Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Creative Writing Curriculum

Students in the creative writing 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.

As they progress through the concentration, students produce creative works of increasing sophistication. They also demonstrate a greater awareness of their own creative practice—and become more astute critics of works in progress—by engaging in sustained critiques of their peers’ writing and by developing strategies for revising their own work.

Through intense study in their literature courses, students will further sharpen their abilities as readers and critics and will learn to approach major works from a variety of periods and genres as sources of both inspiration and instruction. Because the concentration affords students the opportunity to explore writing as a means of knowing, it is frequently paired with a second concentration in literary studies, theater, visual arts, or social studies.

The minimum number of credits necessary to satisfy the concentration is 25.

The workshop component (11 credits) includes:

  • Introduction to Creative Writing (LIT 150) or Modes of Making (LIT 151)
  • A minimum of six additional credits in writing workshops (see list). These courses satisfy methodology and/or practice requirement.
  • Guest Writers (LIT 100)

The literature component (14 credits) includes: 

  • One of the College's foundational "Art of" genre courses
  • Two courses at the 300-level or above
  • One additional course in literature

Writing Workshops

Students must take one of the following:

  • Introduction to Creative Writing (LIT 150)
  • Modes of Making (LIT 151)

Students must complete a minimum of six credits of writing workshops from the list below:

  • Creative Nonfiction (LIT 106m)
  • The Personal Essay (LIT 287/387)
  • Fiction Workshop (LIT 288/388)
  • Poetry Workshop (LIT 289/389)
  • Playwriting (THEA 227/427)

Workshops may be taken at the 300- or 400-level by students who have already taken them once at the 200-level. Such students are expected to complete additional work.

In addition, students must complete one semester of Guest Writers (LIT 100), a course offered each fall in conjunction with the Poetry & Fiction Reading Series. Guest Writers invites contemporary writers to campus to discuss one of their books with the class.

Literature Courses

Students must complete one foundational “Art of” course—for example, Art of the Novel or Art of Poetry. Students are also required to take one intermediate course at the 200-level and two advanced courses at the 300-level. Students are encouraged to select 300-level literature courses that best complement their writing interests. For example, poets might take Modern Poetry; fiction writers might take Poe, Hawthorne, Melville.

 Learn more about the Creative Writing and Literature courses