Information for Current Creative Writing Students | Department of English

Information for Current Creative Writing Students

The English Department Graduate Office is the best source for general information about graduate work at UNT. For issues specific to creative writing, refer to the information below. If you have further questions about creative writing, ask the Director of Creative Writing or your thesis/dissertation director.

Expectations for Students Beyond the Catalog Requirements
M.A. and Ph.D. students should take at least workshop outside of their genre.

Ph.D. students are expected to at least three workshops in their own genre.

Both M.A. and Ph.D. students are expected to take Form and Theory, preferably in the genre in which they are earning their degrees.

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom
We believe your education as a writer continues outside of workshops and literature courses, and so we encourage you to participate in the larger literary life of our department. You should attend the Visiting Writers Series events, even those outside your genre. You should also read your own work in the Graduate Student Reading Series. And working with American Literary Review and North Texas Review will give you the chance to gain editing experience as well as a fuller understanding of literary publishing.

Teaching English 2100 (Introduction to Creative Writing) and 3000-level Workshops
ENGL 2100 is a multi-genre, non-majors creative writing class taught by teaching fellows. You may apply to teach a section of this course in the coming academic year during the spring semester. If you're selected, you will be assigned a faculty mentor who will offer advice on designing and teaching the course and who will observe you in the classroom. Students who have previously taught 2100 can apply to teach a 3000-level workshop in their genre of focus.

Ph.D. Exams for Creative Writers
In consultation with your committee, you will create reading lists for your exams. Your primary exam should cover significant writers and works in your genre and should do so with some historical depth.

We recommend that your secondary exam cover a reading list useful for your dissertation project, especially works that will feed your preface.

Creating a Thesis/Dissertation Committee
Your committee should include two creative writing faculty members who work in your genre and a third member from outside your area, preferably from literature or composition and rhetoric. Begin by asking the person you'd like to direct your thesis or dissertation. Your director can help you determine the rest of your committee. Especially when looking for your third member, consider professors who know you and are familiar with your academic work.

Creative Thesis/Dissertation
The final requirement for writers pursuing the M.A. or Ph.D. degrees is a creative thesis or dissertation. The thesis/dissertation is composed of two parts:

1. A manuscript of creative work in the student's genre written while in the program--a collection of essays, stories or poems, or a more sustained work of fiction or nonfiction. For the thesis, we expect a manuscript that approximates a chapbook (30 pages poetry, five to six stories or essays, a novella). For the dissertation, we expect the manuscript to be book-length (48-75 pages of poetry, 200-300 pages of prose).

2. A critical preface (15-20 pages for the thesis, 20-25 for the dissertation) that locates the student's work in the larger literary tradition. The preface usually discusses some aspect of craft or subject matter that the student finds in her own writing. While the preface should be analytical and argument-based, demonstrating a familiarity with literary history and scholarship, it should also focus on how literary works are made. Ultimately, the preface should be written from the perspective of a practicing writer.

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