Skip to Content

Creative Writing in the English Department

When you study creative writing as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, you place yourself in a tradition that includes such major American writers as Theodore Roethke, Arthur Miller, Marge Piercy, and Jane Kenyon. You hone your tools as an artist; you test and expand the limits of your imagination. Along the way, you write a few pieces that, in the words of Robert Frost (the university’s first Fellow in Creative Arts), “will be hard to get rid of.”

Our undergraduate faculty is comprised of award-winning novelists, short story writers, and poets. (In this, too, a tradition is extended: former faculty members include W. H. Auden, Donald Hall, Robert Hayden, and Lorna Goodison.) Classes are designed to expose students to important works from the past and to innovative new works (including those that blur conventional boundaries of genre). We imagine creative writing to be a kind of conversation: one that dates back several millennia and now welcomes new voices, both on the page and in the classroom.

The University of Michigan English Department is home to the Avery Hopwood Awards, one of the country's most famous student writing prizes. All students enrolled in writing courses are eligible to enter the contests. The list of previous winners, all University of Michigan students, includes Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, best-selling authors, major screenplay writers, and recipients of MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowships.

All students interested in studying creative writing within the English Department are advised to enroll in English 223: Introduction to Creative Writing. After that (or a comparable prerequisite), we offer 300- and 400-level workshops in fiction and poetry and (our newest offering) creative non-fiction. Many literature and craft courses are also being taught, are open to all, and have proved helpful to aspiring writers at U-M. Feel free to make an advising appointment to learn more about the creative writing community on campus.

For more information on the Creative Writing Sub-concentration (for English Majors) and Creative Writing Minor (for non-English Majors), please click on the links above.