Offering New York State's only comprehensive B.A. in writing, the Ithaca College Department of Writing encourages its majors to see the public implications of their craft and guides them to find their place in the world -- not only as writers but as citizens and professionals.

Whatever the genre, good writing does justice to a subject; and every subject, no matter how private, is embedded within a social context. We invite our majors, therefore, to connect to their world and to build a writing-centered community based on integrity and responsibility.

Blending theory and practice, our program seeks to foster clarity, invention, and expertise in various styles and genres. Students select from a diverse curriculum of 45 courses and may choose to concentrate in creative writing, nonfiction, feature writing, or professional writing. Whatever their interest, they will discover that crafting a technical report, magazine article, or grant proposal requires creativity, just as writing and publishing poetry and fiction demand an understanding of new technologies and markets.

To prepare students for graduate school, professional positions, and writing careers, we provide a range of opportunities for students:

  • publishing experience through writing and editing for our department’s literary journal, Stillwater, as well as the college’s newspaper and several magazines
  • monthly faculty-student readings at the Handwerker Gallery, an annual writing contest, and presentations at the college’s annual Whalen Symposium
  • small-group seminars reserved for our seniors as well as intensive master classes as part of our Distinguished Visiting Writers Series
  • career workshops to familiarize students with different professional options
  • local and national internships at publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, museums, theaters, public relations agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

These features reflect our department’s rich history and mission. Besides our unique major, we also instruct all entering students in first-year writing; house and staff the College’s writing center; offer a popular 21-credit minor for students in diverse disciplines; and support local organizations through community-based learning initiatives.

For current news about our department, visit our Facebook and Twitter sites.

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Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award Winner to Read on Campus
Ken Liu

Join us on Tuesday, March 19th at 6:00 pm in Clark Lounge, Campus Center for science fiction and fantasy author and translator Ken Liu, who will be presenting on and reading from his work. The event is free and open to everyone. Those requiring accommodation should contact Jack Wang at as soon as possible

Writing Major Wins Dean's Award
Picture of Elizabeth Charles

Elizabeth Charles ('18) has been selected as this year's outstanding graduate in the School of Humanities and Sciences for the Dean's Award. The achievement recognizes exceptional students in the four disciplinary areas each year. Elizabeth was nominated by faculty and staff to give a speech at the Writing Department's annual Senior Celebration. It can be read here.

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