Literary Arts


The Department in Literary Arts offers courses in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, digital & cross-disciplinary writing, and translation, as well as seminar courses in reading and writing about literature.

Students may choose to focus in a single genre, or may opt to work in two or more genres. For some students, cross-disciplinary work may incorporate music, visual art, or performance art. Department faculty encourage students to take workshops in various genres, and classes in other art forms in addition to writing.

Types of Classes

These workshops are designed for students who have little or no previous experience writing literary texts in a particular genre. Introductory workshops introduce students to a variety of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises, readings, and discussions.

These workshops are intended for students who have some experience in writing literary texts. Most sections require readings from published work in addition to writing exercises and workshop discussions of works-in-progress.

These classes provide students with a forum for extended practice in the art of creative writing. Most sections require extensive reading assignments as well as the writing and workshop discussion of significant projects in the genre.

Special topics workshops also provide a forum for extended practice of the art of writing, but within the context of a special topic that may focus on a particular genre or cross the boundaries of the genre. Some recent special topics have included American Political Drama, Electronic Writing, The Short Story, Innovative Narrative, The Novel in a Multicultural Context, and Plasticity in Playwriting.

These are lecture and seminar courses designed for students who have an interest in reading, researching and writing about literature. Some recent offerings have included Writing the World; Samuel Beckett; and History and Practice of English Versification; and Writers on Writing.

These courses offer tutorial instruction oriented toward a significant work-in-progress by the student. Independent Studies are typically taken by Honors candidates in their final or penultimate semester.

These workshops provide a forum for students who are working on thesis projects. Significantly reading and writing are required.

Additional Information

The undergraduate concentration in Literary Arts at Brown is designed to allow student writers to develop their skills in one or more genres while deepening their understanding of the craft of writing.
During the registration period, students may register for courses depending on certain factors —some are open based on class year, others on declared concentration.

After the Registration period, instructor permission is needed to gain entry/access to the waitlist. No one will receive such permission until lotteries are run on the first day of the semester — for spring 2024, lotteries will take place on Wed., 4 September.