At A Glance

Carthage encourages serious writers from all majors to develop a passion for creative writing and allows them to hone their skills in writing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. At Carthage, students can major in English with an emphasis in creative writing, or add a creative writing minor to their studies in another subject.

Emphasis

  • Creative Writing

Minor 

  • Creative Writing (non-English majors)

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The English Department welcomes creative writers from all majors, whether through the English major with an emphasis in creative writing, the creative writing minor, or individual courses.

Students read and write a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in classes that take a studio approach, writing individually and collaboratively in the classroom community. Students develop sustainable writing and reading practices grounded in attention, beginning with the ground at their feet, the books in their hands, or the people around them. Advanced writing classes focus on a specific genre or genres and include fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and hybrid prose, and playwriting.

Creative writing students at Carthage are part of an active, welcoming community of English majors and minors. They work closely with writing faculty and visiting professional writers, and have many opportunities to practice, share, and publish their work.

 

  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.jpg" alt="Kj De Jesús" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,1000/37777_2022_APT2.rev.1684353001.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="1000" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I would not have gotten very far without my professors. My English and history teachers have helped me with more questions than anyone else on campus. When you find your people, they really take care of you.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/1913-">Kj De Jesús</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.jpg" alt="Elsie Berg" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1006,1006/37815_8363_163701665847155.rev.1684810261.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1006" data-max-h="1006" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I’ve always felt out of place in life, but here at Carthage, I feel like I’m finally starting to figure out how I fit into the world and what I can make of it.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2440-">Elsie Berg</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.JPG 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.JPG" alt="Terrell Tremar Franklin" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/160,275,2905,3022/37818_8320_163701665847155.rev.1684857517.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2745" data-max-h="2747" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “Carthage faculty have been really easy to talk to and approach. They are excited to see a student pursue things within their department and always make the time to assist students in their career journey.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2448-">Terrell Tremar Franklin</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.jpg" alt="Nikkiema Harris" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,51,2048,2099/38784_10803_163701665847155.rev.1699840377.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="2048" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “Other students should consider the English major with a creative writing emphasis because of the outstanding faculty and staff in the English Department. Literature also helps us to understand the societal and cultural aspects of life through plays, poetry, and short novels.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2564-">Nikkiema Harris</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>

Beyond the Classroom

Student writers can join Poetry Underground, a student writing group that hosts weekly writing sessions and regular open mic nights. Students can also submit their work to Centrique, the College’s creative arts journal, and join the journal as editors and designers.

Carthage hosts acclaimed writers from across the country in our Visiting Writers Series. Curated by Writer in Residence Richard Meier, the series has welcomed dozens of nationally-renowned fiction writers and poets, including Danielle Evans, Joshua Beckman, Renee Gladman, David Trinidad, Julie Patton, Eileen Myles, Kate Greenstreet, Duriel Harris, Lisa Fishman, Bojan Louis, Jenny Gropp, Laura Solomon, Sidik Fofana, José Felipe Alvergue, and Lewis Freedman.

Off campus, students are encouraged to take advantage of the many literary events offered in the area. They can attend poetry readings, lectures, and plays both on campus and in renowned venues in nearby Milwaukee and Chicago. Every fall, English students and faculty travel to the acclaimed Stratford Festival in Ontario, where we see a variety of plays from Shakespearean tragedies to modern musicals.

See more student opportunities

Outstanding Achievements

Carthage recognizes students who have done outstanding creative writing work with scholarships and awards. Every year, the English Department awards the Chapin-Tague Creative Writing Awards for poetry and prose and the Centrique Editor’s Award for the best writing published in the journal.

Creative writing students graduate from Carthage with a collection of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, playwriting, or a combination of genres. Every English major with an emphasis in creative writing and every creative writing minor creates a chapbook of their original work during the capstone Seminar in Creative Writing and presents a public reading on campus.

Carthage graduates have gone on to M.F.A. programs at the Art Institute of Chicago, Boise State University, Columbia College Chicago, and others. Additionally, our graduates continue to write and contribute to literary communities around the country.

Read more about careers in creative writing