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Writers who are dedicated to improving their craft in fiction, poetry, essays, memoir, plays or screenplays may aspire to make a living with their creative work; others have more than one passion and intend to make their living in other ways. Either way, the truth is, it can take time for even the most talented writers to see their work in print, and even longer to make a living as a novelist or writing for TV or movies. So career paths for creative writers vary widely--just look at our alumni featured here: Josh Boykin, gaming journalist, Gina DeAngelo, novelist and publisher, and Jim Harris, novelist and IT guru.
Students in the creative writing emphasis or minor often pursue careers in areas related to professional writing or editing. Others complete graduate degrees in creative writing and pursue college teaching. Still others work at a wide variety of jobs in order to gain life experience for their writing.
The skills developed in creative writing classes are valuable, at work and beyond: careful attention to language, creative thinking and problem solving, and the ability to talk productively with others about sensitive issues. Creative writing students at EIU have the opportunity to engage with our student-run literary magazine, The Vehicle, to compete in creative writing contests, to read their work, and to attend readings by the faculty and several visiting writers each year.
Creative writing students at EIU normally choose the emphasis in Creative Writing. Depending on their career plans, they may also add another emphasis or minor (often Professional Writing or a minor oriented to another specific career path). Others combine a minor in creative writing with majors as varied as political science or biology.
Alumni of EIU’s English Department are authors of published novels, stories, poems, essays, and more. Our alumni include faculty members in creative writing at colleges including Ohio State University. Recent graduates have pursued MFA degrees at colleges such as New York University and Sarah Lawrence College.