The Program in Creative Writing is located on the 6th floor of Helen C. White Hall, in room 6195. Stop by and talk to us!







In addition to the courses listed here, undergraduates can earn creative writing credit as staff members for UW-Madison's nationally distributed literary journal, The Madison Review

Contact Us

Undergraduate Coordinator Ron Kuka
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

phone: 608-263-3374
fax: 608-263-3709

Undergraduate Courses
& Registration

Below you will find a list of undergraduate courses offered in creative writing, with detailed information regarding the prerequisites and processes for enrolling. These are only general descriptions; individual instructors conduct their sections differently. For information about courses in our graduate program, see the MFA and PhD Minor pages of this website. Please note that the course numbering system and major requirements have changed, beginning Fall 2014. The requirements below are for the new major, though course number equivalencies to the old system have been noted. If you are confused about any of these requirements, please contact contact undergraduate creative writing program coordinator Ron Kuka at rfkuka@wisc.edu, or write to undergraduate advisor Karen Redfield at advisor@english.wisc.edu.

If you are having trouble enrolling in a Creative Writing course through “Student Center,” contact Ron Kuka at rfkuka@wisc.edu. Do NOT contact the Academic Advisor, Karen Redfield, about enrollment for a particular course; she is the person to speak with in order to declare your English major/Creative Writing option, or to guide you in your course work through the major.

Keep in mind that any creative writing course may be repeated for University credit any number of times. However, only creative writing courses numbered ENGL 400 or above (that's ENGL 301-307 under the old numbering system) may be repeated for credit toward the English Major with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. Students should not register for more than one creative writing class in any given semester without prior approval of Ron Kuka, the Program Coordinator. Ron Kuka can be reached at rfkuka@wisc.edu.

Although we do encourage creative writing emphasis students to take both prose and poetry workshops, you may take your three required workshops in a single genre. However, we strongly recommend that students not repeat the same course with the same instructor.

ENGL 207: Beginning Fiction & Poetry Workshop (formerly ENGL 203) is open only to freshmen and sophomores. In this course, students are taught the fundamental elements of craft in both fiction (plot, point of view, dialogue, and setting, etc.) and poetry (the image, the line, sound and meter, etc.). Please note that sophomore standing is determined by the number of credits you have completed, not the number of years you have been at the University.

ENGL 307: Intermediate Fiction & Poetry (formerly ENGL 300) is similar in structure to ENGL 207, but is open to any student with junior standing, or any student (including sophomores) who has completed ENGL 207. Students may register online. If all sections are closed, students may still apply by submitting a writing sample: a short story, creative essay, or three poems, accompanied by an application form available in the Creative Writing Office. Applications must be submitted in person to Ron Kuka in 6195-B Helen C. White Hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the Monday of the last week of classes in a semester. Stories and essays should be double-spaced and should not exceed 30 pages. Within one week of the application deadline, all applicants will be notified of their admissions status via email. Please contact Creative Writing Program Coordinator Ron Kuka at rfkuka@wisc.edu if you have any questions about this process.

ENGL 407: Nonfiction Workshop (formerly an ENGL 307 "Special Topics" course) is an intermediate workshop in creative nonfiction. Students must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) ENGL 207 (formerly ENGL 203) or in ENGL 307, 407, 408, 409, or 410 (formerly ENGL 300-307) as prerequisites for this course, and may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above.

ENGL 408: Fiction Workshop (formerly ENGL 301) is an intermediate workshop in fiction only. Students must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) ENGL 207 (formerly ENGL 203) or in ENGL 307, 407, 408, 409, or 410 (formerly ENGL 300-307) as prerequisites for this course, and may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above.

ENGL 409: Poetry Workshop (formerly ENGL 302) is an intermediate workshop in poetry only. Students must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) ENGL 207 (formerly ENGL 203) or in ENGL 307, 407, 408, 409, or 410 (formerly ENGL 300-307) as prerequisites for this course, and may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above.

ENGL 410: Playwriting Workshop (formerly an ENGL 307 "Special Topics" course) is an intermediate workshop in playwriting only. Students must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) ENGL 207 (formerly ENGL 203) or in ENGL 307, 407, 408, 409, or 410 (formerly ENGL 300-307) as prerequisites for this course, and may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above.

ENGL 508: Advanced Fiction Workshop (formerly ENGL 304) is offered intermittently, and is intended for students who have taken or are enrolled with good standing in ENGL 408 (formerly ENGL 301). Students who meet this prerequisite may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above. Please note: it is not necessary to take an advanced level workshop to graduate with an Emphasis in Creative Writing.

ENGL 509: Advanced Poetry Workshop is offered intermittently, and is intended for students who have taken or are enrolled with good standing in ENGL 409 (formerly ENGL 302). Students who meet this prerequisite may enroll online. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above. Please note: it is not necessary to take an advanced level workshop to graduate with an Emphasis in Creative Writing.

ENGL 511: Special Topics is offered intermittently and is intended for students who have completed an introductory or intermediate course in creative writing. Students who do not meet the requirements may submit a writing sample and application form (available in the creative writing suite) on the last Monday of classes, as detailed under "ENGL 307," above. Common topics include "African Amerian Poetics," "Poetic Forms," and subject-specific, theme-specific, or form-specific aspects of fiction or poetic craft.

ENGL 695: Directed Creative Writing is also known as the Creative Writing Thesis. To enroll in this class, you must be a senior who has completed 9 credits in creative writing at the 300 level or above, or who has received special permission from the Program Director, Ron Kuka. In this course, students meet one-on-one with a creative writing instructor every other week to complete 60+ pages of creative prose, 30+ pages of poetry, or a play or screenplay of comparable length. English 695 may not be taken concurrently with another creative writing class without prior approval of the Program Director. If you are a creative writing major in his or her final semester, but are not able to enroll for 695 online, please contact Ron Kuka, at rfkuka@wisc.edu.