Creative Writing (BA)

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Melanie Blackman '14

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Go Tell Your Story

Unleash your creativity with Southern New Hampshire University’s major in creative writing, available on campus and online.

Prepare for a career in creative writing, publishing, journalism, communications, the law and many other professions, as well as graduate programs (such as the university’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in fiction and nonfiction writing).

Creative writing courses begin during freshman year, unlike many other writing programs. Students can choose between a traditional four-year program, an accelerated three-year plan. Three-year plan graduates who enroll in the Master of Fine Arts program can earn their bachelor's and master' degrees in five years.

Publishing opportunities include the student literary journal, The Manatee;  the university’s national journal, Amoskeag; high-profile magazines; and literary contests. Students spend classroom and one-on-one time with publishers, agents and editors, and participate in workshops, readings, book-signings and networking events with national bestselling authors and poets.

Our faculty members include critically acclaimed writers who understand the industry, who are joined by nationally renowned visiting writers.  

Students join the university’s Creative Writing Club and the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, the only statewide literary organization for writers of all levels and genres,
which is housed on the university’s main campus in Manchester.

Four creative writing workshops are at the heart of the program. Students choose three genre workshops and follow them with an advanced creative writing workshop in which they will complete a senior thesis in a genre of their choosing, such as fiction, poetry, nonfiction or scriptwriting.

Required Core Courses

General Education Program

School of Arts and Sciences Required Core Courses

FAS-201: Introduction to Humanities I
This course offers vocabulary, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in their cultural contexts in history, religion, literature, music and ideas. It focuses on the achievements of ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval period and the Renaissance while also exploring related issues in non-European cultures. May be taken independently of FAS-202.
FAS-202: Introduction to Humanities II
This course offers vocabulary, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in their cultural contexts in history, religion, literature, music and ideas. It focuses on the cultural periods of the Baroque, the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Early Modernism while also exploring related issues in non-European cultures. May be taken independently of FAS-201.

Select One of the Following:

COM-212: Public Speaking
This course is designed to help students develop abilities, including organization and delivery skills, for all speaking situations. The evaluation and improvement of voice, diction, articulation and posture also are studied. May not be used as literature elective.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120, ENG-121H ENG-200 or ENG-200H
HIS-114: United States History II: 1865-Present
The second half of the United States history survey course covers the period following the Civil War. The economic, political and ideological developments that allowed the United States to attain a position of the world leadership are closely examined. Required for majors in History and Social Studies Education with a concentration in History.
PHL-210: Introduction to Philosophy
This course provides a general introduction to the big questions of philosophy, including questions of existence, knowledge, freedom and meaning. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to great thinkers and theories while engaging them in the exploration of the same beginning questions applied to contemporary issues. Offered every semester.

Creative Writing Major Courses

ENG-226: Introduction to Creative Writing
An introductory creative writing course designed to acquaint students with the craft of creating writing and the skills that will be required in subsequent creative writing workshops. Students will explore such craft issues as point of view, voice, characterization, dialogue, setting, conflict, rhythm, imagery, poetic structure, and dramatic scene development. Students will be expected to submit a number of writing exercises, including stories and poems. Student will also be expected to read and comment on their peers' writing with thoughtful and constructive criticism, as well as read and discuss published work.
ENG-340: Context of Writing: Writers/Publishing
ENG 340 is a survey course in contemporary literature designed for students interested in creative writing. Students will be asked to read contemporary American authors such as Jennifer Egan, Lev Grossman, Joan Didion, Ben Lerner, Sheila Heti, James Wood, Curtis Sittenfeld, George Saunders and Karen Russell with special attention to prose style, structure, and the influence of modern and postmodern literary movements. Students will workshop each other's creative writing, informed by the aesthetic strategies they've gleaned from the reading material. Students will also receive an introduction to the culture and history of contemporary American book publishing and literary magazine publishing.
Prerequisites:
ENG-121, ENG-121H or ENG-200
ENG-350: The English Language
This course is an introduction to the following topics in English linguistics: history of English, etymology, vocabulary (morphology), phonology, dictionaries, syntax, semantics, dialects, discourse analysis, and child language acquisition. The course is designed for students who want to learn about the English language as preparation for teaching, or for becoming better writers, or for studying literature. Students will have the opportunity to research, write about, and present on a linguistic topic of individual interest such as the language of advertising or propaganda.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or 120H and junior standing or instructor permission
ENG-431: Advanced Creative Writing
This course is designed to support a sequence of writing workshops in the creative writing and English major, to provide students serious about their writing an opportunity to study a particular genre (fiction, poetry, scriptwriting or nonfiction) beyond the 300-level workshops. The course also prepares the student for his or her senior thesis in creative writing. In addition to extensive reading within the chosen genre, workshops require participation in class discussions, student presentations and analyses of other students' work. Select class periods will be devoted to individual tutorials with the instructor.
Prerequisites:
ENG-11, ENG-121 and ENG-121H or ENG-200 and ENG-323 or ENG-327 or ENG-328 or ENG-329 or ENG-330
LIT-300: Literary Theory
This course is an introduction to the major schools of contemporary critical theory, and an examination of principal exponents of these theories. The student will become familiar with the most important features of psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism and feminism and examine the meaning of structuralism and post-structuralism. In addition, the course affords an opportunity to practice applying the theories to specific literary texts. Not available every semester.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or 120H and junior standing or instructor permission
LIT-319: Shakespeare
Students in LIT 319 study selected Shakespearian comedies, tragedies and chronicle plays. The course also provides the students with a general overview of the Elizabethan era and the world in which Shakespeare lived and worked. Not available every semester.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or ENG-120H

LIT ELE - Select one 200-level Literature elective
LIT ELE - Select one 400-level Literature elective

Select Three of the Following:

ENG-327: Play Writing Workshop
This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write stage plays of various lengths using traditional and experimental methods and forms. Members of the class will produce at intervals to be established by the instructor and will take turns presenting their works to the group for comment and discussion. The class will produce some student plays during the term. May not be used as a literature elective. Not available every semester. Writing Intensive Course.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or ENG-120H
ENG-328: Poetry Writing Workshop
This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write short or long poems using traditional and experimental forms. Members of the class will produce on a weekly basis and take turns presenting their manuscripts to the group for commentary and discussion. May not be used as a literature elective. Not available every semester.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or ENG-120H
ENG-329: Fiction Writing Workshop
This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write short or long fiction using the techniques of 19th-century realism as well as modernist and experimental techniques. Members of the class will produce on a weekly basis and take turns presenting their manuscripts to the group for commentary and discussion. May not be used as a literature elective. Not available every semester.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or ENG-120H
ENG-330: Nonfiction Writing Workshop
This course introduces students to the basic skills and principles of writing creative nonfiction and magazine feature articles. Student-centered workshop critiques and frequent conferences with the instructor are the primary methods used in the course. The course includes significant reading assignments in nonfiction genres.
Prerequisites:
ENG-120 or ENG-120H

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