Creative writing programs do more than prepare students to write the next bestselling novel – they build their research, editing, writing, and storytelling skills.
It trains students to delve deeper into an audience’s expectations so they can tell engaging and captivating stories. These skills can be applied to a variety of careers in today’s workforce.
As a creative writing major, you can bring a unique perspective and innovative ideas to industries such as marketing and digital media.
Your mastery of written language prepares you to entertain, inform, or persuade audiences based on your client’s needs.
Whether you choose to go freelance or work for a company, a creative writing major gives you a strong foundation to quickly adapt to and meet various client needs.
What Is Creative Writing?
Unlike academic or technical writing which focuses on telling, creative writing uses narrative prose to engage the audience’s senses. They evoke emotion through narrative imagery, metaphor, simile, and other storytelling techniques while telling a succinct story. Creative writing can be poetry, creative non-fiction, fiction, scripts, screenplays, and much more.
Creative writing programs help you hone your approach to storytelling through research, analysis, and critical review. You learn to cater each piece of writing to a specific audience to capture and retain their attention.
As a creative writing major, you can practice adopting new writing techniques into your original works as well as providing and receiving constructive feedback.
Depending on the school, creative writing programs may be split into different tracks such as:
- Creative non-fiction
Berry College’s Creative Writing program takes things a step further by exposing students to playwriting.
What Is the Difference Between English and Creative Writing Majors?
Both English and creative writing majors train you to use written language to suit your needs. However, each program takes a different approach to molding professional writers.
English majors often take a broader approach to literature than creative writing majors. As an English major, you’ll read works across a wide range of eras, genres, and cultures to understand how these works represent a writer’s respective era. You’ll write academic articles to critically analyze existing works rather than using them as inspiration to make original works.
Like creative writing majors, English majors have a strong background in analysis, research, and written communication. These skills can be adapted to suit a wide range of writing careers.
Creative writing majors focus more on synthesizing and applying traditional narrative elements to original works to create and tell a cohesive, engaging story. As a creative writing major, you’ll learn how to strengthen the work of other writers through constructive feedback and workshops.
You’ll spend most of your time creating original works and finding new ways to use language and apply literary elements to create a desired effect.
What Can You Do With a Creative Writing Degree?
Having a creative writing degree can prepare you for careers such as:
Content producers specializing in writing can write articles, blog posts, or newsletters for a specific brand. In this position, you’ll focus on informing, educating, or entertaining audiences on specific topics. You’ll strive to attract new customers and maintain a positive impression with existing ones.
In this role, you’ll write long-form pieces to build brand awareness and indirectly market a product or service. While these works may lead to sales, your primary goal is to build awareness by telling a story about the brand.
A background in creative writing prepares you to freely manipulate your knowledge of the audience and storytelling to simultaneously hook and captivate readers while telling a brand’s story.
Copywriters focus on promoting products or services to make a sale. As a copywriter, you may write advertisements, social media posts, emails, and more. You focus more on short-form pieces to quickly hook, inform, and persuade the audience.
Copywriters build upon the trust established by content writers to provide the final push audiences need to convert. You’ll use a mix of audience awareness, research, and product knowledge to simultaneously address and resolve a client’s problem. A background in creative writing deepens your understanding of audiences and their expectations. This prepares you to better adapt to various audiences, address their pain points, and evoke a desired response with each piece of copy you make.
Content managers can help establish a company’s brand and online presence. As a content manager, you’ll closely monitor web traffic, analyze competitors, and create content strategies to improve customer engagement and brand recognition. You’ll oversee the work handled by content producers and copywriters to ensure it properly represents the brand.
As a content manager, you may also create new campaign ideas to better capture the audience’s attention and persuade them to take a desired action. You’ll likely oversee a wide range of creatives such as:
- Graphic designers
- Web developers
Each campaign can be thought of as a new chapter in a brand’s story. As a content manager, you aim to ensure each part of the narrative seamlessly works together to push the campaign one step closer to its goal. You’ll work closely with design and marketing teams to ensure the creative being produced aligns with each campaign’s overall goal and message.
Having a background in creative writing helps you conceptualize each campaign’s overall message, tone, and approach to tell a cohesive brand story. This ensures each campaign provides unique and innovative perspectives on your client’s product, service, or brand.
Digital journalists operate in the fast-paced, dynamic world of online news and content. As a digital journalist, you’ll deliver news and information through articles, blog posts, social media updates, videos, and podcasts. You’ll also often interact with your audience in real-time.
Digital journalists source, research, and present content in a way that’s both captivating and accessible to your audience.
As a creative writing major, your mastery of research and storytelling prepares you to write accurate and engaging content. Your ability to provide constructive feedback can be invaluable in a digital newsroom setting where rapid revisions are often necessary. This allows you to quickly bring out the best in your coworkers and produce strong ideas for upcoming projects.
Creative writing degrees can help you build the tools to succeed in various writing-related fields. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, marketing companies will need to find new ways to reach their audience. By blending research, storytelling, and written communication with audience and product knowledge, you’ll be uniquely equipped to thrive in the new writing landscape.