About the Emphasis

The Department of English provides an Emphasis in Creative Writing to be added to the Bachelor’s Degree in English. This requires the completion of 16 units -- a total of 4 courses.

Courses develop skills in the writing of poetry and fiction. Beginning and intermediate workshops address writing through instructor-led peer discussion.

Two lecture courses focus on close reading and analysis. Advanced workshops are also available.

Because courses are popular and sometimes difficult to join on the first try, students should begin by their second year, and may take only one workshop class per quarter.

Students who decide to pursue the Emphasis should contact Susan Davis immediately (sedavis@uci.edu), *submit our online interest form

(see More Information
) and subscribe to the Emphatics list serv -- http://maillists.uci.edu/mailman/listinfo/emphatics -- through which all information regarding the Emphasis is channeled (readings, literary journal submission opportunities, meetings, Completion, events, news, etc.)

Students completing the Emphasis in Poetry or Fiction must create a Completion Portfolio - a collection of their original fiction and poetry written inside and outside creative writing classes during their time at UCI, and essays written only inside creative writing classes. To receive a letter of completion, the portfolio must be submitted following provided guidelines at the conclusion of the capstone class—Wr101.

Other opportunities:
  • Readings by undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and visiting writers. The MFA Reading Series offers 12 readings annually at locations on and off campus.
  • New Forum- A student-led journal and event. Once each quarter, undergraduates published in that issue are invited to read and discuss their poems and stories. An open-mic segment follows.
  • Faultline- UCI's nationally-ranked literary magazine, which offers internships with course credit for students desiring experience in publishing.
  • Uncultivated Rabbits - Student-led spoken-word poetry group hosts open-mic events and writing workshops.
  • Literary contests. A cash award accompanies The Ariel Miranda Caldwell Memorial Short Story Award and The Bret Baldwin Prize in Poetry, awarded yearly by the Department to an undergraduate writer. The UCI Bookstore offers contests in poetry and fiction. The Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize is a yearly contest involving all UC campuses and other California colleges of standing.