Creative Writing at Franklin College

creative writing students readCreative writers look to literature to make sense of the human experience, reading and writing to discover important questions and meaningful answers.

The creative writing community, housed in the English department, is one of Franklin College’s most active and engaged. Our dedicated faculty of practicing writers and scholars guide students in small classes and workshops that cover a variety of genres, as well as provide students with frequent out-of-class opportunities to exercise and hone their craft. Creative writing students can expect a rigorous yet collegial environment that allows for engaged learning, collaboration, and experimentation.

Download the Creative Writing Major Handout

Mission

The study of creative writing develops insightful and imaginative thinkers who communicate complex ideas in new ways. By honing a diverse set of reading and writing skills, these majors and minors come to recognize the artistic achievements, insights, and possibilities inherent in literature, and use this knowledge to inform their own creative work.

We emphasize a sense of community in the department and in the larger world by exploring diverse perspectives and ways of thinking, with the goal of instilling in creative writing students the power of literature and a drive to make a difference. Our emphasis on close, attentive reading and textual analysis, as well as on craft and technique, cultivates critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills, actively preparing students for success in their professional lives and beyond.

Our Faculty

As lifelong learners, the creative writing and English faculty are active in their areas of interest, bringing those insights into the classroom and extended community. Our faculty members have published books, as well as award-winning fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction in a variety of national literary journals, including Kenyon Review, Harpur Palate, Fourteen Hills, Puerto del Sol, and others. Faculty members regularly present on scholarly, creative, and pedagogical strategies at major conferences, including at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Association for Writers and Writing Programs. Finally, faculty are often invited to lead creative writing workshops at other institutions and conferences, including recent talks at the Steel Pen Writer’s Conference and the Winter Wheat Writing Festival.

Departmental Highlights

Why creative writing at Franklin?

  • Dynamic classroom experiences. Creative writing classes incorporate lively discussions, close readings, and inclusive workshops. Drawing upon research-based best practices, instructors create an engaging community where students develop new techniques. In addition to taking courses with our award-winning faculty, students benefit from the creative writing program’s Visiting Writers’ Reading Series, which brings talented poets, fiction writers, memoirists, and playwrights to teach and study with us each year.
  • Experiences beyond the classroom. Not only do creative writing majors learn a great deal in the classroom, they also take part in activities related to the discipline. Such activities regularly include working on the editorial board of the college literary journal, the Apogee (founded in 1961); attending performances and creative-writing readings;and participating in other events in and around Franklin, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Louisville, and elsewhere in the region.
  • Global engagement. With opportunities to study abroad during entire semesters, during the college’s four-week Immersive Term, or over the summer, creative writing majors have the opportunity to study in England, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Uganda, Japan, and elsewhere.
  • Interdisciplinary commitment. In keeping with the college’s strong interdisciplinary character, creative writing majors frequently choose to pursue a second major or a minor in disciplines such as English, Frenchhistory, music, multimedia journalism, psychology, Spanishart, and theatre.
  • Connecting passion with work. Our faculty advisers are committed to helping students find careers in fields that excite them. Creative writers find rewarding careers in arts administration, teaching, publishing, health care, marketing, business, the performing and creative arts, communications, technical writing, and non-profit management. They are also well-equipped to go on to graduate and professional programs in fields such as creative writing, English, the law, divinity, library science, counseling, and more.

Requirements

Introductory courses provide students with an understanding of different creative genres, as well as the fundamentals of creative writing processes, literary citizenship, and the contemporary literary landscape. Students learn to read like writers, engaging in literary analysis to appreciate the nuances of text construction. In later courses, students perform genre-specific studies, closely studying, deploying, and sharpening particular writing techniques, engaging in significant revision and experimentation as they hone their unique voices and join ongoing literary conversations.

As creative writers, we untangle texts and cultural contexts to discover new strategies for reading and writing, with students interrogating both the worlds of the texts they read and write and their own world, understanding how texts communicate, shape, and move all of us. Through guided practice, students gain confidence, empathy, and practical critical writing and thinking skills that allow them to make powerful contributions to the world.

Meet Our Faculty