The Creative Writing program at PC gives young writers the opportunity to study and practice writing as an art form, from sentence-level to larger content concerns.
The courses are designed as peer workshops, where students and the professor critique your work. The workshops are non-judgmental and open-minded about content—we want you to feel comfortable exploring issues and ideas. The program is genre-friendly, so if you’re interested in writing, or learning to write, in modes such as fantasy, horror, realism, romance, science fiction, thriller, western, you’ll find support here.
In addition to workshopping, the courses include lectures and discussions on various elements of writing, from world-building, characterization, and point of view to metaphor, poetic forms, and rhythm.
Students begin with foundational workshop courses in Poetry, Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, or a specific topic like Screenwriting or Novel Writing. Each of these workshops focuses primarily on reading and responding to original student work, but the craft of professional writers and poets is also explored. The benefit of any workshop lies in how the individual becomes a better critical reader and can then apply that thinking to one’s own writing. We offer the Poetry workshop in fall terms, the Short Fiction workshop every spring term, and Creative Nonfiction fall term of even years.
Whatever type of writing you’re interested in (poetry, prose, script, etc.), the solid foundation in writing and workshopping you build in these courses will help you become better creative writers. These courses are designed for the beginning creative writer, although a more seasoned writer will also benefit. A public reading closes the courses.
For minors and most majors, the culmination of the emphasis will be a major project in the Advanced Creative Writing Workshop (majors may elect as their third course a creative Honors Research project). Your work for the ACW will be an extended individual writing project: a poetry portfolio, a collection of short stories, a collection of poems and short stories, a novella, chapters from a novel, a screenplay, a stage play, a collection of creative non-fiction pieces, a collection of travel or sports writing, a photo essay, a graphic novel, etc. At the end of the course, the students give a public reading from their project, and those projects are collected in an annual anthology.
Ambitious students, after completing the required courses, may choose to undertake an independent Directed Study in creative writing to continue shaping their craft.
We also offer two on-campus creative writing-specific internships: a teaching assistant internship and a literary journal editor internship. For more information, follow the link at the left side of this page. Other off-campus creative writing and on-campus/off-campus writing internship opportunities are available.
Students interested in creative writing will find several related extracurricular opportunities available at PC, including:
- Visiting authors, the Alumni Reading Series, and student readings
- Figs and Thistles, the College’s literary arts journal, which is edited and staffed by students
- The Bluestocking, the College’s student newspaper
- The annual College-wide Creative Writing Award, sponsored by the Writing Center Advisory Committee