About the Program

In the English and Creative Writing program, students study poetry, fiction and nonfiction in an intimate workshop setting. Through reading literature and pursuing creative projects, our students engage with texts in the way that working writers do, dissolving the boundary between critical engagement and creative response.

What is distinctive about studying English and creative writing at Sweet Briar?

Undergraduates at Sweet Briar work directly with the writers on the faculty, all of whom have published books with distinguished national presses. We lead students in discovering that they grow as writers, as readers, and as human beings through explorations of both canonical and contemporary works of literature and through creative practice.

The classes are small – never more than 15 students – and the discussion lively. We’re interested in helping you develop your voice, introducing you to a wide range of writers and writing, and giving you the skills you need to use language in the most powerful ways possible.

The English and Creative Writing program sponsors an active Writers Series throughout the academic year. Students interact with these distinguished visitors at readings, in small group discussions, and at informal dinners. Among the writers who have visited campus are Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, writers as celebrated as Salman Rushdie, Ha Jin, Hannah Tinti, Rebecca Skloot, Emily Rapp Black, and Natasha Trethewey. Students tell us that their experiences with these writers – sitting around the dinner table with them at faculty homes, listening to them read their work, interacting with them in small discussions in the college’s lovely Browsing Room in the library – are among the most important of their academic lives. And many of our creative writing students become actively involved with the College’s student literary magazine, Red Clay.