Creative Writing

UTC offers a B.A. and M.A. with a Creative Writing concentration. Students take a wide-range of course and can emphasize fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry with award-winning faculty.

The program also includes several opportunities to get involved in English department publications and the biannual Meacham Writers' Workshop.

Our students, and the Sequoya Review, have won first prizes prize in poetry and fiction and second prize in Literary Magazines at the Southern Literary Festival. More than twenty UTC undergrads have gone on to publish almost fifty books. One recent graduate received a $100,000 advance for her YA novel, to be published in 2016.

Many have gone onto teach at various levels here and abroad and have entered the publishing and advertising fields. Former graduates include

  • Writer for the TV series Better Call Saul
  • Macarthur Genius Award winner
  • NEA and Whiting fellowship winners 

Recent alumni have gone on to jobs in editing, publishing, and technical writing in Chattanooga and beyond: 

  • Senior Writer, Mohawk Industries (Chattanooga area)
  • Copyeditor and brand voice manager at Bellhops (Chattanooga)
  • Photographer—currently in Serbia photographing refugees
  • Marketing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Senior Editor, Field and Stream
  • Producer of popular podcast, Everything Is Stories http://www.eisradio.org/

A minimum of 39 hours English in addition to general education requirements including:

English Core:
• ENGL 2010 - Introduction to Literary Analysis
• ENGL 2050 - Introduction to Rhetorical Analysis
• ENGL 2130 - Survey of American Literature
• ENGL 2230 - Survey of British Literature
• ENGL 3340 - Shakespeare
• ENGL 4650 - History of the English Language

One course from:
• ENGL 3810 - Origins and History of Writing: Hieroglyphics to Hypertext
• ENGL 4030 - Traditions of the Short Poem
• ENGL 4040 - Traditions in Short Fiction
• ENGL 4050 - Readings in Creative Nonfiction

12 hours of major course work chosen from the following writing courses:
• ENGL 3740r - Creative Writing: Nonfiction
• ENGL 3750r - Creative Writing: Poetry
• ENGL 3760r - Creative Writing: Fiction
• ENGL 4720r - Advanced Short Story Workshop
• ENGL 4820 - Writing with Style
• ENGL 4860 - Visual Rhetoric
• ENGL 4910r - Writing Workshop
One course from the following to satisfy the Senior Capstone Requirement:
• ENGL 4960r - Internship
• ENGL 4980 - Senior Seminar: Special Topics
• ENGL 4994r - Departmental Practicum
• ENGL 4995r - Departmental Thesis

Additional 3000-4000 level English courses to total at least 27 upper-level hours.

Creative Writing: Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the standards of admission to the Graduate School, applicants for the M.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing must submit (1) a manuscript of 12-15 poems or 25 pages of creative prose and (2) a 1,000-1,500 word statement of purpose describing the candidate’s intellectual and creative background, interests and goals. The GRE is required, with a score at the 60th percentile or above strongly preferred; other requirements include a minimum of 18 hours of English beyond freshman composition, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for those hours, or a score above the 50th percentile on the advanced GRE in literature. Any student seeking conditional admission due to a low GPA must also complete a proctored writing sample and an interview with one of the creative writing faculty. All application materials should be sent to the Graduate School.

Degree Requirements:

Poetry Track - 33 Hours

  • ENGL 5510r - Fiction Writing (3 hours)

OR

  • ENGL 5950 - Workshop: Writing (3 hours)
  • ENGL 5520 - Poetry Workshop (9 hours)
  • Elective English Courses   (15 hours)                      
  • ENGL 5999r - Thesis (6 hours)

Prose Track -33 Hours

  • ENGL 5510r - Fiction Writing (9 hours)

OR

  • ENGL 5950 - Workshop: Writing (9 hours)
  • ENGL 5520 - Poetry Workshop (3 hours)
  • Elective English courses   (15 hours)
  • ENGL 5999r - Thesis (6 hours) 

 

The Department of English is home to several publications, including Poetry Miscellany, The Tennessee Philological Bulletin, MidAmerica, Midwestern Miscellany, and The Tennessee English Journal. Our students often participate in the production of these publications. Visit the Publications page for more informtation on each.

The Sequoya Review is UTC's Literary and Arts magazine. This magazine aims to publish engaging, immediate creative writing and visual art by Chattanooga students.  Everyone is encouraged to submit and all works will be judged anonymously and impartially under the condition of blind submission. Please visit the Sequoya Review website for more details!

The Meacham Writers’ Workshop, hosted by UTC twice a year, is free and open to the public. Former visiting writers include: Phil Levine, James Tate, Tomaz Salamun, Mary Ruefle, Dara Wier, William Matthews, Stanley Plumly, Marvin Bell, Bret Lott, Mark Cox, Mark Jarman, Gerald Stern, Tim O'Brien, Rebecca Makkai, Teddy Wayne and William Gay.

Former students who have returned as visiting writers include: Khaled Mattawa, Laurel Snyder, Paul Guest, Bradley Paul, Bridgette Bates, Ever Saskia, Jane Bradley, Cherie Priest.

The English Department sponsors several annual writing awards, scholarships, and the (K-12) Young Southern Student Writers Contest. Learn more here.