First and foremost, we are program that emphasizes the development of an artistic craft within a literary tradition. But studies in creative writing also engage students in “real-world” skills, such as developing strong writing abilities, using creative solutions, learning research and analytical techniques, and getting on-hands experience in publishing and advocacy.
RWU creative writing alumni have moved on to professional fields that include journalism, public relations, marketing, publishing, library science, and political communication. Our alumni have also gone on to graduate schools that not only include creative writing and publishing, but law school, business school, journalism school, library sciences, and even veterinary school.
We emphasize outcomes that are both specific and general, but spread over four years in a way that leads from basic understanding of forms and strategies as freshmen, to the creative senior thesis. The thesis is the culmination of the process, a year-long effort that leads to the student assembling a final portfolio of both analytical examination of literature as well as a body of creative work that might be a collection of poems or short stories or a significant piece of a novel.
In the 40 years of the program, numerous RWU graduates have gone on to publish novels, short stories and poetry. We have also had publications by current students in venues such as The Santa Clara Review, The Allegheny Review, and other literary journals.
As importantly, we think, the study of literary writing makes one a better human being, through the deep examination of the human condition and human nature. We seek to instill a love of literature, empathy to others, a more evolved way of looking at the world, and an appreciation of aesthetic beauty of all kinds.
While our classes do not cover genre fiction (horror, fantasy, romance, crime), we do work to instill in students the storytelling craft common to all writing.
The required Foundation Courses include CW 210 Form in Poetry, CW 220 Narrative in Writing the Short Story, and four courses from the English major. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:
Advanced Bridge Courses
The required Advanced Bridge Courses include CW 350 Writers Reading Poetry Seminar, CW 360 Writers Reading Fiction Seminar, CW 440 Writing Contemporary Poetry, and CW 450 The Use of Style in Writing Fiction. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:
Creative Writing majors complete two of the following Advanced Breath Courses: CW 310 Creative Nonfiction, CW 330 Literary Publishing, CW 340 Introduction to Playwriting, CW 430 Special Topics in Creative Writing. After completing this group of courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to:
Breadth Courses in the Fine Arts
To satisfy this requirement, Creative Writing majors must complete one from a list of courses in Dance, Music, the Visual Arts, Graphic Design, or Theatre. After completing this course, Creative Writing majors should be able to:
To satisfy the thesis requirement, Creative Writing majors complete CW 480 Creative Writing Senior Seminar I and CW 481 Seminar II—Thesis. After completing these two courses, Creative Writing majors should be able to: