Undergraduate Major

Creative Writing (BA)

Study the literary tradition and develop your imagination with a creative writing degree. Write and revise original works while engaging with a vibrant literary arts community on campus and beyond.

Creative Writing Hero

Program Overview

Gain practical writing skills and the confidence to engage your wildest imagination when you major in creative writing. Encouraged by your professors and peers in small classes, you'll create original works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama.

Your creative writing education begins by reading the best of classic and contemporary literature. As you discuss readings in class, you'll learn fundamental writing techniques that will form the basis of all you create. You'll receive constant feedback in peer-review sessions and support from one-on-one conferences with professors, not to mention workshops with distinguished visiting writers like George Saunders and Kim Addonizio.

Apply what you've learned in the classroom to meaningful projects by completing a praxis course working with local publishers or facilitating a community writing workshop. No matter what you want to create, a creative writing degree will help you make it.

Program Options

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Students who complete 12 semester hours of ENGL 401 Textual Scholarship will receive a certificate in textual scholarship that confirms an exceptional level of expertise in a field that is distinguished for undergraduate creative writing majors. In addition to developing the skills and earning the experience described in the course description for ENGL 401, students who complete the requirements for the textual scholarship certificate also have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the completion of a serious scholarly project that involves both extraordinary undergraduate research and intensive experiential learning.

Digital humanities is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field that incorporates new tools and methodologies for pursuing modes of inquiry and producing forms of scholarship and engagement in the humanities. It seeks to apply humanistic reasoning and research to important questions related to technology, such as social sustainability, big data, and privacy. Work in digital humanities includes public humanities, data mining/visualization, web design, textual analysis, educational technology, and ethics and technology. The concentration in digital humanities is open to all humanities majors.

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Program Highlights

From flash fiction to humor writing to historical fiction, if you can dream it, we'll help you write it! With new special topics courses added every semester, you'll constantly be exploring new genres and modes of writing.

On-Campus Publications

Students gain real-world experience by working on a number of different online and on-campus publications.

Creative Writing Guest Speakers

Distinguished Guest Lecturers

Learn from the best. Each semester, you'll get to meet a nationally known, award-winning author as part of the Distinguished Writers Series. Writers like George Saunders, Arthur Sze, Stephanie Powell Watts, and Dan Chaon have all recently visited campus and held readings, classroom lectures, and one-one-one tutorials with students.

Creative Writing Networking

Professional Networking

You'll have the chance to apply for a fully-funded trip to the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, the largest literary conference in North America. Attend readings, panel discussions, and literary events with over 12,000 writers and scholars. There's no better place to jumpstart a creative career! 

Creative Writing Experience

Real-world Experience

You'll learn firsthand how literary publications operate when you get involved in Widener Ink, a literary magazine of Widener students' writing, and The Blue Route, our nationally-recognized online journal of undergraduate writing. Working closely with faculty and peers, you'll enhance your aesthetic judgment and gain a second family in your magazine staff.

An Accomplished Portfolio

You'll develop your portfolio through constant writing and revising, finishing off your senior year with a capstone project including a source-based aesthetic essay. By the time you graduate, you'll have a robust portfolio of diverse writing pieces ready to submit for publication and apply for graduate school. 

Faculty

Our professors invest in your success through close mentoring and continual feedback. Get to know our creative writing faculty.

Michael Cocchiarale
Associate Professor of English

"Inside or outside the classroom, I’m keen to hear what students think. I love advising students on our literary magazines and preparing them for national conferences, where they can shine as leaders in their field. Their enthusiasm—their understanding of the vital importance of a liberal education—forever energizes me."

Janine Utell
Chair of English

"I want my students to feel nurtured by a professor who cares about their well-being, challenged by a professor who insists they ask hard questions, made a little uncomfortable by a professor who refuses to give the 'right' answer, and excited by a professor who is always looking for something new."

Jayne M. Thompson
Assistant Teaching Professor of English

"My teaching focuses on fostering the development of creativity, intellectual curiosity, and critical thinking skills; creating a culture of scholarship that students will carry beyond the university; and encouraging students to consider their roles in their communities and to join these communities in meaningful ways."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

The creative writing program will grow you holistically as a writer, thinker and reader. With strong communication skills, creativity, and a resume of engaged learning opportunities, you'll be prepared to enter nearly any industry on the inside track.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Elsevier
  • NBC Sports
  • Make a Wish
  • Doctors without Borders
  • The Rosenbach Museum & Library
  • Philadelphia Stories
  • Philly Fringe
  • The Library Company
  • Vindico Medical Education

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Community outreach and nonprofit work
  • Publishing
  • Theatre and the arts
  • Archiving
  • Web production

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

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When comparing costs, we encourage you to look beyond sticker price. Because Widener is a private institution, we’re able to offer financial assistance that brings our exceptional education within reach.

Financial Aid

Our financial aid team takes the guessing game out of applying for financial aid. To determine your financial aid package, including scholarships and grants, apply and complete the financial aid process. You might be surprised at how much we can offer in assistance.

Next steps to apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

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