English B.A., Creative Writing Concentration
Introduction: Students who wish to pursue the English major with a concentration in Creative Writing may want to discuss their plans with Creative Writing faculty or the Department Chair. While all students are welcome to pursue this major/concentration, it's important to understand the challenges of writing literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or dramatic scripts. Both the creative writing and literature concentrations require substantial reading and literary analysis.
Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing. Also, students in this major/concentration who are not enrolled at Georgia College for two consecutive semesters (fall-spring or spring-fall) must upon their return meet with the Department Chair before they can be re-admitted to the major.
About the Major: As with other Liberal Arts majors in the Fine Arts, the study and practice of Creative Writing require significant time for imaginative creation, reflective revision, and intellectual engagement with both published literary works and the works of one's peers. English majors in the Creative Writing concentration develop not only the critical skills of the traditional English/Literature major but also the creative, artistic skills of the literary author. It is important, therefore, that students understand the time commitment required of this major's sequence of courses and prerequisites. Four or more semesters in the program's Major Requirements are necessary to complete this degree (five semesters, counting the Area F requirement, ENGL 2208 Introduction to Creative Writing, which may have been completed at another college or university). Current or transfer students should consider this sequence of courses and the time commitment required before applying for admission to the major, as a late application may mean that a student will need more time in order to complete this major.
After Graduation: Although many of our students choose to pursue graduate studies in Creative Writing (recent graduates have continued their Master of Fine Arts degrees at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Maryland, Temple University, the University of Nebraska, New Mexico State University, the University of South Carolina, and other programs), many of our students pursue different careers, including public school teaching, film and television work, business, library science, and teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). But our goal for all students pursuing this concentration is that they learn the discipline of writing and that they eventually strive to publish their work.
Prerequisite Sequence: The required sequence of creative writing courses in the English/Creative Writing concentration follows this pattern:
1. ENGL 2208: Introduction to Creative Writing (Area F); prerequisite to…
2. Intermediate (Major) Creative Writing courses (choose two): Scriptwriting (3011), Creative Nonfiction (3012), Poetry (3021), and Fiction (3022); each Intermediate genre course is prerequisite to…
3. Upper-level Genre Workshops:
ENGL 4011: Scriptwriting (prerequisite is ENGL 3011)
ENGL 4012: Creative Nonfiction Writing (prerequisite is ENGL 3012)
ENGL 4021: Poetry Workshop (prerequisite is ENGL 3021)
ENGL 4022: Fiction Workshop (prerequisite is ENGL 3022)
Students take two 4000-level workshops and may choose to continue in both genres started at the Intermediate level or focus on just one genre. (Note: Students are welcome to take as electives courses in a third genre, starting with the Intermediate genre course in that genre.)
4. Senior Capstone: English majors in the Creative Writing concentration have several options to fulfill the Senior Capstone. Typically, students complete the capstone after they have earned 90 credit hours; however, exceptions may be possible for students close to earning 90 hours. ENGL 4011, 4012, 4021, and 4022 are repeatable for credit. (Note some capstones involve a special approval process.)
The Journal Editing option involves learning not only editing skills but also journal production and management skills (organization, publicity, and distribution; layout, design, web-based and other technological applications). Students register to take ENGL 4025 in the fall semester. (Note: This course is also open to sophomores and juniors who have been selected for The Peacock's Feet staff; indeed, these students are encouraged to enroll in the class.)
The Poetry Translation option: Students interested in this option register for ENGL 4013 Poetry Translation, offered in the spring semester (but not offered every year; check class schedules). This course follows a well-defined plan that distinguishes between literal, colloquial, and creative translations, and that explores the degrees of fidelity to the original text vs. expectations of contemporary literature in English. The course does not require fluency in another language, but does expect students to be enthusiastic about linguistic and literary subject matter. This option is limited to students who have taken ENGL 3021 Intermediate Poetry (prerequisite to ENGL 4013) OR who receive the instructor’s permission.
The Interdisciplinary Studies option: Completion of any IDST 4999 Senior Capstone course.
Capstones That Require Approval Process (Form Completed by Faculty Instructor/Sponsor and Approved by Department; Please see the Department chair or your faculty instructor/sponsor for more information):
Teaching of Writing in the Schools (WITS) option involves a two semester commitment (fall/spring only) mentoring seventh grade students in the GC Early College. This option requires significant commitment and the ability to interact responsibly with younger students. Interested majors must apply in the spring before their senior year, keeping in mind the fall/spring commitment. Students register for ENGL 4023 in the fall semester and ENGL 4024 in the spring for capstone credit.
The Study Abroad option: Students interested this senior capstone must meet with a Creative Writing Program faculty member as early as possible and request that the instructor serve as the student’s project director. The faculty member and student would then develop a project proposal incorporating work relating to the student’s creative, literary, and study abroad experience. The most likely option would involve a study abroad program in the summer after the student’s junior year, or the fall semester of the student’s senior year, followed by the submission of a creative writing project (proposed earlier) based on the study abroad experience. Students will be registered for ENGL 4980 Study Abroad in the semester that they would complete the project.
Independent Study Option: Students may pursue, with the support of a Creative Writing faculty member and the approval of the Department, an Independent Study project related to the study and practice of Creative Writing. Projects should be proposed for ENGL 4940 (Independent Study) in the semester before the project would be completed. Please note that a faculty member must agree to supervise such an Independent Study, and students must understand that a faculty member is not obliged to support a student's proposed project.
5. ENGL 4031 Creative Writing Seminar. This course addresses both critical and creative subjects relevant to the English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. ENGL 4031 fulfills the English major with Creative Writing concentration's Senior Exit examination requirement. This course is intended for a student’s last or second to last semester (fall or spring).
Extracurricular Opportunities: Many of our students serve as editors on the undergraduate art and literary magazine The Peacock's Feet or as mentors in our program's "Writing in the Schools" project, working with seventh graders in Georgia College's innovative Early College program. (These opportunities do not have to be connected to the senior capstone experience, although they often will be.) Each year, our program hosts several distinguished visiting writers, who visit classes, meet with students, and present readings and other programs on campus. Students may also participate in the spring "24-Hour Plays" project, in the department chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, and in the Red Earth student reading series. Students who have started their Senior Capstone projects are eligible to submit work to our program's fall AWP Intro Awards and spring Academy of American Poets University Prize competitions. And each year, the program selects a student for our “Outstanding Major” award. For more details, visit www.gcsu.edu/creativewriting.
Collaborative Learning with graduate students in our MFA program: Our program offers the unique opportunity to work not only with outstanding senior faculty but also with graduate students in our nationally distinguished Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. Graduate and undergraduate students develop strong mentoring relationships in both curricular and extracurricular activities. Our most accomplished majors may be invited by the Creative Writing Program faculty to participate in graduate-level workshops, either for undergraduate credit or for graduate credit (if taken for graduate credit, hours will not count towards the B.A. degree; students must have senior status and must have taken at least one 4000-level workshop in the appropriate genre). The Early College and Journal Editing senior capstones also involve collaborative learning experiences with MFA graduate students.
Areas A - E (See Core section of the Catalog) (42 semester hours)
Area F (18 semester hours)
One of the following:
If a student places out of any language at the 2002 level, area F.3 may be replaced by any 1000-2000 level AFST, ARTS, BLST, HIST, IDST, LING, MSCM, MUSC, PHIL, RELI, THEA, or WMST course not used to fulfill areas B, C, & E (3 hours).
Please note: Majors should plan to take ENGL 2110 World Literature OR IDST 2305 Topics in the Humanities and Fine Arts to fulfill the Core Area C Humanities requirement, as these courses fulfill the prerequisite for 4000-level Literature courses.
Major Requirements (30 semester hours)
Two 3000-level Intermediate Courses in different genres (6 hours):
Two 4000-level workshops (6 hours):
Students may take two workshops in the two different genres selected for Intermediate courses OR focus on one genre, repeating the 4000-level workshop (4000-level workshops are repeatable for credit; ideally, students should take the second workshop in the same genre with a different faculty member).
Creative Writing Seminar (3 hours)
Three courses from the following.
At least one course must be in British literature written pre-1800, one in American literature, while the third can be from any others among those listed below. (9 hours):
One course from the following (3 hours):
Total Credit Hours: 120
Senior Capstone (3 semester hours)
English majors in the Creative Writing concentration may meet the GC Senior Capstone requirement (described above) by completing one of six capstone options:
ENGL 4025 Literary Journal Design & Editing
ENGL 4013 Poetry Translation
IDST 4999 Interdisciplinary Senior Capstone
ENGL 4024 Teaching Writing in Schools II (requires approval process; prerequisite is ENGL 4023)
ENGL 4980 Study Abroad Project (requires approval process)
ENGL 4940 Independent study (if supported by a Creative Writing faculty member; requires approval process).
- Completion of the First-Year Academic Seminar with a passing grade. Students who transfer to GC after the first term are exempt from this requirement, but need to be aware that timely placement in creative writing courses cannot be guaranteed. Note: this course credit (1 hour) does not count toward the 120 earned hours required for graduation
- A grade of C or better is required in all English courses.
- A minimum of 39 semester hours overall must be at the 3000-4000 level.
- Fulfillment of University-wide Senior Capstone Experience requirement, as explained above.
Electives (21-30 semester hours)
English majors who need more than one language course to meet the Foreign Language (2002) will have fewer elective hours while others, depending on how they meet the language requirement, will have more elective hours. For example, many students need to take as electives all three language courses (1001, 1002, 2001) before they are prepared to take the required 2002-level course, which means that they would have 21 elective hours. Elective hours may be used to complete a minor; to take other English Literature or Creative Writing courses in a third genre (starting with the 3000-level Intermediate section); to pursue courses in other disciplines; and possibly even to work on a second major (although students who wish to pursue that path need to start planning very early). Elective hours help students to a) deepen their experience in their major field; or b) explore new experiences in other fields; but most importantly, c) complete the required 39 hours at the 3000/4000-level (since only 30 are required in the major) as well as the 120 earned hours required for graduation (as only 90 hours total are required in the CORE A-E, Area F, and MAJOR). NOTE that WELLNESS and some other classes DO NOT count towards earned hours.