Programs and Requirements
The Fiction Writing program for both majors and nonmajors is structured around the nationally renowned Story Workshop method of teaching writing, originated and developed by former Department Chairperson John Schultz. The Story Workshop approach emphasizes the interrelationships among the processes of reading and writing, telling and listening, perceiving and communicating, critical thinking and imaginative problem solving. In addition to in-class, guided-discovery activities, students receive direct attention to their work through individual conferences with teachers. Because research shows that writing ability is a particularly important skill in most career fields, the Fiction Writing Department also offers a minor in Fiction Writing for majors from other departments, as well as a interdisciplinary minor in Playwriting (with Theater), which is open to students from Fiction Writing and all other majors.
Students work with faculty who are professionals engaged in writing and teaching novels, novellas, short stories, plays, radio scripts, creative nonfiction, essays, screenplays, and genre writing that includes science fiction, writing for children and young adults, historical fiction, popular fiction, suspense thriller fiction, and fiction adaptations for stage and screen. The core and specialty classes reflect this rich variety of genres and forms, supported by the unique and wide-ranging strand of Critical Reading and Writing courses, which focus on learning to read as writers and on the study of successful processes and techniques used by published authors.