English for a Career in Creative Writing
English majors learn important skills:
- Critical and creative thinking;
- Strong communication and writing skills, with an understanding of the effect language has on people;
- An ability to empathize with and inhabit a variety of diverse perspectives.
An English major with a focus in Creative Writing prepares you for a number of careers. In our increasingly online world, written communication is more important than ever before. In addition to the academic writing required of all English majors, Creative Writing teaches students about the craft of writing: the uses of various writing techniques, when they might best be deployed, and the effect these choices have on readers. Poetry teaches rhythmic language and vivid, memorable images; fiction and nonfiction teach narrative, point of view, and a sense of voice.
All of these teach how to shape and revise language to create a desired effect. These skills are invaluable in the market, whether communicating with readers, clients, customers, grant committees, or administrators. Skill with language and creative writing techniques can help you write viral web content, craft a memorable marketing campaign, or create a compelling narrative out of raw data, whether for a report, grant, or a legal case.
If you are interested in being a published literary writer or want to write for content-driven sites such as HuffPo, Slate, or Jezebel, our workshop-based courses in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation, as well as volunteer opportunities with our annual UND Writers Conference, can teach you how to hone your writing and provide you with venues to submit, publish, and perform your work, and to become a member of a literary community.
If the idea of working for a publisher appeals to you, our faculty in both Creative Writing and in Writing & Editing can introduce you to these skills and can connect you with internship opportunities both locally, with North Dakota Quarterly, and with regional publishing houses such as Milkweed and Graywolf presses in Minneapolis, through which you can acquire further experience in editing, marketing, and layout design.
For those who wish to pursue their writing further, or who wish to become postsecondary instructors, students may enroll in graduate studies. An MA is sufficient to teach as an instructor, while a tenure-track teaching position requires a terminal degree, either an MFA or a PhD. A number of our creative writing students have gone on to pursue MFAs or PhDs at programs such as Syracuse and Iowa.
Learn More About English and Creative Writing
If you are interested in exploring an English major with a focus in Creative Writing, contact Dr. Crystal Alberts to be your undergraduate advisor. She can help you find classes that will focus your English degree to maximize your writing skills, research internship and career opportunities, and help you put together graduate school or job application materials.