The Creative Writing program culminates in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. By dedicating their collegiate study to creative writing, students will engage in the formal and rigorous study of craft through reading, revising, and developing the methodical and critical skills that assist in improving their own creative work as well as the work of others. If students apply themselves deliberately to the study of writing in their time at RWU, they can expect to establish solid foundations for these essential practices, common to all writers/artists and applicable to many professions that emphasize creative skills through an understanding of narrative structure and close attention to language, writing excellence, and the deeper understanding of the human condition explored through the writer’s work.
The immersive model of work in the Creative Writing major is founded on collaborative, repeatable “Studios” in Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction and Screenwriting. Students assemble to share work, support peers, and likewise are supported through discussion, workshopping and faculty guidance. Students can enroll in a form-based studio (poetry, fiction, etc.) up to three times; these studios will work by both continually emphasizing the fundamentals of that form of writing while also rotating in specific topics within that form (examples: Young Adult Fiction, Television Series Writing, Memoir, The Poetry Chapbook, Resistance Poetry). The Experiential Learning Requirement is one course in Literary Publishing, Advocacy Seminar, or a department-approved internship outside RWU.
Literary Publishing students staff the department-produced literary magazine, Mount Hope. Advocacy Seminar is associated with the international NGO Scholars at Risk, advocating for scholars who have persecuted in foreign countries because of their writings, research, or expression of ideas. Both are repeatable; more-experienced students staffers rise to leadership positions.
Co-curricular opportunities include the RWU Library’s Bermont Fellowships, an alumni-funded experience in which a prominent author comes to campus to work with a select group of students on their writing. The department, in conjunction with the Library and other campus organizations, also regularly brings in prominent authors to read from their work and visit with classes. Students can also work in the department or on the magazine as FIT interns, which are paid, three-year positions offered to top-performing students at the end of freshman year.