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  • Creative Writing

The Creative Writing program at Roger Williams University leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts. By dedicating your collegiate study to creative writing, you commit to becoming a writer, and at RWU you can expect to be treated as a serious writer. As such, you will engage in the formal and rigorous study of craft through reading, revising and developing the methodical and critical skills that assist in improving your own creative work as well as the work of others. If you apply yourself to the study of writing in your time at RWU, you can expect to establish solid foundations for the essential practices common to all writers and artists.

Each year, the creative writing program brings to campus such writers as Rick Moody, Kim Addonizio, Marjorie Agosin, Steve Almond, Ann Waldman, Tom Chandler, Stuart Dischell, Mark Halliday, Stewart O’Nan, Dan Chaon, Tobias Wolff, Jennifer Haigh and C.D. Wright who speak on literature and writing and read from their works.

Creative Writing students produce Mount Hope, the national art and literary magazine featuring work by Steve Almond, Ann Hood, Stuart Dischell, Cecilia Woloch and RWU students.

Incoming freshmen are accepted to the creative writing program on the basis of a portfolio, containing both creative and analytical writing, submitted as part of the application process. Matriculating students may enter the creative writing program by earning a grade of B- or higher in CW 210 and CW 220, on the basis of a portfolio, or by recommendation of one or more full-time creative writing faculty members.

Student Learning Outcomes

Description of the undergraduate student learning outcomes (clear statement of expected learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge, skills, competencies)

Foundation Courses

The required Foundation Courses include ENG 100 Introduction to Literature, 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:

  • Identify literary terms and develop a literary vocabulary
  • Use the library and Internet to locate research materials relevant to course work
  • Analyze literary texts and identify poetic forms and the elements of narrative structure
  • Draft and present formal critical essays emphasizing some aspect of a particular literary work
  • Draft and present imaginative work in the form of fiction and poetry that indicates a student’s experimentation with the specific elements that serve as the foundation of each genre
  • Draft and present formal writing that indicates thoughtfulness and recognition of decisions made during the revision process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of literature written in the English and non‐English tradition

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:

  • Conduct sophisticated analyses of fictional and poetical texts from a practitioner’s perspective
  • Create sophisticated fictional and poetic texts that reveal a command of literary craft
  • Understand and comment upon the relationship between an author’s life and his or her work

Advanced Breadth Course

Creative Writing majors complete two of the following Advance 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:

  • Conduct sophisticated analyses of literary works outside the genres of fiction and poetry
  • Create literary works in genres other than fiction and poetry

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:

  • Implement the creative process in an art form other than writing
  • Understand the relationships among the various art forms

Thesis Courses

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:

  • Revise their own creative work
  • Complete an annotated bibliography
  • Compose a thesis including both creative and critical work
  • Present critical work in an interview with creative writing faculty
  • Present creative work in a public reading