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Creative Writing

The concentration in creative writing offers students the opportunity to explore an array of writing styles and genres, thereby helping them discover and develop their own voices. Beyond the introductory course in which students write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, students take specialized workshops offered each term, as well as tutorials and independent studies. A number of Simon’s Rock graduates have gone on to great success in graduate programs in writing, and have published their own stories, poems, essays, novels, and biographies. However, the concentration is intended to assist all students who wish to make creative writing a part of their major program, rather than only those students interested in writing as a profession. Because the concentration affords students the opportunity to explore writing as a means of knowing, it serves very well those major programs that focus on literary studies, gender studies, theater, visual arts, and the social sciences. Creative writing can help students become better readers of their own work, of themselves, and of the world around them.


Students in this concentration balance time spent on their own writing with literature courses in which they develop familiarity with literary genres and the works of published writers. All students are required to take Introduction to Creative Writing or Modes of Making, which focus on a number of different genres and assist students in developing effective skills for critique and revision of their work. They must earn an additional six credits through writing workshops and at least 11 credits through literature courses, including one of the College’s introductory genre courses. Two courses in the concentration must be literature courses at the 300-level or above. The minimum total credits for the concentration is 20. Beyond this, students are encouraged to take tutorials or independent projects in writing, to select literature courses that link up with and forward their writing interests, and to take courses in other disciplines that enrich their work in creative writing.

Writing Workshops

Literature 150 Introduction to Creative Writing
Literature 151 Modes of Making

Two additional writing workshops selected from the list below:
Arts 212 Imagining the Self: Autobiography and Biography in Creative Expression
Dance 211 Relationships between Dance and Creative Writing
Literature 101m Nature Writing/Writing Nature
Literature 102m Hearing Meter, Reading Rhyme
Literature 106m Creative Nonfiction
Literature 287/487 The Personal Essay
Literature 288/488 Fiction Workshop
Literature 289/489 Poetry Workshop
Literature 291/491 Translation Workshop
Studio Art 223/323 Writing and Photography Studio
Theater 227/427 Playwrighting

Workshops may be taken at the 300- or 400-level by students who have already taken them once. Such students are expected to complete additional work.

Literature Courses

One genre course selected from the list below:
Literature 201 Art of Poetry
Literature 202 Art of The Short Story
Literature 203 Art of Fiction: The Novel
Literature 205 Art of Autobiography: The Self as Subject
Literature 206 Art of Film
Literature 207 Art of Literary Analysis

Students are encouraged to select 300-level literature courses that best complement their primary writing interests. For example, poets might take Modern Poetry; playwrights might take Studies in Modern Drama.

Recent Senior Theses

“Why Shouldn’t Our Work Be Hard? An Inquiry into Lyric Writing and Performing”
“Fiona’s Horses: A Novel in Progress”
“Where I’m Coming From: A Family of Short Works”
“A Medieval Romance by Mark Twain: A Study of Imitation as a Technique in Creative Writing”
“A Mouthful: A Study in First Person Identity and Narrative Technique”
“A Nebula in a Plumb Line: Short Works of Fiction”
“Portrait of the Artist as a Young Black Woman
“The Rainbow Covenant: A Story of Exile”
“The Way You Say It: A Collection of Poems”
“One Bright Morning I Woke Up and This is What They Said”

For information about Guest Writers, please visit


Peter Filkins, Hal Holladay, Jamie Hutchinson, Brendan Mathews, Wendy Shifrin
Faculty Contacts: Peter Filkins, Brendan Mathews