Creative Writing Thesis

The creative writing track weaves craft, imagination, and a lively literary framework in order to support English majors dedicated to their writing. Through a breadth of creative writing courses including courses taught by renowned visiting writers, students have the opportunity to gather writing skills and techniques, inspiration, and knowledge.

In addition to taking creative writing classes, students are advised on literature requirements and elective classes that would further develop a comprehensive engagement with literary and art tradition and its ability to foreground environmental, political, sociological, and judicial concerns across centuries, movements, and through a medley of topics. These classes and the creative writing track’s supportive engagement with writers and writing culminate in the student’s Senior Seminar and Thesis Block, which concentrate wholly on their senior project and ensure its completion—not just as a final product, but as a commitment to their own writing development and towards a publishable manuscript or future writing.

Creative Writing Courses

English Majors on the Creative Writing Track are required to take a Beginning, Advanced, and Senior Seminar course. The scaffolded creative writing courses provide clear levels of progress centered upon eventually completing the senior project and for deepening student engagement with the craft of developing voice and narrative.

Students take an introductory and advanced course in one chosen genre before moving into the senior sequence as described above. Students also take one elective in creative writing or another art discipline as a way of broadening, deepening and diversifying their engagement with creative productivity more generally.

Students interested in more than one genre are encouraged to begin their progress through the track by taking the multi-genre “Introduction to Creative Writing” class before choosing a genre path. Further, senior sequence courses are designed to support hybrid projects that cross and complicate genres, as well as incorporate other mediums and areas of studies.

The Senior Thesis in Creative Writing

The Senior Thesis can take the form of a collection of poetry, essays, short stories, a novella, or even a novel. Hybrid works are also possible and encouraged. Length of the project is determined by the genre, style, and intention of the project. In general, prose works are 40+ pages with some novels as long as 250. Poetry collections vary from 20-40 pages. 

The Senior Thesis is due on the last day of Block 7 and required for graduation. No exceptions. 

EN481 CW Senior Seminar

Scheduling: This is a two-block course held in Fall (b3&4) and Spring (b6&7) only. Please see the Course Path page for more information. 

Senior Seminar Sequence: Workshop/Project

EN481 Senior Seminar: Two-block advanced study of creative writing culminating in a creative capstone project such as a collection of short stories, a novella or novel, a collection of poems, a long essay or a collection of essays, or hybrid writing project. Required of all senior Creative Writing Track English majors.

What is the Creative Writing Senior Sequence?
The goal of the Senior Seminar sequence is the submission of a finalized senior project at the end of Block 7 as part of the English Major requirement.

The first block of the Senior Seminar operates as a workshop offering students an opportunity to have their work read and critiqued by others. Being a member of the workshop entails:

  • Submitting writing under strict deadlines
  • Turning in writing ready for critique
  • Discussing the scope of the project and goals for the block
  • Reading the work of peers thoughtfully and within the context of their project and the craft of writing
  • Providing both written and oral feedback that is well-supported and constructive.
Additional assignments and engagements provide support towards completing a working first draft of the full thesis, which is due on the last day of the first block of the seminar. This is a complete draft with a developed story arc or thematic cohesion. It is not, however, a final draft and may have errors, omissions, etc. This working draft will be ready for revision and final edits. This step of provisional completion is a crucial intermediate moment for the thesis and a necessary prelude to the refining and editing of the work as a whole that takes place the following block.

In the second block of the seminar, students revise their thesis through studio session, individual and group meetings, and group events. Goals for revising towards a final draft will be developed towards the growth of the work itself and differ from project to project, requiring our expertise in a number of genres and styles.  This block of the Senior Seminar provides each student with help in everything from writing and revision processes to specific methods in writing and further reading, and to discuss the project’s range in terms of topic, theme, style, and genre. Each year students are excited, but also nervous at the prospect of finishing their thesis within those two blocks and each year they have amazed themselves and all of us by how well-developed, professional, and engaging their projects prove to be. Senior projects are celebrated with a series of Senior Reading events of all creative and critical theses and can be submitted to Tutt library for a bound copy.

EN499 Senior Project

EN499 is an independent thesis block. Creative Writing Track students should determine if their EN499 should be focused on Thesis Drafting or Revising. 

Detailed information is available here. EN499 Proposal forms are located here

Creative Writing Faculty

Director, Journalism Institute
(719) 389-6604 | Armstrong Hall # 244
Associate Professor, Chair
Armstrong Hall
Assistant Professor
Armstrong #240
Dot Devota
Visiting Assistant Professor
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