Creative Writing at NC State

Majors and Minors


Don't tell anyone, but the most popular concentration in the English Department is Creative Writing. And don't let anyone tell you learning to write creatively and well renders you useless for the job market.  Direct mail, journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations, nonprofit fundraising, writing of textbook and software manuals, the civil service, the foreign service ... . Our undergraduates go on to make use of their talents in countless ways besides getting rich as a best-selling author, although that has happened too. Think you got what it takes to be a LCW (English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing)?  You can request the concentration your junior year.  Click here for the particulars of the major.  You can also minor in Creative Writing, too.  Click here for information about the minor.


MFA Program


​NC State offers an MFA in Creative Writing. Check out our faculty, contests and our reading series of visiting writers which is arguably the best in the South.  

Applications are accepted only for Fall admission. The deadline for admission with financial aid is February 1, but it's best to apply in December or early January. The application is online. We admit about ten students/year, in fiction and poetry, and provide stipends and health insurance. Allow yourself time to take the GRE exams, gather three letters of recommendation, and have the results by February 1 or earlier.

Creative Writing has had a strong reputation in the English Department at NC State, harkening back to earlier faculty members and renowned authors like Guy Owen, The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man; Lee Smith, On Agate Hill; The Devil’s Dream; Oral History; and Angela Davis-Gardner, Butterfly’s Child; Plum Wine. Our alumni include novelist Therese Fowler, Z: The Beginning of EverythingSouvenir; Reunion; short story writer Amy Knox Brown's (mostly) Nebraskan tales,Three Versions of the Truth; and novelist William Conescu, Being Written; and poets Noel Crook, Canyon; Jessica Sampley, Tuscaloosa to Tupelo ; and Michael Begnal, Ancestor Worship.


MFA Faculty


Our faculty have won Guggenheim, Lannan, and NEA fellowships, as well as nominations for the National Book Award, and many other awards including  the Nebula Award and a National Poetry Series Selection.

MFA faculty include poets John Balaban (Path, Crooked Path) and Dorianne Laux (Facts About the MoonThe Book of Men). Laux’s Poet’s Companion is used in writing programs across the U.S. In the science fiction genre, award-winning writer John Kessel is the author of The Baum Plan for FInancial Independence​​​​​​​, among other works. Short story and nonfiction writer Belle Boggs (Mattaponi Queen and The Art of Waiting) joins poet Eduardo C. Corral among our newest faculty.