College of Arts and Sciences

Creative Writing Minor

Creative Writing Minor

The Creative Writing minor allows students the opportunity to explore the craft of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in an intensive manner-through a series of writing workshops in each of these genres. This is very much a hands-on minor. The emphasis is upon practice and critique. Students will write a great deal and have that work read by the workshop participants and teachers. In previous years, Creative Writing minors have gone on to publish their work, and many have gained admission and fellowships to some of the top graduate creative writing programs around the country. Others have gone on to work in publishing, primarily as editors and readers, and these students have reported that their experience in the workshops served as an excellent apprenticeship for such parallel careers.

While the core of the minor is the workshop experience, these courses are supplemented with course work in literature. Additionally, each semester the department hosts the The Fred Case & Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence who typically visits campus for a week of private conferencing with advanced students, public lectures, and readings. Minors are also invited to compete for cash prizes in two creative writing competitions open to all Western Illinois University undergraduates: Cordell Larner Fiction and Poetry Award, and Lois Bruner Nonfiction Award. Students are also invited to participate as editors of the department’s literary journal, Elements .

  • Have a question about the creative writing minor? Contact us today.
  • See our creative writing faculty
  • The Creative Writing Minor has a total of 17-18 hours: 12 hours of required workshops and 6 hours of electives.

Minor Requirements

Required Core Course
  • ENG 285 - Intro to creative Writing (3 s.h.)
Choose one of the following three sequences (6 s.h.)
  • ENG 385 and 485 - Intermediate and Advanced Poetry Workshop
  • ENG 386 and 486 - Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Workshop
  • ENG 387 and 487 - Intermediate and Advanced Nonfiction Workshop
Choose one intermediate course in second genre (2-3 s.h.)
  • ENG 385 - Writing Workshop: Poetry
  • ENG 386 - Writing Workshop: Fiction
  • ENG 387 - Writing Workshop: Nonfiction
  • THEA 409 - Playwriting I
  • THEA 419 - Playwriting II
Choose two literature courses from the following (6 s.h.)
  • ENG 200 - Introduction to Poetry
  • ENG 201 - Introduction to Fiction
  • ENG 202 - Introduction to Drama
  • ENG 300 - Short Story
  • ENG 358 - Studies in Non-Western Literature or any 300-/400- level course in English Literature

The undergraduate catalog provides more detail, including a full list of courses offered by the department.


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