Creative Writing Concentration

Ada Limón
Each year Creative Writing faculty invite visiting writers to campus. United States Poet Laureate Ada Limón visited Tennessee Tech's English Department in 2022.


In the Creative Writing concentration, you'll combine courses in literary studies with those in expressive writing (fiction, poetry, and nonfiction). This concentration produces strong writers with a critical eye for detail and ability to excel in individual and collaborative environments. 

At Tennessee Tech we offer a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and an M.A. in English (Creative Writing). The catalog outlines the curriculum for this concentration.

Students from any major can complete our Certificate in Editing and Publishing.

We invite current Tennessee Tech undergraduate English Majors to consider our B.A./M.A. Fast Track Program in English.

> Career-Ready Skills
> Experiential Opportunities
> Awards and Accolades
> Accomplished Faculty and Alumni


Career-Ready Skills

  • Collaboration. Creative writers build their careers on the connections they make, and our concentration focuses on constructing communities among students and faculty during workshops.
  • Project Management. Creative writers take their work through multiple stages–combining idea generation with drafting and feedback with revision.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit. Writers are adept at thinking up new angles and pitching their work. You'll get help (and practice) doing these things in our program.

Skills like these transfer well to publishing, sales and marketing, publicity, advertising, copywriting, or nonprofit administration.

Experiential Opportunities

Tennessee Tech’s literary journal the Iris Review publishes poetry, fiction, and art from across our campus and community; it’s also mostly run by students in the Creative Writing concentration.

Under the Sun, an online journal of creative nonfiction based in Cookeville, selects creative writers as volunteers to work on their latest editions.

Also available to students are famous visiting writers invited to Tech through Center Stage. Majors in the concentration are invited to attend readings, workshops, and dinners with series guests.

We also have a dedicated Creative Writing Club, which offers a fun space for students to share work, engage with their imagination, and go on related trips, such as to the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville!


Awards and Accolades

Southern Literary Festival student winnersTennessee Tech is a member of the Southern Literary Festival (SLF), an annual conference that celebrates undergraduate writing. Our students may win prizes and travel with faculty to read their work, as they did in 2022.

The department also offers the The William W. Jenkins Creative Writing Scholarship and multiple prizes for creative writing.

Tennessee Tech’s creative writers have published in Bridge Literary Journal, Map Literary, Soundings East Literary Review, UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, and Wilderness House Literary Journal.


Accomplished Faculty and Alumni

Our faculty specialists in Creative Writing include Dr. Erin Hoover (poetry), Dr. Monic Ductan (fiction / creative nonfiction), and Dr. Ted Pelton (fiction). 

Below are selected publications of our alumni:

  • Jeff Baker (’95) is the author of Whoop and Shush, winner of the 2013 Idaho Prize for Poetry.
  • Hillary Martin (’16) has published poems in Glass: A Journal of Poetry and Feminine Collective.
  • Kristen Reid (’18) has published short stories in Broadswords and Blasters, Scare Street, Springer Mountain Press, The Horror Tree, and The Siren’s Call.
  • Anna B. Sutton (‘10) is the author of Savage Flower, winner of the 2019 Saint Lawrence Book Prize.

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