What You’ll Study

We all have a voice and our own unique set of ideas we want to share. Our Creative Writing program dives deep inside to unlock your ability to craft those stories the world needs to hear. You’ll learn the challenges and techniques involved in creating original work as you refine your personal style. And you’ll practice responding to the work of others, including your classmates and published authors.

Writings will focus on three genres:

  • Fiction
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Poetry

We’ll look at a variety of literature to teach you themes, narrative style, rhetorical devices, and cultural context that can enhance your work. Ultimately, you’ll improve your writing and develop techniques, skills, and understanding necessary to be a successful writer.

A Close Community of Writers

Literary critique is an essential skill for a professional writer, and a cornerstone of the Warren Wilson program. Even when it makes you uncomfortable, you’ll learn to give and receive constructive feedback and use it to improve your work. You’ll get to know the individual styles of fellow students, faculty, and authors and learn to bring outside perspectives to characters in your own writing. And there are plenty of opportunities to share your work, through open mic nights, poetry slams, student readings, literary magazines, newspapers, and journals.

World-Renowned Authors

There’s a strong relationship between the undergraduate creative writing program and Warren Wilson’s nationally top-ranked MFA Program for Writers. Although the MFA residencies take place when the college is not in session, a small group of undergraduate creative writing majors have the opportunity each January to attend MFA lectures and readings. Undergraduate writers benefit as well from the visit each year from one of the MFA faculty. The MFA Writer-in-Residence teaches a class, leads a workshop, gives a reading, and holds manuscript conferences with senior creative writing students. This access provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Warren Wilson undergraduates.

Explore Classes in This Program

WRI 3000

Literary Magazine: History & Editing

Learn the history and purpose of literary magazines and literary publishing through reading, discussions, and magazine production. You’ll read, analyze, and critique blind submissions as well as learn the process behind editorial decisions. You will also learn basic copyediting. Explore how to market and advertise literary magazines; solicit authors; acquire and publish visual art, poetry, prose, criticism, and book reviews of literary and academic merit; and design layouts.

WRI 3810

Research in Creative Writing

Students new to creative writing are often not aware of the substantial work many creative writers do to give their work a solid grounding in fact, or to usefully play with or respond to fact. Reading the work of published authors, you will detect the underpinning of research in creative work. You’ll then develop projects in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that draw upon your previous studies in both creative writing and other fields, seeking a fruitful intersection of these creative genres and another discipline.

WRI 3840

Creative Writing: MFA Residency

As an advanced writing student, you’ll experience a rigorous and immersive course that takes you through a portion of the curriculum of the MFA Winter Residency, engage in graduate-level discourse, and offer some sense of the graduate school experience. During the ten-day January residency of the College’s MFA Program, you’ll attend the readings, lectures, and courses offered by MFA faculty and graduating students. You will also engage in seminar discussion of topics raised in the Residency, pursue the readings in greater detail, and map a work plan for the upcoming workshop.

Meet Our Faculty

Warren Wilson has serious, passionate writing students. It's rare to find students so invested in creative writing at the undergraduate level, and I love working with them. I'm given a lot of freedom in my teaching here, so I’m able to take classes in directions I couldn’t elsewhere.

Rachel Haley Himmelheber, Ph.D.
Rachel Himmelheber
Rachel Haley Himmelheber, Ph.D.
Julie Wilson in the Writing Studio

I get to work with smart, creative, and hilarious co-workers — the student crew of the Writing Studio. They’ve taught me about spoken word poetry, feminist fairy tale retellings, Appalachian cottontails, Norwegian troll hunters, bike-building, luppies, and the superiority of thin sans serif fonts. See why I love my job?

Julie Wilson, Ph.D.
Julie Wilson in the Writing Studio
Julie Wilson, Ph.D.

We cannot enter the struggle as objects in order to later become subjects.

bell hooks, after Paulo Freire
Alysia Sawchyn, MFA

Warren Wilson is an extraordinary institution. I enjoy guiding students with creative energy and passion.

Delicia Daniels, Ph.D.
Delicia Daniels, Ph.D.
Rachel Himmelheber