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The Program in Creative Writing is located on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall, in room 6195. Stop by and talk to us!


Contact Us

Undergraduate Coordinator Ron Kuka
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

phone: 608-263-3374
fax: 608-263-3709

The Undergraduate Program

The Undergraduate Program in Creative Writing, established in 1978, provides a wide variety of opportunities for students to read, write, and study the genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. In addition to a range of creative writing courses open to undergraduates (and, under certain circumstances, graduate students and special students), the program also offers an English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing, a lively series of readings, visits by distinguished authors, opportunities to work on The Madison Review, and a number of contests and prize competitions. Undergraduate creative writing workshops are composed of twelve to nineteen students. In these courses—commonly called "workshops"—some time is spent on theory and technique, some time is spent reading the work of established writers, and some short writing exercises may be assigned. However, in all of our workshops the major focus is on student writing, both in the classroom and in individual conferences. For more detailed descriptions of the undergraduate courses in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, please see our courses and registration page.

Please direct questions about the creative writing emphasis or enrollment challenges to the undergraduate creative writing coordinator, Ron Kuka, at rfkuka@wisc.edu. Another resource is English Department Academic Advisor Erin Polnaszek Boyd, who can give you in your course work and assist you in declaring your English major/Emphasis in Creative Writing.


The Emphasis in Creative Writing

The Department of English offers an undergraduate English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. The required course of study is a minimum of 30 credits in the major, including 18 credits of English Literature and Linguistics courses and 12 credits of creative writing courses. Of the 12 credits in creative writing, 9 must be acquired by taking some combination of ENGL 307 (Fiction & Poetry Workshop), ENGL 407 (Nonfiction Workshop), ENGL 408 (Fiction Workshop), ENGL 409 (Poetry Workshop), ENGL 410 (Playwriting Workshop), ENGL 508 (Advanced Fiction Workshop), ENGL 509 (Advanced Poetry Workshop), and ENGL 411 (Special Topics in Creative Writing). Three additional creative writing credits must be acquired by taking English 695: Directed Study in Creative Writing (often referred to as the “Creative Writing Thesis.”)

If you declared your Emphasis in Creative Writing under the "old major" (before Fall 2014), then please note the course number equivalencies described above. For other questions about course equivalencies under the new major, please contact Erin Polnaszek Boyd at advisor@english.wisc.edu.

Please note that the Program in Creative Writing and the Department of English do not guarantee access to any of the required courses for the major or emphasis. It is the student's responsibility to meet the necessary prerequisites and organize their academic schedule in such a timely way that they will be able to take the necessary courses and graduate as planned. Only after completing the three 300-level Creative Writing Workshops (or while completing the third) may a student register for English 695. English 695 is offered primarily in the spring semester, though a limited number of sections may be available each fall. A graduating senior who has not completed the three 300-level workshops, and is therefore ineligible to take English 695, should complete the standard English Major. Under the standard English Major, 300-level workshops count as electives.