Creative Writing

Creative writing gives you the chance to explore your experience and imagination in depth through writing and reading poetry, fiction, nonfiction and other genres. As a creative writing major, you'll hone the skills of carefully crafted writing, critical reading, formal analysis and oral communication.

You'll learn to look at and reflect on the world as a writer by closely observing, reflecting, shaping and interpreting real and imagined experience. You'll be prepared for graduate study in creative writing or literature, or for careers requiring strong writing skills and creativity, such as journalism, editing, publishing, law, public relations and advertising.

We offer both a major and a minor in creative writing.

“Doing what I love to do and doing it as a job”

Watch Video erin keating in front of a building and garden
Erin Keating’s love of Shakespeare and creative writing has taken her to the Globe Theatre and the Smithsonian during her time at Roanoke College.

Roanoke College remembers Dr. Sandee McGlaun

Dr. Sandee McGlaun, associate professor of English and director of the Writing Center, died Sept. 4 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Alumni News - April 2021

Another round of laudable accomplishments by members of the Maroons family. An Alumni Weekend special!

The art of travel writing

Roanoke students had a chance to write about their experiences in Cambodia at tourist sites and through visiting communities off the beaten path.

Headshot of Lauren HarrisonLauren Harrison '07, is one of youngest reporters at Newsday

A documentary project as part of an independent study at Roanoke helped Lauren Harrison uncover her passion for storytelling. Video camera in hand, she followed her family's ancestry trail to many places, including West Virginia, Pulaski and Appomattox. She found gravesites, scoured birth and death records and even uncovered a church founded by one of her ancestors.  With encouragement from her advisor, English professor Dr. Virginia Stewart, Harrison applied for graduate school at Columbia University's School of Journalism. She won a full tuition scholarship.

After graduating from Columbia, she worked as a reporter at the Chicago Tribune through a two-year residency program. She joined the staff at Newsday, one of the 20 largest circulation newspapers in the United States, in 2010 as a features reporter covering arts, culture and entertainment in Long Island, N.Y.

Sample Course Offerings:

  • CRWR 215: Poetry Student writing in a notebook
  • CRWR 215: Creative Writing Fiction
  • CRWR 317: Advanced Creative Writing: Screenwriting 

    View all courses 

Our grads work at great organizations.

Logos of: wildlife habitat council, NASA, simon & schuster, evan-moor educational publishers

At Roanoke, we believe writing is not merely an act of recording, but a process of discovery.

Photo of Mandy Len CatronMandy Len Catron '03 is a self-proclaimed love story fanatic whose writings on the topic have received national attention. Catron, who teaches writing at the University of British Columbia, writes on the science of falling in love for her own blog, The Love Story Project. Her words garnered national acclaim when the New York Times published one of her essays, "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This" as part of its Modern Love Column.

A very creative campus

Copies of On Concept's Edge

On Concept's Edge

Roanoke College's literary magazine is entirely student run. The staff selects submissions for print and handles layout and printer selection. On Concept's Edge is printed in the spring semester and is packed to the brim with good writing.

Copies of the Brackety-Ack


Roanoke College's much beloved weekly newspaper is known for its weird name and its insightful, hard-nosed approach to life on campus. Students handle everything at Brackety-Ack, from writing, photography and editing, to opinion polling, layout and web design.

Flyer that reads "Follow us on twitter! @RoanokeReview"

The Roanoke Review

An annual national journal which publishes poetry, short fiction and nonfiction every spring. Established in 1967 by Henry Taylor, a past Roanoke College English professor and Pulitzer Prize winner, the Review is staffed by current students and Professor Paul Hanstedt.

Visiting writer reading some of his work aloud

Visiting Writers

Students meet Pulitzer Prize winners, best-selling authors, eminent scholars and prominent journalists. Through direct exposure to these writers, students gain a greater understanding of the discipline and more confidence in their own writing.

Internship brings Shakespeare to life for Roanoke student

After interning as a dramaturge, backstage manager and line caller, Madison Little '18 knows one thing - She was made for the theater.

Little, a creative writing and literary studies major at Roanoke, landed a summer internship and a spring semester gig with American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia.  Until her internship, she never thought about using her love of writing and storytelling on stage."I really like watching it [Shakespeare] come to life," said Little, a member of the College's improv club who plans to study Shakespeare and performance after Roanoke. "I like seeing how the story threads come together."

Elderscholar Program

The Elderscholar Program is in its 37th year of offering lectures for adults 55 and older. The program features Roanoke College faculty and guests speaking on areas of their expertise. This fall, the program will be both in-person and virtual. Participants can choose to attend the live lecture with lunch afterwards, or watch live with Zoom from the safety and comfort of their home.  Registration is required. 

Learn more

Date | Time: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 | 12:00 PM
Location: Live: Colket Center Ballroom & Virtual: Zoom Webinar

Fowler Public Affairs Lecture Series presents:

Award winning author and columnist, Leonard Pitts has seen change in his 43-year career. He has written about it as a columnist and author. He has spoken about it as a college professor, radio producer and lecturer.

Learn more

Date | Time: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 | 7:30 PM
Location: Roanoke College, Bast Center