Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Program at U of  L offers a variety of creative writing courses covering the major genres of poetry, fiction, drama and creative nonfiction at the graduate and undergraduate level.

At the graduate level, we offer an MA in Creative Writing where students have a thesis or a non-thesis option.

The program hosts several visiting writers each semester through the Anne & William Axton reading series. In addition to the popular public reading given by each writer, the series affords students an opportunity to have their work read and critiqued in master classes led by these distinguished fiction writers, poets, and playwrights. Recent visiting writers include Robert Pinsky, Stuart Dybeck, George Saunders, Kim Edwards, Maureen Howard, Colson Whitehead, Galway Kinnell, Edmund White, Cleopatra Mathis and Erin Belieu.  See the 2007-2008 Axton reading schedule.

Graduate students can apply for one of two Axton Teaching Assistantships available every two years. In addition to valuable teaching experience, Axton TA's assist the Director of Creative Writing in coordinating the reading series. The search for Axton Fellows is currently closed.

The program also sponsors an annual Creative Writing contest, and distributes more than $20,000 in creative writing scholarships annually among exceptional students.

Creative Writing Scholarships
Creative Writing Contests

For more information, contact Paul Griner, Director of Creative Writing, at

Below are biographies of some of the Creative Writing scholars teaching in the English Department:

Paul Griner

Director of Creative Writing and a former Fulbright Scholar, Paul Griner is the author of the short story collection Follow Me and the novel Collectors . His work has been published in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Southeast Review, Story, Playboy, Bomb, Glimmer Train, Airwest, Zoetrope, The Telegraph of India, and other magazines, journals, and anthologies, and translated into a half dozen languages. He has a BA in History from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard, and an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

Brian Leung
Brian Leung was born and raised in San Diego County. His short story collection, World Famous Love Acts, won the Mary McCarthy Award in Short Fiction and the Asian American Literary Award for fiction. Brian? s fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Story, Crazyhorse, Grain, Gulf Coast, Kinesis, Mid-American Review, Salt Hill, Gulf Stream, River City, Runes, The Bellingham Review, The Connecticut Review, Indiana Review, and Crowd, Blithe House Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review. In May 2007 Crown will publish his novel, Lost Men under the Shaye Areheart literary imprint.

Estella Conwill Majozo

Estella Conwill Majozo is a Professor of English at the University of Louisville. Her books include Jiva Telling Rites (Third World Press, 1991); Libation: A Literary Pilgrimage through the African American Soul (Harlem River Press, 1991); Come Out the Wilderness: Memoir by a Black Woman Artist (The Feminist Press at CUNY, 1999); and Middle Passage: 105 Days (Africa World Press, 2002).  Her plays include Freedom Clothes: The Saga of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn on the Underground Railroad (Kentucky Heritage Council/Kentucky African Heritage Commission Grant 2002); and Ringshout the Rout,e which has been developed into a National Rite of Initiation into African American Culture.  Her commissioned public art monuments (with her Brother, Houston Conwill, and architect Joseph DePace) include Revelation: Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Memorial at Yerba Buena Garden, San Francisco (cited by  Ebony Magazine as the most unique of all the King Monuments); Rivers: Langston Hughes Memorial at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture--a Cosmogram under which lies the ashes of poet, Langston Hughes (recognized by the Excellence in Design Award, Art Commission of New York);  The Stations Project at The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University (selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of the best projects in the nation 1993);  and The New Ringshout: Memorial Tribute to African Burial Ground in the Federal Building, New York City. Honors also include ?Salute to the Seven Sisters, Pleiades Award? (2006); J. T. Stewart Literary Award at Hedgebrook (2000 ).  Distinguished Alumni Fellow, University of Louisville, (1999).

Sena Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended public schools and received the B.A. from Birmingham-Southem College. She has also lived in Louisiana, West Virginia, and California. She received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of the novel Four Spirits, the national bestseller Ahab's Wife and the short-story collection The Disobedience of Water. Her short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and many other journals. For twelve years, she directed the Creative Writing Program at the University of Louisville, where she teaches and holds the title Visiting Writer. She is coeditor of the literary magazine The Literary Review and the Fleur-deLis Press at Spalding University, and has taught at the University of Montana and Indiana University. A recipient of the Harper Lee Award and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council, she lives in Louisville with her husband, John C. Morrison, an atomic physicist.

Jeffrey Skinner

Author of Salt Water Amnesia (Ausable Press, September 1, 2005) and coeditor of Passing the Word: Writers on Their Mentors (Sarabande Books, 2001), Jeff Skinner is a former Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville. He is Chair of Sarabande Books' Board of Directors. His published collections of poetry include Gender Studies (Miami University Press, 2002), The Company of Heaven (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992), Late Stars (Wesleyan University Press, 1985), and A Guide To Forgetting (Graywolff Press, 1988), which was a National Poetry Series selection. He is the recipient of grants from the National endowment for the Arts, the Howard Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Kentucky Council For the Arts. His poems have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The Nation, and The Georgia Review.

Bronwyn T. Williams

I teach and write creative nonfiction as well as courses in literacy and teaching writing (and I am no relation to the romance novelists who use my name as a pseudonym). In addition to teaching the art and craft of creative nonfiction, I am interested in how the genre is transforming other genres such as scholarly writing and fiction, and what ethical questions it raises for both writers and teachers of the genre. All of my writing, including my research, involves elements of creative nonfiction. My recent creative nonfiction includes work for a special issue of College English devoted to the writing and teaching of creative nonfiction; an edited collection titled Identity Papers: Literacy and Power in Higher Education in which the writers combine memoir, narrative, research, and theory to explore issues of literacy and identity; and a regular column for the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. I have a master's in Creative Writing and a PhD in Composition Studies from the University of New Hampshire. Before returning to teaching I worked in journalism for newspapers, magazines, and public radio.

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