Writing and Literature

Offering a full curriculum in all genres of creative writing


The Writing and Literature competence corresponds directly with the liberal arts mission. Literature students have the opportunity to explore classic and contemporary poetry, fiction, plays, screenplays, and nonfiction. The program introduces students to literature from various cultures. They become careful readers, able to effectively analyze and synthesize. In writing courses, students hone their creative and critical writing skills, producing original pieces of polished work in a variety of genres. They learn to give and receive constructive criticism in workshop settings, to evaluate each other’s work and to use that feedback to create strong stories, poems, essays, and scripts.

Examples of cross-disciplinary literature courses: 

  • Holy Books, 
  • Vertical Margins: Literature of Mountaineering and Exploration, and 
  • Family Systems in Film and Literature. 

Example courses combining writing and literature:

  • The Memoir
  • Short Story Cycle 
  • Forms of Fiction

Example field-based courses :

  • Travel Writing: Journey as Metaphor
  • Sense of Place: Alaska

The literature curriculum is designed to provide students with the methodological skills necessary to be good close readers of literature. Students can complete a degree in literature that provides significant exposure to the standard canon, through a combination of introductory and advanced inter-disciplinary course work including individual and group independent studies, and creative writing courses with a significant components of literature study.

Example courses include: 

  • Literature of the American Dream
  • Short Story Cycle
  • Women’s Lit
  • Family Systems in Film and Lit
  • In and Out of Africa
  • Vintage Verse
  • The Othering of American Literature
  • The American West in Film and Lit
  • Literature as Experience
  • Voices of the American Mosaic
  • Nature’s Voice
  • Historical Fiction  


Publications, Awards, and Events

The centerpieces of Writing and Literature are an annual literary journal and The Raven Review, the student newspaper. Alligator Juniper is student- staffed and faculty-mentored, publishing nationally recognized poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, photographers, and Prescott College student contest winners in each category. The journal has received the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Directors Prize for content in 2001, 2004, and 2008.

Arts & Letters sponsors the Prescott College Arts Council, which supports writing and literature-related activities. The Southwest Writers Series hosts nationally acclaimed and emerging writers for informal dialogues and readings. Writers in the  Community is a service-learning practicum and the New Play Development &  Production Practicum features student-written short plays. Playwrights work with  student actors, directors, and designers in a repertory-style company to stage full  productions. Students share their work through public readings and class- generated anthologies.

The Writing and Literature Program offers the Dorothy Ruth Ellis Endowed Scholarship to recognize an outstanding student in writing, literature or journalism.


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  • Dillon Metcalfe (Kelly Megan Stack Scholarship Recipient)

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  • David Meeks

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  • Norman Treager

    Norman L. Traeger was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Prescott College for his lifetime of philanthropic efforts ...    Learn more >

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