English and Journalism

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 the Cordell Larner Fiction and Poetry Award, and Lois Bruner Nonfiction Award, two creative writing competitions open to all Western Illinois University undergraduates. Students are also invited to participate as editors of the department’s literary journal, Elements.

The Creative Writing Minor has a total of 17-18 hours: 12 hours of required workshops and 6 hours of electives.

Minor Requirements

  1. ENG 285 (3 s.h.)
  2. Choose one of the following three sequences (6 s.h.)
    1. ENG 385 and 485
    2. ENG 386 and 486
    3. ENG 387 and 487
  3. Choose one intermediate course in second genre (2-3 s.h.)
    • ENG 385, 386, 387; THEA 409, 419
  4. Choose two literature courses from the following (6 s.h.)
    • ENG 200, 201, 202, 300, 358, and 300-400 level course in English literature

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