Creative Writing Minor

Creative Writing Minor

Writing Minor

 In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of sayinglisten to me, see it my way, change your mind.

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

--Joan Didion, Why I Write

Description. In the Creative Writing Minor, students will practice the craft of writing in a workshop setting. Creative writing is distinguished from academic writing in its focus on emotional experience as the foundation for expression.  In the areas of fiction, poetry, personal narrative, screenwriting and autobiography, students will use the close review and critique of the workshop format to produce truer and more effective writing.

In the gateway course, English 212, Introduction to Creative Writing, students will write in three principal genres – fiction, poetry, personal narrative – and learn to provide useful, craft-based critiques to help each writer get closer to the subject and theme of his/her work.  English 212 will also help students identify the creative genre they wish to pursue; subsequent courses will require more intensive writing and critique.  In 300-level courses, students will hone their narrative or poetic skills and share their work with experienced creative writers and readers. 

Writing well empowers the writer and the reader.  The Creative Writing Minor will help students find their unique voices, shape their experiences, and refine their literary presentations.  

Learning outcomesStudents will:

  • Refine their own writing voices through reading, peer critique and the habit of writing and revising; 
  • Develop an awareness of audience by presenting work in a public context, the workshop format;
  • Recognize by working through a series of drafts that revision is essential hard work in the creative process; 
  • Make informed structural and stylistic choices in their own writing in poetry, fiction and non-fiction;
  • Implement critical thinking skills by using fundamental elements of each genre to create meaning in their original work; and
  • Form a critical vocabulary with which to discuss and critique writing by professional and student writers and distinguish the conscious choices creative writers make. 
Minor coordinator. Professor Jeffrey Heiman, Department of English (212.237.8697,
Admission to the minor. Completion of ENG 201 with a minimum grade of B-, or permission of the Creative Writing Minor Coordinator.
Requirements. Students must complete 18 credits (6 courses) in writing. Students may apply one 3–credit literature elective (200- or 300-level) or one 3-credit argument writing course (ENG 255) or one 3-credit grammar course (ENG 260) to satisfy the 18-credit requirement. A maximum of 2 courses can overlap with a student’s major, other minor or program.
Additional information. Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or selected this minor in September 2016 or thereafter must complete the minor in the form presented here. Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose the form shown here or the earlier version of the minor. A copy of the earlier version can be obtained in the 2015–2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.
PART ONE. REQUIRED COURSES                                                                      Subtotal: 6 credits

ENG 212 Introdcution to Creative Writing

Choose one 300-level seminar course

ENG 313 Advanced Fiction Writing
ENG 3XX Advanced Screenwriting
ENG 3YY Advanced Poetry Writing
ENG 320 Writing Workshop in Autobiography: An Eye on the Self

PART TWO. WRITING ELECTIVES                                                                       Subtotal: 12 credits

The following list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Students should consult the current course schedule for offerings in English [ENG]

ENG 215 Poetry Writing and Reading
ENG 216 Fiction Writing
ENG 221 Screenwriting for Film, Television, and Internet
ENG 245 Creative Nonfiction
ENG 260 Grammar, Syntax, and Style: Writing for All Disciplines 
ENG 313 Advanced Fiction Writing
ENG 320 Writing Workshop in Autobiography: An Eye on the Self
ENG 380 Selected Topics in Creative Writing
ENG 3XX Advanced Screenwriting
ENG 3YY Advanced Poetry Writing
LIT 270 Reading and Writing Children's Literature

In addition to the courses listed above, students can apply one course from the following list to Part Two as one of the four elective courses.

ENG 255 Argument Writing
ENG 260 Grammar, Syntax, and Style: Writing for All Disciplines
                     Any 200-level or above LIT course

                                                                                                                                          Total Credit Hours: 18
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Last Updated: 9/27/16