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Northwest Missouri State University


Writing: Creative Writing and Publishing

The Writing program at Northwest provides professional training without an expiration date; our bachelor’s degrees in writing are liberal-arts programs that prepare students for their first jobs after college and every job thereafter.

Many writing programs, at universities across the county, are oriented vocationally—around a career in journalism, for instance—or by type: creative writing, professional or technical writing.

Writing at Northwest is different.

Students in Northwest’s writing majors work across the spectrum of writing studies, from writing professional reports to poems. Writing majors at Northwest gain experience in rhetoric and creative writing, professional writing and publishing. Students benefit from a diverse faculty with expertise in composition and rhetoric, creative writing, publishing, linguistics, and professional writing.

We go for breadth and depth. So coursework in the writing program, too, is intentionally varied: a course in rhetoric, a course in writing in the digital age, or an advanced creative writing course on writing your memoir or novel, just to name a few. We’ve designed majors in writing that support and challenge students to grow into flexible, effective, communicative writers.

Northwest’s writing majors are like cross-training for the intellect. And having an adaptable, strong mind for writing pays dividends, professionally. Students who fear iambic pentameter or the ghazal will be asked to try, with guidance and support. Likewise, poets will practice the skills of workplace-oriented writing. When employers make hiring decisions, they seek smart people who write well. And graduate and professional schools, from law to creative writing, from business to renaissance literature, are still telling us to send on our best, our brightest—especially those students who can think and write well.

Writing well, we think, means writing a lot, writing in different genres, getting all the support and encouragement and meaningful critique possible, and being put in academic situations where growth—as an artist, scholar, professional, and citizen—happens.

Professional-Based Learning

GreenTower Press is a small press supported by the department, and managed by two faculty members. GreenTower Press publishes a highly lauded literary magazine, The Laurel Review. Each term, student interns gain professional publishing experience with GreenTower Press and The Laurel Review. Students work as editors-in-training at The Laurel Review, where they read, judge and edit manuscripts for publication.

Internships

Although internships are not required with the English major, they are highly encouraged. Interns have worked with the following organizations:
GreenTower Press (Northwest campus)
KZLX radio station (Northwest campus)
Grant coordinator (Northwest campus)
Northwest Missourian (student newspaper)
Tower yearbook
Better Homes and Gardens
Nodaway County Historical Society
A to Z Communications