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Creative Writing Minor

Department of Literature and Language

Creative Writing Minor

Welcome to the website for the East Tennessee State University Minor in Creative Writing. 

We're pleased to offer students rigorous and diverse coursework in fiction and poetry, as well as a variety of electives in drama, creative nonfiction and screenwriting. Over the years we've been proud to host many great writers on campus, including Tayari Jones, Ron Rash, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, Cris Mazza, Li-Young Lee, Robert Bausch and many others.

The minor is open to students majoring in any discipline.  We will update this space regularly with news on events and opportunities in creative writing here at ETSU and across the region.

We have several scholarship opportunities available. Out-of-state creative writing students should check out our Creative Arts Scholarship. ETSU offers Fine & Performing Arts Scholarships for creative writers through the Honors College. More information can be found by following the links.

Feel free to browse through the website, and please contact the Director of the Creative Writing Minor, , if you have any questions. 

Anthology Reading

On November 14th, 2013, poets from across East Tennessee gathered at the Carroll Reece Museum, ETSU, to celebrate the release of The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume VI: Tennessee.



We are excited to announce the schedule for our spring creative writing festival. All Daytime Events in Reece Museum. Books by Guests Sold by ETSU Bookstore


Tuesday, April 10

10:00-10:45: Welcome and Introduction, Winners of Mockingbird Awards

11:00-11:45: New Fiction from ETSU, with Michael Cody and Felipe Fiuza


1:00-2:00: Fiction Writing Workshop, with Mark Powell

2:00-3:00: Poetry Writing Workshop, with Bianca Lynne Spriggs

3:00-4:00: Young Adult Writing Workshop, with Courtney Stevens


Wednesday, April 11

10:00-11:15: Public Reading and Q&A, with Mark Powell, Bianca Lynne Spriggs, and Courtney Stevens


12:30-1:30: Bianca Lynne Spriggs, Presentation on Poetry

1:30-2:30: Courtney Stevens, Presentation on Young Adult Writing

2:30-3:30: Mark Powell, Presentation on Fiction

3:30-4:30: Public Interview with Joy Harjo, conducted by Jesse Graves (in Reece)


7:30 PM: 6th Annual Jack Higgs Memorial Reading, Joy Harjo Reading and Book-signing, Culp Auditorium


Dr. Jesse Graves was recently awarded the Philip H. Freund Prize from Cornell University. His second poetry collection, Basin Ghosts, was published in 2014. Dr. Graves will receive the 2015 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers during the Southern Lit Alliance's Celebration of Southern Literature in Chattanooga from April 16-18. You can find out more about Dr. Graves’ work on his website.

Dr. Mark D. Baumgartner was awarded first prize in Fugue's Annual Writing Contest, judged by novelist Kevin Canty, for a novel chapter entitled "The Great Siwash Shoe War." The work is featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Fugue, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Over the past year Dr. Baumgartner's fiction has appeared in Confrontation and Yemassee. His short story, "Diamonds and Rust," was a finalist for Bellingham Review's Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, and appears in the Spring 2014 issue of the journal.

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