Creative Writing

Overview of UCA’s BA in Creative Writing

UCA’s BA degree in creative writing offers the largest number and widest variety of undergraduate creative writing courses in the state. In addition to regular forms and workshop courses in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting, the Department of Writing offers a spectrum of courses, including the novella, horror writing, ecopoetics, writing for children, food writing, travel writing, teaching creative writing, editing and publishing, and more.

Upper-level courses are capped at 15 students, allowing students to enjoy close attention from an accomplished faculty in an active literary environment. Students can work on the award-winning Vortex undergraduate literary magazine, join writing-focused clubs, and take part in craft-based and career-oriented workshops offered by the Center for Writing & Communication.

Creative writing students are introduced to working writers through the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Artist-in-Residence Program, the department’s annual ArkaText Literary Festival, the city of Conway’s ArtsFest, and Little Rock’s Arkansas Literary Festival. This progressive and vibrant arts climate is enhanced by literary events regularly sponsored by Vortex, by UCA-supported Oxford American magazine, and by Hendrix College’s Murphy Foundation. 

Undergraduates in creative writing learn about the process of submitting for publication, and many publish original works while still in the program. Topics courses are dual-listed with courses in the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop, allowing for a close interaction with an ambitious set of graduate students. Internships, individualized mentoring, and specialized courses in pedagogy and craft help prepare students for career opportunities in creative fields. UCA’s creative writing major also prepares graduates to pursue MA and MFA degrees in creative writing and other closely related studies in the arts and humanities.

Mission for UCA’s BA in Creative Writing

The degree program in creative writing is founded upon the belief that a sophisticated education in the literary arts develops an empathy and imagination that promote cultural and intellectual diversity, thereby preparing graduates to contribute to their communities as effective, creative communicators.

Our mission is:

  • to provide a workshop environment that allows students to train and flourish as artists
  • to create wide-ranging opportunities for students to engage in both critical study of various genres, forms, and topics in creative writing and practice of craft
  • to foster a campus environment that promotes, celebrates, and nurtures creativity
  • to host an array of accomplished writers and other literary professionals to serve as role models and mentors
  • to show students both the need for and the value of energetic support for literary communities and literary events that advance the arts in Arkansas and beyond
  • to prepare students for work in fields that utilize critical reading and writing skills
  • to make available internships and mentorship opportunities that provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter fields where creativity is valued
  • to prepare students for graduate work in a wide range of disciplines