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English: Creative Writing and Literature

Overview

The concentration in Creative Writing and Literature at Hofstra University is tailored for students who are deeply committed to and passionate about self-expression via the written word. Workshop-style creative writing classes in prose and poetry, drama, essays, screenplays and children's literature foster an intimate and interactive experience that focuses on nurturing creativity and talent. Additionally, all creative writing classes - while challenging - are intentionally small. This builds relationships not only among students, but between students and our distinguished professors.

Many members of our faculty are themselves published authors, playwrights, poets, fiction and non-fiction writers from the greater New York area. Most impressively, some have received Guggenheim Fellowships as well as grants from the Fulbright Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

English majors are trained to write well, analyze complex information, conduct research, craft arguments and read and observe with a critical eye. These are skills that are sought after by employers who recognize that English graduates are versatile and well-rounded. With an English degree from Hofstra, you can work in myriad industries, including book publishing, television networks, advertising, and education or pursue professional studies in law, business or journalism.

Curriculum

In addition to a vast selection of courses in contemporary literature, such as Gothic Fiction, The African Novel, Beat Generation, Childhood and Adolescence in Literature, students begin their Hofstra journey with the General Creative Writing Workshop. From there they progress to intermediate genre seminars and advanced workshops in prose, poetry, drama, screenplays, children's literature and essays. They select from a wide assortment of exciting courses such as Writing for Stage, Screen and Television, Short Fiction Writing and Advanced Spanish Writing.

Half the credits in Creative Writing and Literature are electives in the English Department, so students may round out their studies with courses in publishing, children's and young adult literature, and other areas of related interest.

Hofstra also offers a dual degree BA/MFA in Creative Writing that can be completed in five years. This is a streamlined, cost-effective, and focused way to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in less time than if each degree was pursued separately. This option is ideal for English majors interested in:

  • continuing to pursue their passion for creative writing
  • acquiring teaching credentials
  • earning the most advanced degree in their field

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in English: Creative Writing and Literature Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Many of Hofstra's English majors land positions with prestigious employers. Others seek to further their studies at top graduate schools. Employers include prestigious media companies such as BuzzFeed, Inc., Penguin Random House and Sesame Workshop. Those pursuing graduate degrees study at Cornell University, UCLA, Columbia University, Seton Hall University, CUNY Queens College, Drexel University, Fordham University, NYU, and Rutgers University.

96% job, grad school or both
90% accept a position within six months
$38K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

What You'll Learn

Student in Class

In addition to students honing the craft of creative writing in workshops designed to challenge and explore their strengths and talents, they are offered an extensive assortment of courses in literature, organized around issues, authors, genres, or historical periods. Students may also pursue study in related interests such as publishing. Much of the faculty is actively involved professionally in the publishing industry, and students can take courses in editing or the history of publishing.

They also have opportunities for hands-on experiences as part of the editorial team which produces Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Literature & Art, as well as editing and publishing the student literature and arts magazine, Font.

Hofstra's proximity to New York City provides creative writing students with exceptional opportunities to attend major events, such as the Brooklyn Book Festival and BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States.

We also have exciting events on campus. Students who opt to join the student-run Hofstra English Society may participate in weekly creative writing workshops, book blogs and open-mic nights.

Since 2004, Hofstra has presented the Great Writers, Great Readings Series, which presents famous novelists, playwrights, poets and essayists. Students are encouraged to meet and question these important, award-winning writers about their craft. Recent guests have included Pulitzer Prize-winners John McPhee, Jennifer Egan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeffrey Eugenides, and MacArthur "Genius" Award winner Claudia Rankine.

Internships

Hands-on experience is key when job seeking, which is why, in addition to being involved in editorial production of our campus publications, more than half our students -- some 63% --participate in internship programs. Our Career Center offers a multitude of exciting internship opportunities, many of them taking place in Manhattan at highly desirable organizations and businesses such as Marvel Comics, The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Scholastic Corporation and Cosmopolitan magazine. Other top internships are available at BBC Worldwide, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Macmillan Publishers, Adventure Publishing Group and Alameda Children's Musical Theater.

Experience

city skyline

Your journey as a creative writing student in Hofstra's English Department will be filled with classes, workshops, readings and seminars that will help you develop your literary voice. If you wish, you can fill your calendar with special events welcoming writers from a variety of genres. As you will just be a short train ride from Manhattan, you can pursue a number of exciting internship opportunities in the publishing industry. You will also be able to network with professionals and attend trade and industry events.

You may want to explore the University's study abroad opportunities, including a special English Department-sponsored program to London during the January intercession.

Meet Alex Demarest

Alex Demarest in his role as youth program assistant manager for New York Road Runners.

Whether he was writing for Hofstra's literary magazine, singing with the Hofstra Dutchmen or fighting the undead as part of Hofstra Versus Zombies, Alex Demarest made every day on campus memorable. Now his talents are serving him in his role as youth program assistant manager for New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization behind the TCS New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world. His job revolves around communication and social media.