Writing and Literature

Offering a full curriculum in all genres of creative writing


Writing & Literature and Creative Writing competences correspond directly with the liberal arts mission. Students have the opportunity to explore classic and contemporary poetry, fiction, and nonfiction as well as 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 poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. 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 poems, stories, and essays.


Examples of cross-disciplinary literature courses: 

  • Voices from Latin America
  • Film & Literature: Elements of Desire
  • Holy Books
  • In & Out of Africa
  • Women’s Literature
  • Voices from the American Mosaic


Examples of creative writing courses:

  • Sense of Place
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Nature’s Voice
  • Poetry Workshop
  • The Memoir
  • Introduction to Fiction
  • Sudden Fiction
  • Short Story Cycle 
  • Forms of Fiction


Examples of practicum courses :

  • Literary Journal Practicum (Alligator Juniper)
  • Newspaper Journalism (Raven Review)
  • Teaching Assistantship: Poetry Workshop
  • Teaching Assistantship: Sense of Place


Examples of independent studies: 

  • Travel Writing: Exploring Central America
  • Sense of Place: Alaska
  • Magic Realism
  • Writing Pop Culture
  • Creating a Children’s Book
  • Steinbeck’s Novels
  • Writing Home


Publications, Awards, and Events

The centerpieces of Writing and Literature are an annual literary journal, Alligator Juniper, and the student newspaper, The Raven Review. Alligator Juniper is student-staffed and faculty-mentored, publishing nationally recognized poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, 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.

The Prescott College Arts Council supports writing and literature-related activities. The Southwest Writers Series hosts nationally acclaimed and emerging writers for informal dialogues and workshops as well as formal readings. Guests have included Edward Abbey, Sherman Alexie, Christopher Buckley, Natalie Diaz, James Galvin, Joy Harjo, Barbara Kingsolver, Barry Lopez, Rick Moody, and Alberto Alvaro Rios. Students share their work through public readings and class-generated anthologies.


Scholarships and Fellowships for Writing and Literature Students

The Arts & Letters Writing and Literature Scholarship each year recognizes an outstanding student working toward a competence in the realm of writing and literature or an incoming student with the intention to pursue such a competence. The Dorothy Ruth Ellis Endowed Scholarship each year recognizes an outstanding student in writing, literature or journalism. The Frederick & Frances Sommer Fellowship each year assists the academic and artistic endeavors of a senior with a competence in the area of writing and literature as well as any other area of Arts & Letters by providing senior-year housing in the Sommer cabin. Located in a forested Prescott neighborhood, the cabin includes studio space and B&W darkroom.

To learn more about these scholarships, see Endowment Scholarships under Financial Aid.


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