Creative Writing Program of Study

We offer an array of courses in Creative Writing, beginning with the Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 1210). While not a prerequisite to courses at the 2000 level, English 1210 is strongly recommended. In addition to providing a sound basis for further work in Creative Writing, it satisfies Columbian College’s G-PAC requirement in the Creative and Performing Arts.

To obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English, students must complete 33 credit hours in the major, including:

  • five creative writing workshops (15 hours)
    • two of these workshops must be advanced
  • one readings course (ENGL 3210, 3 hours)
  • one techniques course (ENGL 2210, 3 hours)
  • four literature courses (12 hours), including
    • one course before the 18th century
    • one course between the 18th and 19th centuries
    • one course post-19th century
    • one course in minority or postcolonial literature

Creative Writing majors interested in graduating with honors must have a 3.5 GPA and should apply for the honors option during their sophomore year or at the beginning of their junior year. The option requires the completion, submission, and approval of a creative writing thesis, supervised by a two-person committee, and enrollment in the honors thesis seminar designated for Creative Writing majors (ENGL 4220).

Students may also choose to pursue the Creative Writing minor. The minor requires seven courses: five upper-level creative writing courses, one of which must be an advanced workshop in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or playwriting, and one course each in Readings and Techniques. An additional two courses will be electives in English and may include creative writing at the 2000-level or above.

For full descriptions of the Minor in Creative Writing and the B.A. with a Major in Creative Writing and English, please consult the current Bulletin. Students wishing to have more information about Creative Writing at The George Washington University should contact Professor Lisa Page, Director of Creative Writing.

Major in Creative Writing and English

Admission to the selective Creative Writing and English major is by application, normally made after the beginning of a student’s 4th semester; Engl 4220, the senior thesis, may be completed in either the 7th or the 8th semester. To apply, submit a one-page statement of interest and a writing sample (10-15 pp. of poetry, 15-20 pp. of prose fiction or playwriting) by the annually-announced deadline (typically, near the end of February); also, arrange for two letters of recommendation (normally from instructors in the GW Creative Writing program).

The 33-hour major combines 12 hours of required specific-category literature courses, with 15 hours in Creative Writing at the 2000-level or above, in addition to a Senior Thesis (ENGL 4220, a project involving the completion of a manuscript of poetry or fiction under the close supervision of a member of the full-time creative writing staff). All majors must take at least one course in fiction, and one in poetry, at the 2000 level. Admission to the major, restricted to a small number of students, is determined before the senior year, typically in the second semester of a student’s sophomore year. Students interested in applying for this major should speak with the Director of Creative Writing, Professor Lisa Page, at their earliest opportunity.

Students interested in this program should probably declare an English major and a Creative Writing minor, hoping to gain entry into the combined major during their sophomore year.

Minor in Creative Writing

The minor in creative writing consists of the following courses: any of the "1300" introductory courses or an introductory literature sequence (e.g., Engl 1410-1411) and, if English 1210 has been taken, five upper-level courses offered by the department, of which at least four must be in creative writing, including at least three in poetry (Engl 2470, 2570, and 3370 or 3380) or three in fiction (Engl 2460, 2560, and 3360 or 3380) or two in playwriting (Engl 2250, 3250). If a student has not taken English 1210, six upper-level courses are required with the same genre breakdown described above.

Creative Writing Course Offerings

For information about Creative Writing courses, see the current schedule of classes. From this page you will also be able to access CRNs for Creative Writing classes and information about days and times of class meetings. Please continue to check the Schedule of Classes and GWeb listings for the latest information.

Please note that ENGL 1210, Introduction to Creative Writing, no longer satisfies a WID requirement.

For questions about Creative Writing course offerings, please email Professor Lisa Page.

GW English Blog

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Visit GW's English Blog to keep up-to-date on news, events, and publications from the English Department!

Pulitzer Prize Winner Joins English Department

Professor Edward Jones

Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward P. Jones joined the Columbian College English faculty in 2010 to teach creative writing. Jones has also won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the National Book Critic’s Circle award, the Lannan Literary Award, a MacArthur “genius grant” and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

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