Creative Writing Program

The Creative Writing Program in the Department of English offers UConn undergraduates and graduate students the opportunity to develop their skills in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, nature writing, and writing for children. Students can choose from a range of courses while enhancing their studies with frequent visits by award-winning and emerging authors.


Meet our creative writing faculty

About the Program

Undergraduate Education

The Creative Writing Program offers undergraduate-level writing courses in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, nature writing, and writing for children. Classes range from beginning to advanced levels and are open to students from any major. Undergraduates from any major can also elect to pursue a 15-credit sequence of courses leading to the Concentration in Creative Writing.

Students are also encouraged to participate in UConn’s thriving creative writing community. All students are invited to submit their work to the Department of English’s numerous writing awards and contests, as well as to the Long River Review, UConn’s nationally award-winning art and literary magazine.

Creative Writing Courses

The Department of English teaches a range of creative writing courses at the Storrs and Stamford campuses. During fall 2021, the Department offers multiple sections of the following courses:

  • ENGL 2701: Creative Writing I
  • ENGL 3701: Creative Writing II
  • ENGL 3703: Writing Workshop
  • ENGL 3711: Creative Writing for Children and Young Adult Readers
  • ENGL 3715E: Nature Writing Workshop

Visit the English advising website for courses and descriptions.

Certificate of Concentration in Creative Writing

The Department of English offers a Certificate of Concentration in Creative Writing to students who have completed fifteen or more credits in creative writing and/or related courses. The concentration is open to students from any major.

The concentration is designed to give participants a firm artistic and critical foundation in one or more creative writing genres. It allows students to hone their writing skills closely over the course of several semesters with different members of the writing faculty. It is an excellent preparation for students hoping to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in writing degree. A student fulfilling requirements for the Concentration will receive a letter of certification from the English Department following graduation.

View requirements for the Concentration in Creative Writing.

Get Involved

The Creative Writing Program offers several opportunities for undergraduate students to gain hands-on experiences in editing and writing in many genres. These experiences can complement your education and help you build important professional skills for whatever path you pursue after graduation. Opportunities include:

  • Undergraduates may apply for positions as editors of the Long River Review, UConn’s student-run literary magazine. Students who wish to work on the magazine must register for ENGL 3713, offered every spring. Please see the list of spring English courses during the fall advising period and contact the instructor of the course to arrange an interview. Students can also submit their work to the publication for the chance to get published in the next issue.
  • Students can participate in Poetic Journeys, a mass transportation poetry project featuring the work of UConn students.
  • Undergraduates can submit their work to the Department of English’s numerous writing contests and awards.
  • Undergraduates interested in working for the program may apply for one of the several internships available each semester. These give students experience in writing press releases and public service announcements, developing public relations materials, and organizing visiting writer events. Interested students should contact the Director of the Creative Writing Program.

Find more ways to get involved in the Department of English.

Graduate Education

The UConn Department of English is a unique place for graduate creative writers, offering them a chance to participate in an active writing community while working toward a more traditional scholarly MA or Ph.D.

For decades the Department has fostered a unique group of graduate creative writers. Some have MFAs and return to complete an MAs or Ph.D. in literature; some arrive with publications or manuscripts in progress; others simply welcome an environment in which they can continue to write creatively as they work toward their respective degrees.

While we do not currently offer an MFA or Ph.D. in creative writing, the Department of English has in the past allowed a few exceptional students who have already been accepted into the MA or Ph.D. literature program to write a creative thesis or dissertation after completing their coursework and exams. These students have usually applied to the English Graduate Program with an MFA or significant publications already in hand. For more information about the creative dissertation, please contact Professor Penelope Pelizzon.

Graduate Student Teaching Assistants from the Department of English are invited to apply for the position of Creative Writing Program Assistant Director/Director of Poetic Journeys. Graduate Students who enter the Program with an MFA may also apply to teach courses in the undergraduate Creative Writing sequence.

Courses and Workshops

The Department offers graduate creative writing workshops, generally one per semester. Different genres are offered on a rotation, and workshops are open to students from departments other than English on a space-available basis.

Some recent graduate Creative Writing workshops and seminars of particular interest to creative writers include:

  • 6600: Writing Workshop/ Writing into the Feminist Archives, Darcie Dennigan, fall 2021
  • 6650 Seminar in Digital Humanities/ Reading and Writing in the Age of Digital Distraction, Kyle Booten, fall 2021
  • 6500: Seminar in Lyric Theory, Charles Mahoney, spring 2020
  • 6600: Writing Workshop/ Hybrid Narratives, Ellen Litman, spring 2019
  • 6600: Poetry off the Page: Poets’ theatre & creative practice, Darcie Dennigan, spring 2018
  • 6750: Seminar in Prosody, 15th-21st centuries, Penelope Pelizzon, fall 2017
  • 6600: Writing workshop/ Hybrid Narratives. Ellen Litman, spring 2017
  • 6500: Seminar in Lyric Theory, Charles Mahoney, spring 2017
  • 6600: Writing Workshop/ Beauty and Terror, Penelope Pelizzon, fall 2016
  • 6600: Writing Workshop/ Radical Forms of Kindness, Darcie Dennigan, spring 2016
  • 6640: Seminar in Romantic Poetry, Charles Mahoney, Spring 2015
  • 6600: Writing workshop/ Poetics of Space, Penelope Pelizzon, fall 2014
  • 6700: Seminar on Marianne Moore & Elizabeth Bishop, Penelope Pelizzon, spring 2014

For more information about recent and upcoming graduate courses, please see the UConn Graduate Catalog.

Community and Engagement

Graduate students interested in creative writing may participate in a creative writing community that serves to supplement their degree programs and their writing lives.

  • The Creative Writing Program sponsors the Long River Reading Series, featuring the work of graduate and undergraduate student writers.
  • The accomplished work of graduate student writers also appears frequently in Poetic Journeys and the Long River Review, a literary magazine sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.
  • They can also submit their work to the numerous writing contests open to UConn graduate students.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to attend guest author readings that take place several times a month on campus. Students are also offered the opportunity to meet with guest authors in a more informal setting.
  • Finally, graduate student writers at UConn are encouraged to join the Graduate Writers Activities Committee, where they can participate in small writing workshops and other social activities.

For more information about graduate-level creative writing at the University of Connecticut, please contact the director of the Creative Writing Program.

Events and Programs

The Creative Writing Program sponsors several events each academic year, including the following annual programs:

Aetna Visiting Writer-in-Residence

In conjunction with other University departments and organizations, the Creative Writing Program hosts a stellar Visiting Writers Series each semester, including several short-term residencies. Recent visiting authors include Martha Collins, Jericho Brown, Laura van den Berg, Allison Joseph, Amber Dermont, Kimiko Hahn, Tara Betts, Shane McCrae, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emily Rapp Black, Colson Whitehead, and Justin Torres.

The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program

We also host The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program, which for more than 50 years has brought some of the world’s most exciting international poets to UConn, including recent guests Adam Zagajewski, Claudia Rankine, Joy Harjo, A. E. Stallings, Susan Stewart, and Carl Phillips.

Upcoming Events

  1. Jan 3 Scholastic Writing Awards submission deadline12:00am
All Events »

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Sean Forbes
Creative Writing Director
Philip E. Austin Building, Room 146

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