Creative Writing BA

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Arts

About this program

The Creative Writing program at Metropolitan State University is one of the richest and most diverse in the nation. Both our B.A. and minor in Creative Writing include workshops in fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative non-fiction; in writing children's literature, writing very short creative works, writing humor, writing the graphic novel, writing for publication and profit, and advanced creative writing. As a creative writing student at Metropolitan State, you will gain experience in drafting, analyzing, and editing creative works of writing.

Our stellar faculty is award-winning, widely published literary artists whose joy in both teaching and writing is infectious. Metropolitan State's creative writing curriculum challenges students with the delights and hard work required to write imaginatively, including developing an individual writing process, setting writing goals, understanding the opportunities available in print and electronic media, and leading a life made richer by the literary arts.

The program invites you to learn from instructors who are highly accomplished practitioners and excellent teachers. Faculty in the creative writing program are accomplished writers of national prominence. Author accolades include:

  • a #1 New York Times Bestseller,
  • a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize,
  • a Today Show Book Club pick,
  • the Geisel medal,
  • a Christopher Award,
  • an American Book Award,
  • a PEN/Open Book Award,
  • an Asian American Literary Award (Members' Choice),
  • two Loft-McKnight Awards, several Minnesota State Book Awards, and
  • several American Library Association Awards.

Student outcomes

  • Develop your writing skills to express your thoughts and feelings in an imaginative way.
  • Learn the craft and art of creative writing from master writer-teachers.
  • Read, draft and revise fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and children's writing.
  • Nurture and hone your talent in the company of equally devoted students and teachers.
  • Learn how to write creatively for multiple audiences and in multiple genres.
  • Develop the ability to read critically; learn how to analyze and edit your own and others' work.
  • Gain valuable experience in the world of publishing, both as writer and editor, by working on Haute Dish, Metropolitan State's award-winning online literary magazine.

Creative Writers such as novelists, poets, and short story writers are usually self-directed and self-disciplined artists. However, excellent writing skills are valuable in other writing-intensive work such as editing, grant writing, multimedia writing, employee communications, and speech writing.

Enrolling in this program

Current students: Declare your program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you declare your major or declare a minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Creative Writing BA now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Creative Writing BA

Course requirements

Prerequisites (3 credits)

WRIT 359 may count as either a prerequisite or elective, but not both.

WRIT 359 Boot Camp: Creative Writing for Non-Majors

4 credits

This class is a hands-on workshop that explores, explains and discusses all the essential aspects of craft employed in the writing of poetry, short fiction, short memoir and other, less easily-definable works of short creative writing. Character development, point of view, tense, dialogue, chronology, voice, narrative arc, pacing, tension within both scenes and an overall narrative, creative use of language, and all basic literary terms will be covered, with the goal of helping students tell a compelling story no matter the genre.

Full course description for Boot Camp: Creative Writing for Non-Majors

Requirements

Required

WRIT 357 Writers as Readers

4 credits

This workshop course emphasizes the union of reading and creative writing. Good creative writers need to understand literature from the writer's perspective. They also need a comprehensive background in the various genres of literature and must be able to discuss, critique and identify the basic components of imaginative writing. This course focuses on tone, style, diction and author's voice through the students' own writing and through the readings of others.

Full course description for Writers as Readers

WRIT 358 1000 Words or Less

4 credits

Writing Short Creative Works is a multi-genre workshop designed for creative writers who wish to work exclusively on very short pieces. Students will deepen their knowledge of the general craft of writing, expand their personal writing horizons by writing outside familiar genres, and work intensively on drafting and revising short works. The range of writings possible in this class include poems, prose poems, personal essays, sudden fiction, humor writing, short-short memoirs and creative non-fiction, and other genre-defying work. This course may be repeated for credit.

Full course description for 1000 Words or Less

WRIT 371 Editing

4 credits

This course covers editing principles and techniques. Topics include how readers use and comprehend texts, the editor's role in the publication process, the writer/editor relationship, and editing for organization, format, style, grammar, punctuation, usage, consistency and accuracy. Students edit a variety of texts, including technical documents and newsletter articles in print and online.

Full course description for Editing

WRIT 481 Advanced Creative Writing

4-5 credits

This advanced workshop provides students with the opportunity to develop and refine works of fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Open to all advanced creative writing students. Those who are nearing graduation who take this course to fulfill the capstone portfolio requirement for the writing major must register for five credits. This course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Two 300-level creative writing courses or instructor's consent.

Full course description for Advanced Creative Writing

Electives (16 credits)

Four credits in professional writing, screenwriting, playwriting, literature or linguistics. These courses may be repeated once for credit: WRIT 324, WRIT 352, WRIT 353, WRIT 354, WRIT 355, WRIT 358, WRIT 481.

INFS 315 Searching for Information

4 credits

A student completing this course understands the process of finding, synthesizing, evaluating, and documenting sufficient and reliable information appropriate to a variety of purposes including upper division coursework, senior capstone papers or professional writing, and communication tasks. Students also explore a number of the contemporary issues surrounding information in society, have opportunities to use and/or visit primary resource collections and learn a variety of research techniques. Specific sections of the course will structure assignments around a course theme identified in the class schedule. Prior themes have included Civil Rights, Holocaust and Genocide, Crime and Punishment, Food, Immigration, and Health Care. Both themed and non-themed sections are offered every semester as are online and in-class sections.

Full course description for Searching for Information

INFS 338 The Craft and Commerce of Book Publishing

4 credits

This course considers books, like universities and libraries, part of "the knowledge industry," and emphasizes the gatekeepers who decide matters of a book's authorship, publishing, and readership. By tracking the evolution of the book pre-Gutenberg to the current e-book environment, we will explore the evolving publishing industry in society. In our exploration of the field of publishing, we will combine readings and discussion with field experiences. You will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of guest speakers who work in various aspects of the publishing industry.

Full course description for The Craft and Commerce of Book Publishing

MDST 520 Digital Storytelling

4 credits

Digital storytelling is a growing area of multimodal communication that is part of a larger movement to empower communities and voices through the use of digital tools and platforms. Digital stories are short videos that combine narration, images (still and moving), sound effects, and music to tell a compelling story. Students will create two digital stories: a personal story and a story that promotes a cause or organization (e.g., a Kickstarter-style video). The process will include multiple rough cuts and a final version of each video, as well as extensive instructor and peer feedback.

Full course description for Digital Storytelling

WRIT 300 Creative Writers, Identity and Race in the Twin Cities

4 credits

This writing class, a combination of in-class meetings and significant individual work outside of class, explores the many ways that creative writing, from books to literary readings to public art projects, informs daily life. Much of the content of WRIT 300 focuses on how social constructs of race and racism have influenced creative writers in the Twin Cities, from the legacies and impacts of racism on writers¿ creative process and output to the creative writing communities¿ collective and institutional responses to racism. This writing class is designed for non-creative writing majors; students from all disciplines with an interest in creative writing are welcome.

Full course description for Creative Writers, Identity and Race in the Twin Cities

WRIT 355 Writing Children's Literature

4 credits

This class offers an introduction to writing children's literature in the genres of picture book, fiction, nonfiction and poetry in a workshop environment. Students examine works of guest authors and critique both published and student writings. Through activities and assignments, students have the opportunity to develop the unique craft and vision required to write quality children's literature. This course may be repeated for credit.

Full course description for Writing Children's Literature

WRIT 356 Writing Humor

4 credits

This course is a serious inquiry into what's funny, how to write that way and how to say something important in the process. Each writer will focus on developing an idea of serious purpose and conveying that purpose through the use of humor. All genres are welcome. This course may be repeated for credit.

Full course description for Writing Humor

WRIT 358 1000 Words or Less

4 credits

Writing Short Creative Works is a multi-genre workshop designed for creative writers who wish to work exclusively on very short pieces. Students will deepen their knowledge of the general craft of writing, expand their personal writing horizons by writing outside familiar genres, and work intensively on drafting and revising short works. The range of writings possible in this class include poems, prose poems, personal essays, sudden fiction, humor writing, short-short memoirs and creative non-fiction, and other genre-defying work. This course may be repeated for credit.

Full course description for 1000 Words or Less

WRIT 359 Boot Camp: Creative Writing for Non-Majors

4 credits

This class is a hands-on workshop that explores, explains and discusses all the essential aspects of craft employed in the writing of poetry, short fiction, short memoir and other, less easily-definable works of short creative writing. Character development, point of view, tense, dialogue, chronology, voice, narrative arc, pacing, tension within both scenes and an overall narrative, creative use of language, and all basic literary terms will be covered, with the goal of helping students tell a compelling story no matter the genre.

Full course description for Boot Camp: Creative Writing for Non-Majors

WRIT 377 Writing Proposals and Grants

4 credits

This course offers a rhetorically-based, process-oriented approach to strategic, effective writing of proposals and grants for individuals and organizations. The course is designed primarily for writers, artists and technical communicators who expect to find themselves, as freelancers or as employees, seeking funding for a variety of programs and projects in academic, nonprofit or corporate situations. This course provides a systematic process for analyzing audiences, writing needs statements and finding sponsors all within an electronic context.

Full course description for Writing Proposals and Grants

WRIT 481 Advanced Creative Writing

4-5 credits

This advanced workshop provides students with the opportunity to develop and refine works of fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Open to all advanced creative writing students. Those who are nearing graduation who take this course to fulfill the capstone portfolio requirement for the writing major must register for five credits. This course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Two 300-level creative writing courses or instructor's consent.

Full course description for Advanced Creative Writing

WRIT 531 Advanced Writing

4 credits

This course focuses on the theory and practice of writing across genres. The course examines what genre is and why its an important concept for those who seek flexibility and versatility as writers. Students create a complex project of some length that incorporates a variety of genres to communicate a message. In addition, the course focuses on prose style, including practice in imitation, use of rhetorical devices, sentence and paragraph variety, and many other topics. Additional assignments include a multimedia project.

Full course description for Advanced Writing

WRIT 532 Writing about Place

4 credits

This course explores questions such as, How does place shape a writer's voice? How do writers see nature in urban environments? Students use memory, imagination, research, experience and analysis to write about places important to them. Students work toward achieving advanced skills in creative nonfiction, an individual written voice, and a thoughtful approach to place and environment. Prerequisites: a 300-level Writing course or instructor's consent.

Full course description for Writing about Place

WRIT 583 Writing Major Projects

4 credits

This independent study examines the principles and techniques of writing substantial professional or creative projects such as longer business documents, articles, grant applications, proposals, and works of fiction or creative non-fiction. Through consultations with the instructor, students determine their specific organizational or stylistic problems. Evaluation is based on written projects. Students should have in mind a writing project of either one long piece or several short ones on related topics. Course may be repeated for credit.

Full course description for Writing Major Projects