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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Creative Writing

pen writing on paper

What does it mean to minor in Creative Writing?

A minor in Creative Writing emphasizes the craft of writing and of revising creative literary work in several genres, including fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and nonfiction. The study of creative writing requires close reading of literary works, discussion and critique of peers’ work in workshop settings, and the development of creative writing techniques and strategies. The minor, offered from the Department of English, serves students who wish to improve their writing, communication, and analytic skills, as well as strengthen their imaginative and expressive faculties. [Students may not major in English and minor in Creative Writing.]

A minor in Creative Writing consists of 6 English courses, including Eng 300: Intro to Creative Writing, andEnglish class at least 3 courses from the following list:

  • Eng 301. Poetry Workshop
  • Eng 302. Fiction Workshop
  • Eng 303. Nonfiction Workshop
  • Eng 304. Screenwriting Workshop
  • Eng 400. Advanced Poetry Workshop
  • Eng 401. Advanced Nonfiction Workshop
  • Eng 402. Advanced Screenwriting Workshop
  • Eng 403. Advanced Screenwriting Workshop
  • Eng 404. Special Topics in Creative Writing
  • Eng 405. Nature Writing

 

Why is the University of Mississippi a good place to study creative writing?

The creative writing program is one of the top in the nation, with recognition as a “Top 10 University for Aspiring Writers” by CollegeMagazine.com. Our acclaimed creative writing professors include fiction writers, poets, and screenwriters who teach and mentor undergraduates. Below are some examples of their recognitions and awards.

  • Beth Ann Fennelly is the Mississippi Poet Laureate and received the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.
  • Chris Offutt won the Pushcart Prize for “Trash Food” and has scripts created into TV shows,with recognition from the Writers Guild of America for his episode of “True Blood.”
  • Matt Bondurant’s internationally bestseller, The Wettest County in the World, was adapted into the feature film, Lawless.
  • Kiese Laymon’s celebrated memoir, Heavy, received national recognition, including the Carnegie Medal.
  • Aimee Nezhukumatahil’s work appeared in Poetry magazine and the Best American Poetry anthology, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • Poet Derrick Harriell’s fictional debut with the short story, “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
  • Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter won LA Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller.
  • Ann Fisher-Wirth’s These Things won the 2018 Terrapin Press prize.
  • Melissa Ginsburg has worked in editorial positions for several literary magazines.

 

Faculty Profile

Kiese Laymon has been named the inaugural holder of the Hubert H. McAlexander Chair of English created by the late Lester Glenn “Ruff” Fant and his wife, Susan. A recipient of many literary awards including the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Laymon is recognized for being a powerful literary voice for social justice and education.

Kiese Laymon, Hubert H. McAlexander Professor of English, is a recipient of many literary awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. He is recognized for being a powerful literary voice for social justice and education.

After completing a degree from Oberlin College, Laymon earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Indiana and joined the UM faculty in 2015 first as a John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence then a professor.

“I came to Ole Miss because I needed to be back in Mississippi. I needed to breathe the Mississippi air and I needed to be close to Mississippi kids. I love Mississippi with everything I have. I just want us to be better. I’m trying to do my part to help myself be better, but I also want to help our state be better. I think part of that is acknowledging how wonderful and incredible we have been.”

Laymon created the Catherine Coleman Initiative for the Arts and Social Justice in the Department of English to expose high school students to fine arts and creative writing. Named after his grandmother, the program aims to connect with Mississippi high school students through the arts and creative writing.

 

Whom should I contact to learn more?

Dr. Ivo Kamps, Chair and Professor of English
Department of English
C128 Bondurant Hall
The University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
(662) 915-7439 | engl@olemiss.edu