Wesleyan offers students a vibrant writing community and a multitude of ways to pursue their interest in writing. Writers, editors, and publishers visit campus throughout the year, and students support more than 20 magazines, journals, and literary groups. The curriculum emphasizes academic writing in many subject areas and also offers courses in fiction writing, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, and mixed forms. The establishment of the Shapiro Creative Writing Center at 167 High Street signals the importance the University attaches to writing. The Shapiro Center serves as a hub for writing activities and provides a venue for readings, workshops, colloquia, informal discussions, student-generated events, and receptions. Its lounge is open to all students enrolled in creative-writing courses. The Shapiro Center also houses writing faculty, including fiction writer Amy Bloom, the Distinguished University Writer-in-Residence.

The creative writing concentration in the English major. This concentration allows students to pursue creative writing at a high level in the context of advanced literary study. The concentration fosters the study of the history and practice of individual genres and of new hybrid forms and offers students the opportunity to work closely with the University’s full-time writing faculty: the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, the internationally renowned poet Elizabeth Willis; Lisa Cohen, a writer of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry; and editor Anne Greene. Recent visiting faculty includes such distinguished writers as Hilton Als, Andre Aciman, Paul La Farge, Douglas A. Martin, and Clifford Chase. Enrollment in creative-writing courses in the English Department is not limited to English majors.

Creative writing in the College of Letters. Creative writing has long been an important component of the College of Letters curriculum, with an entry-level and an advanced course offered every year and open to students in all majors. COL majors are encouraged to write creative honors theses.

The Writing Certificate. The University’s Writing Certificate, essentially a minor, is open to students working in any major who wish to make writing an area of concentration. Courses that may count toward the certificate are drawn from many departments. They range from fiction writing, poetry, and creative nonfiction to journalism, biography, arts and film criticism, translation, and writing about science. In addition to fulfilling the coursework requirements for the certificate, students create a portfolio of their work and present their writing in public. The certificate sponsors a number of courses that carry the WRCT designation.

The Writer’s Block. This small residential community provides an opportunity for first-year students and upper-class students with a particular interest in writing to live together and collaborate on formal and informal programs.