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The Creative Writing Program

Twelve books.

Prestigious fellowships and awards.

An abiding love of language and literature and teaching.

That’s what Sweet Briar College’s creative writing faculty has to offer. And unlike many colleges where accomplished authors work primarily with graduate students, novelists John Gregory Brown and Carrie Brown, essayist Nell Boeschenstein, and poet John Casteen all mentor students from the beginning to the end of their four years of college.

These writers offer small, intimate workshops that enable students to work closely with their professors and with their classmates in an environment that is both challenging and supportive. And the creative writing faculty work one-on-one with each senior major as she completes a portfolio of her best work.

As part of an annual series, visiting writers offer readings and visit classes throughout the academic year. Every four years the college hosts an International Writers Series that brings to campus distinguished authors from around the world. Recent participants include Azar Nafisi, Salman Rushdie, Yiyun Li, Zakes Mda and Manil Suri.

Outside of the classroom, Sweet Briar’s creative writing students have many opportunities to pursue their love of writing. Students publish a literary magazine, Red Clay, and serve as writers and editors for the college’s newspaper, The Sweet Briar Voice.

The Inklings, a creative writing student club, sponsors readings and literary salons and service projects. Annual awards offer cash prizes for the best student stories, poems and creative essays.

Sweet Briar’s English and creative writing majors have received fellowships to many of the country’s most distinguished graduate creative writing programs, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Pittsburgh, while others have pursued graduate degrees in literature, education, communications, law and library science.