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Creative Writing Track

An Overview of the Creative Writing Track

Canadian Literature in MontrealThe Creative Writing track of the English major is designed for students who have a special interest in developing their skills as readers and writers of either poetry or fiction. The structure of the track is based on two beliefs. First: that students who are serious about writing poetry or fiction must also be serious about reading and studying literature. Good writers have always cared deeply about and learned from the best that has been written in the past. For this reason, students who choose the Creative Writing track are required to satisfy most of the requirements of the Literature track of the English major. Second: that students who write poetry and fiction benefit from close involvement with others engaged in the same effort. Therefore, the Creative Writing track allows for students to read, critique, and nurture each other's work, and to meet occasionally with the published poets and fiction writers who are a part of our annual Visiting Writers Series. The Creative Writing track is demanding and rigorous, designed for a small but serious community of undergraduate writers.


Requirements Checklist 



Sequence of the Program

Students must specialize in either poetry or fiction and take all the required Creative Writing courses in the same genre.  Students may, of course, elect to take additional courses in other genres.

Creative Writing students throughout their years at Colorado College are expected to attend all events in the Visiting Writers Series. 

By Block 5 of the Junior year, students interested in the track must have taken or be enrolled in the beginning course in the chosen genre, EN282 Beginning Poetry Writing or  EN283 Beginning Fiction Writing.  EN 221 Introduction to Poetry is a pre-requisite for EN 282.

Students must apply for the Creative Writing Track in either poetry or fiction by Block 5 of the Junior year.

No later than fall of the senior year students must take either EN 308 Advanced Poetry Writing or EN 309 Advanced Fiction Writing (normally offered either in Block 1 or 2).   In this course, students develop a plan for the Senior Project, as well as writing new poems and stories. 

Senior writers must enroll EN 481 Senior Seminar in Poetry or Fiction for Block 6, which is dedicated to the generation and workshopping of writing for the thesis.

Seniors must also enroll for EN 485 Senior Project in Block 7.  This block is dedicated to the completion of a senior thesis, which consists of a substantial collection of poems or short stories, or a novella. 

Seniors may elect to take additional blocks of EN 485 before Block 7 to allow additional time for independent work on the thesis. 

Seniors will organize and give group readings in Block 8.

Applying to the Creative Writing Track 

Creative Writing Track Application

Interested students should submit an application form (available in the English Department) and a writing sample consisting of 8 pages of poetry or 15 pages of fiction.  Applications will be accepted in Block 5.  The Creative Writing faculty will make decisions in Bock 6, based on students’ class performance and the writing sample. 

Creative Writing Courses

  1. One of the following:  English 282: Beginning Poetry Writing (Prerequisite:  EN 221) or English 283: Beginning Fiction Writing. 2 units. 
  2. English 308: Advanced Poetry Workshop or English 309: Advanced Fiction Workshop. Prerequisite EN282 or EN283 and Consent of Instructor. 1 unit.  May be taken more than once for credit. 
  3. English 481  Senior Seminar in Poetry or Senior Seminar in Fiction.  Prerequisite:  EN 308 or EN 309 and Senior Standing in the Creative Writing Track. 1 unit. 
  4. English 485 Senior Project in Poetry or Fiction.  Prerequisite:  Senior Standing in the Creative Writing Track.  1 unit.  May be taken more than once for credit.

Other Required Department Courses

1) Gateway courses (2 units, both required):

a) EN221 Introduction to Poetry

b) EN250 Introduction to Literary Theory

2) Foundations and Transformations courses (3 units, 1 unit of each required; 1 out of 3 must be taken at the 300 or 400 level; may be taken outside the English department):

a) Western Tradition: Bible as Literature, Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” Greek Drama, History of the English Language, Homer, Shakespeare (list is not comprehensive)

b) American Ethnic Minority Literature: courses in African-American, Asian-American, Latino/a, Native American literature

c) Anglophone and Other National Literatures: Caribbean Literature, Postcolonial Literature, African Literature, literature courses in Classics, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish (in translation or in the original language; list is not comprehensive)

 3) Historical Period courses (4 units, 4 out of 5 required; 3 out of 4 must be taken at the 300 or 400 level):

            a) Medieval/Renaissance (excluding Shakespeare)

            b) Shakespeare

            c) 18th Century

            d) 19th Century

            e) 20th and 21st Centuries

4) Required Course Outside the Department

1 unit in another art discipline (e.g. studio art, drama, dance, photography; the course must involve the practice, not strictly the analysis, of another medium).

Students may count no more than two units of summer independent reading in fulfilling their English major requirements.

Distinction in English is awarded at graduation to senior majors who have done outstanding academic work in department courses, including the Senior Project.