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Department ofEnglish

Creative Writing Minor

The Creative Writing Program offers students a coherent course of study in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

The creative writing minor is firmly grounded within the liberal arts tradition, integrating courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction writing within their broader literary and cultural context.

Introductory courses familiarize students with the practice and theory of creative writing. Advanced courses offer a workshop setting in which students write and critique one another’s work. Electives focus on particular genres of creative writing, such as Lifewriting, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Screenwriting. All creative writing courses incorporate some study of literature as well as close attention to students’ own creative writing.

English majors who complete the Creative Writing minor may use their Creative Writing track courses for both the major and the minor.

*English majors who complete the Creative Writing minor may use their Creative Writing track courses for both the major and the minor.

Two Introductory Courses:

  • English 71. Fiction Writing
  • English 72. Poetry Writing

Two Sections of the Practicum Course: 

  • English 91. Literary Review Practicum

One Advanced Course:

  • English 171. Advanced Fiction Writing or English 172. Advanced Poetry Writing (may not double dip)

Three Electives From the Following:

  • English 73. Lifewriting
  • English 74. New Forms for Creative Writing
  • English 170. Writing for Children and Young Adults
  • English 171. Advanced Fiction Writing
  • English 172. Advanced Poetry Writing
  • English 173. Screenwriting
  • English 175. Creative Nonfiction
  • English 176. Creative Writing and Social Justice
  • English 177. Writing Genre Fiction
  • English 178. Creative Writing and Performing
  • English 179W. Playwriting
  • English 179. Advanced Playwriting

All SCU students have the opportunity to work on the University’s literary magazine. Published twice a year, the Review includes fiction, essays, poetry, book reviews, art and photography from the Santa Clara University Community and the Bay Area. In the Literary Magazine Practicum, one-unit courses offered every quarter, students discuss submissions.

Each year three department literary prizes for undergraduates are given: the McCann Prize for the best short story, the Shipsey Prize for the best poem or group of poems, and the Academy of American Poets “Tamara Verga Poetry Prize” for the best poem or group of poems. In addition, SCU participates in the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize, choosing three finalists to compete with other California university undergraduates. The winning manuscripts receive cash awards and maybe published in the Santa Clara Review.

The Writing Forward Reading Series brings creative writers with international, national, and regional reputations to the Santa Clara University campus for readings, classroom discussions, informal meetings with students, and interviews with the Santa Clara Review literary/arts magazine. This collaborative program between the English Department’s Creative Writing Program and the student-run Santa Clara Review is grounded in the Department’s and University’s commitment to involving undergraduate students in research collaboration with faculty, and is dedicated to reaching out to both the campus and local communities.

Poets and writers brought to campus include Robert Hass (U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize), Carolyn Forché (Yale Younger Poets, NEA and Lannan grants), Khaled Hosseini (NYT Bestseller List, SCU alumnus), Viet Thanh Nguyen (Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Grant), Tobias Wolff (Pen/Faulkner Award, National Medal of the Arts), Reyna Grande (American Book Award, International Latino Book Award), Gerald Stern (National Book Award, Guggenheim), Juan Felipé Herrera (American Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, US Poet Laureate), Dana Gioia (American Book Award, Chair of NEA), Rigoberto Gonzalez (American Book Award, Guggenheim), Raina Leon (Cave Canem and MacDowell Fellow), Jim Shepard (Guggenheim Award, The Story Prize) Alexandra Teague (Stegner and NEA Fellowships), Norma Cantú (MLA Distinguished Scholar Award), and Cheryl Dumesnil (Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, SCU alumna).

Students majoring or minoring in English and/or Creative Writing and those working on the Santa Clara Review from a variety of majors are actively engaged in planning, inviting, and organizing the series, in close collaboration with faculty. This involvement gives undergraduates hands-on experience with the fields of writing, publishing, and public relations, while also ensuring that the series continues to speak to our campus population. The faculty-student collaboration that undergirds the series is also mirrored in interdisciplinary collaboration on campus and in community collaboration off campus. 

In the last few years, over two dozen SCU students who have studied Creative Writing have been accepted into M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs in Creative Writing at University of Virginia, University of Iowa, Syracuse University, New York University, San Francisco State, University of Denver, University of Montana, University of Arizona, Bennington College, UC Davis, Brown University, San Diego State University, San Jose State University, USC, among others. Several have received prestigious fellowships and teaching assistantships to these universities. English major alumni include Neal Jimenez, who won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his film, Waterdance, and Jeff Brazil, who won a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.

  • Jerald Enos - Theater and Dance
  • Francisco Jimenez, Tonia Riviello - Modern Languages
  • Diane Dreher, Ron Hansen, Claudia MonPere McIsaac - English


Kirk Glaser, Claudia MonPere McIsaac, Cory Wade, Juan Velasco

Fiction and Screenwriting:

Kirk Glaser, Ron Hansen, David Keaton, Claudia MonPere McIsaac, Tim Myers, Juan Velasco


Simone Billings, Diane Dreher

For more information, contact:

For more information, contact:

Kirk Glaser

Director Creative Writing Program
(408) 554-4384 Direct
(408) 554-4837 Fax

Why English?