Frequently Asked Questions about the Creative Writing Minor

Q: Do I need any background or experience to take CRWR 218 (the introductory course in poetry and fiction writing)?

A: No. CRWR 218 has no prerequisites and assumes no experience on the part of students. It's a good course for total beginners as well as students who have written in one genre but not the other; it also, of course, welcomes those who have tried both and want to develop further as writers.

Q: Do I have to officially declare the minor?

A: No. But it is to your advantage to do so. Declaring the minor gives you preference in admission to creative writing classes, secures a minor advisor for you, and enables us to keep you informed of literary events on campus. To declare the minor, make your intentions known to Professor Susan Perabo (perabo@dickinson.edu) or Professor Adrienne Su (sua@dickinson.edu).

Q: How often will the required courses be offered?

A: Several sections of CRWR 218 are offered every semester. CRWR 317 and CRWR 319 are offered once every semester. CRWR 219 is generally available every semester. Always check the current course schedule, however, for possible changes in a given year.

Q: I took an advanced creative writing workshop and loved it so much, I want to take the same course again. Can I do that?

A: Yes! We constantly change the literature content of CRWR 317 and 319,  and the student writing under discussion is always new, so you can repeat these courses as many times as your schedule, and space in the workshop, allow.

Q: What does "CRWR 219: Topics in Creative Writing" mean?

A: CRWR 219 is a creative writing workshop in a genre other than fiction and/or poetry. Recent offerings include Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Screenwriting, and Creative Nonfiction: Writing about Food.

Q: Do I have to be an English major to do the Creative Writing minor?

A: No. The minor is open to all students, regardless of major.

Q: Can Creative Writing courses double-count for the English major and/or distribution requirements?

A: CRWR 218 counts as an elective in the English major. It also fulfills the Arts requirement for graduation. Certain versions of CRWR 219 count toward other programs; check Banner and talk with your advisor to confirm what counts for an individual course.

Q: Does CRWR 218 meet the Writing-Intensive requirement for graduation?

A: No.

Q: What about study abroad? Can I transfer classes from other institutions?

A: Yes. But courses taken at other institutions, abroad or domestically, must be approved in advance by Professor Su or Professor Perabo. In every case, the final determination of credit is the decision of the faculty, so be sure to secure approval before you take the course.

Q: Can I take CRWR 218 and CRWR 317 or 319 in the same genre simultaneously?

A: No.

Q: Can I take CRWR 317 or 319 even if I’m not completing the minor in Creative Writing?

A: Yes, provided there is room in the class (declared minors have priority) and you have taken the prerequisite (CRWR 218).

Q: If I took a creative writing course in high school, and/or have done a lot of creative writing on my own outside the classroom, can I skip 218 and go directly into the advanced workshops?

A: No. You must take 218 prior to 317/319, regardless of your previous experience in creative writing. Instruction in the advanced workshops builds directly on the instruction the introductory workshop.

Q: I have a score of 4 or 5 on the AP English: Literature exam. Can I count that as my literature course for the minor?

A: Yes, but we strongly recommend taking literature alongside your creative writing workshops when you can, to make you the best possible writer.