Creative Writing

 BFA in Creative Writing

Senior Dylan Sessoms presents during a BFA Reading in April 2022 


UNCW’s undergraduate program in creative writing guides students in their development as creative writers, effective communicators, critical thinkers, analytical problem-solvers, and prospective professionals in the publishing industry. The 63-credit-hour program leads to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing, one of just a few of its kind in the nation.

Our students write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. (We don’t follow specialty tracks.) We use variations of the traditional workshop model, in which students and professors provide constructive responses to classmates’ stories, poems, and essays. The department also has classes in reading for craft, research for creative writers, grammar and mechanics, and the psychology of the creative process.

Advanced writing classes concentrate on special topics, such as writing dialogue, ekphrastic poetry, the personal essay, songwriting, ghost stories, writing for the public good, young adult writing, the study of the image in poetry, and the graphic novel.

BFA students should show a dedication to their craft through a strong work ethic, a willingness to strengthen the fundamentals, and an openness to apply their skills in a wide variety of creative works. We seek promise, not perfection. Most students have personal interests for their writing, but we challenge them to explore beyond that. We believe broader study in creative writing results in the deepest learning and most beneficial artistic development.

Undergraduates in creative writing also benefit from the department’s Publishing Laboratory and its classes in publishing, editing, and design. This hands-on curriculum prepares students for the publishing industry, graduate study in publishing, or simply broader knowledge of the literary profession. Creative writing majors who complete the optional 15-credit-hour program may earn the Certificate in Publishing, a designation added to the BFA degree, making UNCW’s undergraduate creative writing program unique nationwide.

Beyond the classroom, creative writing majors have opportunities to learn through internships, most of which involve professional training and nonfiction writing in marketing and promotions, journalism, and event planning. Nearly all of our internships require in-person commitments, though we do have limited online internships. Interns must be juniors or seniors and earn qualifying grade-point averages.

Our Minor in Creative Writing attracts students from across the university, and our Minor in Coastal and Environmental Writing combines classes in writing and the earth sciences. Both minors require 21 credit hours of study.

Our majors and minors are bright, capable, ambitious, writers who bring energy to the classroom and a sense of belonging to our writing community. We’re proud of our students for their commitment to writing, reading, learning, and growing as artists.


Skills of a Creative Writer

Careers in Creative Writing 

Alumni Job Placements