Creative Writing

Major Description

Creative Writing combines small workshops (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) and a variety of literature courses.  The result is a strong but flexible program of study that develops students’ analytical and creative skills and prepares them for work or graduate study in any number of fields.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • CW 100—Introduction to Creative Writing
  • CW 104—Introductory Narrative Writing
  • CW 106—Introductory Poetry Writing


Possible Career Opportunities:

Creative Writing majors can use their communication skills in a number of different roles.

  • High proficiency in reading/writing/speaking
  • Ability to be highly imaginative
  • Ability to be individually expressive through a variety of creative forms
  • Ability to give and receive effective criticism
  • Good listening, clarifying, questioning, and responding skills
  • Ability to conduct/explain research
  • Ability to make critical observations/decisions
  • Ability to read analytically
  • Ability to read for style/ideas
  • Comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary
  • Ability to relate to others with empathy and understanding
  • Arranger
  • Associate Media Director
  • Author
  • Biographer
  • Book Reviewer
  • Broadcast Supervisor
  • Columnist
  • Composer
  • Continuity Writer
  • Copy Editor
  • Creative Director
  • Critic
  • Editorial Writer
  • Electronic Publishing Specialist
  • Fact Checker
  • Fundraiser
  • Humorist
  • Librettist
  • Lyricist
  • Medical Writer
  • Orchestrator
  • Patient Relations Specialist
  • Playwright
  • Program Proposals Coordinator
  • Project Supervisor
  • Proofreader
  • Publicity Assistant
  • Publicity Director
  • Reporter
  • Researcher
  • Sales Service Promoter
  • Science Writer
  • Screen Printing Inspector
  • Screenplay Writer
  • Speech Writer
  • Staff Writer
  • Story Editor
  • Teacher
  • Technical Writer
  • Trainer

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of LAS Career Services
  • Get involved with the Montage Arts Journal
  • Visit the advising blog to learn more about events, activities and opportunities happening in the English department.
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Creative Writing Club: a group for creative writers from all majors who want to get together with peers for fun writing and performance activities.
    • English Student Association (ESA): an organization for English, Creative Writing, and Teaching of English majors, and English and Creative Writing minors, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Creative Writing.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Creative Writing.  These organizations include American Society of Composers, Authors and PublishersAssociation of American Publishers, and Modern Language Association. Students are eligible for nomination (by department) for the AWP Intro Journals Contest. Additionally the department hosts a writing contest each spring, providing awards for fiction and poetry.