Write With The Greats: 5 Notable College Creative Writing Major (and Minors)
These writing programs include a strong faculty of award-winning writers, writing competitions, and author visiting series.
1. NYU’s minor in creative writing offers undergraduates the opportunity to study under award-winning writers such as Jo Ann Beard, Anne Carson, and Rick Moody.
“Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.”
–Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
Once students complete the Intro to Fiction & Poetry course or equivalent, they can then apply to pursue Intensive Seminars led by faculty members including Colson Whitehead and Marie Howe.
2. The creative writing major at Northwestern includes graduates such as Macarthur “Genius” Award Winner Karen Russell and Veronica Roth who wrote a draft of her best-selling novel Divergent during her time at the school. Northwestern also offers two creative writing minors: a sequence-based minor which supports concentration in one genre and a cross-genre minor which supports concentration in multiple genres.
“Hopes were wallflowers. Hopes hugged the perimeter of a dance floor in your brain, tugging at their party lace, all perfume and hems and doomed expectation. They fanned their dance cards, these guests that pressed against the walls of your heart.”
–Karen Russell, Swamplandia
Outside of the classroom, college students can apply to Northwestern’s Annual Writing Competition.
3. Oberlin offers a major in creative writing. Those who are familiar with the hit TV show, Girls, writer and actress, Lena Dunham, is a fellow alumna of the college who graduated with a creative writing major.
“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.”
– Lena Dunham
Oberlin provides students with a diverse variety of visiting writers to study under as well as a large alumni network including six alumni who have won the Pulitzer Prize in Literature or Criticism.
4. The Creative Writing Concentration with the English major at Bates College offers students workshops in creative nonfiction, playwriting, and autofiction (a form of fictionalized autobiography). Former faculty member, Jessica Anthony, had her novel, Enter the Aardvark, published in 2020.
“Like, you just did not expect to feel this way but you do, and it’s what writers for centuries have called “melancholia” but because you don’t read books, your language is limited.” – Jessica Anthony, Enter the Aardvark
The Literary Live Arts series provides students with the opportunity to interact with and hear from authors and poets.
5. The University of Iowa’s reputation as the “Writing University” speaks for itself. Their English and Creative Writing Major allows students to study in a city named the third “City of Literature” by UNESCO.