Creative Writing Concentration

Study English and writing/literature at George Fox, a top Christian college on the West Coast.

Develop Your Writing Skills Under the Guidance of Accomplished Professors

The creative writing concentration within the English major at George Fox attracts visionary students who understand that effective writing influences hearts and minds, and ultimately helps improve the world around them. As a student in the creative writing program, you’ll develop your writing skills with the guidance of accomplished professors – Christian authors who are published in the genres they teach.

English professors’ works have been published by Bloomsbury Publishing, Barclay Press and Friends United Press and published in such publications as Christian Century, The Oregonian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Poet Lore and The Potomac Review, among many others. Instructors will inspire you to find your voice as you hone your ability to write in a variety of genres and settings. As you learn, you’ll be encouraged to publish while still a student.

Accomplished Christian writers from Oregon and elsewhere join our classes to share about their work and insights. The curriculum introduces you to literary models and a breadth of writing styles, including poetry, drama, fiction, literary nonfiction and memoir writing. Within a close-knit community of fellow writers and professors, you and your peers will share your writing – providing critiques of each others’ work, and practicing the art of revision.

Explore Your Faith and Express Yourself Through Writing

Your spiritual growth is also a priority. In small classes and workshops, faculty-mentors will get to know you personally. They will encourage you to explore your faith and express your personal odyssey through writing. They will help you discern how to incorporate your faith into writing for all audiences.

At the same time, you gain the opportunity to study a broad, challenging curriculum in the wider community of students pursuing their passion in a Christ-centered environment.


Request more information about the creative writing concentration at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

Introduces important concepts in the study of literature. Students will learn techniques in close reading, and will read, discuss, and produce written analyses of a variety of literary texts in order to better understand historical, political, cultural, and formalistic aspects of literary works.
An advanced study of selected authors and topics in American Literature. May be repeated with permission of instructor. Prerequisite: Students must have completed any two of the following literature sequence courses: LITR 236, LITR 237, LITR 238, LITR 326. LITR 327, LITR 328, LITR 376, LITR 377, LITR 378
Introduces students to various schools of literary criticism. Students will practice using different critical approaches to writing about literature. Recommended for juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: WRIT 200 Understanding Literature and 6 hours of literature courses or instructor's permission.
An advanced study of selected authors and topics in British Literature. May be repeated with permission of instructor. Prerequisite: Students must have completed any two of the following literature sequence courses: LITR 236, LITR 237, LITR 238, LITR 326. LITR 327, LITR 328, LITR 376, LITR 377, LITR 378
Students must complete a minimum of two of the following literature sequence courses before enrolling in LITR 335 or LITR 365.

Students must choose 2 of the following sequences and complete 2 courses from each sequence:

Sequence 1

Complete 2 courses from the following:

Introduces and examines as literary texts significant works of world mythologies. Readings stress those cross-cultural themes and literary forms exemplifying the ideals, values, and concerns that have shaped our shared human condition. The course surveys myths from African, Middle Eastern, Asian, Native American, Meso-American, Oceanic, and European literatures. Universal motifs and unique differences in these traditional sacred and secular stories are examined with an eye to understanding how myths underpin cultural, community, and individual values, ethical teachings, and spiritual experiences that continue to inform the world's cultures.
Considers works written in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas during the medieval and early modern periods. Students examine culturally defining texts that reflect both the uniqueness of culture and the universality of literary themes. Students read a sample of texts written between the medieval period and 1900. The focus is on texts that continue to be important to the culture they represent, such as The Tale of Genji, Journey to the West, The Thousand and One Nights, The Divine Comedy, and Shakuntala.
Examines contemporary literatures across the world in order to explore both the similarities and differences in literary styles and themes. Because so much current non-Western literature is influenced by Western literature, culture, and values, students will consider historical background, including colonial, post-colonial, or political readings of writers such as Chinua Achebe, Gabriel Gárcia Márquez, Nadine Gordimer, Lu Xün, and Jamaica Kincaid.
Sequence 2

Complete 2 courses from the following:

A selective look at early American literature, from 1607 to 1865. Examines themes, movements, and writers who influenced and were influenced by the growth of the new nation. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A selective look at the literature of the United States, from 1865 to 1914. Particular attention is given to the masters of realistic and naturalistic fiction, and to the poets who most clearly influenced modern poetry. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A selective look at the literature of the United States, from 1914 to the present. Particular attention is given to the masterworks of Modernism, especially to those that have proven influential in contemporary literature. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
Sequence 3

Complete 2 courses from the following:

A selective look at the literature of the British Isles, from the earliest texts through 1660. Particular attention is given to the Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Renaissance periods. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A selective look at the literature of the British Isles during the Restoration, the Neoclassical, and the Romantic periods. Particular attention is given to the emergence of the novel and the poets who most clearly influenced the continuing development of poetry. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A selective look at the literature of the British Isles during the Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary periods. Particular attention is given to the literature of doubt and faith, the development of the novel, and post-Colonial issues. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Complete the following:

Introduces important concepts in the study of writing. Students will read and respond to writing and rhetorical theory, and will read, discuss, and produce written analyses of theories in the study of writing. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Choose two of the following:

This course helps those who want to understand and to be able to explain to others what can be done to make writing correct, clear, and precise. Focuses on constructing, editing, and correcting sentences and paragraphs. This is not a remedial course.
A course designed to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in reporting, writing, and editing news for the print media. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
Introduces students to the principles and procedure of technical writing; attention to analyzing audience and purpose, organizing information, designing graphic aids, and writing such specialized forms as abstracts, instructions, and proposals. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing creative nonfiction. Introduces students to the many voices, styles, and structures of the creative essay. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
This course explores trends in media convergence, focusing as well on the ways reporters, editors, and designers create stories for the web. Particular emphasis will be on web-based story design, the coordination of text and art, and the creation of stories for a variety of new media outlets. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing feature articles and other shorter nonfiction forms for periodicals. Student-produced material is submitted to various publications as part of course expectations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing fiction. Students write and prepare for publication original works. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing poetry. Students write and prepare for publication original works. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Students may select a literature or a writing focus for their senior experience.  (3 hours required)

Students will choose to research and write a senior thesis, working with a faculty member in their area of interest; or will complete a service project in a community organization, in a school classroom, or in another identified literacy program; or will complete a professional internship; or will create a portfolio of written work. Prerequisite: Senior Standing
Students will choose to research and write a senior thesis, working with a faculty member in their area of interest; or will complete a service project in a community organization, in a school classroom, or in another identified literacy program; or will complete a professional internship; or will create a portfolio of written work. Prerequisite: Senior Standing

Optional Concentrations (for an additional 12-18 hours)

Choose four of the following:

A course designed to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in reporting, writing, and editing news for the print media. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing creative nonfiction. Introduces students to the many voices, styles, and structures of the creative essay. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing feature articles and other shorter nonfiction forms for periodicals. Student-produced material is submitted to various publications as part of course expectations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing fiction. Students write and prepare for publication original works. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A workshop approach to writing poetry. Students write and prepare for publication original works. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
Students may choose one of the following courses as a substitute for one of the courses listed above:
An introduction to the styles, techniques, content, and forms of television writing. Both dramatic (sitcom and dramatic features) and nondramatic (news and informational) forms of writing are covered. The writing of several short scripts is required in the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
An introduction to the art of writing for film. Dramatic structure is emphasized and plot scenarios, dialogue, and characterization are among several topics examined and exercised. Students create scripts for original features, short films, or plays. The writing experience is complemented through an examination of the business aspects of writing, including spec-scripts, agents, and the Hollywood system.
Students hone journalistic skills in areas such as interviewing techniques, cultivating sources, investigative reporting, and editing and layout. Prerequisite: WRIT 230/JOUR 230 Introduction to Journalism or instructor's permission.
This course is designed to introduce basic playwriting, in particular elements of the playwright’s craft: dramatic action, plot, characterization and theatricality. The course functions as a playwriting workshop with students presenting exercises in class to be discussed by their peers. Utilizing techniques learned, students will complete a draft of a one-act play.

Complete the following:

This course helps those who want to understand and to be able to explain to others what can be done to make writing correct, clear, and precise. Focuses on constructing, editing, and correcting sentences and paragraphs. This is not a remedial course.
Introduces students to the principles and procedure of technical writing; attention to analyzing audience and purpose, organizing information, designing graphic aids, and writing such specialized forms as abstracts, instructions, and proposals. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
This course explores trends in media convergence, focusing as well on the ways reporters, editors, and designers create stories for the web. Particular emphasis will be on web-based story design, the coordination of text and art, and the creation of stories for a variety of new media outlets. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Choose three of the following:

A focused study of design for printed 2D and 3D objects. Topics include project ideation, paper qualities, technical execution, working with print templates, document preparation, and the creation of production-ready work. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTD 220 Tyopgraphy
A course designed to introduce and develop a clear concept of public relations as a communication profession. Topics to be covered include the function of public relations in both public and private enterprises; the process of planning and implementing a public relations communication campaign; techniques for communicating with various publics; and the laws and ethics governing the practice of public relations. (Identical to JOUR 240/COMM 240)
An introduction to the styles, techniques, content, and forms of television writing. Both dramatic (sitcom and dramatic features) and nondramatic (news and informational) forms of writing are covered. The writing of several short scripts is required in the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A course designed to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in reporting, writing, and editing news for the print media. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Complete the following:

Students must choose two out of the three courses listed for the Literature Sequence not previously taken for the Literature Core.   6 hours
A consideration of the life and works of the poet/playwright and the sociopolitical history of the Renaissance. The course examines the sonnets and a selection of the plays from each genre: comedy, tragedy, history, and tragicomedy. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Complete the following:

Choose one additional literature (LITR) course.  (3 hours)

Choose one additional literature (WRIT) course.  (3 hours)

Electives may not include WRIT 100 English Skills, WRIT 103 Individualized English Skills, or WRIT 110 College Writing.

Complete the following:

Students must choose two out of the three courses listed  for the Literature Sequence not previously taken for the Literature Core.  (6 hours)
A consideration of the life and works of the poet/playwright and the sociopolitical history of the Renaissance. The course examines the sonnets and a selection of the plays from each genre: comedy, tragedy, history, and tragicomedy. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
This is a one-semester introductory course on the teaching profession for those planning to enroll in an MAT program or considering teaching as a profession. Students will expand their understandings of the field of education and the role of teachers through class topics and experiences. They will also participate in a 10-hour classroom field experience. The George Fox University MAT program application process and requirements will be discussed. (This course is not part of the undergraduate elementary education major.) Prerequisite: junior or senior status

Complete the following:

Choose one additional literature (LITR) course.  (3 hours)

Choose one additional literature (WRIT) course.  (3 hours)

Electives may not include WRIT 100 English Skills, WRIT 103 Individualized English Skills, or WRIT 110 College Writing.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

As a writing/literature major, you will learn from professors who know you by name.

English majors learn to think critically and creatively, read perceptively, and write clearly and effectively. Employers consistently list these skills among the traits they most desire. Because so many occupations and organizations depend on strong analytical skills and written and oral communication, English majors have great flexibility and a wide range of options within the job market. Some of these potential fields, such as public relations, human resources, market research and nonprofit management, are projected to grow at a fast pace over the next decade.

  • Novelist, Writer-in-Residence, Corban University
  • Travel Writer/Yale University Faculty Member
  • Judge, Oregon Court of Appeals
  • English Professor, Spring Arbor University
  • English Teacher, Klamath Falls High School
  • English Teacher and Newspaper Advisor, Westside Christian High School
  • Project Coordinator, Act Six/PDX Leadership Foundation
  • International School of English Teacher, Evergreen State College
  • Librarian, Forest Grove City Library
  • Owner, Web Design Company
  • Oxford University
  • Tufts University
  • University of St. Andrews
  • Penn State University
  • Fordham University
  • University of Oregon
  • Boston College
  • Georgia College and State University
  • University of Colorado
  • Portland State University
  • Baylor University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
  • Portland Monthly Magazine
  • Oregon Bride Magazine
  • Northwest Yearly Meeting
  • Ellechor Publishing House
  • Newberg Public Library
  • Barclay Press
  • Newberg Public Schools (SMART Reading Program)

Student Experiences

Gina Ochsner, author, winner of 2002 Flannery O’Conner Award

“What I appreciated the most about the time I spent studying at George Fox was the creative latitude to explore, define, craft and hone my own creative aesthetic. Under the guidance of gifted instructors I was encouraged to examine rigorously what it is I wanted to write and how best to write it.”  

- Gina Ochsner, author, winner of 2002 Flannery O’Conner Award

Jay Miller

“Studying English trains a person in habits essential to life: attentiveness, reflection, communication, etc. Studying English at George Fox directs these habits towards living a good life. My professors honed my literary skills, but they also grounded these skills in a Christian imagination alive to language’s potential to express and question what is true, good and beautiful. I now feel equipped for both graduate studies and thoughtful navigation of life’s complexities.”

- Jay Miller

Points of Distinction

  • Major classes are taught by full-time faculty members who are active writers and scholars.
  • Students have opportunities for practical writing and teaching experience through English Honors Society membership, Academic Resource Center tutoring and writing for The Crescent.
  • Senior capstone experience can include internships in writing, publishing or teaching.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.