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Creative Writing

English Department Office
Nichols Hall 362
707 664-2140


Programs offered
Bachelor of Arts in English Creative Writing concentration
Master of Arts in English Creative Thesis option


Creative writing is offered in the English Department. An M.A. in English with a creative thesis option is also offered.

The B.A. degree is a 42-unit program, and the M.A. degree is a 30-unit program. Sequences of courses are available in fiction writing, poetry writing, script writing, and non-fiction writing. Creative writing faculty include poet Gillian Conoley, winner of The Pushcart Prize for poetry and a nominee for the National Book Critics? Circle Award, and author of Lovers in the Used World, Beckon, Tall Stranger, and Some Gangster Pain; fiction writer Sherril Jaffe, author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including Scars Make Your Body More Interesting and the best seller, One God Clapping; long-time contributor to The New Yorker Noelle Oxenhandler, author of the Eros of Parenthood; prize- winning fiction writer and playwright William Babula, author of St. John?s Baptism, According to St. John, St. John and the Seven Veils, St. John?s Bestiary and St. John?s Bread in the Jeremiah St. John detective series; poet and fiction writer Elizabeth Carothers Herron, author of Desire Being Full of Distances, While the Distance Widens and The Stones, The Dark Earth.

Through the Newkirk Reading Series Foundation, internationally and nationally prominent writers, publishers, and agents are invited each year to read and conduct seminars and workshops for students in the program. Visitors to the campus and the program have included Quentin Bell, David Halberstam, Ishmael Reed, Jessica Mitford, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bernstein, Lyn Hejinian, Steve McCaffery, Tom Wolfe, Irving Stone, Czeslaw Milosz, Edward Albee, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Stephen Spender, Michael Palmer, Donald Revell, Jane Miller, Yusef Komunyakkaa, Carol Snow, Laura Mullen, Jane Hirschfield, Paul Hoover, James Ellroy, and Wanda Colemen.

The well-regarded student literary magazine ZAUM is published through the Small Press Editing course offered by the English Department every semester. Students can learn every aspect of literary editing and publishing, including layout, design, and copyediting through this course.

VOLT is the national award-winning magazine that publishes nationally and internationally known authors. Winner of three Pushcart prizes and numerous grants, VOLT is committed to innovative writing. Students can work on the magazine by arrangement with instructor and through the Small Press Editing course.

The SSU creative writing program is a member of the Associated Writing Programs.

For program details, please refer to the English Department section in this catalog.



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