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Creative Writing

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

Determine Your Path

The study of creative writing is fundamental to many career fields from law to marketing to video game production. Many writers work as communication specialists or in technical fields. In addition to actively publishing creative work, writers are in high demand in teaching, higher education, editing, multimedia and web design, marketing, law, politics and business.

Find a Creative Writing Course

Whether you want to improve your creative writing skills or if you are planning to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate-granting institution, COD offers:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of writing and publishing experience. Creative Writing professors share decades of publishing experience and classes are grounded in the workshop model.
  • Opportunity to study poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, novel writing, nature writing and screenwriting.
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
  • Experience with actively producing creative work and revising work based on peer feedback.
  • Opportunity to work as part of the award winning literary journal, The Prairie Light Review.
  • Flexible course schedules with online, hybrid and face-to-face classes. 

College of DuPage is the first community college in Illinois to offer a certificate in creative writing. 

English/Creative Writing Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts

The English Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts enables students to choose their own path of study including Creative Writing, Film, Literature and Writing Studies and graduate with an Associate in Applied Science degree. This track helps provides a seamless transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution.

Creative Writing, Certificate

The Creative Writing, Certificate is designed for students who want to develop or enhance their creative writing skills and those interested in publishing creative writing pieces. It also serves students interested in transferring to baccalaureate institutions with undergraduate major and/or minor programs in Creative Writing. The program aligns with courses in the 2+2 articulation agreement in Creative Writing with Columbia College Chicago and Roosevelt University.

Beyond creative writers, the certificate provides an extra credential for those in the business, law, nursing, marketing and other writing-intensive careers. It also seeks to help students learn how to "tell the story" for a company or professional growth.

The certificate seeks to expose learners to a variety of creative writing genres, including poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, fiction, and screenwriting.

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.

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

Leslie's COD Story

COD Stories

Joey Weslo

“The classrooms are smaller and the professors can make a personal impact on you. They can help show you things you never imagined.” - Joey Weslo

Joey's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in Creative Writing is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

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

Express and Exchange Ideas in Creative Ways

  • 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.

Develop Critical Thinking Skills

  • 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.

Build Socially Responsible and Ethical Reasoning

  • 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.

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 traveled 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.

College of DuPage has several English transfer opportunities in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.

 

Events for Students Interested in Creative Writing

Students can get an idea of what it is like to be employed as a creative writer through the Creative Writing: On the Job Lecture Series as they learn how creative writing skills apply to career paths across multiple disciplines.

During the Writers Read Series, students have the opportunity to meet and listen to the work of a published author. Writers Read Series events are free and open to the public. 

 

Career Information

 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Creative Writing program.

While the first course in the sequence, Introduction to Creative Writing, does not have a prerequisite, the genre writing courses require a Reading Placement Test Score of Category 1.

Please also note that only students seeking an Associate in Arts along with the Creative Writing Certificate will qualify for financial aid. Students are encouraged to talk with Financial Aid to determine eligibility.

Courses in the Creative Writing Certificate incorporate employability skills, which include the following objectives:

  • Learn to value and express multiple perspectives and viewpoints.
  • Develop writing skills for self and global understanding.
  • Use language creatively.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intention and audience
  • Work collaboratively with others in group settings to improve content.
  • Create publishable texts through the process of invention, creation, and revision.
  • Apply terminology, practices, and theoretical methods associated with creative writing.
  • Analyze the writing market and select publishing options for texts.
  • Use communication skills developed in the program to participate in live events.

If you are unable to contact a faculty member, messages may be left with the Liberal Arts Division, Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2E06, (630) 942-2047.