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Creative Writing @ Rice

Creative Writing has always played an influential role in the intellectual development of our undergraduates’ curiosity, imagination, and desire for collaboration. The discipline will enhance your skills for inquiry and independent research, enlarge your capacities for imaginative thinking and idea generation, and expand your knowledge of genre, literary history, poetics, and narrative form. As a member of our artistic and intellectual community, you will have the opportunity to work alongside other emerging writers to understand, investigate, and influence the most pressing social, political, environmental, and spiritual issues of contemporary life.

The Department of English offers two credentials in Creative Writing: the Minor in Creative Writing (6 courses) and the Major Concentration in Creative Writing (11 courses). As Creative Writing faculty, we are committed to expanding and deepening your investigations through a dynamic curriculum that goes beyond introductory courses in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry to include offerings in literary translation, screenwriting, cultural criticism, food writing, the graphic novel, podcasting, nature writing, narrative medicine, literary journalism, book arts, as well as courses in literary editing and publishing. Our students are able to build upon their work in the classroom through collaborations within the Digital Humanities, the Medical Humanities, Environmental Studies, The School of Architecture, The Shepherd School of Music, The Moody Center for the Arts, The Visual and Performing Arts, and other academic units across campus, Houston, and beyond. At the upper level, topics courses in the poetry chapbook, the novel and the novella, and screenwriting allow interested students to steer longer-form projects toward publication and to use their final products as part of applications to a variety of graduate programs and professions. Regardless of career path, Creative Writing graduates leave Rice equipped with the formal writing, editing, and communication skills that are increasingly valuable in today’s idea-driven fields.

Legacy & Mission

Rice University has a long tradition of producing and supporting award-winning authors including Larry McMurtry (Class of 1960), the only author to have won a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award; Joyce Carol Oates, who first began work on her National Book Award-winning novel, Them, while a Ph.D. student at Rice University; William Broyles Jr. (Class of 1966) founding editor of Texas Monthly, editor of Newsweek and co-author of the Academy Award-nominated best-adapted screenplay, Apollo 13, as well as the creator of the television series, China Beach, and the original screenplay, Castaway. Faculty past and present include a MacArthur Fellow, New York Times Best-Selling authors, a two-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, recipients of fellowship grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Whiting Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Mellon Foundation and PEN America. Our recent graduates have gone on to study at top-ranked MFA programs such as USC, UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, The New School, Ohio State, and the University of Houston, among others. As stewards of this important tradition, we seek to honor, uphold and expand the influence and presence of Creative Writing on campus, and to elevate the voices of others - at Rice, across Houston, and throughout the wider world.