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.

Major Concentration in Creative Writing

The concentration in creative writing does not alter the graduation requirements for students majoring in English, but is a prerequisite for honors with a focus on creative writing. It consists of four courses:

  1. Students must pass one prerequisite course, CRWT 10 (formerly ENGL 80), CRWT 11 (formerly ENGL 81, or CRWT 12 (formerly ENGL 82).
  2. Students then enroll in one intermediate course, CRWT 20 (formerly ENGL 83), CRWT 21 (formerly ENGL 84), or CRWT 22 (formerly ENGL 85).
  3. The third course can be chosen from any Creative Writing course numbered between CRWT 10 and 70 (formerly ENGL 80-ENGL 89). (Substitute courses from other departments will be considered.)
  4. The fourth course can be in any genre of contemporary literature or another course numbered between
    CRWT 10 and 70 (formerly ENGL 80-ENGL 89). (Again, substitute courses from other departments will be considered.)

Students who elect to do honors in creative writing can use CRWT 98 (or ENGL 98 for class years up to 2018) for either the third or fourth course in the concentration.

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, extensive readings of contemporary literature, and lively class discussions. Students eventually produce their own writing for class critique.

CRWT 10 (formerly ENGL 80). Writing and Reading Fiction

An introductory workshop and reading course in fiction, designed to allow students to work in all fictive modes. Each week students will consider different aspects of writing, and the various elements integral to the genre. Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion and include individual conferences. Dist: ART

CRWT 11 (formerly ENGL 81). Writing and Reading Creative Nonfiction

An introductory 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. Each week students will consider different aspects of writing, and the various elements integral to the genre. Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion and include individual conferences. Dist: ART. 

CRWT 12 (formerly ENGL 82). Writing and Reading Poetry

An introductory workshop and reading course in poetry. Each week students will consider different aspects of writing, and the various elements integral to the genre. Seminar-sized classes meet for discussion, and include individual conferences. Dist: ART. 

Intermediate Creative Writing Courses

Students who wish to enroll in an intermediate creative writing course must complete the appropriate "How to Apply to CRWT 20, 21, or 22 (formerly English 83, 84 or 85)" form, available here and in the English and Creative Writing Department office. 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 20, 21, or 22 will be notified before the first day of class. To secure their spot in the class, students must be present at the first meeting.

CRWT 20 (formerly 83). Intermediate Workshop in Fiction

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. Students will read with the eye of a writer to explore how a work is constructed and how the elements of craft come together to create a successful whole. The process of revision is emphasized.

Permission of the instructor is required. Students must submit a 5-8 page writing sample along with their application by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the previous term (last day of spring term for fall term). These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ART. How to Apply to CRWT 20, 21, or 22

CRWT 21 (formerly 84). Intermediate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction

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. Students will read with the eye of a writer to explore how a work is constructed and how the elements of craft come together to create a successful whole. The processes of research and revision are emphasized.

Permission of the instructor is required. Students must submit a 5-8 page writing sample along with their application by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the previous term (last day of spring term for fall term). These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ART. How to Apply to CRWT 20, 21, or 22

CRWT 22 (formerly 85). Intermediate Workshop in Poetry

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. Students will read with the eye of a writer to explore how a work is constructed and how the elements of craft come together to create a successful whole. The process of revision is emphasized.

Permission of the instructor is required. Students must submit a 5-8 page writing sample along with their application by the LAST DAY OF CLASSES of the previous term (last day of spring term for fall term). These materials should be submitted electronically to the instructor. Dist: ARTHow to Apply to CRWT 20, 21, or 22

Advanced Creative Writing Courses

CRWT 60, 61, and 62 (formerly 86). Senior Workshops in Creative Writing (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry)

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: CRWT 20, 21, or 22 (formerly English 83, 84 or 85) depending on the genre of the workshop offered. Dist: ARTApplication

CRWT 40, 41 (formerly ENGL 87). Special Topics Courses in Creative Writing

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

CRWT 89. Creative Writing Independent Project

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 Department 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.

2017-18 Creative Writing thesis proposals are due October 27, 2017.

2017-18 Creative Writing Director: Thomas O'Malley