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Creative Writing Major

School of Humanities

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Department of English and Creative Writing

(440) 826-2293



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.

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.

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.


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.


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


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


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

  • 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, engaging courses span traditional offerings like American, British and World Literature, Composition, Exposition and Argumentation, as well as contemporary and creative offerings that include:

  • Romantic Rebellion
  • Gender and the Gothic
  • On Madness and Murder
  • Nature Writing
  • Detective Fiction: Private Eyes
  • Creative Writing-Poetry
  • 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.


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

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.

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.

Within the department, 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. Other 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).
  • Department of English 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 Department of English 1956-1981).
  • Dr. Neille and Jeanne Shoemaker Scholarship (in honor of Dr. Neille Shoemaker, who taught in the Department of English 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 Department of English, graduates can be found working in marketing, advertising, writing and editing, secondary and higher education, law and the nonprofit sector.

Image of Emily CapersEmily Capers '19 is earning an MFA in fiction from Columbia College Chicago. For her thesis, she is writing a hybrid novel exploring identity, based on her experiences growing up biracial. As a kindergarten teacher, she enjoys helping students create their own books. She has published poetry with Allegory Ridge and High Shelf Press.

Image of Leandra PattonLeandra Patton '18 is a content specialist for PR Newswire, a national company in the media services industry. She honed her editing and writing skills in courses and while working on The Mill, BW's literary arts journal, which published excerpts from her novel. She also worked as a course assistant and tutor.

Ashley Hawley headshotAshley Hawley '16 is full-time grantwriter with Providence House in Cleveland and a freelance writer and editor. BW's creative writing program enabled her to study various styles and genres of writing while gaining professional experience as a grantwriter with a local non-profit. Ashley is from Fairview Park, Ohio.

Alyssa Nieset headshotAlyssa Nieset '16 is marketing coordinator at NgageContent in Cleveland, where she writes blog and website content for clients. At BW, internships and a tenure as editor-in-chief of The Exponent helped her hone her skills and build a diverse writing portfolio. She is from Geneva, Ohio.

Nic Campeotto headshotNic Campeotto '15 works for a small space communications company for which she recently wrote a winning grant. She has been featured in publications such as Manticore, For Books' Sake, Fiction Southeast, Cactus Heart and BW's own literary journal, The Mill. She holds a master's in English from George Mason University.

Dominick Duda headshotDominick Duda '15 is a market research analyst at G2, a Chicago-based market intelligence company for B2B software. His poetry has been published in Black Market Lit, Foglifter, Nomadic Ground and The Mill. His poem "To Love the Horseman of Famine" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Dominick is from Cleveland.


Michael Garriga

Chair, Department of English & Creative Writing
Ph.D., Florida State University

Michael Garriga

Denise Kohn

Associate Dean, School of Humanities
Ph.D., University of Houston

Denise Kohn

Les Hunter

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Les Hunter

Sharon Kubasak

Associate Professor of English
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Sharon Kubasak

Terry Martin

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

Terry Martin

Full-Time Faculty

Denise Kohn
Associate Dean, School of Humanities

Ph.D., University of Houston

Michael Garriga
Chair, Department of English and Creative Writing
Ph.D., Florida State University

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

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

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

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

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

Writing Specialists

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

Judette Kullins
Literacy Specialist

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