http://www.creighton.edu/program/creative-writing-mfa

Program Director: Brent Spencer, Ph.D.
Program Office: Creighton Hall 130A

The Creighton University Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a two-year residential program whose focus is on the book. Students work toward creating book-length manuscripts and prepare them for publication through a series of workshops, craft classes, and literature seminars. Eight-week terms provide flexible scheduling that includes built-in writing time. Students develop their writing skills at the same time that they learn to become contributing members of the literary community. Fellowships are available, as well as training and real-world experience in teaching, editing, and publishing.

The MFA program in creative writing offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in prose or poetry, a Graduate Certificate in prose or poetry, and a Certificate in prose, poetry, or screenwriting.

Learning Goals/Student Outcomes

The learning goals/student outcomes align with the six university-level outcomes.

Creativity

  • demonstrate in writing and orally highly developed levels of creativity in the production of literary works (novels, stories, poems, screenplays, etc.)
  • demonstrate in writing and orally a highly developed level of creativity in problem-solving, while working in groups and in isolation
  • use creative thinking to solve personal, professional, and real-world problems that fall outside the area of writing

Communication

Graduates will

  • demonstrate in writing and orally a highly developed ability and respect for clarity and directness
  • demonstrate a highly evolved sense of audience

Knowledge

Graduates will

  • identify and analyze craft elements, techniques, and approaches in successful works of literature
  • apply appropriate craft elements, techniques, and approaches to their own writing
  • understand the history and development of literature in their chosen genre
  • analyze major works of literature in their chosen genre in order to discover “how did they do it,” as Nobel prize-winner William Faulkner puts it
  • identify the nature of the literary community and their place in it
  • make appropriate use of  technology for the sake of efficiency and for advancing the craft and vision of writing
  • describe and participate in the history, processes, technology, and future of publishing in their chosen genre

Critical Thinking

Graduates will

  • engage in research appropriate for projects in their chosen genres
  • analyze and solve complex writing problems
  • design, manage, and complete complex writing projects
  • use critical thinking to solve personal, professional, and real-world problems that fall outside the area of writing

Collaboration

Graduates will

  • work with others in a team setting
  • demonstrate understanding of and respect for different points-of-view
  • participate actively in the literary community locally and nationally
  • work effectively and respectfully with people from other races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, religions, and sexual orientations

Ignatian Reflection and Values

Graduates will

  • practice lifelong critical self-reflection on personal and professional formation in alignment with the Jesuit pedagogical model. Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate relevant work and learning experiences contributing to their degree completion
  • demonstrate ethical decision-making, a commitment to service, and a promotion of social justice in their work and professional activities
  • create works informed by the ability to think creatively in pursuit of peace and justice, knowledge and truth
  • engage and embrace the contributions of diverse cultures in their creative work, in teaching, and in professional activities
  • use critical and creative means to create works that, in the words of Franz Kafka, “take an ax to the frozen sea within us”

Degrees in Creative Writing

Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing

Courses

CRW 600. The Writing Life. 3 credits.

A discussion course and tutorial on creative writing as art, craft, and business, with attention to pedagogy, publication, and sustaining oneself as a writer. The class meets formally three times, with additional one-one meetings as needed. MFA students are urged to take CRW 600 in their first term. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

CRW 641. Prose Workshop. 3 credits.

A discussion-based creative writing workshop in which students meet weekly to discuss their original prose writing (fiction, creative non-fiction, etc.). Open only to students who have been admitted to the MFA program or to those who receive permission from the MFA program director. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

CRW 642. Poetry Workshop. 3 credits.

A discussion-based creative writing workshop in which students meet weekly for discussion of their original poetry. Open only to students who have been admitted to the MFA program or to those who receive permission from the program director. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

CRW 651. The Craft of Prose. 3 credits.

Lecture, discussion, and practice in the techniques of writing literary prose, the focus changing from term to term. Open only to students who have been admitted to the MFA program or to those who receive permission from the program director. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

CRW 652. The Craft of Poetry. 3 credits.

Lecture, discussion, and practice in the techniques of writing poetry, the focus changing from term to term. Open only to students who have been admitted to the MFA program or to those who receive permission from the program director. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

CRW 680. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 credits.

The course provides the MFA student with training, supervision, and experience teaching non-credit creative writingn workshops to people in the community. May be repeated twice for up to 6 credits. P: Enrollment in the MFA Creative Writing program.

CRW 761. Prose Seminar. 3 credits.

The study of prose literature from a writer’s perspective, with a focus on composition strategies, choices, and other writerly considerations. Full texts will be chosen and discussed, based on instructor and student interest. The writing requirement for this course is both creative and critical. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

CRW 762. Poetry Seminar. 3 credits.

The study of poetry from a writer’s perspective, with a focus on composition strategies, choices, and other writerly considerations. Topic and texts change from term to term, based on instructor and student interest. The writing requirement for this course is both creative and critical. May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

CRW 799. Thesis. 3 credits.

The course provides academic credit for the student’s independent work on a manuscript of original prose and/or poetry, which will be submitted as the thesis. Open only to students who have been admitted to the MFA program. (1-3 credits, repeatable twice for up to 6 credits.) Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.