Creative Writing at Marylhurst

Creative Writing at Marylhurst

Marylhurst University offers a popular Creative Writing program in Portland, with an alumni network of well-respected authors, poets and thought leaders. The creative writing program is a concentration within our broader B.A. in English Literature and Writing degree. This means you specialize in creative writing while benefiting from a liberal arts education in English literature and writing.

Earn your bachelor’s in English Literature and Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Now accepting inquiries for 2017.

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Creative Writing Curriculum

The Creative Writing program combines core courses in literature and writing with specialized workshops designed to refine professional creative writing skills. You will build critical experience in the creative writing process through exercises focused on the crafting, revising, editing and publishing of language.

Engage your problem solving and experimentation skills while writing across various literary genres and forms. Students explore contemporary trends in writing and digital media, while embracing the evergreen writing process that calls for multiple versions and critical review of written work.

Writing seminars are structured to emphasize poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, screenwriting, short prose forms and genre writing.

Exceptional Creative Writing Faculty

Marylhurst’s creative writing degree program continues to benefit from the support of faculty who are published authors, poets, philanthropists and thought leaders recognized both locally and nationally for their contributions to the literary arts.

Creative writing faculty include the recipients of acclaimed awards including the Farber First Book Award, 2015 Oregon Book Award and the Best American Essays Award among others. Their authored works have also been featured or nominated to lists managed by

The New York Times, The Oregonian, The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post and other nationally and internationally recognized publications.

See all Creative Writing faculty.

Emily Kendal Frey

Emily Kendal Frey  is the author of several chapbooks and chapbook collaborations, including FRANCES, AIRPORT, BAGUETTE, and THE NEW PLANET. THE GRIEF PERFORMANCE, her first full-length collection, won the Norma Farber First Book Award from The Poetry Society of America in 2012. Her second collection, SORROW ARROW, won the Oregon Book Award in 2015Read more… 

Jay Ponteri, Marylhurst University

Jay Ponteri

Jay Ponteri directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Marylhurst University and show:tell, The Workshop for Teen Writers & Artists. He is the founding editor of both the online literary magazine M Review and HABIT Books, a publisher of prose and poetry chapbooks. His memoir, Wedlocked, published by Hawthorne Books in April 2013, won an Oregon Book Award. His chapbook of short prose, Darkmouth Strikes Again, was published by Future Tense Books, summer 2013. Read more… 

Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber is the author of a memoir, Community Chest, and the story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Natalie teaches fiction and the personal essay at Marylhurst University. Read more… 

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Featured Creative Writing Alumni

Alumni of Marylhurst’s Creative Writing program continue to influence the literature and writing community in Portland and beyond. Here are a few Marylhurst graduates who are active voices within the local creative writing and arts scene:

Jenny M. Chu – Write Around Portland

After earning a bachelor’s in English from Marylhurst in 2008, Jenny pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco ‘12. Since then, Jenny has worked in Development & Marketing for Literary Arts and now serves as Program Coordinator for Write Around Portland – a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing lives and building community through writing. Jenny is currently serving on the core committee of AWE: Arts Workers for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Portland, Oregon, is on the board of PICA, and runs a small submission-based literary apparel line called BACKWORDS Press. Read more.

Rebecca Jamieson – Peace in Schools

After transferring from Portland State University, Rebecca Jamieson studied writing, mindfulness, and psychology to earn a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University. Immediately following graduation, Rebecca received an offer to work for Peace in Schools, a non-profit teaching meditation in Portland Public Schools. Rebecca has continued to pursue her passion for poetry with her latest collection of poems, The Body of All Things, scheduled for release in March 2017.

Russell Meyer – Swift Agency

Russell graduated from Marylhurst in 2004 with a degree in English Literature and Writing. Following graduation, Russ has served as a Senior Content Strategist at the marketing agency Babcock & Jenkins, working with iconic names in tech (IBM, Google, Xerox, Adobe). Today, Russ is an Associate Creative Director at Swift Agency, a strategic creative agency in Portland, working with some of the biggest brands in the world.

Creative Writing Events & Publications

Marylhurst Reading Series

The annual Marylhurst Reading Series has earned a reputation among students, alumni and community members for welcoming a diverse group of esteemed writers and thinkers to campus. Through readings, visiting authors share their love of language and unique insights into contemporary culture. Marylhurst students earning a B.A. in English Literature and Writing are often given the chance to learn directly from visiting authors as they share their experience and craft as guest teachers.

Past authors include Darcie Dennigan, Matthew Dickman, Jenny Boully, Dorothea Lasky, Sarah Manguso and Karen Russell.

In 2017, Marylhurst’s English Literature and Writing program will host authors and poets including Matt Hart, Darius Kazemi & Stephanie Adams-Santos, Brian Blanchfield, Danielle Deulen & Chloe Caldwell.

All readings are free and open to the public. View a schedule of readings.

M Review – Student Managed Publication

M Review is an online literary magazine managed by the faculty and students of Marylhurst University’s English Literature and Writing program. Discover poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, literary criticism, visual art and photography within the online publication. Marylhurst creative writing students enjoy work as Associate Editors for the M Review and benefit from the hands-on experience the role provides. The publication encompasses literary work from around the world with an emphasis on showcasing the literary innovation of Marylhurst University students and alumni.

» M Review Current Issue

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