Creative Writing

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Creative Writing Overview

Chatham’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in creative writing degree is designed to develop and hone your skills through a focused sequence of creative writing courses that culminates in a capstone project. You'll acquire a firm grounding in literary forms and history, along with genre theory, literary theory, and upper-level literature study that enhance your development as a writer.
Degrees Offered
  • BA
Program School

Students in Chatham’s creative writing program are given a supportive setting of faculty and students alike. The faculty take undergraduate work seriously, motivating students to develop their crafts and experiment with their voices. Students who major in creative writing graduate with an understanding of multiple literary genres, of how to revise and refine their creative and academic writing, and of how to get their work in print.

—JESS TURNER ’17

Explore the Creative Writing Degree:

Highly qualified students may also be admitted to the five-year BFA/MA in Creative Writing with an option to complete the MFA in Creative Writing or to the BFA/Master of Arts in Teaching program through Chatham’s Integrated Degree Program. Both programs provide an immersive undergraduate creative writing experience enabling students to further their education and start their careers even faster.

  • You will be encouraged to present your academic and creative work at professional conferences through Sigma Tau Delta (the International English Honor Society) and other organizations, helping you develop your professional identity as you prepare to move on to employment or graduate work.
  • Students have many opportunities to showcase their work in University publications, peer-reviewed journals and magazines, local events, and contests.
  • Qualified students may apply for admission to our five-year BFA/MFA in Creative Writing or our BFA/Master of Arts in Teaching program. Both programs give you an immersive undergraduate creative writing experience while enabling you to further your education and start your career even faster.
  • Our dedicated and supportive faculty is comprised of published writers who serve as mentors, instructors, collaborators, and peers.

Creative Writing I

Students present a selection of their work each week for class comment and criticism. In addition, special problem topics are assigned weekly to develop writing skills. Readings concentrate on contemporary prose and verse.

Literary Publishing

This course is an introduction to literary publishing through practice, reading, and discussion. All phases of the publishing process are addressed, especially copyediting, design, and marketing. The course is designed to allow students to gain experience and knowledge of the creative, technical, and professional aspects of publishing a literary journal.

Multi-Genre Writing

This is an upper-level course for BFA students focusing on creative writing for experienced writers, geared toward preparing a finished manuscript or portfolio of work for potential publication in the student’s primary genre. Students read and write in the craft of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

View Full Curriculum 

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty

Minor Bird

Chatham’s undergraduate literary magazine, Minor Bird, is student-managed, including copy editing, design, and marketing. All Chatham students are welcome to submit poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to the magazine.

Creative Writing Club

Chatham’s Creative Writing Club sponsors readings and events, such as open-mic nights at Rea Coffeehouse. The club welcomes first-year students.

Expanding Horizons

Creative Writing majors are encouraged to study abroad and to explore interests leading to a second major or a minor.

Publications in Journals, Magazines, and Anthologies

Chatham’s BFA students have published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, including: Ruminate Magazine • Pretty Owl Poetry • Pittsburgh Poetry Review • Rogue Agent • Three Rivers Review • Voices in the Attic • 1932 Quarterly • Pittsburgh Pride Magazine • Cold Creek Review • The Good Men Project • Impossible Archetype Literary Journal • Life in 10 Minutes • The Forge Literary Magazine • Underscore Review • Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets Anthology (Z Publishing) • Honey Bee Review.