Department of English
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.
- Marketing director
- Public relations practitioner
- Web content writer
- Media representative
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.
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).
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 Amschlinger ‘14 is humor writer at American Greetings and freelance writer in Cleveland. Her self-published book, “A Poet Darkly,” was her undergraduate thesis. As a creative writing and economics student, she did research in China, interned at local non-profits and studied abroad in Spain. She is from Rocky River, Ohio.
Alex 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 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 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 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.
Ana de Freitas Boe
Chair, English Department
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
Ph.D., Brown University
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Ph.D., Florida State University
Ph.D., Stony Brook University
Ph.D., University of Houston
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D., University of Florida
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
M.A., John Carroll Univeristy