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. Students fulfill the requirements for the creative writing concentration by taking classes on campus or by taking literature and creative writing classes via study abroad programs.

Requirements for the Creative Writing Concentration for the English Major (10 Credits)

Core courses (3)

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

Two additional creative writing courses (2)

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

Two courses in literature written before 1800 at the 300 or 400 level, only one of which can be a Shakespeare course (2)

One course in American Ethnic or post-Colonial literature at the 300 or 400 level (1)

  • ENGL 326 Literature of Diaspora (1)
  • ENGL 337 African-American Literature I: Slave Narrative & Early African-American Literary Tradition (1)
  • ENGL 338 African-American Literature II: Modern African-American Literature (1)
  • ENGL 381 Latina/o Literature and Culture (1)

One additional course in English (1)

Senior Experience (1)

Associated Faculty

  • Scott Nadelson, Hallie Ford Chair in Writing
  • Mike Chasar
  • Danielle Deulen
  • Stephanie Lenox
  • Andrea Stolowitz

Co-curricular Opportunities

View other opportunities

  • The Chrysalis
  • The Collegian
  • Mama Ain't Raised No Fool
  • The Writing Center
  • The Bistro
  • Wire (WU Radio)
  • Willamette Academy
  • Awards

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


Willamette creative writing senior thesis students read their work live on KMUZ, Salem's community radio station.

Willamette University


900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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