Creative Writing

Marilyn Sides in class with students

Creative Writing at Wellesley

The Department of English and Creative Writing offers small workshop courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, playwriting, in conjunction with the Theater Studies Department. These courses are open to all Wellesley College students. Creative writing courses are graded credit/non-credit.


The Creative Writing Concentration in the English Major

The creative writing concentration within the English major is designed for majors with a strong commitment to developing their own creative work. Students electing the creative writing concentration take a series of workshops in one or more creative genres (fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction) and select, in consultation with their advisor, courses in literary study that provide the background in and knowledge of literary tradition necessary to make a contribution to that tradition.

Students interested in the creative writing concentration are urged to begin planning their programs early in their careers at Wellesley. It is expected that they will have taken at least one writing workshop by the time for election of the English major (spring semester sophomore year or fall semester sophomore year, for students going abroad), and have been in touch with a member of the creative writing faculty to plan the major.

English majors electing the creative writing concentration must choose a member of the creative writing faculty as their advisor. Students who are interested in the creative writing concentration but who do not feel confident that they have had sufficient experience in writing to choose the concentration at the time of the election of the major should elect the English major; they may add the creative writing concentration later.

Requirements for the Creative Writing Concentration

Students electing the creative writing concentration must fulfill all the requirements of the English major, including English 120 or ENG 120/WRIT 105 or ENG 121, a course on Shakespeare, the period distribution requirements, and two 300-level literature courses. It is expected that creative writing students will take a focused program of critical study in the genre or genres in which they specialize. In addition to eight courses in the critical study of literature, majors in the creative writing concentration take a minimum of four units of creative writing work. Creative writing courses may be repeated for additional credit. A student who is extremely motivated and capable of independent work and who has the permission of a faculty advisor may take an independent study (ENG 350); however, it is recommended that students take full advantage of the workshop experience provided by the creative writing courses.

Honors in Creative Writing

A student qualifying for Honors in English and whose proposal has been approved by the Creative Writing Committee may pursue a creative writing thesis; the thesis option, although it includes two course units (ENG 360 and ENG 370), can only count as one of the four creative writing courses required by the concentration. Creative writing faculty generally direct creative theses; however, other English department faculty may direct creative theses. For more information about Honors in Creative Writing, click here.