St. Olaf offers a new creative writing major – St. Olaf College

St. Olaf offers a new creative writing major

Many St. Olaf College graduates have gone on to successful careers as authors and writers, from best-selling novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt ’77 to thriller series writers PJ and Traci Lambrecht ’89. And Oles continues to leave his mark: Kaia Solveig Preus ’13 was a Minnesota Book Award finalist for his work The Requiem of War and Taylor Broby ’10 recently gained national attention for his memoir boys and oilincluding an New York Times criticizes calling it a “truly brilliant” and “appallingly relevant” memoir.

Starting this year, St. Olaf students have the opportunity to pursue a major in creative writing.

The new major, offered by the English Department, will prepare students to become skilled writers in a wide variety of literary genres and disciplines. It’s a great option for students who want to write, whether it’s poetry, fiction, screenwriting or a field like journalism, says Jon Naito, associate professor of English and director of the department.

“Talented writers are also in high demand in business, the nonprofit sector and many other fields,” he says. “I would also add that creative writing, like English, is a strong liberal arts major and as such provides students with a flexible and well-rounded education that applies to a variety of futures in business, education, law, politics, medicine – just about anything you can imagine.

Talented writers are also in high demand in business, the nonprofit sector, and many other fields. I would also add that creative writing, like English, is a strong liberal arts major and as such provides students with a flexible and well-rounded education that applies to a variety of futures in business, education, law, politics, medicine – just about anything imaginable.Associate Professor of English Jon Naito

The English department previously offered a Standard English major and a Modified English major for students who want to earn a teaching license, but the idea of ​​establishing a more solid path for students who want to explore writing creativity has been part of faculty discussions for at least a decade. When the English Department conducted its last program review in 2018, one of the key recommendations from external reviewers was to create a creative writing major – and faculty members began planning to make it happen. .

The new major offers courses in fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing, fantasy and science fiction writing, and screenwriting. Students have the opportunity to work with talented teachers such as Associate Professor of English Sequoia Nagamatsu, whose most recent novel is a national bestseller that was named New York Times Editor’s Choice, and English teacher Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, a award-winning poet.

Naito says it’s important to note that creative writing classes are open to all students, not just creative writing or English majors.

“We’ve always had aspiring creative writers who opted to major in another department while taking multiple creative writing courses,” says Naito.