Baldwin Wallace University Programs

BW's creative writing major offers outstanding career preparation for journalism, marketing, publishing and other fields.

Creative Writing

School of Humanities

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Department of English

(440) 826-2293

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OVERVIEW

Creative writing is a major that melds intellectual inquiry and critical analysis with writing that is compelling and strategic.

It offers outstanding career preparation for journalism, marketing, publishing and other fields where strong writing and analytical thinking are invaluable.

As a creative writing major, you'll learn about poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama. You'll build skills in oral and written communication, close reading, formal analysis, problem solving, research strategies and debate.

If you're looking to have your work published, BW's literary magazine and student-run newspaper offer outstanding opportunities. Also invaluable is BW faculty, many of whom have published books, poems, articles and scholarly works.

Experiential learning is a key part of the major. You'll supplement classroom studies with enriching activities that include co-curricular involvement, independent study, internships, service-learning and study abroad.

BW faculty are accomplished writers and poets. They'll work closely with you to deepen your reading and writing abilities and to enhance competencies in self editing and analysis.

Interdisciplinary collaboration with BW dance, theatre and other arts-focused departments offer exciting fusion opportunities involving writing, set design and performance. Also beneficial are scholarly interdepartmental projects that include book editing and other publication-related work.

ENGLISH IS A CAREER-FOCUSED MAJOR

Majoring in English aligns well with career preparation by developing the characteristics employers value:

  • Effective oral and written communication
    English majors are highly articulate in all areas of communication.
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
    Close reading enhances an ability to use logic, balance various points of view, recognize how meaning is determined by context and develop a sustained argument.
  • The ability to analyze and solve complex problems
    Literary interpretation is an exercise in complex problem solving. English student learn to synthesize diverse points of view and apply multiple perspectives–social, political, economic, philosophical, historical and others–to the understanding of literary texts.
  • Ability to make ethical decisions
    Through literature, readers reflect on the meaning and consequences of human action. Literature enables a deeper understanding of ethical questions by contextualizing them.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A TEACHER?

If you would like to become an English teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Copywriter
  • Playwright/screenwriter
  • Marketing director
  • Public relations practitioner
  • Web content writer
  • Media representative
  • Journalist
  • Teacher
  • Librarian

CURRICULUM

Comprehensive and rigorous, English offers the following programs of study:

  • Major or minor in creative writing
  • Major in English
  • Minor in writing
  • Minor in literature
  • Teacher licensure

BW is one of only two schools in Northeast Ohio offering a creative writing major.

Within the creative writing program, dynamic, engaging courses span traditional offerings like American, British and World Literature, Composition, Exposition and Argumentation, as well as contemporary and creative offerings that include:

  • Men Behaving Badly
  • Romantic Rebellion
  • Gender and the Gothic
  • On Madness and Murder
  • Nature Writing
  • Detective Fiction: Private Eyes
  • Creative Writing–Poetry
  • Fiction of Addiction
  • Grant Writing
  • Creative Writing–Playwriting

At the upper level, a departmental thesis and the honors thesis are options that invite students to engage in singular, long-term projects with a faculty director. Creative theses have focused on the writing of short stories, prose poems, vignettes, poetry and the lyric essay.

Creative writing offers outstanding preparation for graduate school and career opportunities.

The creative writing major prepares students to:

  • Develop into sensitive and perceptive readers of literature
  • Develop into effective writers
  • Increase understanding of the history and nature of literature
  • Increase understanding of the history and nature of the English language
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.

STUDENT EXPERIENCES

BW creative writing students have had their work published in national literary journals. They also have won or placed as finalists in national and regional literary competitions. Students also have given readings at national conventions and participated in panels at writing conferences

Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's English program.

Hands-on learning opportunities include independent study, research, study abroad, internships and service-learning.

Independent study offers students enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom for individualized and advanced study. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member. Summer Scholars is another BW opportunity that blends faculty mentoring and independent study with research, scholarly and creative endeavors.

BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to impressive networking, internship and career connections at corporations, government and nonprofit agencies, advertising and media organizations and more.

Study abroad offers exciting immersion experiences. Consider studying British writers by spending a semester in Great Britain or traveling to Costa Rica, Italy, Hong Kong or any of the many other sites recently visited by BW English majors.

The student literary and arts journal, “The Mill,” is a high-quality publication that enables you to hone your craft as a writer or editor. The Mill Reading Series sponsors emerging and established writers to read their works on campus each semester.

You also can gain writing experience serving as an editor or staff member of the student-run campus newspaper “The Exponent.”

Other hands-on activities include a project that places BW students at local high schools to tutor writing and a Grant Writing course that matches students with nonprofit organizations to research and write real-world grant proposals.

The department's Career Explorations Book Club assists students in charting their path to a satisfying career in the early stages of their English major.

On campus, English students are regularly recognized for their achievements.

Alpha Mu Zeta (BW's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta) is the international English honor society. It fosters a sense of community among English majors and minors by organizing social and cultural events.

At the annual Honors Ceremony in the spring, recognitions include:

  • A.W. "Bud" Collins Prize in Creative Writing (in honor of A.W. Collins '51).
  • Twila Haines Coxon and A. Williams Coxon Scholarship (in honor of Twila Haines '19 and A. Williams Coxon).
  • English Department Essay Prize (made possible by a gift from J. Richard Hankins, who taught at BW and helped establish the BW Writing Lab).
  • Amelia and Clara Harding Scholarship (in honor of Amelia '36, Charles '37 and Clara Harding).
  • Robert Howells Memorial English Scholarship (in honor of Robert Howells, who taught at BW 1967-88).
  • Ruby V. Redinger Prize (in honor of Ruby Redinger, an author and member of the English department 1956-1981).
  • Dr. Neille and Jeanne Shoemaker Scholarship (in honor of Dr. Neille Shoemaker, who taught in the English department 1946-86).
  • Bertha Stiefel Scholarship (in honor of English professor Bertha Stiefel '20, who taught at BW 1938-68).

ALUMNI SUCCESS

At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed. Within the English Department, graduates can be found working in marketing, advertising, writing and editing, secondary and higher education, law and the nonprofit sector. 

Erin AmschlingerErin Amschlinger ‘14 is humor writer at American Greetings and freelance writer in Cleveland. As a BW creative writing and economics student, the Rocky River, Ohio, native completed research in China, interned at local nonprofits and studied abroad in Spain. Her self-published book, “A Poet Darkly,” was her undergraduate thesis.

Alex FaroneAlex Farone '14 is J.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. At BW Alex served as student ambassador and course assistant and participated in BW's Seminar in Europe. Her work was published in BW's literary magazine, The Mill. Alex is from New Castle, Pa.

Matt GesickiMatt Gesicki ’14 is pursuing an M.Div. in interreligious engagement at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Collaborative research, service learning, faculty mentoring and study abroad were formative experiences that led the Parma, Ohio, native to pursue a career of service through theology and community organizing.

Chris QuinnChris Quinn ’13 is assistance coordinator for AXA Assistance in Chicago. Challenging coursework and positions as editor of multiple BW publications developed the Wheaton, Ill., native’s ability to think critically, solve problems creatively and communicate effectively, skills that have been essential to his success.

Molly Gabriel AngneyMolly Gabrial Agney ’12 is omni-channel account manager at St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, Fla. Creative thinking and a passion for new ideas has enabled the Vermillion, Ohio, native to stand out in advertising, a field which demands constant innovation and collaboration with other creative professionals.

FACULTY

 

Full-Time Faculty

Denise Kohn
Chair, English Department
Professor

Ph.D., University of Houston

Ana de Freitas Boe
Professor
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

Jeff Covington
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Brown University

Michael Dolzani
Professor
Ph.D., University of Toronto

Michael Garriga
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Florida State University

Les Hunter
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Sharon Kubasak
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Terry Martin
Professor
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

Susan Oldrieve
Professor
Ph.D., University of Virginia

Heidi Thoenen
Assistant Professor
M.A., University of Akron

Writing Specialists

Eric Gardener
Writing Specialist
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Judette Kullins
Literacy Specialist

Tammy Layton
Writing Specialist
M.A., John Carroll Univeristy