Creative Writing Concentration

Creative Writing at HWS

Whether students write creatively for pleasure or are interested in becoming professional writers, the Colleges offer writing workshops in many genres: from introductory writing course to its writing-intensive workshops in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and creative non-fiction - the Colleges have created a solid and ambitious environment for student writers to hone their craft and art.

Literary Experimentation

As the birthplace of the Lyric Essay, an experimental subgenre of creative non-fiction, and the home of the Seneca Review, a national literary journal that publishes poetry and essays in creative non-fiction, the Colleges also allows its student writers to find their voices and experiment with creating new forms. Further, we offer in addition to writing workshops (listed below), independent studies and honors projects in creative writing.

The Creative Writing Concentration

Students who are or who are interested in becoming English majors can opt to complete their degree's concentration in creative writing. Choosing a Creative Writing Concentration requires an English major to complete three courses within their major that have a creative writing focus.

Our Faculty Writers

To foster the growth of student writers on campus, the Colleges' English Department includes numerous faculty writers. From poetry to fiction, screenwriting to creative non-fiction, the writers who teach at HWS have all been published and have even had their creative works anthologized.

The Workshops

ENG 290: Creative Writing
This course offers introductory techniques in the writing of both fiction and poetry. The workshop format emphasizes group discussion of the writings of class members. Some exercises are assigned, some individual invention is expected. Readings of modern authors supplement discussions of form and technique. This course is normally required as a prerequisite for fiction and poetry workshops. Prerequisite: at least one other English course.(Cowles, Conroy-Goldman, Babbitt, Staff, offered each semester) Typical readings: short stories and poems by a wide variety of modern writers. (Staff)

ENG 390 Trias Topics Workshop
The Trias Workshop is an intensive, practice-based studio course based in the Trias resident writer’s genre. Students are expected to read assignments in contemporary literature, complete writing exercises, read and critically respond to other students’ work, and produce a portfolio of polished, original writing. Students will be expected to attend all Trias events in the fall and to engage with the work of the visiting writers. Admissions to the workshop is by application only. (Trias Writer-in-Residence)

ENG 391: Advanced Poetry Workshop
For students highly motivated to write poetry, this course offers the opportunity to study, write, and offer critiques of poetry in an intensive workshop and discussion environment. Students will produce multiple poems, write critically in response to contemporary works of poetry, and produce, workshop, and revise a chapbook-length collection of poems as a final project. Class time is divided between discussions of contemporary poetry and workshops on student writing. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, based on writing sample. ENG 190/290 is generally required. (Cowles)

 ENG 394: The Craft of Fiction
An intensive workshop devoted to the creation and critique of student fiction, this course is suitable for students strongly committed to fiction writing. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of polished stories. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, based on writing sample. ENG 190/290 is generally required. (Hamilton)

ENG 397 Creative Nonfiction Workshop
 This is a writing course in creative nonfiction designed for English majors or others seriously interested in working to develop their own voices in the medium of the personal essay. Students read and discuss essays by major contemporary American essayists. The also read and discuss each other’s essays in a workshop with an eye to revision. Participants should be prepared to write one essay a week. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, based on writing sample (Staff)

ENG 398 Screenwriting
This course offers a workshop in the fundamentals of writing the motion picture. Weekly writing assignments move students through a process of script development—from brainstorming and the movie in a paragraph to the treatment/outline, beat sheet, the creation of a scene, and the first act. Students share work and engage in a variety of exercises designed to help each tell his or her stories. Prerequisites: ENG 286 The Art of the Screenplay. (Holly)

ENG 399 Hybrid Forms
New publication methods and technologies change art. From the printing press, to the typewriter, the record player, the camera, or the film reel, artists have used new technologies to expand our notions of art and to skirt borders of genres and media. With the advent of the internet and digital technologies, the possibilities for expansion and experimentation have again exploded, and contemporary artists are involved in a renaissance of hybrid forms that has become bigger than the technologies that started it. In this creative writing workshop, the focus will be on hybrid texts that include language in some form. We’ll track a strange vein of precedent for contemporary hybrid texts across decades and even centuries, we’ll explore what artists and writers are producing right now, and we’ll create and workshop our own hybrid texts. We’ll learn new critical language for talking about such texts, and we’ll participate in collaborative and guerilla art projects. Artists from outside the English Department who are interested in working with language in some way are encouraged to ask for permission, even if they have not taken ENG 290. Prerequisites: ENG 190/290 or permission of the instructor. (Cowles)

More Info

For more information about Creative Writing at HWS, please contact David Weiss at or (315) 781-3644




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