
  • HUM 497  (W) Humanities Seminar

Associated Faculty

  • Scott Nadelson, Hallie Ford Chair in Writing
  • Gabe Blackwell
  • Mike Chasar
  • Stephanie Lenox
  • Magdalen Powers
  • Lois Rosen
  • Andrea Stolowitz
  • Michael Strelow

Co-curricular Opportunities

  • The Chrysalis
  • The Collegian
  • Mama Ain't Raised No Fool
  • The Writing Center
  • The Willamette Store National Poetry Month Contest
  • The Bistro

Hallie Ford Literary Series & Literary Life on Campus

The creative writing program at Willamette also helps to foster a literary climate on campus by hosting and sponsoring events with professional writers.  Every semester, the Hallie Ford Chair in Writing organizes a series of readings and performances by dynamic writers working in a multitude of genres, including poets, novelists, short story writers, playwrights, and songwriters.  In addition to formal events that are open to the public, the series provides opportunities for students to meet with these writers in more intimate settings.  Recent visitors have included Manuel Munoz, Meghan Daum, Cheenie Rao, and Keetje Kuipers.

In addition, the University often brings prominent writers to campus under the auspices of the annual Atkinson lecture series, the college colloquium, and the Lily Project.  In recent years, students have had the opportunity to interact with former U.S. Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Robert Hass, novelist John Irving, and Pulitizer-Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.  Please see the English Department calendar for upcoming events.

Support Creative Writing at Willamette

If you are interested in helping to support creative writing at Willamette, please contact Scott Nadelson at snadelso@willamette.edu.