The Creative Writing program at the University of La Verne challenges all students — majors, minors, passersby — to develop their craft, examine the culture around them, and expand readers’ understanding of what it means to live.
Our major and minor programs give students the opportunity to practice literary creative writing through a careful study of the modes and theories of the art, with an emphasis on contemporary applications. Courses encourage students to learn and employ techniques gleaned from literary creative writing while simultaneously helping students better understand the literary and cultural contexts of their work.
Students graduating with a BA in Creative Writing will be prepared to enter and excel in graduate creative writing studies, particularly at the MFA level. Students will also have professional experience in publishing and advertising, as one cornerstone of the program is creating our literary journal, Prism Review.
Working with Writers
Students meet and speak with both up-and-coming and established contemporary writers; in the last several years, visitors include poets Victoria Chang, Amy Newlove Schroeder, Jessica Piazza, Michelle Detorie, Brent Armendinger, Genevieve Kaplan, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Jen Hofer, Tony Barnstone, Ralph Angel, and Maggie Nelson, and fiction writers Scott Nadelson, Matt Sumell, Amelia Gray, Michael Jaime Becerra, Bryan Hurt, Richard Lange, Aimee Bender, and Larry Fondation. Since 2016, the university has hosted Jared Stanley (pictured below), Patricia Smith, Julie Paegle, Claudia Rankine, Juan Felipe Herrera, Kevin Moffett, Noble laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Pulitzer-prize recipient Viet Thanh Nguyen, Hannah Sanghee Park (pictured above), Craig Santos Perez, Meagan Cass (pictured below), Siel Ju, and more.
Taken together, the Creative Writing program immerses students in the life of contemporary literary: it gives them models to aspire to, prepares them for teamwork, instructs them in editing and assessing manuscripts, and guides them along as they create their own contemporary contribution to literature. Beyond careers in writing and writing-related fields, creative writing classes stress the need for analytical thinking: to be successful writers, students must learn and be able to integrate abstracts concepts, learned knowledge, and reflections on everyday life, and they must integrate all of this into small and self-contained systems.