The Department of English offers workshop courses in writing fiction, poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction, and in journalism for those students who wish to gain extensive experience in writing. Students are encouraged to submit their work to college publications such as Manuscript and The Lens, and to enter Carleton’s literary contests. English Majors who are creative writers may choose the creative writing comps option.

Writers on the Carleton faculty include poets Greg Hewett and Susan Jaret McKinstry, and fiction writer Gregory Blake Smith. In addition to courses offered by regular faculty members, the department brings visiting writers to campus to read and to conduct workshops in their specialties. Frequent visitors are Dennis Cass, freelance writer from Minneapolis, and Doug McGill, editor of the McGill Report.

Additional visitors have included playwright Tony Kushner, memoirists Richard Rodriguez and Patricia Hampl, poets Robert Creeley, Carolyn Forche, Sharon Olds and Andrew Hudgins, nature writers Dan O’Brien and David Rains Wallace, and fiction-writers Jane Hamilton, Ann Beattie, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Marilynne Robinson.

Creative Writing Courses: 2021-22

Fall Term 

ENGL 160: Introduction to Creative Writing – Susan Jaret McKinstry

ENGL 270: Short Story Workshop – Gregory Blake Smith

ENGL 371: Advanced Poetry Workshop – Greg Hewett

Winter Term

ENGL 160: Introduction to Creative Writing – Greg Hewett

ENGL 265: News Stories – Susan Jaret McKinstry

ENGL 270: Short Story Workshop – Gregory Blake Smith

Spring Term

ENGL 233: Writing and Social Justice – Sun Yung Shin

ENGL 271: Poetry Workshop – Greg Hewett

ENGL 370: Advanced Fiction Workshop – Gregory Blake Smith