Kaitlin Jacobson's poem "crooked smile"” won the 23rd annual Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award at Augustana.
How literature and writing engage the world.
While a liberal arts education is good for any field requiring communication skills, critical thinking and creative problem-solving, English majors and writers can do it better.
Why? Your communication skills will be more fluent, persuasive and precise. Your ability to find solutions will stem from close observation using multiple perspectives, and asking deeper, more interesting questions. And your creative thinking? Exactly.
At Augustana, you may choose a major or minor in English or creative writing, or a major in teaching English. Expressing your ideas and engaging other viewpoints in small class discussions and workshops, you’ll know your professors and other students well, and they’ll know you.
All English courses are writing intensive, because writing is good for thinking, just as thinking is good for writing. The creative writing program is built almost entirely on writing workshops, while other colleges might include only one or two.
Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.
Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.
Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.
Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.
Critical thinking and information literacy
Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.
• Members of the English faculty serve as leaders in interdisciplinary studies and are involved in areas such as environmental studies; the honors program; study abroad; and women, gender and sexuality studies. The creative writing faculty includes award-winning writers in poetry and fiction.
• English and creative writing majors gain experience by working as paid tutors in the college’s Reading/Writing Center. Others gain experience in publishing by taking Augustana’s book publishing class and working at Augustana’s East Hall Press.
• Writers can build their portfolios by working on Augustana’s award-winning student newspaper, The Observer, and the art and literary magazine, SAGA. Others gain experience and professional connections through internships in marketing, public relations, journalism, and arts management.
• English and creative writing majors can travel abroad with faculty during J-term, including Paris to study American expatriate writers, or England to focus on medieval literature. Students also may choose to work on an original project during the Literary Residency J-term.
• The annual field trip series called On the Road brings English majors to places of literary interest. Augustana’s literary reading series, River Readings, brings nationally prominent poets and writers to campus at least twice a year.
• Many creative writing and English majors join the student club Unabridged, which meets for coffee hours; Yoga for Writers; a book vs. movie club; and end-of-semester write-ins.
The English major is solid background for teaching, law, business, the ministry, publishing and even medicine, and Augie grads have excelled in all of these careers.
Creative writers have gone on to competitive master's programs, having worked closely with a professor throughout the application process, or entered careers in editing and publishing, journalism, marketing or business.
Lori Dantuma '20 is a contributing editor at Tiny Spoon Literary Magazine.
Maegan Patterson '20 is a software developer at Epic.
Maxwell Maharry ’19 is a J.D. student at Washington University’s School of Law in St. Louis.
Nicolette Hampton ’18 is the diversity and communications coordinator at Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago.
Alexandria Hadley '18 is a copywriter at MuteSix digital and creative studio in St. Louis.
Sabrina Hill ’18 (top photo) is a corporate recruiter for McMaster-Carr, Elmhurst, Ill.
Kaitlyn Lindgren-Hansen ‘16 is a Ph.D. student in religion/religious studies and a graduate teaching assistant at The University of Iowa.
Megan Boedecker '14 is a brand marketing communications writer for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Coming into Augustana, I knew I wanted to pursue writing and design. Not a lot of colleges have that combination of degrees!”Read More
“In addition to my 'official' fields of study, I've taken classes in astronomy, theatre, linguistics, ballet and Japanese, and loved every moment of them.”Read More
The 2022 River Readings will welcome Paisley Rekdal, poet laureate of Utah, on April 27. The reading will begin at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Olin Center. The event is free and open to the public
Augustana is more affordable than families might think. Scholarships, grants and other financial aid keep costs lower — often in comparison with large state schools.