Creative Writing Minor

2022 - 2023 Catalog

Creative Writing minor

A minor in creative writing requires six three- or four-credit courses. In meeting the requirements of this minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor. The courses must include:

  1. Creative writing workshops: three courses chosen from ENGL 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 207, 210, 214 (ENVI 214), 215, 304, 306, 307, 308, 309, and 391, with at least one at the 300-level.
  2. Literature: two literature courses in English, including one chosen from courses numbered between 222 and 296 and one chosen from ENGL 299 or English courses numbered between 312 and 386.
  3. One additional course chosen from the above or from ENGL 403, 453. Students majoring in a discipline without an emphasis in literature are strongly encouraged to choose an elective course from the Literature category (number 2 above). English majors wishing to complete a Creative Writing minor should elect a fourth workshop, a 403 in creative writing, or a creative honors thesis in English.
  4. Participation in a capstone public reading in winter or spring of the senior year.

​One course may, with English Department approval in advance, come from a department or program other than English. It may substitute for a requirement in any category above, as long as reading and writing requirements are commensurate with English Department standards for a course of that type.

  1. Creative writing workshops:
  2. three courses chosen from:

    • ENGL 201 - Introduction to Creative Writing
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of creative writing, with attention to two or more genres. Pairings vary by instructor but examples might include narrative fiction and nonfiction; poetry and the lyric essay; and flash and hybrid forms. This course involves workshops, literary study, and critical writing.


    • ENGL 202 - Creative Writing: Playwriting
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits4
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of writing plays, involving workshops, literary study, critical writing, and performance.


    • or

    • ENGL 203 - Creative Writing: Fiction
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3-4
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.


    • ENGL 204 - Creative Writing: Poetry
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.


    • ENGL 206 - Creative Writing: Nonfiction
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3-4
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.


    • ENGL 207 - Eco-Writing
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      An expeditionary, multi-genre course (fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry) in environmental creative writing. Readings focus on contemporary "EcoWriters". We take weekly expeditions, including creative writing hikes, a creative writing visit to a Thai Forest Buddhist monastery, and a creative writing visit to the workshops of a landscape painter and bloomsmith. The course involves moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of multi-genre eco-literature and (2) developing skill and craft in creating EcoWriting through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in "writing workshop."


    • ENGL 210 - Topics in Creative Writing
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3-4
      Prerequisitecompletion of FDR:FW requirement

      A course in the practice of creative writing, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.


    • ENGL 214 - Environmental Poetry Workshop
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteWRIT 100

      A single-genre poetry course in the practice of writing environmental poetry, involving poetry workshops, the literary study of environmental poetry (historical and contemporary), and critical writing.


    • ENGL 215 - Creating Comics
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteARTS 111 or WRIT 100

      Same as ARTS 215. A course which is both a creative-writing and a studio-art course. Students study graphic narratives as an art form that combines image-making and storytelling, producing their own multi-page narratives through the writing of images. The course includes a theoretical overview of the comics form, using a range of works as practical models.


    • ENGL 304 - Literary Book Publishing
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 201, ENGL 202, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, ENGL 206, ENGL 210, ENGL 215, ENGL 306, ENGL 308, ENGL 309, or ENGL 391

      This course is an introduction to the publishing industry, its culture and commerce. We examine the history of the industry and how it operates today, with an emphasis on active learning and practice. This class consists, in part, of active discussions with industry professionals, studying the life of a single book: its author, its agent, its editor, its book designer, its publisher. It gives you an overview of how the publishing industry works through the eyes of the people who work in it. It also gives you a chance to put what you learn into practice. Using a book you're working on (or a theoretical book you may someday write), you compose a query letter, design a book jacket, and create marketing material in support of your project. The term culminates with a book auction where students form publishing teams and bid on the books they would most like to publish.


    • ENGL 306 - Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 201, ENGL 202, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, ENGL 206, ENGL 210, ENGL 215, ENGL 306, ENGL 308, ENGL 309, or ENGL 391

      A workshop in writing poems, requiring regular writing and outside reading.


    • ENGL 307 - Fresh/Local/Wild: The Poetics of Food
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteENGL 201, ENGL 202, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, ENGL 206, ENGL 210, ENGL 215, ENGL 306, ENGL 308, ENGL 309, or ENGL 391

      This class visits fresh/local/wild food venues each week, where sensory explorations focus on all aspects of foraging, creating, adapting and eating food. Coursework includes guided writing exercises based on the landscape/geography of food both in the field and classroom, with in-depth readings that help us turn topics like food politics, food insecurity, sustainable agriculture and genetically modified foods into poetry. Individual handmade chapbooks of the term's poems serve as the final product. A service learning component is also included in the course through Campus Kitchen.


    • ENGL 308 - Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteENGL 201, ENGL 202, ENGL 203, ENGL 204, ENGL 206, ENGL 210, ENGL 215, ENGL 306, ENGL 308, ENGL 309, or ENGL 391

      A workshop in writing fiction, requiring regular writing and outside reading.


    • ENGL 309 - Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3-4
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      Flannery O'Connor once said that any writer who could survive childhood had enough material to write about for a lifetime. Memoir is a mosaic form, utilizing bits and pieces from autobiography, fiction, essay and poetry in ways that allow the author to muse (speculate, imagine, remember, and question) on their own life experiences. Modern literary memoir requires tremendous work from the author, as she moves both backward and forward in time, re-creates believable dialogue, switches back and forth between scene and summary, and controls the pace and tension of the story with lyricism or brute imagery. In short, the memoirist keeps her reader engaged by being an adept and agile storyteller. This is not straight autobiography. Memoir is more about what can be gleaned from a section of one's life than about chronicling an entire life. Like a mosaic, memoir is about the individual pieces as much as the eventual whole. Work focuses on reading established memoirists, free writing, and workshopping in and out of class.


    • ENGL 391 - Topics in Creative Writing
      FDRHA Fine Arts Distribution
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      An advanced workshop in creative writing. Genres and topics will vary, but all versions involve intensive reading and writing.


    • with at least one at the 300-level

  3. Two literature courses in English, including one chosen from courses numbered between 222 and 296 and one chosen from ENGL 299 or English courses numbered between 312 and 386.
  4. One additional course chosen from the above or from
  5. Students majoring in a discipline without an emphasis in literature are strongly encouraged to choose an elective course from the Literature category (number 2 above). English majors wishing to complete a Creative Writing minor should elect a fourth workshop, a 403 in creative writing, or a creative honors thesis in English.

    • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers.


    • ENGL 453 - Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      An apprenticeship in editing with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and translations; substantive editing of manuscripts, copyediting; communicating with writers; social media; website maintenance; the design of promotional material.


    • MRST 286 - Preparation for Shakespeare in Performance
      Credits1
      Prerequisiteinstructor consent

      Students receive an introduction to Shakespeare's verse in performance; read and analyze scripts from some of the plays to be observed during spring term; and engage in a team-building workshop and the creation of walking tours of modern London, each built around a particular cultural theme. The course consists of six two-hour meetings.


  6. Participation in a capstone public reading in winter or spring of the senior year.
  7.