Creative Writing

English majors at Denison can choose an emphasis either in literary studies or in creative writing. We offer a wide variety of courses that engage with human experience, recent and historical as well as local and global.

Denison’s English-Creative Writing Program is Unique.

Creative writing is a Denison tradition. One of the oldest undergraduate creative writing programs in the country, Denison’s major and minor in creative writing offer small classes taught by full-time professors, all practicing writers and poets, who also mentor and advise students.

With over 100 majors and minors, you’ll be part of a vibrant community of writing peers.

Our students learn from the pros first-hand. We bring a star-studded cast of visiting writers to campus through the Beck Series. Each year, 10-12 of the finest writers come to The Hill to give readings, visit classes, meet with students, and more. Almost anyone you can think of has visited Denison at some point, and our students have lots of opportunities to meet the writers in person, join them for a meal, and get feedback on their work. Some past Beck Series writers include Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Tom Stoppard, Min Jin Lee, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Louise Erdrich, and many others.

Create your future with hands-on opportunities. Our creative writing faculty are proactive in helping students explore career opportunities and find internships in the publishing world and beyond. Student interns help edit Columbus-based Story magazine, spend the summer at the Virginia Quarterly Review, and produce their own student literary journal, Exile. All senior majors pursue a full-year capstone project under the guidance of a professor, in which they produce a book-length creative work. Many creative writers also pursue Denison’s unique Journalism program, gaining skills and experience in digital media and fact-based storytelling.

Our Curriculum

English-Creative Writing majors take ten courses.

  • Creative writing courses start with the multigenre Introduction to Creative Writing, proceed to upper-level writing workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and culminate with a full-year capstone Senior Writing Project, in which students work closely with a professor to produce a book-length work.
  • Majors also take several English-literature courses, including survey courses (capped at 18-25 students) that provide a background in literary history and an understanding of the interrelationships between literature, history, politics, philosophy, the arts, and popular culture in various periods of British and American literature.
  • They also choose from a wide array of seminar courses (capped at 18 students) that focus on more specific topics than our 200-level survey courses, such as African-American Women’s Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Middle Ages and Middle-Earth, Shakespeare and His Rivals, and Contemporary Poetry.
  • At least one of the 10 courses a major takes must be in a literary tradition of historically marginalized or traditionally underrepresented people.

By design, many of these courses overlap with those required for the English-Literature emphasis, making it easy to switch tracks. Many creative writing majors often add on Journalism. About half of our students double major in a wide array of subject areas.

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