Can you major in this program? No
Can you minor in this program? Yes
Emphasis within the minor: fiction, poetry, dramatic writing, creative nonfiction
Popular majors: English, art, digital arts, natural sciences, religious studies
This department helps student artists develop their personal styles and technical skills.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
Stetson University's English department offers a vibrant undergraduate program in creative writing for students of all interests and abilities. The creative writing faculty work with students who love language and wish to experiment in poetry, fiction, dramatic writing and creative nonfiction.
Students with an English major may add a creative writing minor with the completion of 18 additional credit hours. Students with a major other than English may earn a creative writing minor by successfully completing 21 credit hours from a menu of courses.
A Distinctive Program
The establishment of the Tim Sullivan Endowment for Writing in 1995 by Art and Melissa Sullivan has added more luster to the strong emphasis on creative writing at the university. The endowment encourages and supports creative writing among students and faculty at Stetson University through several major initiatives including scholarships, campus visits by well-known writers and financial support for conferences.
Academics and Research
Creative writing students can attend the Other Words Conference in St. Augustine each November. Stetson University's creative writing program is a conference sponsor.
Facilities and opportunities
Creative writers are encouraged to seek out summer Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience grants and independent internships. The creative writing program often offers outreach opportunities for advanced writers. Students may work toward presenting a reading of their work during the annual Stetson Showcase, a day-long symposium celebrating student achievement. Students also are encouraged to submit work to Touchstone, the Stetson University literary magazine.
Preparation for graduate study
Students interested in committing themselves to creative writing beyond Stetson University will find that the English department has an excellent record in placing student writers in M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs as well as distinguished writers' colonies and conferences. Stetson University's program is a member of the Associated Writing Programs.
Awards and Recognition
Mark Powerl and Terri Witel are the recipients of numerous awards for their work. Witek has also won the university's top teaching awards, the McEniry and the Hague awards. Both have offered writing workshops all over the United States and abroad. Lori Snook has a robust connection to outside opportunities in dramatic writing and Dehnart is the country's top expert in reality television.
- Mark Powell, M.F.A., University of South Carolina; M.A.R., Yale Divinity School; fiction
- Terri Witek, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing; poetry
- Lori Snook, Ph.D., University of Arizona; dramatic writing
- Andy Dehnart, M.F.A., Bennington; creative writing, journalism
Students are encouraged to begin their research over the summer between their junior and senior years, particularly as part of the summer Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience, which provides funding for equipment, room and board and travel.
Undergraduate awards and honors
The creative writing program features Sullivan scholarships in creative writing for top achievers in class as well as for select incoming students. Annual Sullivan prizes in creative writing are awarded each spring during the Stetson Honors Convocation. The best creative nonfiction, dramatic writing, fiction and poetry win cash awards.
Beyond the Classroom
Students can take advanced classes in Creative Outreach, which feature such outreach activities as Poetry in the Schools and Fiction in the Prison. Students also are encouraged to seek out internship possibilities.
Stetson students with strong creative writing credentials have succeeded in careers as magazine editors, web designers, freelance writers, syndicated columnists, marketing executives and writing teachers, among other endeavors.