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What is Creative Writing?

Creative Writing develops students’ imaginative writing talents and offers intensive study in a variety of traditional and contemporary genres.  These genres include poetry, the short story, creative nonfiction, and playwriting.  Students majoring in Creative Writing will acquire a well-rounded knowledge of life: prosody; narrative strategies; genre experimentation; grammar; rhetoric, and aesthetics; and creative problem solving.

What can I do with a Creative Writing degree?

Some of our Pitt-Johnstown Creative Writing graduates decide to continue their education and obtain a Masters in Fine Arts or a PhD in Creative Writing.  Other students combine their writing major and complete a dual major or choose to complete a minor.  For example, Writing and Education, Writing and Business, or Writing combined with Communication, Journalism, or Literature.  Writing students have undertaken successful careers in journalism and feature writing, public relations, copy-editing and publishing, among others. 

Program Mission Statement 

The program in Creative Writing supports the mission of Pitt-Johnstown, namely, "to guide students in developing disciplined, informed thinking; communication skills; problem solving skills; strategies for informational access; respect for the views of others; and a lifetime love of learning."

The emphasis in Creative Writing develops students' imaginative writing talents and offers intensive study in a variety of traditional and contemporary genres, including playwriting, poetry, the short story, and creative nonfiction.


What kind of courses will I take?

The courses listed below are only a small glimpse into the Creative Writing courses available on our campus. To view the full list of Creative Writing course descriptions, click here

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process. Class may be taken by freshman English writing majors.  

This course introduces students to aspects of prose fiction—plot, point of view, characterization, conflict, etc. Students may write exercises on these aspects of fiction, or write one or more short stories and revise frequently. Students will also read representative stories and explore their use of particular fictional techniques.
This course explores the relationship between the writers' lives and the material they write, with close attention paid to form, style, and the raw material transformed by the writing process. Readings can include various short stories and creative nonfiction works pertaining to writers' lives, essays written by writers about their texts, and critical studies about the genre. Students will be asked to write their own autobiographical prose, transforming raw material into creative nonfiction.

This seminar provides a capstone experience for English writing majors and students intensely committed to writing. It is assumed that students come to the seminar having taken a fairly broad range of both English writing and literature courses. Students will complete an original manuscript in a genre of their choice (e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction). Manuscripts will be evaluated by an approved outside reader as well as the instructor. Class hours will be devoted to workshop critiques and discussing contemporary issues of form and theory related to the written arts.


Creative Writing Links

These links have been provided for those who want more information on both the Pitt-Johnstown Creative Writing Program and the world of Creative Writing as a whole.

Pitt-Johnstown Writing Home Page

Degree Requirements (.pdf)

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs

Meet our Writing Faculty

Want More Information?

If you want to receive more information about Pitt-Johnstown in general, please visit the Admissions Office homepage by clicking the Mountain Cat!


Last Reviewed: January 10, 2012