The Creative Writing Concentration

The Creative Writing Program’s sequential course of study and small workshops allow students to pursue and develop their craft from the introductory level to the advanced.  The creative writing experience at Dartmouth combines intensive writing workshops with the study of literature from a writer’s perspective.

Introductory Creative Writing Courses

These courses offer workshops in fiction, poetry and literary nonfiction. They are designed for students who have little or no previous experience in creative writing. Students are introduced to each genre via a range of technical and imaginative exercises, readings, and discussions, and eventually produce their own writing for class critique. Creative Writing courses are sequential in development. ENGL 80 (in any genre—fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction) is the prerequisite for all other CW courses.

Students must submit an application form (also available in the English Department office) by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll.  These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Students will be notified of their status shortly before classes begin. As competition is high, it is suggested that all students choose an alternate class during course registration (as a backup) when applying to creative writing courses.

80. Writing and Reading Fiction

A beginning workshop and reading course in fiction. Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and first-year students who have completed Writing 5. Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion and include individual conferences. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. English 80 is the prerequisite to English 83, Intermediate Workshop in Fiction. Dist: ART.  Application

81. Writing and Reading Creative Nonfiction

A beginning workshop and reading course in creative nonfiction— a hybrid genre of journalism, memoir, and fictional and poetic techniques, also known as the art of fact. Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and first-year students who have completed Writing 5 . Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion and include individual conferences. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. English 81 is the prerequisite to English 84, Intermediate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction. Dist: ART.  Application

82. Writing and Reading Poetry

A beginning workshop and reading course in poetry. Open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and first-year students who have completed Writing 5. Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion, and include individual conferences. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. English 82 is the prerequisite to English 85, Intermediate Workshop in Poetry. Dist: ART.  Application

Intermediate Creative Writing Courses

Students who wish to enroll in an intermediate Creative Writing Course must complete the appropriate "How to Apply to English 83, 84 or 85" form, available online and from the English Department office, and answer all the questions asked in a cover letter.  They should also submit a five to eight page writing sample, as stated in each of the course descriptions below. Materials should be submitted, electronically, to the instructor. Deadline for equal consideration for admittance is the last day of classes in the term preceding the course. Late applications will be accepted, but held until the add/drop period and reviewed if vacancies occur. Students should then register for three other courses, not including the Creative Writing course. Students accepted into Creative Writing 83, 84 and 85 will be notified before the first day of class. To secure their spot in the class, students must be present at the first meeting.

83. Intermediate Workshop in Fiction (formerly 82)

Continued work in the writing of fiction. The class proceeds by means of group workshops, individual conferences with the instructor, and reading across the genre. The process of revision is emphasized. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. Prerequisite: English 80 and permission of the instructor.  Students must submit a 5-8 page sample of their writing along with a cover letter by the last day of classes of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ART.  How to Apply to English 83, 84 or 85

84. Intermediate Creative Nonfiction (formerly 83)

Continued work in the writing of creative nonfiction, including literary journalism, investigative memoir, the lyric essay, and documentary. The class proceeds by means of group workshops, individual conferences with the instructor, and reading across the genre. The processes of research and revision are emphasized. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. Prerequisite: English 81 and permission of the instructor.  Students must submit a 5-8 page sample of their writing along with a cover letter by the last day of classes of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ART.  How to Apply to English 83, 84 or 85

85. Intermediate Workshop in Poetry (formerly 81)

Continued work in the writing of poetry, focusing on the development of craft, image and voice. The class proceeds by means of group workshops on student writing, individual conferences with the instructor and reading across the genre. The process of revision is emphasized. Topics and emphases may vary from term to term. Prerequisite: English 82 and permission of the instructor. Students must submit a 5-8 page sample of their writing along with a cover letter by the last day of classes of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ART.  How to Apply to English 83, 84 or 85

Advanced Creative Writing Courses

86. Senior Workshop in Creative Writing (formerly 85)

An advanced workshop for seniors who wish to undertake a manuscript of fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Students must submit an 8-12 page writing sample to the instructor by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the term preceding the term in which they wish to enroll. Please include your name, class year,and major. Prerequisite: English 83, 84 or 85 depending on the genre of the workshop offered. Dist: ART.  Application

87. Special Topics in Creative Writing (formerly 89)

These courses are offered periodically, concentrating on particular issues in one or more of the fields of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Courses may require creative and critical papers and include workshops. Enrollment is limited to 18. Dist: ART.

89. Creative Writing Project (formerly 97)  

A tutorial course to be designed by the student with the assistance of a faculty supervisor. This course is intended for the purpose of producing a manuscript of fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Prerequisite: normally reserved for seniors who have completed at least two workshops in the designated genre for this project. Dist: ART.

Honors in Creative Writing

Honors in Creative Writing allows the student to work on a creative thesis in their chosen genre during their senior year, under the guidance of an advisor in creative writing. The creative thesis may take the form of a short story collection, novella or novel, poetry collection, literary nonfiction collection, mixed media or a hybrid project of your own devising as approved by the Director of Creative Writing.

Students who have completed at least four courses in the creative writing concentration and six major courses by the end of their junior year and have a grade point average in the major of 3.5 or higher (and a college GPA of 3.0 or higher) are eligible to apply for Honors in Creative Writing.

Applicants will be notified of their status by the end of fall classes. Students who are approved for Honors work will be paired with an advisor from Creative Writing and, over the course of two terms, will work toward the successful completion of a manuscript-length body of work.

Students should submit their completed application along with their writing sample to the Deparement Administrator or the Creative Writing Director. As competition for selection into CW Honors is highly competitive, the writing submission should speak to the writing strengths of the applicant and to the potential of the proposed thesis.

2016 Creative Writing thesis proposals are due October 30, 2015.

2015-16 Creative Writing Director: Thomas O'Malley