Santa Clara University

Medeival and Renaissance Studies

Creative Writing Emphasis

The Creative Writing Program offers students a coherent course of study in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The creative writing minor is firmly grounded within the liberal arts tradition, integrating courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction writing within their broader literary and cultural context.

Introductory courses familiarize students with the practice and theory of creative writing. Advanced courses offer a workshop setting in which students write and critique one another’s work. Electives focus on particular genres of creative writing, such as Lifewriting, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Screenwriting. All creative writing courses incorporate some study of literature as well as close attention to students’ own creative writing.


Requirements for the Minor

Two Introductory Courses
  • English 71. Fiction Writing
  • English 72. Poetry Writing
Two Practicum Courses
  • English 90. Literary Review Practicum
  • English 190. Literary Review Practicum
One Advanced Course
  • English 171. Advanced Fiction Writing or English 172. Advanced Poetry Writing
Three Electives From the Following:
  • English 73. Lifewriting
  • English 126. Writing and Performing Poetry
  • English 127. Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • English 170. Writing for Children and Young Adults
  • English 171. Advanced Fiction Writing
  • English 172. Advanced Poetry Writing
  • English 173. Screenwriting
  • English 175. Creative Nonfiction

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Santa Clara Review

All SCU students have the opportunity to work on the University’s literary magazine. Published twice a year, the Review includes fiction, essays, poetry, book reviews, art and photography from the Santa Clara University Community and the Bay Area. In the Literary Magazine Practicum, one-unit courses offered every quarter, students discuss submissions.

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Literary contests

Each year three literary prizes for undergraduates are given: the McCann Prize for the best short story, the Shipsey Prize for the best poem, and the Academy of American Poets “Tamara Verga Poetry Prize” for the best group of poems. The winning manuscripts receive cash awards and are published in the Santa Clara Review.

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The Hopkins Reading Series

Nationally-known writers and award-winning San Francisco Bay Area writers are invited to campus to read and conduct workshops. Recent visiting writers include Kim Addonizio, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Michael Blumenthal, Bo Caldwell, Maxine Chernoff, Molly Giles, Toni Graham, Jim Heynan, Dorianne Laux, John L’Heurueux, Veronica Montes, Roy Parvin, Jim Shepard, Angela Narcisso Torres, Marianne Villanueva, Daryl Babe Wilson and Tobias Wolff.

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Student Achievement

In the last few years, over two dozen SCU students who have studied Creative Writing have been accepted into M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs in Creative Writing at University of Virginia, University of Iowa, Syracuse University, New York University, San Francisco State, University of Denver, University of Montana, University of Arizona, Bennington College, UC Davis, Brown University, San Diego State University, San Jose State University, USC, among others. Several have received prestigious fellowships and teaching assistantships to these universities. English major alumni include Neal Jimenez, who won first prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his film, Waterdance, and Jeff Brazil, who won a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.

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Program Council

  • Jerald Enos, Theater and Dance
  • Francisco Jimenez, Tonia Riviello, Modern Languages; Diane Dreher, Ron Hansen, Claudia MonPere McIsaac, English

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Participating Faculty


Rebecca Black, Kirk Glaser, Claudia MonPere McIsaac, Cory Wade

Fiction and Screenwriting:

Ron Hansen, Claudia MonPere McIsaac, Cynthia Mahamdi, Fred White


Simone Billings, Diane Dreher, Fred White, Juan Velasco

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For more information contact:

Rebecca Black, Director
Creative Writing Program
(408) 554-4647

Rebecca Black is a poet and writer. She is the Director of Creative Writing at Santa Clara, and teaches the poetry workshops on campus.  She is also a faculty advisor for the Santa Clara Review, the student-run literary magazine.

Her first book, Cottonlandia, winner of the Juniper Prize in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Press, was published in 2005.  Individual poems have appeared in Poetry, Poetry Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, Missouri Review, Bellingham Review, Conjunctions, Pleiades, and other magazines.  Text and audio versions of her work may be found online at

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