Creative Writing

Major (Emphasis)

Students talking around a table


English majors in the Creative Writing emphasis study and practice the art of writing with award-winning faculty-authors. Through writing workshops, students hone their craft alongside their peers. They study the work of established authors, explore diverse genres, practice scene-building, narrative and character development, lyric voicing, as well as the fundamentals of imagery, metaphor, diction, tone, rhythm, and closure.

Beyond taking innovative courses in the varied genres, students have the opportunity to work on Sink Hollow, USU’s international undergraduate literary magazine, join the Bull Pen creative writing club, and engage with widely published writers through our May Swenson Writers Series and the Ken Brewer Festival of Writing. These yearly events have included such visiting writers as Rick Barot, Paisley Rekdal, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Snyder, Robert Wrigley, and Meg Day. Through a partnership with Helicon West, a local, ongoing reading and open mic series, students also frequently share their work in the community.

Career Application

Graduates of the Creative Writing emphasis are prepared for careers as writers, editors, publishers, or teachers, or to continue graduate study in creative writing. The skills developed in our courses make graduates competitive applicants for positions as literary consultants, librarians, business administrators, web content creators, public relations and marketing specialists, and copywriters.

Students and graduates have won regional and national awards for their creative work, including The Norman Mailer Prize, The Utah Original Writing Competition prize, and The Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Prize. They have published essays, poems, and stories with literary magazines like Orion, Bellingham Review, Ninth Letter, The American Scholar, Sugar House Review, Cimarron Review, Mud Season Review, and Brevity, as well as book-length work with Finishing Line, SLAB, Dzanc, and The Cupboard Pamphlet presses. Creative Writing emphasis students have also gone on to attend prestigious MFA and PhD programs.

Program Highlights

Helicon West

This uncensored open-mic is the perfect place to read your poetry and other writing in front of an audience.

Sink Hollow

Gain valuable publishing experience by curating, producing, and marketing USU's undergraduate literary magazine.

The Bull Pen

Discuss your creative writing with other writers, participate in poetry slams, and flex your creative muscles with other students.

USU Honors Program

Participate in discussion-oriented classes and reading groups while taking advantage of other Honors-specific benefits.

Creative Writing News 

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Scholarships & Financial Aid

  • Utah State University offers many options for financial aid, including university level scholarships and aid available to specific colleges and majors.