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English Department

Creative Writing Minor

At Spelman College, we honor and nurture creativity—passionate engagement with the interior
life and its artful expression. To that end, the English Department offers a range of courses that
provides compositional practice in several genres of imaginative writing. Students pursuing the
Writing Minor and English majors focusing on deep study in writing—as well as students in
other majors or minors seeking elective humanities credit—may concentrate on a creative
“track” within the writing curriculum. There they benefit from the small, supportive workshop
environment of the classes and the opportunity to hone their craft with professors well
established in the literary world, and with award-winning visiting writers and poets. In fostering
and supporting inquiry and introspection through literary production, creative writing is a
critical component of the arts at Spelman.

Core Courses

  • The Art of Writing
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • The Craft of Fiction Writing
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop
  • Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Playwriting & Advanced Playwriting (cross-
    listed: Drama 309/311)
  • Screenwriting I & II
  • Composing Across the Arts
  • Independent Study

Past Visiting Artists

Alice Walker
Natasha Trethewey
Nikky Finney
Pearl Cleage
Toi Derricotte
Nikki Giovanni
Amiri Baraka
Sonia Sanchez
Haki Madhubuti
Mari Evans
Buchi Emecheta
Tayari Jones
Staceyann Chin
Allison Joseph
Percival Everett
Dorothea Smartt
Frank X Walker
Jessica Care Moore
Kyle Dargan
Lita Hooper
Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Camille Dungy
Alice Lovelace
Daniel Black
Adrian Matejka
Tina McElroy Ansa
Bettina Judd
Kamilah Aisha Moon
Kate Gale
Desmond Egan
and others…

Opportunities for Creative Writing Students

In addition to writing courses, students may further refine their writing, editing, and
performance skills through Spelman’s literary journal, other student literary organizations
within the Atlanta University Center, writing competitions, and performance venues in the
greater Atlanta community, including:

A Journal of Artful Candor: Spelman’s undergraduate journal of literature and arts — which has a history dating back to the 1960s under the name FOCUS — was re-envisioned in 2009 and renamed Aunt Chloe to honor the womanist literary tradition. Each issue highlights a specific theme and solicits works from students as well as established artists.

Aunt Chloe cover photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Auburn Avenue
Atlanta-based online publication that “showcases the intellectual and creative voices of people of color”—including local faculty and student writers.

Edith A. Hambie Poetry Prize
Annual contest at Spelman; sponsored by the Academy of American Poets University and College Poetry Program, and funded by the family and friends of Dr. Edith A. Hambie to honor her equal love of science and research and creativity and the arts.

Agnes Scott College Writers’ Festival Contest
Annual competition open to students enrolled in colleges and universities in the state of Georgia during the fall of each academic year, with prizes given for unpublished works of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama

College Day at the AJC/Decatur Book Festival
Presented on the Local Poetry Stage of the largest annual independent book festival in the country, College Day features readings of original works by faculty, student, and alumni poets from Atlanta-area colleges and universities.

Java Monkey Coffeehouse and Art Amok Slam Teams
Atlanta has a thriving spoken word and slam scene that provides opportunities for poets to polish their writing and performance skills in weekly open mic venues as well as local, regional, and national slam competitions. Spelman and other Atlanta University Center students have competed as on both premier Atlanta-area teams at the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Slam. 

Contact Us

English Department
The Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center

Additional Contact Info

College Bulletin