At Calvin, we believe that all good writing leads to truth. Learn what it means to be a Christian writer through a writing major or minor.

Overview

Combine great literature courses with specialized writing courses and get a major that will help you become a versatile wordsmith. Learn to write for magazines, the Web, newspapers, books, and more. Experienced, award-winning professors will serve as mentors as you hone your craft.

Careers in English - Writing

  • publisher
  • journalist
  • editor
  • proofreader
  • investigator
  • reporter
  • social media strategist
  • web content strategist
  • paralegal

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Study abroad in England, Hungary, Ghana or New England; Participate in biannual, department-wide retreats; Write or help to coordinate Chimes or Dialogue; Attend the Festival of Faith and Writing; Volunteer to help out with the Festivals of Youth Writing.

Course Requirements 2013-14

Writing major

(36 semester hours)

  • ENGL-295 Introduction to Studies in English (prerequisite for all-300-level literature courses)
  • ENGL-260 The Craft of Writing
  • One from
  • Two from
    • ENGL-360 Creative Nonfiction
    • ENGL-362 Creative Writing - poetry
    • ENGL-362 Creative Writing - fiction (may take both fiction and poetry)
    • ENGL-365 Writing in Digital Environments
  • One from
    • ENGL-261 Academic and Professional Writing
    • ENGL-373 Stylistics and Discourse Analysis
    • ENGL W48 Revising for Publication interim
  • One from
    • ENGL-200 Literature in a Global Context
    • ENGL-202 Russian Literature
    • ENGL-212 Survey of British Literature I
    • ENGL-213 Survey of British Literature II
    • ENGL-214 Survey of British Literature III
    • ENGL-220 Survey of American Literature I
    • ENGL-221 Survey of American Literature II
    • ENGL-225 African American Literature
    • ENGL-226 Ethnicity in American Literature
    • ENGL-230 Understanding Literature
    • ENGL-234 Gender and Literature
    • ENGL-238 Film as a Narrative Art
    • ENGL-300 Advanced World Literature
    • ENGL-310 British Literature of the Middle Ages
    • ENGL-311 British Literature of the Sixteenth Century
    • ENGL-312 British Literature of the Seventeenth Century
    • ENGL-313 British Literature of the Eighteenth Century
    • ENGL-314 British Literature of the Early Nineteenth Century
    • ENGL-315 British Literature of the Middle and Later NineteenthCentury
    • ENGL-316 British Modernism
    • ENGL-317 Comtemporary British and Commonwealth Literature
    • ENGL-320 Literature of the United States I: Settlement to Civil War
    • ENGL-321 Literature of the United States II: Civil War to Great Depression
    • ENGL-322 Literature of the United States III: WW2 to the Present
    • ENGL-332 The Novel
    • ENGL-333 Poetry
    • ENGL-334 Drama
    • ENGL-335 Genre Study
    • ENGL-337 Major Authors
    • ENGL-338 Shakespeare
    • ENGL-340 Children's Literature
    • ENGL-341 Adolescent Literature
  • One from ENGL 310-322, 337, or-338 (see above)
  • One from
    • ENGL 300-322, 332-341 (see above)
    • ENGL-370 Linguitics
    • ENGL-371 History of the English Language
    • ENGL-372 Sociolinguistics and Issues in Language Education
    • ENGL-373 Stylistics and Discourse Analysis
    • ENGL-374 English Grammar
    • ENGL-375 Grammar for Teachers of ESL
  • One from
    • ENGL 300-322, 332-341 (see above)
    • CAS-200 Advanced Oral Rhetoric
    • CAS-211 Argumentation and Advocacy
    • CAS-305 Persuasion and Propaganda
    • CAS-318 American Politics & Mass Media
    • CAS-327 Rhetorical Criticism
  • One from
  • ENGL-395 Senior Seminar
Only one interim may count toward the major

Writing minor

(21 semester hours)
  • ENGL-260 The Craft of Writing
  • One from
    • ENGL-360 Creative Nonfiction
    • ENGL-362 Creative Writing - poetry
    • ENGL-362 Creative Writing - fiction (may take both fiction and poetry)
    • ENGL-365 Writing in Digital Environments
  • One from
  • One from English 200-238 (see above)
  • Two from
    • ENGL-261 Academic and Professional Writing
    • ENGL 262-266 (see above)
    • ENGL-360 Creative Nonfiction
    • ENGL-362 Creative Writing poetry or fiction
    • ENGL-380 Internship in Journalism and Publishing
    • approved English interim
  • One course chosen in consultation with advisor

Only one interim may count toward the minor

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Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2013-14 academic year.

George G. Harper Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,300
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required; U.S. African American minority student
  • automatic consideration
Reverend Bernard Haven Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,600
  • first-year
  • HS GPA 3.0+
  • financial need considered; child of missionary
  • submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calvin.edu) describing your qualifications by February 1
Winifred Holkeboer Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,800
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need not required
  • apply through the English department
Kenneth and Lillian Kuiper Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,300
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need considered
  • apply through the English department
Helen Hoogland Meulink Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • junior or senior
  • financial need required; secondary education; preference to an English major
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
William and Matilda Monsma Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior, or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required; preference to students from the South Chicago area
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Schemper-Kamp Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; demonstrate a Christian perspective in writing
  • apply through the English department
Henrietta Ten Harmsel English Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,800
  • sophomore or junior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need not required; show an enthusiasm and love for reading and writing
  • apply through the English department
Richard R. and Kathleen J. Tiemersma Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,800
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.3+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the English department
Steve J. and Viola Van Der Weele Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,950
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; interest in English language and literature; demonstrate an ability to integrate faith and learning
  • apply through the English department
William E. and Margaret J. Van Wienen Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • junior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required; have an interest and be active in community involvement projects
  • apply through the English department
Clarence and Janice Walhout Scholarship
Henry and Mildred Zylstra Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,400
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.5+
  • financial need considered; planning to attend graduate school in literature or language within five years following graduation
  • apply through the English department
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

Megan Berglund

Megan Berglund
Adjunct, English
Manager of Grant Proposals
Department of English
YC 111
meb8@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8632

Donald Hettinga

Donald Hettinga
Professor
Department of English
CFAC 274
hett@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6520

Nancy Hull

Nancy Hull
Assistant Professor
Department of English
CFAC 286
nhull@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6728

Lew Klatt

Lew Klatt
Associate Professor, on leave spring 2013
Department of English
CFAC 296
lsk4@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7530

Shelly LeMahieu Dunn

Shelly LeMahieu Dunn
Director of Festival of Faith and Writing
Department of English
mld5@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8720

Sara Mulder

Sara Mulder
Instructor
Department of English
CFAC 275
sjm33@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7830

Debra Rienstra

Debra Rienstra
Professor
Department of English
CFAC 270
drienstr@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8526

Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt
Professor, on leave spring 2013
Department of English
CFAC 287
schg@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6540

John Timmerman

John Timmerman
Professor
Department of English
CFAC 291
timm@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6560

Dean Ward

Dean Ward
Professor
Department of English
CFAC 269
ward@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6139

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams
Assistant Professor
Department of English
CFAC 276
jlw28@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8515

Talk to us

Elizabeth Vander Lei Elizabeth Vander Lei
Department Co-Chair
department co-chair
Department of English
CFAC 273
bvlei@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6434

Dean Ward Dean Ward
Department Co-Chair
Department of English
CFAC 269
ward@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6139

Admissions

Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

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In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in English - Writing as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Karen Saupe for more information about teacher certification in English

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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