What is Professional Writing?
The emphasis in the Professional Writing program includes a tiered system of introductory, intermediate, and advanced writing courses in these areas: Creative Nonfiction (Literary Journalism), Feature Writing, Public Relations, and Technical Writing. A fifteen-hour related area will help students learn the terminology of the fields in which they plan to seek employment.
What can I do with a Professional Writing degree?
Most students who earn a B.A. in Professional Writing will seek employment as writers and editors in such fields as business, engineering, health care, and media outlets. A smaller number of students plan to go to law school or seek graduate professional writing degrees.
Program Mission Statement
The program in Professional 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 Professional Writing provides students with study and training in a variety of forms, including literary journalism, the personal essay, public relatons writing, and technical writing.
What kind of courses will I take?
The courses listed below are only a small glimpse into the Professional Writing courses available on our campus. To view the full list of Professional Writing course descriptions, click here.
INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING
This course introduces students to several forms of professional writing, such as review and profile writing, public relations and marketing writing, and writing on the web. Students will compose, revise, and edit their own texts and also read and study real world examples of professional writing.
ADVANCED CREATIVE NONFICTION
An advanced writing course designed to hone creative nonfiction skills through extensive writing, workshop style peer critiques, and in-depth reading. Several of the subgenres of creative nonfiction to be studied and practiced include nature writing, travel writing, science writing, biographical profile, and historical incident. Accurate description, scenic representation, and narrative framing will be among the technical devices considered.
Prepares students to deal with problems of technological communication in various fields. Includes analysis, development, use, and evaluation of various models employed in the process of technical writing.
PROFESSIONAL WRITING INTERNSHIP
This course will allow qualified students majoring in English Writing to work under an employer's supervision while developing and completing writing tasks relevant to their eventual employment. Students could write in any number of forms (memos, letters, reports, web pages, press releases, etc.) and would devote at least 50% of their time to drafting, revising, and finalizing various documents for an employer.
Meet our Faculty
Dr. Eric Schwerer, Coordinator of Creative Writing
200B Biddle Hall, (814) 269-7138
- Associate Professor of Writing
- M.F.A., Poetry, Univ. of Iowa Writers' Workshop.; Ph.D., Creative Writing, Ohio Univ.
- Author of Whittling Lessons ( published by Finishing Line Press )
- Author of The Saint of Withdrawal (Custom Words Press, 2006).
- His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Fence , Northwest Review , Elixir , Third Coast , The Journal , Quarter After Eight , and the Laurel Review.
- read a poem #1
- read a poem #2
Dr. Michael W. Cox, Coordinator of Professional Writing
233B Biddle Hall, (814)-269-7159
- Assistant Professor of Writing
- MA, English, Univ. of Florida; PhD, English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
- He has published short stories, essays, and critical articles in such venues as Passages North, Salt Hill, South Asian Review, the New York Times Magazine, Best American Essays, and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction.
- He teaches Fiction, Nonfiction, and Professional Writing. He has degrees in psychology and social science and more than a decade of full-time work experience in business and in health care research.
Dr. Cherri A. Randallrandallc@pitt.edu 223D Biddle Hall (814) 269-7156
- Assistant Professor of Writing
- MFA, University of Arkansas Programs in Creative Writing
- PhD Gender Studies University of Arkansas Department of English
- Her poems have appeared in MidAmerica Poetry Review, Cooweescoowee, Main Channel Voices, Hogtown Creek Review, Literary Chaos, & Paper Street.
- read a poem
- She has published essays in storySouth, Sojourn, ALF, Paddlefish, Lake Effect, the rectangle.
- read an essay
- Her short stories have been published in Blue Earth Review, The Potomac Review, The Permafrost Review, The Deepening, Colere, & Bewildering Stories.
- read a story
Dr. Fred Fornoff
222A Biddle Hall, 814-269-7150
- Professor of Humanities and Spanish
- MA, Romance Languages, Univ of North Carolina; PhD, University of Kentucky.
- His translations have appeared in many literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Carolina Review, Chicago Review, and Sonora Review.
- He has published five books of translations of the poetry of Costa Rican poet Laureano Alban, and has translated several novels.
- Listen to Dr. Fornoff read with Laureano Alban. Click on "Laureano Alban" at: http://www.thepoetryforum.org/poets.html
- He has served as President of the American Literary Translators Association.
222B Biddle Hall, 814-269-7146
- Associate Professor of Journalism.
- MA, Penn State University.
- He has a distinguished career as a professional newspaperman, serving as a daily newspaper reporter, Bureau Manager, correspondent business manager, and deputy metro editor.
- The advisor of Pitt-Johnstown's student newspaper, The Advocate, he serves as writing consultant and coach for newspapers and is a daily newspaper columnist and magazine writer.
- In the last 11 years, Pitt-Johnstown's Journalism program graduates have won 35 statewide awards for their professional work.
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!