Writing and Literature

Offering a full curriculum in all genres of creative writing


Students at Prescott College may pursue a BFA in Creative Writing, or BA Competences in Writing and Literature or Creative Writing.  Within their BA competence areas, students may also designate an area of emphasis—such as Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, or Journalism.  In this hands-on, interdisciplinary area of study, students work with our faculty of published writers to hone their creative and critical writing skills. In creative writing workshops, students generate original poems, stories, and essays, and in addition to learning to give and receive constructive criticism, they learn to use feedback to polish their work. In literature courses, students explore both classic and contemporary American works as well as works from other cultures. All of our writing and literature courses encourage students to become careful readers and informed writers, able to effectively analyze and synthesize material, able to appreciate diversity, and able to engage in discourse with the wider world community. In practicum courses—courses in which students work on the staffs our award-winning national literary journal or regional newspaper, or serve the community through teaching assistantships or internships—students get professional experience in writing, editing, and teaching. These experiences allow students to further explore their passions, refine their skills, and apply their knowledge in preparation for future work and study.

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 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.


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 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 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


See All >

  • Emily Rolando

    Emily graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in leadership and outdoor programming. She holds a minor in business. After ...    Learn more >

  • Wanda Peters 1980

    Do what you are passionate about, take the time to figure out what gives you the most joy and satisfaction, and do work that is in line with what ...    Learn more >

  • Josephine Arader

    Josephine Arader, no doubt, took inspiration from her father Graham's devotion to the art of the natural world. ...    Learn more >

  • Dillon Metcalfe (Kelly Megan Stack Scholarship Recipient)

    Kelly Megan Stack Scholar, Dillon Metcalfe finished high school in2004 and decided to take a break to examine his interests in and ...    Learn more >

  • David Meeks

    Several years ago David and his siblings visited the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies on the Gulf Coast of ...    Learn more >

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