The liberal arts concentration in literature and creative writing prepare aspiring writers through four main objectives.
1. Develop the craft of writing in multiple genres: This objective encourages students to explore literary expression in order to achieve greater proficiency in their own craft as writers. The practice of writing in multiple genres introduces students to different forms of creative writing, including (but not limited to) fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, and the blurring of genres often found in more experimental forms of creative writing.
2. Demonstrate the ability to do a close reading of literature: This objective cultivates students’ ability to examine the craft of other writers (both historical and contemporary), looking at formal elements of the work, including the elements of language, character, story, theme, rhythm, and tone. Exposure to different styles and content often expands a writer’s own sense of voice, style, and creative interests. Identifying literary models among historical and contemporary writers can also help students begin to understand the work within a context of time, place, and culture.
3. Analyze writers’ roles in local and global contexts: This objective calls upon students to consider the impact that creative writing has in our world. Students are encouraged to consider the importance of writers in community, society, and culture—to move toward a contextual understanding of one's own voice in a continuum of writers. In doing so, students may consider political issues that affect writers, such as censorship, the role of activist literature, independent vs. corporate publishing and bookselling, and the inclusion of previously marginalized voices in the canonization of literature.
4. Apply foundational skills of a creative writer: These skills include the ability to comment on the work of other writers, participate in a writing community, and apply best practices of editing and grammar. These abilities help establish the foundation for professional effectiveness and continued academic study.