Creative Writing BA

 

 

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again;   we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.—Jack Kerouac

The Creative Writing Major at Fairleigh Dickinson is a road and a life. It is also among the most progressive and exciting creative writing programs in the country. Unlike most other programs, students at FDU begin taking creative writing courses in their first semester, and they also have the opportunity to live with other creative writers in the Creative Writing Living/Learning Community.  And if the road you have in mind includes one that goes over the water, you can join the majority of our students who spend a semester at our amazing campus in Wroxton, England, where you can be a part of a community that goes back to Shakespeare and beyond.  In other words, as soon as you arrive on campus, you are treated like a writer and are welcomed into our vital community of writers and artists.

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.—Maya Angelou

Add your voice to the chorus of song. Every year, we also welcome a large number of professional writers, musicians, filmmakers, and editors into our community, often as a part of our groundbreaking WAMFEST: The Words and Music Festival. They sing their songs, and they help us learn to sing our own. In the past three years, we’ve had more than thirty guests and visiting writers, including Bruce Springsteen, Jonathan Demme (director of Silence of the Lambs), U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, celebrated poet Paul Muldoon, hip-hop giant Talib Kweli, songwriter and author Rosanne Cash, three editors from The New Yorker, Natalie Standiford, author of Balto and other classics; songwriter / novelist Josh Ritter; celebrated novelist Peter Carey; graphic novelist Chip Kidd, comedians Eugene Mirman and Todd Barry, and many, many others. In other words, we present, in small gatherings, with students interacting openly with them, the very best artists in the world. No one else does this.

As your attorney, I advise you to get the chiliburger. It’s a hamburger with chili on it.—Hunter S. Thompson

You may see already that at FDU, we think differently about creative writing.   Most people think hamburger. We think chiliburger, and then some. We expand creative writing well beyond its traditional boundaries as we celebrate creative writing as it appears in all aspects of our culture—in literature, music, film, comedy, journalism, graphic books … wherever it’s found–in order to help our students succeed in bringing their writing to the world.

 

I sat watching the trash can, and New York opened its heart to me.Watchmen, Alan Moore

 

At Fairleigh Dickinson, we are very close to New York City — geographically and spiritually. Our creative writing majors come from all over the country to work closely with our nationally recognized faculty, all of whom have published books with significant publishers and all of whom live in Brooklyn, New York — the heart of the literary scene — and have strong connections to the national writing and publishing world. Our classes are small, intimate, and informal, which creates a safe and inspiring environment to develop and practice your writing. And from there, we can just hop on a train into the city and its beautiful madness.

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.—Kurt Vonnegut

It’s demanding, but it’s also rewarding, as evidenced by our current student, Emily Chamberlain, who just won Flatt Magazine’s Flatt Prize for Literature last spring (a national competition open to all writers) with her short story, “The Art of Falling”. We offer beginning and advanced courses in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, and screenwriting. This is how you develop your wings. Sometime in their first two years students choose to specialize in one or, sometimes, two genres, leading them to a year-long Senior Writing Project, during which students complete a significant, professional manuscript.

Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.—Neil Gaiman

Because we stress the practical aspects of the life of a writer, we encourage all students to take internships to prepare them better for the world after FDU. Our students have recently held or currently hold internships at The New York Times and D.C. Comics, at major publishing houses, literary agencies, film production companies, and at our own TLR (The Literary Review), which is one of the most prestigious and exciting literary magazines in the country. Many of our students have also gone on to the top graduate schools around. Right on campus, many of our students gain valuable practical experience by working on Scribblers, the college’s literary and arts magazine or on Sphere, the only online literary magazine devoted to international student writing, or on the student newspaper, The Pillar, by participating in or helping to facilitate Open Mic nights, by helping out with Wamfest or our reading series, which brings some of the best writers in the country to read from their work and discuss the writing life. There are many opportunities, and we work continually to expand them for our students.

We invite you to explore the world of creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson.

 

The Literary Review

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

 

Faculty Publications:

 

Friendswood Cover

Rene Steinke,
Friendswood

 

Mt Terminus Cover

David Grand,
Mount Terminus

 

RockHarbor

Rebecca Chace,
Leaving Rock Harbor

 

Seven-Star Bird Book Cover

David Daniel,
Seven-Star Bird

 

Holy Skirts Book Cover

Rene Steinke,
Holy Skirts

 

Capture the Flag

Rebecca Chace,
Capture the Flag

 

The Fires Book Cover

Rene Steinke,
The Fires

 

Chautauqua Summer

Rebecca Chace,
Chautauqua Summer