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Creative Writing

Program Description

Creative Writing at College of DuPage is a series of classes designed to help writers develop their creative range and hone their voice and technique. Creative Writing classes focus on the craft of writing, cover a diverse array of genres and explore a multitude of writing techniques. College of DuPage Creative Writing professors share decades of publishing experience and classes are grounded in the workshop model. Students are actively producing creative work and revising that work based on peer feedback. The Creative Writing program offers students the opportunity to study poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, novel writing, nature writing and screenwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work as part of the award winning literary journal, The Prairie Light Review.

Program Philosophy

We believe that the study of creative writing allows students to discover and unlock their creative potential, opening the door to authentic self expression and a deeper understanding of the world. Our student-centered approach to teaching and learning seeks to nurture talent and develop creative voice. The capacity for creative expression is key to personal, academic and professional success and fulfillment.

Program Outcomes

By studying Creative Writing at College of DuPage, students will:  

  • Use language creatively to achieve desired effects.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how your intention and audience guide creative choice.
  • Respond to the creative texts produced by classmates to both improve and support each author's work.

  • Analyze creative techniques used by published authors to improve your own creative technique.
  • Apply terminology, practices, and theoretical methods associated with creative writing.
  • Communicate your understanding complexity, nuance, and deep meaning in creative works.

  • Learn to value and express multiple perspectives and viewpoints by practicing the craft of creative writing.
  • Develop an awareness of how creative works help readers to learn about themselves and the world around them.

COD Stories

Leslie Morgan

“College of DuPage solidified my love for writing and applauded my drive to succeed. It took me a decade, but I learned how to dream as big as possible and if I fall down, to fight back." - Leslie Morgan

Read COD Story

Program Information

Deborah Adelman

  • PhD: New York University
  • MA: New School for Social Research
  • BA: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Adelman teaches film studies, fiction writing and composition. Her publications include short stories, essays and reviews. Her current research is in the environmental humanities -- ecocinema, sustainability, environmental justice and community resilience. Dr. Adelman also has a background in linguistics, language acquisition and Spanish, and has lived and travelled in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Dr. Adelman is an advocate for interdisciplinary learning and has team-taught with a colleague in Environmental Biology for more than two decades. She is co-founder and co-director of the COD Community Farm/Food Security Initiative and also co-director of the campus Sustainability Film and Discussion Series. Her classes often include: Fiction Writing ( 2251) Introduction to Creative Writing (2250) Film as Literature (1154) Introduction to Film Art (1135) and the seminar "Seed Soil and the Soul" which combines Film as Literature with Environmental Biology (Bio 1110) with a focus on world food and agriculture practices.

Tony Bowers

  • MFA: Columbia College Chicago
  • MA: National Louis University
  • BA: Columbia College Chicago

Tony Bowers is a published author and serves as the co-chair of the creative writing committee. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College and a Masters in Teaching from National Louis University. He is the 2006 recipient of the Follett Fellowship in Creative Writing and his short story collection On the Nine, was published by Vital Narrative Press in 2015. He is hard at work on his first novel, A Dollar Short.

Jason Snart

  • PhD: University of Florida
  • MA & BA: University of Alberta

Dr. Jason Snart is COD's English Department Chair of Literature, Creative Writing, and Film. He earned his MA in English with a specialization in creative writing from the University of Alberta and his PhD in Literature from the University of Florida. He has published a number of scholarly books, including The Torn Book (a study of the British Romantic era poet and artist William Blake), in addition to two books on blended learning (the combination of online and f2f teaching in the same course): Hybrid Learning and Making Hybrids Work. In addition to Snart's continuing research in the areas of online/blended writing instruction and course design, he regularly publishes poetry and fiction in various literary magazines. Professor Snart teaches a range of courses, including Intro to Creative Writing (Eng 2250), Poetry Writing (Eng 2252), and British Literature from 1800 through the Present (Eng 2221).

Trina Sotirakopulos (Sotira)

  • Master Online Teacher Certification: University of Illinois
  • MA: Northern Illinois University
  • BA: Columbia College Chicago

The author of In Her Skin: Growing Up Trans and co-editor of the two-time indie book award finalist Shifts: An Anthology of Women's Growth Through Change, Professor Sotirakopulos served as the advisor of COD's art and literary journal, The Prairie Light Review, for four years. She shares her knowledge of publishing and writing in both the online and face-to-face learning environments. Her courses include Introduction to Creative Writing (2250), Fiction Writing (2251), and Writing for Publication (2261), along with Honors Composition II (1102), where she uses social justice poetry to inspire academic research.

ENGLI 2250: Introduction to Creative Writing

Students discover and develop their writing talent in several genres, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and dramatic writing. Emphasis is on the workshop model in which students provide and receive input on works written for class. This course emphasizes the craft of writing with attention to brainstorming, drafting, and revising as important stages of the writing process. Through analysis of published works, and the production of their own original works, students learn to use language creatively to achieve desired effects. They further consider how intention and audience guide creative choices. Students will explore how creative writing allows for the expression of many multicultural perspectives and how creative works help writers and readers to learn about themselves and the world around them. (3 lecture hours)

  • Tuesday, Thursday 11:00AM - 12:15PM | Professor Tony Bowers
  • Tuesday 9:30AM - 10:45AM | Professor Trina Sotirakopulos
  • Monday, Wednesday 11:00AM - 11:50AM | Professor Jason Snart
  • NET (12 week) | Professor Trina Sotirakopulos  
  • NET (2nd 8 week) | Professor Deborah Adelman
  • Virtual Class Meetings - Tuesday 6:30PM - 9:20PM | Professor Tony Bowers

ENGLI 2251: Fiction Writing

Students discover and develop their fiction writing talent. Emphasis is on the workshop model in which students provide and receive input on fiction written for class. This course emphasizes the craft of fiction writing with attention to brainstorming, drafting, and revising as important stages of the writing process. Through analysis of published works of fiction, and the production of their own original works of fiction, students learn to use language creatively to achieve desired effects. They further consider how intention and audience guide creative choices. Students will explore how fiction writing allows for the expression of many multicultural perspectives and how creative works help writers and readers to learn about themselves and the world around them. (3 lecture hours)

  • Monday, Wednesday 1:00PM - 2:15PM | Professor Tony Bowers

ENGLI 2253 : Creative Nonfiction

Students discover and develop their writing talent in creative nonfiction. Emphasis is on the workshop model in which students provide and receive input on creative nonfiction written for class. This course emphasizes the craft of writing with attention to brainstorming, drafting, and revising as important stages of the writing process. Through analysis of published creative nonfiction, and the production of their own original creative nonfiction, students learn to use language creatively to achieve desired effects. They further consider how intention and audience guide creative choices. Students will explore how writing and reading creative nonfiction allows for the expression of many multicultural perspectives and how creative nonfiction helps writers and readers to learn about themselves and the world around them. (3 lecture hours)

  • Thursday 9:30AM - 10:45AM | Professor Trina Sotirakopulos  

ENGLI 2210
Literary Journal: Prairie Light Review

An experiential course that applies editorial and publication techniques to produce college district literary journal. Includes acquisitions, copy editing, and marketing aspects of publishing. This course may be taken four times for credit. (1 lecture hour, 2 lab hours)

Prerequisite: Course requires Reading Placement Test Score-Category One.

  • Thursday 1:00PM - 3:50PM | Professor Adam Fotos

ENGLI 2261 : Writing for Publication

This course teaches students how to analyze publishing markets and how to understand important aspects of publication, including query letters, agents, manuscript preparation, and marketing/promotion. As part of learning about how to publish creative work, students also hone their craft as creative writers, learning to use language creatively to achieve desired effects while considering how intention and audience guide creative choices. Students produce original work that is intended for particular publishing outlets. In developing original work for publication, students learn how creative writing allows for the expression of many multicultural perspectives and how creative works help writers and readers to learn about themselves and the world around them. (3 lecture hours)

Prerequisite: ENGLI 2210, ENGLI 2250, ENGLI 2251, ENGLI 2252, or ENGLI 2253 with a grade of C or better, or consent of instructor. Course requires Reading Placement Test Score Category 1.

  • NET (16 week) | Professor Trina Sotirakopulos

The study of creative writing is fundamental to many career fields from law to marketing to video game production. Many writers work as writers whether as communication specialists or in technical fields. In addition to actively publishing their creative work, writers are in high demand in many different career fields:

  • Teaching
  • Higher Education
  • Editing
  • Multimedia/web Design
  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Business

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking Creative Writing courses. As a writer, the classes have helped enhance my writing skills and overall help me better my craft.   

Vanessa JasekCOD Alumnus

English Department Chairs

Jill Salas
Chair of Developmental English

Tim Henningsen
Chair of Composition

Jason Snart
Chair of Literature, Creative Writing and Film