Creative Writing Program

Creative writing is a vital component of the University of Richmond experience. The creative writing program, administered under the auspices of the Department of English, offers both classroom and extracurricular writing opportunities for English majors and non-majors alike. 

The Creative Writing Minor

Note: A grade of C (2.0) or better is required in all coursework comprising the creative writing minor. Each writing course beyond English 200 may be taken up to three times for credit.

6 units, including

ENGL 200 Introduction to Creative Writing

Four writing courses, chosen from the following

ENGL 385 Fiction Writing
ENGL 386 Poetry Writing
ENGL 387 Writing for the Stage and Screen
ENGL 392 Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENGL 397 Selected Topics in Writing
ENGL 401 Creative Writing Portfolio

One additional 200- or 300-level English course, either in literature, writing, or editing OR one of these courses from another department:

ARTS 276 Artist Book
FREN 324 Francophone Cultures and Literature
FREN 461 From Modern to Postmodern
GERM 452 Fin-de-siècle
LAIS 332 Introduction to Spanish-American Literature II
LAIS 462 Visions of Contemporary Spain
LAIS 472 Contemporary Spanish-American Theater
LAIS 474 Contemporary Writing in Latin America: Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll
LAIS 477 Literature of the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean
LAIS 485 Spanish-American Narrative
LAIS 486 U.S. Latino/a Literature
MLC 322 Introduction to Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Russian Literature
THTR 325 Script Analysis

Faculty

The English department faculty includes two full-time instructors of creative writing:

Brian Henry has published ten books of poetry and two translated books. He has written about contemporary poetry for such publications as The New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Kenyon Review. His poems and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New Republic, the New York Times, and many other publications. He co-edits the international journal Verse.

David Stevens is a fiction writer and the author of a collection of short fiction, Mexico Is Missing and Other Stories, and of many stories published in journals and magazines such as The Paris Review, Harper’s and The Mid-American Review.  He is also a literary scholar and author of a book on the frontier in American fiction.

Other members of the English faculty contribute courses in creative writing as well. Every other year, a distinguished visiting writer joins the department for a semester to teach. Distinguished writers in residence have included the poet Angela Ball, poet and essayist Diane Ackerman, the novelist Josephine Humphreys,  the poet Tomaz Salamun, the novelist and essayist, Colson Whitehead, and the poet and biographer, Honor Moore.

Beyond the Coursework

With its acclaimed Writers Series the Creative Writing Program sponsors exciting campus visits by prominent writers. Past appearances have included Isabelle Allende, Maya Angelou, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Ray Bradbury, J.M. Coetzee, Patricia Cornwell, Annie Dillard, E.L. Doctorow, Ernest Gaines, John Gardner, Allan Gurganus, Nikki Giovanni, Joy Harjo, Robert Hass, Galway Kinnell, Jerezy Kosinski, Paule Marshall, Jay McInerney, Larry McMurtry, Lorrie Moore, Toni Morrison, Robert Pinsky, Lee Smith, Gary Snyder, John Updike, Derek Walcott, Fay Weldon, and Tom Wolfe, among others. Recent visitors have included Sherman Alexie, Steve Almond, Rae Armantrout, Amiri Baraka, A. S. Byatt, Peter Carey, Julie Carr, Lan Samantha Chang, Gillian Conoley, Mike Czyziejewski, Lydia Davis, John D’Agata, Junot Diaz, Linh Dinh, Mark Doty, Deborah Eisenberg, Carolyn Forché, Amina Gautier, Etgar Keret, Ben Marcus, Sabrina Orah Mark, Richard McCann, Lydia Millet, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Donald Revell, Robert Polito, George Saunders, Danzy Senna, David Shields, Charles Simic, Aleš Šteger, James Tate, G.C. Waldrep, Charles Wright, and Kevin Young.

Students interested in writing outside the classroom can work on the staff and contribute to Richmond's student literary magazine, The Messenger. Students who are invited to read their work at a regional or national literary festival or conference can apply for travel funds through the School.

Creative writing students have gone on to publish as undergraduates, to attend graduate programs in creative writing, and to authorship and a wide range of artistic endeavors and publication outlets after graduation.