William & Mary

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” –William Wordsworth

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Like every creative endeavor, good creative writing is partly art and partly skill. The art comes from within – a talent and ear for composing with words, and a passion for the subject matter at hand. Skill results from a learned understanding of the chosen genre (e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, screenwriting) and a great deal of practice.

Our Creative Writing Program operates on the belief that students learn creative writing well by doing it themselves. Writing seminars are small (limited to 15 students) and hands-on, immersing students in contemporary and traditional creative writing methods, both American and others from around the world.

Students work directly with our published, award-winning writing faculty, as well as the current Writer in Residence and various authors visiting campus through the Patrick Hayes Writers Series.

By learning and mastering the art of creative writing, students become better writers overall – a communications skill that is fundamental to future success in virtually any professional field. Creative writing also enhances students’ risk-taking, listening, and critical thinking; and it brings a deeper appreciation and greater understanding generally of literature and culture.

Signing up for CRWR courses:

Due to high demand and limited space, all 300- and 400-level courses in CRWR are enrolled by instructor approval. Our intermediate workshops (CRWR 368, 369, & 372) have no prerequisites. However, students interested in these courses should email the instructor prior to registration and include a writing sample. Here, we’re just looking for good basic writing skills. 

400-level courses in CRWR have as a prerequisite related coursework at the 300-level. Here too, even seasoned writers working on their minor will want to email the instructor prior to registration with a writing sample. This ensures we can get as many students placed in the courses they need over their college career.