Creative Writing Concentration

Students interested in Creative Writing may choose from courses in the writing of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, literary journalism, playwriting, and screenwriting. A special topics course, "Senior Seminar in Creative Writing," offers advanced students the option to explore such fields as the graphic novel, magic realism, experimental fiction, and research-based poetry, while an annual seminar course, "The Rachel Rivers-Coffey Colloquium," provides an opportunity for advanced students to work with nationally distinguished authors.

Creative Writing Concentration checksheets can be found here.

Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian State University. This position rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off-campus activities, and are featured annually in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. 

These courses are open to students of any major, however, English majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree have the option to pursue a Concentration in Creative Writing as part of their degree program. The Creative Writing program conducts scholarship competitions in poetry and prose each Fall, named for late faculty member and author John Foster West and in memory of local novelist Marian Coe; the spring competition alternates between poetry and prose and is endowed by the literary trust of author Truman Capote. Students may also apply in Fall semesters for the Whitener Scholarship, which is based on financial need, achievement in concentration courses, and program citizenship.

Students and other members of the university community are encouraged to attend readings and craft talks in the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series, which brings ten authors to campus each year.

Creative Writing Scholarships:

  • John Foster West Scholarship
  • Marian Coe Scholarship
  • Truman Capote Scholarship 
  • The Rogers and Janice Whitener Creative Writing Scholarship

Fall 2019 Creative Writing Scholarship Competition (for Spring 2020 Awards) 

Scholarship News! 

Amerity Head of Forest City, N.C., a rising senior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, has been awarded the 2019-2020 Truman Capote Literary Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing. Franklin Bogle of Gastonia, N.C., also a rising senior double majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, has been named this year’s runner-up. Novelist Abigail DeWitt, a past visiting professor of creative writing at Appalachian State, served as the final judge. 

The competition for the 2020-2021 Truman Capote scholarship will be in poetry. The deadline will be mid-March, with guidelines posted in February. The competition will be open to rising or continuing juniors or seniors concentrating in Creative Writing and majoring in English.