Creative Writing

Degree Type
Department English
Academic Division The College
Offerings Minor
At W&L, creative writing is embedded in the study of literature. Students read widely; practice critical analysis; study the forms, modes and histories of literature in English; and develop their own writing through creative exercises and workshop critique. Small classes, dedicated faculty and a lively program of extracurricular offerings foster a supportive and challenging writing community.

Creative Writing 

W&L has cultivated great student and faculty writing for decades through the English Department and the literary magazine. Distinguished alumni include Tom Wolfe, Marshall Boswell, Mark Richard, Christian Wiman, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Rebecca Makkai, Matthew Neill Null and Suzanne LaFleur. 

The English Department offers a popular creative writing minor. Students do not need to be English majors to minor in creative writing; most major in other subjects.

Scholarships, Internships and Awards

The English Department offers a variety of scholarships as well as awards for both creative and critical writing. Shenandoah has published fiction, poetry and nonfiction from an astounding list of writers including Wallace Stevens, Flannery O’Connor, e. e. cummings, Rita Dove, Ha Jin and many others over its nearly 70-year history.

Students in the Shenandoah Magazine Internship learn the art, craft and business of publishing. A look behind the scenes at a working magazine is a valuable experience for writers and non-writers alike, and promises the hands-on development of skills relevant to a variety of fields after graduation. Students practice and lear literary editing, copyediting, professional communication, budgeting, how to design publicity material, and digital strategies, under the mentorship of a professional editor.

Lesley Wheeler

Department Head

Charity Corman

Administrative Assistant


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Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.