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Top ten colleges for creative writing majors

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. If you're serious about your craft, you'll need a creative writing program that will whip your writing into shape. No school can guarantee you'll be the next great American author, but these 10 will get you pretty damn close. Prepare for the skeptics -- a creative writing major is not for the faint of heart. We've uncovered programs with reputable alumni and faculty, scholarship opportunities, inventive writing courses and thriving literary magazines.

We're talking programs so exclusive they often require a manuscript application. Emerson College Wikimedia Commons: Faolin42 Every writer wants to get published. You have a solid chance of seeing your work in print at Boston's Emerson College.

Their endless list of literary magazines range from screenplays to comics. To dig deeper into the writing process, Emerson's general magazines immerse their students in the learning process with on-the-job lessons in reporting, editing, copyediting, blogging and photography.

Colorado College Wikimedia Commons: Leemark Learn from the best. Colorado College in Colorado Springs places heavy emphasis on creative writing majors studying literature in depth to prepare them for strenuous writing workshops.

The department requires each student to learn the foundations of literature including the Bible. Another unique requirement of the track: Prepare to dig out that old camera for your creative writing major.

The 10 Best Colleges for Writers

Boston University Wikimedia Commons: Fletcher6 Creative writing is no mere matter at Boston University. Although the list of available classes lacks variety, taking an advanced course requires some serious commitment. Since each class only seats about ten students, you've got to show your stuff to get accepted.

Poetry courses require at least five poems to be considered, while fiction courses require at least one short story. The distinguished faculty, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, the poetry editor for The New York Times and multiple notable authors, make the effort worth the experience. University of California Irvine Wikimedia Commons: DHN If you can't make up your mind, but think you might like to study creative writing, University of California, Irvine offers a flexible program.

The emphasis only requires four courses to complete the concentration and you don't even need to be an English major. On the other hand, less than half of applicants get accepted into advanced workshops to allow for more personalized and intensive work.

Quality over quantity, right? University of Michigan Wikimedia Commons: Andrew Horne Practice makes perfect, especially in creative writing. That's why your teachers insisted you re-write your essays five billion times.

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor bleeds this mantra. You'll write and write and re-write until you've produced a manuscript by the end of your creative writing concentration.

  1. This private liberal arts college offers a great deal of variety through their English department.
  2. While they do offer courses in creative writing, Johns Hopkins focuses much more on literary writing, critical analysis, and literature education to improve writing skills. Easily labeled the best program in which to study fiction writing and their poetry program is nothing to sneeze at either , Iowa has recently taken their creative writing success at the graduate level and started applying it to an undergraduate creative writing track.
  3. However, MIT offers an extensive and unique writing program that not only produces great writers but prepares them to be competitive in the harsh job market of English graduates. No school can guarantee you'll be the next great American author, but these 10 will get you pretty damn close.
  4. The Writers House is also home to an incredibly tight-knit community of passionate writers and readers that is always pulling another chair up to the table.
  5. The emphasis only requires four courses to complete the concentration and you don't even need to be an English major.

Yes, you heard right; you must work with faculty in your last term to produce a full-length work of prose. That's an assignment you won't want to leave to the last minute. Wesleyan University Wikimedia Commons: If out-of-class learning experiences better satiate your creative writing urges, look no further than Wesleyan's long list of magazines and publications.

You'll have a piece in at least one of the lit mags, including Unlocked, focused on sexuality through artistic expression.

2 | University of Virginia

University of Notre Dame Wikimedia Commons: Notre Dame loves its creative students, evident by the host of scholarships offered just for poetry and fiction writers. Maybe you'll even find your match reading The Notebook in the dining hall.

Vanderbilt University Wikimedia Commons: Jbaker08 Some lucky students have secured their pen name by junior year of high school. To develop your knowledge even more, Vanderbilt requires students study pre-1800 literature as well as ethnic literature to achieve a creative writing degree. So if you know from the start that creative writing suits you, Vanderbilt's program is hard to beat.

Top 20 Colleges for Aspiring Writers

Cornell University Wikimedia Commons: To show it, they award a whopping five scholarships to creative writers. They probably expect you to pay them back when you're rich and famous, like Cornell alums Pearl S. Buck, Toni Morrison, E.

  1. University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  2. Notre Dame loves its creative students, evident by the host of scholarships offered just for poetry and fiction writers. Both English and non-majors are encouraged to take the program; in addition to teaching students to write effective analytic arguments, the undergraduate writing program also offers courses in creative writing for fiction and poetry.
  3. You can be sure that your creative writing portfolio will be read—in fact, we at Penn seek to recruit the nation's top young writers and provide them with admissions advocacy through the Kelly Writers House, a non-residential haven for writers and creative types of all kinds that hosts more than 300 events per year.
  4. Emerson College Wikimedia Commons.
  5. January 5, 2016 Of course, I may happen to be biased—I'm a happy junior at Penn studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Consumer Psychology—but this means I can confidently say that through a refined liberal arts focus at the University of Pennsylvania, you will learn to write while also finding another interest—any interest—to write about. In the film studies track, the department focuses on story development and film writing.

White and Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few of the prestigious authors. Hamilton College Wikimedia Commons: DanielPenfield Creativity requires that you are well-rounded. The creative writing program at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY insists that its students take more than an extensive amount of classes in literature and a foreign language.

Unlike many other creative writing programs, Hamilton offers screenwriting and playwriting along with the normal fiction, poetry and nonfiction disciplines. You can even delve specifically into novel-to-film adaptations and learn how to write your own.