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Creative Writing Honors Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for writing a creative thesis, in terms of my preparation and coursework?

Creative writers should have taken three CRWR classes, or an introductory class and two advanced classes, or the equivalent of nine credit hours, by their junior year.  At least one of the advanced CRWR classes must be in the genre of the proposed thesis.  It is also useful to have a genre, a model, or a subject in mind.

Creative writers may choose to extend a project begun in a class, or they may build upon genres and techniques they have previously studied; as creative writers formulate projects, we encourage them to build on their knowledge of craft in order to produce a sophisticated and polished final product.  Thus, it is important that creative applicants have begun to hone a craft and develop a voice. 

Can I apply to write a thesis in CRWR Honors if I am not an English major?

We prefer that all CRWR Honors students be English majors or CRWR minors in English; students whose transcripts show the number of credit hours equivalent to those in the minor will also be considered.   

If I am abroad, do I still apply for the Honors Program during the fall of my junior year? 

Applications are due during the fall of Junior year for all William and Mary students, here and abroad.  The only exception is for transfer students who began at William and Mary during their third years and who were therefore unable to apply to Honors in the fall; others with truly extenuating circumstances that prevented fall applications may also apply on April 1. The CRWR Honors Committee will accept honors proposals from these few students on April 1.  All who are considering the spring submission date are urged to consult with the Director of Creative Writing and prospective project advisors at least five to six weeks in advance of the deadline.  Many advisors may have committed to other students, so some flexibility in the conception of a project may be necessary.

If I am planning to write a Creative Writing (CRWR) Honors thesis, am I required to take the English Honors Program Thesis Proposal Writing Workshop?

No.  Students writing a CRWR Honors thesis are not required to take the English Honors Program Thesis Proposal Writing Workshop.    

If I write a thesis, do I still need to take an English senior seminar, or an ENGL 475?

Yes.  You need  English 475 to graduate, for the COLL curriculum requires all students to take a 400-level capstone.

Who reviews my CRWR Honors Application?

The CRWR Honors Committee, which is composed of CRWR faculty members.  The same committee will also review the Thesis Proposals that will be submitted to the Charles Center for funding and the more developed Thesis Proposals at the end of your junior year.  Often the committee provides feedback, which helps you revise the proposal as you progress.

If I apply for Charles Center Funding and receive it, do I still apply for Thesis approval in April?

Yes. The Charles Center’s application, while due six weeks or so earlier, is less involved than that of the English Department’s CRWR Honors Program.  The materials that need to be added to the Charles Center application include a short bibliography, an annotated bibliography, a more extended description that details your methodology, and a survey of existing research for the internal application in April.  Alongside these materials, a work plan for summer and the early fall are also required.   

Is there a GPA requirement for admittance to the CRWR Honors Program?

Basic requirements for admittance into the CRWR Honors Program include a GPA of 3.0 or higher; most successful applicants have considerably higher GPAs.  Admitted students are usually considered to be particularly strong, accomplished writers.

Do I need a letter of recommendation when I apply to the CRWR Honors Program?

No letters of recommendation are needed, but you will be asked about classes that were particularly meaningful to you at William and Mary, and about contact information for those courses' instructors. The CRWR Honors Director will ask those professors for a sentence or two about your work as part of the review of applications.  

Do I need to know what I will write about when I apply to the CRWR Honors Program in the fall of my junior year?

Not entirely, but we think it useful for you to have identified the genre and general scope of your project.  It is also useful to know which course or courses served as the anchor for your thesis formulation. We also ask you to consider several possible areas of interest, for in some cases, your ideal advisor may be on leave or may have agreed to advise another project.  Or there may be unexpected obstacles with a particular topic, so we encourage you to maintain several viable options as you apply to the program. 

How do I find out about the outcome of my application?

You will be notified via email about the outcome of your application to the CRWR Honors Program.

If I am a transfer student, can I apply to the CRWR Honors Program? 

Yes.  Many transfer students begin their studies at William and Mary in their junior year, so there will be a special deadline for transfer students in the late spring; this deadline will also extend to other students who experienced extenuating circumstances in the fall.  When you apply to CRWR Honors, the CRWR Honors Committee will want to review copies of your academic transcript from all the colleges you attended.  It is best to begin consulting with the CRWR Honors Director/Director of Creative Writing very soon after spring break if you are interested in the April 1 application for Honors; it usually takes 5-6 weeks to put together a proposal.

How do I find a thesis director for my project?

Ideally, you want to consider professors with whom you have worked successfully and in whose classes you encountered the works that are the basis of your project.  Reaching out to several professors by late fall semester of your junior year will allow you to discuss your ideas for a possible thesis and determine if and how you should move forward with them.  Your advisor will help you as you develop your proposal.  No proposals will be accepted unless they have been vetted thoroughly by your faculty advisor, so regular coordination with your advisor and the Director of CRWR Honors is expected during your junior year.