Smith and the other colleges in the Pioneer Valley offer a wide range of courses in creative writing. At Smith, we also have the Poetry Center, an innovative program that brings well–known poets to campus each semester and provides opportunities for students to meet.
Smith offers the following advanced writing courses every semester. Each is limited to 14 students.
- ENG 295 Advanced Poetry Writing
- ENG 296 Writing Short Stories
In addition, the following courses are offered at least once a year:
ENG 216 Intermediate Poetry Writing
- ENG 290 Crafting Creative Nonfiction
- ENG 292 Crafting the Memoir
Many students also take THE 261 and 262 Writing for the Theater (in the theatre department) and AMS 351 Writing About American Society, a seminar in the American Studies Program.
We also offer special sections of ENG 120, the Colloquia in Literature, that provide practice in creative writing for beginning students: Reading and Writing Short Stories, and Reading and Writing Short Poems. Work in these classes can help you build a portfolio to submit for the more advanced courses. These classes, though limited to 18 students, are open to all students at the college; no writing samples are required.
Writing courses above the 100–level can be repeated for credit with the permission of the instructor and of the chair. Only one course in writing may be taken in any one semester except by permission of the chair.
How to Apply for the Advanced Courses
During the pre-registration period, students may, if they wish, add a writing course to their program, however, their registration will appear as "Pending." During the spring 2012 semester, the English Department is offering three advanced writing courses -- 290, 295, and 296. PERMISSION VIA WRITING SAMPLE REQUIRED. Please refer to the specific course description of your choice for procedures in applying and the appropriate deadlines. The teacher of the course will review these submissions and will notify the students that have been admitted; the registrar will admit ONLY those students who have gone through this process and been accepted.
Other Courses in the Valley
Many distinguished creative writing teachers teach at the other four colleges. We are trying to make our application processes more uniform, but at the moment the best way to get into a class at Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke or The University of Massachusetts is to get in touch with the teacher during the pre-registration period and find out what he or she wants you to do.
You can search for creative writing courses in the five colleges by clicking on the link to the Five College Course Guide at the top right of this page. Once there, you can search by keyword, course, or instructor. Depending on the semester, you will find a range of courses where you can learn about writing everything from songs, screenplays, and memoirs to plays, poetry, fiction, and journalism.