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Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Bachelor of Arts

Creative writing explores the cultural, historical and interpersonal influence of  the written word. A creative writing background provides a dynamic foundation for a career in teaching, grant writing, advertising, publishing and public relations.

Program Overview

Learn how to express yourself through creative writing.

Western Colorado University’s Creative Writing emphasis provides a supportive community of writers who collaborate rather than compete. In this environment, you’ll feel comfortable sharing your creative work and honing the skills needed to write original poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and scripts. In the comprehensive curriculum, you’ll take a variety of courses including Media Writing, Scriptwriting, and Literary Theory and Criticism.

At Western, you also have a wide variety of opportunities to present, perform, and practice your skills. Join our Creative Writing student organization, WordHorde, or work as a consultant in the Writing Center. Before you graduate, you’ll gain experience editing a book published through Western Press Books, Western’s undergraduate publishing company, and preparing your own work for submission to magazines and publishers.

The skill of writing

Creative Writing graduates leave with hands-on experience in editing a book published through Western Press Books and preparing your own work for submission to magazines and publishers.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

English majors and minors must complete the required course ENG 250 Critical Approaches to Literature with a minimum grade of “C” before registering for upper-division courses in English.

A minimum of 54 credits is required, including three credits of an upper-division literature elective, and the following:

COM 241Media Writing3
ENG 161Introduction to Creative Writing3
ENG 220Grammar and the English Language3
ENG 250Critical Approaches to Literature3
ENG 358Global Literatures: Studies In: Topic Variable3
ENG 371Literary Theory and Criticism3
ENG 405Advanced Writing3
ENG 445Literary Magazine Submission and Production3
ENG 493Senior Seminar I: Studies in: Social Justice3
ENG 494Senior Seminar: Studies in: Planning Ahead3
Select three of the following, at least two of which must have an ENG prefix:9
COM 306
Scriptwriting
ENG 300
Creative Writing: Fiction
ENG 301
Creative Writing: Poetry
ENG 303
Creative Writing
ENG 305
Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
Select two of the following:6
ENG 372
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
ENG 373
British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
ENG 374
British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
ENG 463
Major British Authors: Cont. Lit. & Film
Select two of the following:6
ENG 384
American Literature Early to Civil War
ENG 385
American Literature-Civil War to Present
ENG 464
Major American Authors:
Total Credits51
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
Essential Skill MATH 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits13
Spring
Elective Elective 3
ENG 161 Introduction to Creative Writing 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ENG 220 Grammar and the English Language 3
ENG 250 Critical Approaches to Literature 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
COM 241 Media Writing (Gen Ed:: Natural Sciences) 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
 Credits15
Spring
Elective Elective 5
ENG 358 Global Literatures: Studies In: Topic Variable 3
ENG English Elective (300-level Writing elective) 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits17
Year Three
Fall
ENG 372
or ENG 373
or ENG 374
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
or British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
or British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
3
ENG ENG elective 3
Elective Elective 9
 Credits15
Spring
ENG 371 Literary Theory and Criticism 3
ENG 384
or ENG 385
American Literature Early to Civil War
or American Literature-Civil War to Present
3
ENG ENG elective (Writing) 3
ENG ENG elective (Literature) 3
Elective Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Elective Elective 6
ENG 372
or ENG 373
or ENG 374
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
or British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
or British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
3
ENG 405 Advanced Writing 3
ENG 493 Senior Seminar I: Studies in: Social Justice 3
 Credits15
Spring
ENG 445 Literary Magazine Submission and Production 3
ENG 494 Senior Seminar: Studies in: Planning Ahead 3
ENG 384
or ENG 385
American Literature Early to Civil War
or American Literature-Civil War to Present
3
Elective Elective 6
 Credits15
 Total Credits120

Careers

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

Ready to apply or learn more about Western today?

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Find Your Career

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Scholarships

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing over 300 scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic programs, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions

Find your scholarships!

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify institutional scholarship opportunities that all Western students may apply for regardless of academic program or department, academic standing, campus involvement, and more. Students may click below to learn more about applying for these campus-wide opportunities.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

  • Contemporary Writer Series: Emerging and established literary artists visit campus and community venues.
  • Sigma Tau Delta: Join the international English honor society.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Students help fellow students in challenging writing courses.
  • WordHorde: This group hosts slam poetry and fiction at open mic nights.
  • Writing Center: Work as a writing consultant for the greater campus community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: Publish your poems, stories, and essays in Western’s undergraduate journal of the arts.
  • Western Press Books: Gain experience in copyediting through Western’s undergraduate literary press.
  • Story Catcher Writing Retreat: Take a week in the summer to strengthen your skills by studying with some of the country’s best writers.

Open mic night

WordHorde member Taj Butler discusses the background of her poem during MLK Open Mic Night.

News & Research

Creative writing students working in classroom

Nature Writing and Western Press Books to Produce Inaugural Book

Read More about Nature Writing and Western Press Books to Produce Inaugural Book
Fuhrman teaching at whiteboard

Western Instructor Named to Top Writer’s Honor

Read More about Western Instructor Named to Top Writer’s Honor
hybrid summer residency

Creative Writing Summer Residency to Offer Hybrid Experience

Read More about Creative Writing Summer Residency to Offer Hybrid Experience
new nature writing faculty

Nature Writing Concentration Welcomes New Faculty

Read More about Nature Writing Concentration Welcomes New Faculty
Genre Fiction Director, Fran Wilde

Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction

Read More about Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction
Poetry reading to spotlight Mark Todd, Natalie Giarratano

Poetry reading to spotlight Mark Todd, Natalie Giarratano

Read More about Poetry reading to spotlight Mark Todd, Natalie Giarratano
Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Read More about Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus
Community invited to campus author presentation

Community invited to campus author presentation

Read More about Community invited to campus author presentation
BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis

BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis

Read More about BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis
Western adding new minors, emphases to curriculum for 2018-19

Western adding new minors, emphases to curriculum for 2018-19

Read More about Western adding new minors, emphases to curriculum for 2018-19

Additional Resources

Western Press Books

Western Press Books is housed in the undergraduate Creative Writing program in Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department and is distributed through the University Press of Colorado.

Learn More

Department Chairperson

Jack Lucido, MFA

Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department

Administrative Assistant

Cindy Petito

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information

970.943.2025

cpetito@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 216
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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