Creative Writing

Program Type: Minor
Program Level: Undergraduate
Department: Minors

Book Cover of writersINC, the USC Upstate Literary MagazineMinor in Creative Writing offers students an opportunity to explore the artistic side of English studies. Creative writing courses foster students' abilities as writers in a variety of genres including creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry, as well as special topics in particular genres like gothic, science fiction/fantasy or screenwriting.

Beyond publishing books, stories, and poems, creative writers have many possible 21st century careers: 

  • work in teams to develop video games,
  • become social media writers with followers and new media productions,
  • serve as screenwriters for film, television, and short-form media for community organizing, advertising, and marketing, and
  • become freelance authors who do feature writing and corporate writing to share the human stories within our communities.

Creative writers also coordinate festivals, publish and edit journals, run literacy programs and public readings, and lead workshops for all ages to explore the way that creative expression gives us all a voice to write our world.

Students in the minor enjoy opportunities to

  • Workshop your writing in small classes with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio
  • Work with award-winning authors on novels, short fiction, genre fiction, creative non-fiction, and memoirs 
  • Meet with freelance and creative writers, publishers, and editors to learn more about writing careers
  • Intern with Writers Inc., USC Upstate's literary magazine and multiple-time winner of the outstanding student organization award, and with Upstate businesses and non-profits
  • Six Courses Required for the Creative Writing Minor**

    • Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL U208) or Intermediate Workshop in Creative Writing (ENGL U308)
    • Two courses chosen from the following:
      • Intermediate Workshop in Creative Writing (ENGL U308) if not taken above
      • Writing in Fantasy Genres (ENGL U362)
      • Fiction Workshop (ENGL U364)
      • Poetry Workshop (ENGL U366)
      • Life Writing Workshop (ENGL U368)
      • Creative Nonfiction Workshop (ENGL U370)
      • Topics in Writing (ENGL U397)
      • Playwriting (THEA U378)
      • Gender and Autobiography (WGST U369)
    • Two additional English classes numbered 300 or above. Courses from the above list are recommended, but students may select any upper-level English courses. Topics in Professional Writing (ENGL U345), Technical Writing (ENGL U346), Grantwriting (ENGL U371), and Internships (ENGL U499) are especially helpful to complement creative writing with professional writing skills.
    • Advanced Creative Writing (ENGL U468)

    **Please note, a minimum grade of C is required for all coursework, and a course taken in the major cannot also be counted toward the minor.

    • Erika Pertell, finalist for the 2016 SC First Novel Prize, winner of the Hub City/Emrys Creative Writing Prize in Fiction
    • Wilson Casey, "The Trivia Guy," syndicated columnist, author of more than a dozen books, radio personality, and Guiness Book of World Record Holder
    • Tanya Newman, author of The Good Thief and Winter Rain, as well as short stories published in TWJ Magazine and Gadfly Online
    • Kristian Wilson, freelance writer and editor, books feature writer for Bustle and other online magazines
    • Theodore Kountourogiannis, freelance writer and editor, with publications in SEV Network, HiddenYou, Blasting News, and more