What You’ll Study

We all have a voice and our own unique set of ideas we want to share. Our Creative Writing program dives deep inside to unlock your ability to craft those stories the world needs to hear. You’ll learn the challenges and techniques involved in creating original work as you refine your personal style. And you’ll practice responding to the work of others, including your classmates and published authors.

Writings will focus on two of these genres:

  • Fiction
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Poetry

We’ll look back at classic English literature to teach you themes, narrative style, rhetorical devices, and cultural context that can enhance your work. Ultimately, you’ll improve your writing and develop techniques, skills, and understanding necessary to be a successful writer.

A Close Community of Writers

Literary critique is an essential skill for a professional writer, and a cornerstone of the Warren Wilson program. Even when it makes you uncomfortable, you’ll learn to give and receive constructive feedback and use it to improve your work. You’ll get to know the individual styles of fellow students, faculty, and authors and learn to bring outside perspectives to characters in your own writing. And there are plenty of opportunities to share your work, through open mic nights, poetry slams, literary magazines, newspapers, and journals.

World-Renowned Authors

There’s a strong relationship between the undergraduate creative writing program and Warren Wilson’s nationally top-ranked MFA Program for Writers. Although the MFA residencies take place when the college is not in session, a small group of undergraduate creative writing majors have the opportunity each January to attend MFA lectures and readings. Undergraduate writers benefit as well from the week-long visit each year from one of the MFA faculty. The MFA Writer-in-Residence teaches classes, leads a workshop, gives a reading, and holds manuscript conferences with senior creative writing students. This access provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Warren Wilson undergraduates.

Explore Classes in This Program

WRI 307

Teaching Writing in Communities

Designed for those who want to teach writing in schools, community settings, or abroad. You’ll examine writing practices of adolescents and adults, cultural and political dimensions of writing, and local contexts of writing at Warren Wilson and in Buncombe County. This course integrates Wilson’s community engagement commitment with the work of the writer.

WRI 400

Advanced Poetry Workshop

Students bring their poetry to the workshop for feedback to help them in the revision process, study the structure and technique in published poetry, and complete writing exercises related to the discussion of craft. Work from this course is likely ready to be included in PEAL, our student literary magazine.

WRI 210

Environmental Writing

Learn to read and write pieces from nature writing to environmental journalism, from radio essays to literary expositions. Writing assignments place a strong emphasis on information gained from careful observation and research. These versatile writing skills transfer well to graduate school and future jobs.

Meet Our Faculty

Warren Wilson has serious, passionate writing students. It's rare to find students so invested in creative writing at the undergraduate level, and I love working with them. I'm given a lot of freedom in my teaching here, so I’m able to take classes in directions I couldn’t elsewhere.

Rachel Haley Himmelheber, Ph.D.
Rachel Himmelheber
Rachel Haley Himmelheber, Ph.D.
Gary Hawkins

I love Warren Wilson students for their audacity — to ask any question (really, anything); to connect ideas from wildly different realms (which aren’t so wildly different); and to pursue bold dreams (which arise from concerns beyond only their own).

Gary Hawkins, Ph.D.
Gary Hawkins
Gary Hawkins, Ph.D.
Julie Wilson in the Writing Studio

I get to work with smart, creative, and hilarious co-workers — the student crew of the Writing Studio. They’ve taught me about spoken word poetry, feminist fairy tale retellings, Appalachian cottontails, Norwegian troll hunters, bike-building, luppies, and the superiority of thin sans serif fonts. See why I love my job?

Julie Wilson, Ph.D.
Julie Wilson in the Writing Studio
Julie Wilson, Ph.D.
Students discuss