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Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Writing Department

Mission of the Department

  1. Through innovative and cutting-edge writing programs engage students in writing as a process of making form and meaning. Emphasis on the minutia and vagaries of the writing process; writing as a key to critical thinking; the aesthetical and rhetorical dimensions of texts; the development of style, voice and attunement to genre–all elements involved in the creation of high quality imaginative and factual texts.
  2. Make WestConn a community of writers with department members available as advisors and consultants with other departments to foster genuine writing across the curriculum. Play a key role in general education–preparing students to integrate writing in their chosen fields and to exercise a lifelong confidence in their ability to write.
  3. Maintain, enhance and develop innovative, vibrant graduate programs in writing.
  4. Train graduate students to teach writing.
  5. Train professional writing majors for work in business, publishing in all its facets, and teaching.
  6. Create synergies among all levels of the Writing Department curriculum–from basic (first-year) writing through the graduate level (M.A. and M.F.A.)
  7. Immerse students in the wealth of professional writing activities and talent in the region.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Writing Majors Will:

  1. Demonstrate strong critical thinking skills through writing for a variety of audiences, purposes, and situations.

  2. Demonstrate an extensive ability to identify, assess, and perform–in both academic and professional settings–the types of writing for the chosen area of focus, such as creative writing, professional writing, and journalism.
  3. Demonstrate a working ability to identify and perform types of writing outside of the specific area of focus.
  4. Produce a senior portfolio that demonstrates an increasing level of professionalism in writing in terms of choice of topic, application of style, and ability to produce error-free texts.

NARRATIVE

The Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process positions WestConn as the writing university within the CSU system and capitalizes on the university’s regional advantage in author-rich Fairfield and Litchfield counties. Located just 60 miles north of New York City, WestConn is quickly becoming a center for access to the arts, including the literary arts. Recent visiting writers to the department include Leslie Jamison, Gay Talese, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Francine Prose, Frank DeFord, Victoria Chang, Sean Thomas Dougherty, John Katzenbach, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

WestConn is the first university to offer an integrated Writing Department in the state of Connecticut. The MFA in Creative and Professional Writing (the first program of its kind) and the undergraduate Professional Writing Program both emphasize the synthesis of the creative writing such as poetry, fiction, and playwriting and “practical” writing such as business and public relations, and journalism.

Western’s writing major has always stressed writing as a process and creative process. This philosophical and pedagogical approach has been highly successful, as the dramatic 87% success rate (employment or publication within two years) of MFA alumni suggests.

Faculty members of the department see themselves as writers among writers and work closely with students at all stages of their writing development. Small class sizes and a culture of collaboration and community welcome students into an environment that nurtures and develops their talents and interests. Starting in Fall 2020, the department looks forward to building further on that sense of community in our new Writers’ Studio courses, a 3-course sequence that brings the majority of all Writing majors together for communal learning, visits with guest writers and editors, discussion panels, and hands-on learning in mini-workshops and student publications.

The Composition program is an integral component of this department with faculty members committed to taking the lead in writing instruction across the university in general and for first-year students in particular. The department also delivers a variety of courses for or in collaboration with other entities on campus, including the Theatre Department, the Justice and Law Administration program, and the Ancell School of Business.