When classes for Fall Term begin on Sept. 9, Converse College will offer the state’s only bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in creative and professional writing.
The curriculum for the degree program has been designed to prepare students seeking careers as professional writers or in other literary professions such as public relations, journalism, publishing, law (for increased ability to analyze and critique), and editing.
“In many ways, this BFA program is a natural progression of the English major,” said Richard Mulkey, associate professor of English at Converse. “According to information released by the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for writers and editors is expected to increase by 21-35% through the year 2010.”
Participating students will receive training from visiting and distinguished writers as well as the award-winning permanent writing faculty already in place. Major requirements include 27 hours in writing, 12 hours in literature, and three hours in an additional art such as theatre playwriting or graphic design. In addition to offering professional, comprehensive, and rigorous training in the art of writing, the BFA will provide preparation for graduate study.
With a history of literary excellence, including a Pulitzer-Prize winning alumna (Julia Peterkin), Converse College is uniquely qualified in seizing upon a trend among college students who have expressed increasingly strong interest in a program such as the creative and professional writing degree program. Among the offerings of the Converse English Department are the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Visiting Writers Series in which Converse students interact with writers and scholars from a variety of genres; The Sara Lura Mathews Self Distinguished Writer-in-Residence program in which a distinguished visiting writer serves on the faculty for Winter Term and teaches a course that combines weekly one-on-one tutorials with a series of masterclass workshops; and study/travel programs designed to analyze international literature; and a student-edited literary magazine (Concept) that publishes original poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and art.