Department of English

English Creative Writing Program

Mission Statement

The academic mission of the SUU English Department’s program in creative writing is to develop skills in critical and creative thinking and in written and oral communication. The department pursues these objectives through courses focusing on craft, process, and the major traditions within fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Instructors engage students with a variety of writing experiences: classes, workshops, conferences, readings, internships, and collaborations with other arts and disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the graduation requirements for the BA degree in English: Creative Writing will be able to

  • identify, describe, and compare the literary features of a variety of genres across different historical periods and cultures;
  • write in a variety of genres, showing a critical awareness of tradition, aesthetics, prosody, and narrative techniques;
  • revise to strengthen ideas, form, voice, and language;
  • edit and proofread documents for grammar, syntax, common usage, and punctuation;
  • use technology to produce, collaborate, edit, and distribute writing to a variety of audiences;
  • produce focused, concrete, and constructive critiques of their own efforts and those of their colleagues;
  • produce a polished and cohesive body of work through a capstone portfolio project; and
  • create cover letters, queries, synopses, and other appropriate materials for professional submission of their creative work to agents, editors, and literary journals.

Program Goals

Academic Excellence & Resources

  • Employ faculty who have the appropriate terminal degree, who are actively publishing, and who keep current in their field
  • Assess, evaluate, review, and update course curriculum regularly to ensure that it aligns with LEAP essential learning outcomes and AWP program guidelines
  • Provide opportunities for practical experience and experiential education
  • Require a creative writing senior capstone course
  • Develop a digital classroom, specifically appointed for writing instruction
  • Host/Sponsor co- and extra-curricular activities such as the Fall Creative Writing Conference, the Kolob Canyon Review, and a reading series, as well as maintain/expand funding for these activities
  • Increase the program’s unique niche in the USHE system, by developing a plan to add a BFA degree to our current offerings

Student Success and Engagement

  • Help students make creative writing a life-long pursuit
  • Offer a variety of courses that provide breadth, depth, and diversity of perspective as well as experiential activities such as master workshops, conferences, and readings
  • Provide a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes critical and creative thinking along with written and oral communication
  • Provide students with information and training on how they apply their skill sets in a variety of settings and contexts
  • Provide students with the training and equipment that will allow them to thrive in a digital work environment
  • Encourage and foster collaborations with students in other arts and disciplines
  • Offer individualized assistance to those preparing for graduate or professional education

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Assist in the creation, development, and distribution of a comprehensive and fair departmental policy manual, focusing on those practices and procedures that impact the creative writing program
  • Assist in the regular review and updating department policy manual to align with departmental and institutional changes
  • Hold regular meetings of the creative writing subcommittee to create, evaluate, and asses curriculum; maintain equity in workload and course assignment; and schedule/coordinate extra- and co-curricular activities
  • Develop clear standards and guidelines for creative writing faculty in the area of teaching, scholarship/creative work, service, and engagement as it applies to the field of creative writing
  • Cultivate a departmental environment that promotes collegiality, collaboration, and lifelong learning
  • Develop clear procedures for hosting readings and events

Faculty and Staff Development

  • Provide opportunities for faculty of all ranks to develop leadership skills and to participate in department governance
  • Reward innovative teaching, especially in the area of experiential learning
  • Mentor new faculty
  • Facilitate access to funds for training and equipment that will allow them to keep up with instructional technology
  • Develop a system of rotating course breaks to allow faculty to pursue scholarly and creative projects in greater depth
  • Employ our disciplinary expertise to reach out to our colleagues and to the larger communities to help solve problems and to promote mutual understanding