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Creative Writing

Faculty Advisor:  Professor Cara Blue Adams

Coastal Carolina’s English Department offers a variety of courses in creative writing at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  Students can begin their study in the university core curriculum by choosing to take English 201: Introduction to Creative Writing, a course for beginning writers in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.  English 301: Creative Writing Workshop is a multi-genre course based on the workshop model designed to benefit both beginning writers and those with moderate experience.

At the intermediate level, the department offers three courses—English 362, English 365, and English 368—that focus on developing creative writers’ skills at reading and writing in three genres (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, respectively).  These intermediate courses embrace the philosophy that good writers must be good readers, and that the particular way a creative writer reads a literary text is different from the way a literary critic does.

At the upper level, students may select from three advanced single-genre workshop courses in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry: English 462, English 465, and English 468.  These courses apply the workshop model to student writing in each genre for the entire semester.

At the graduate level, students in the Master of Arts in Writing program take ENGL 603: Special Topics in Forms of Creative Writing and may also take a graduate Fiction Writing Workshop (ENGL 652), a Creative Nonfiction Workshop (ENGL 655), and a Poetry Writing Workshop (ENGL 658). Additionally, ENGL 569: Literary Magazine Production allows students to learn the history and theory of literary magazines while getting practical editorial experience working on Waccamaw.  Students also are exposed to writing broadly considered through courses in composition and rhetoric, editing and publishing, and various special topics.  

In addition to coursework, students can learn about writing through attending events in the Words to Say It Visiting Writers Series, which brings 4-6 accomplished writers to campus for public readings and receptions each year.  The series has featured such extraordinary writers as Alan Shapiro, Jill McCorkle, Paul Guest, Hannah Tinti, Edward Hirsch, and Natasha Trethewey.  Students can also benefit from exposure to the nationally recognized online literary journal Waccamaw published through Coastal Carolina University’s Athenaeum Press, as well as take part in the Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series poetry competition.

The creative writing faculty in the department includes:

  • Cara Blue Adams, author of short stories published in NarrativeThe Missouri Review, The Mississippi Review; winner of the Missouri Review William Peden Prize and the Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize
  • Dan Albergotti, author of the poetry collections The Boatloads (winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize) and Millennial Teeth (winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • Jason Ockert, author of the short story collections Rabbit Punches and Neighbors of Nothing (winner of Dzanc Books story collection contest), and the novel Wasp Box
  • Joe Oestreich, author of the memoir Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor-League Rock and Roll and the forthcoming Lines of Scrimmage: A Story of Football, Race, and Redemption (co-written with Scott Pleasant) from the University Press of Mississippi