English

Contact Information

Help others find the right words for a lifetime.

With insight and expertise, our faculty guide students in expanding their ability to read the written word and thereby better read the world. English studies is a proven gateway into any number of professional paths. Our students gain critical analysis skills; cultural awareness through diverse literatures; an understanding of the power of language and how it functions; the use of language creatively for exposition, persuasion, and artistic effect; and, perhaps most important, the ability to adapt to what comes next. English graduates walk away with tremendous growth potential for an ever-changing world.

English Programs

We offer four major tracks designed to prepare students for a wide array of careers or graduate study. Minors complement a student’s major to increase their areas of knowledge and improve their competitiveness on the job market or for graduate study. With planning, students can easily add one or more minors to their major without delaying their graduation date.

Students may also major in one of our English tracks and pursue one of our other minors, such as majoring in creative writing and minoring in technical and professional writing.

Have you ever dreamed of creating a strong character like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, whose multi-book adventures are complex and exciting? Have you ever wanted to build a world as creative and detailed as the one in your favorite video game? Have you always written poems, but never showed them to anyone?

Then creative writing is the concentration for you.

Students in our creative writing program study contemporary literature and participate in writing workshops in several genres of their choice. This concentration of the English major also gives you necessary skills for numerous jobs with a writing emphasis like social media manager, ad copy writer, and corporate storyteller. Creative writing students work to achieve four primary learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of literary/critical traditions and cultural viewpoints
  • Explain how form, genre, and the history and structure of language relate to the craft of creative writing through critical analysis of varied genres
  • Write original and inventive creative works, and
  • Compose in a range of artistic and professional genres, including new media, showing how creative writing skills can be deployed in a variety of professional opportunities

Creative Writing Checklists

Practical Learning

  • Students in the creative writing track benefit from a scaffolded program which requires them to take a literature genre course before they take the corresponding creative writing course in the same genre. This methodology allows them to fully understand the genre before attempting their own creative projects and underscores the importance of writing as a craft.
  • Students in the creative writing track have the opportunity to work with the Warren Literary Journal. As editors, they work on content selection, layout, and design of each issue. This opportunity offers invaluable practical experience in the world of publishing.
  • The creative writing program at Bloomsburg University has been hosting the Big Dog Reading Series for over 15 years. This reading series brings published writers to campus for workshops and readings. Students have the opportunity to engage one-on-one with these creative professionals, as well as also experience the power of their work as presented in their own voices. Students are encouraged to engage in Q&A’s to deepen their own understanding of being a creative writer.
  • Other professional development experiences include The Voice (BU newspaper), Writing Center (WALES) consulting, and in-house social media content development internships.

Creative writing faculty are all published writers, with active scholarly agendas that repeatedly see acknowledgement through literary prizes and ongoing publication.

Creative Writing Careers

Hannah Karena Jones

“The creative writing workshops taught me to read critically, hit a deadline, finish a story, give and receive constructive criticism, and revise. Happy to say all that work paid off: I've worked in book publishing for eight years and I signed with a literary agent in 2019!" — Hannah Karena Jones '11, Author and Senior Managing Editor at Running Press Publishers

Creative Writing Opportunities

Take advantage of many opportunities to attend conferences, give readings, edit and publish your own work in the Warren literary magazine.

The Literature Track offers in-depth study of literary periods, styles, and genres, as well as linguistics and writing courses. It's perfect for students with interests in digital and print publishing, law school, marketing and public relations, and English graduate study. With its strong emphasis on developing students' strengths as creative critical thinkers and effective writers and on providing a strong foundation in the humanities, this concentration prepares students for careers in the wide range of fields.

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate effectively in multiple modes
  • Read in multiple contexts
  • Recognizing and apply modes of inquiry
  • Read analytically
  • Recognize of the power of language

Literature faculty teach a range of courses in their specialties, including lower-division survey courses and upper-division close study courses. Literature faculty also create dynamic special topics courses that encourage students to examine literature outside of traditional chronologies and geographies.

Literature track students take courses that represent five main goals:

  • develop skills in writing and rhetoric
  • experience a range of literature from different periods and regions
  • gain knowledge of literary and textual forms, as well as traditions of inquiry
  • acquire analytical reading skills
  • learn to appreciate the power of language and literature

The Literature track offers significant flexibility for students to pick courses which most interest them. Rather than a prescribed list of required courses, the literature track offers multiple options within categories of study.

Writing is something you can do for a lifetime; professional writing is an area of study that integrates language, design, and technology, preparing you for our changing world.

The Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric Track offers in-depth study of technical and professional writing in print and online. It's perfect for students with interests in writing for business and industry.

With insight and expertise, our English faculty will support and develop your critical thinking and analytical skills as you learn to write and design documentation in our quickly evolving world. As an interdisciplinary track, you will have an opportunity work with other world-recognized faculty in areas like instructional technology and art studio. The experiential learning emphasis of the concentration prepares you for real work situations, developing and honing skills that are in demand in our rapidly shifting online/remote workplace.

The concentration is taught and supported by faculty across the department, through courses in literature, rhetoric, and documentation design, as well as discipline specific writing courses across the university. This track maintains strong connections with programs like digital forensics and a 4+1 master’s instructional design program at BU. All work provides students with a robust foundation that prepares them to work in positions as non-profit managers to national defense contractors.

This track focuses on these specific goals or objectives:

  • develop skills in writing, rhetoric, and disciplinary conventions
  • demonstrate proficiency in a range of software related to document composition
  • acquire an awareness of the power of language through textual analysis; and
  • design feasible/usable long-term projects based on the needs of actual clients or commissioning identities.

This track promotes internships that move student beyond the classroom, taking them on a journey from backpack to briefcase.

The Secondary Education English Track is offered in conjunction with the Department of Teaching and Learning to prepare students to teach English in grades 7 through 12.

Typically, minors require 18 credit hours to be counted towards graduation. 

Other minors chosen by English majors in the past include foreign language, women's studies, theater, business, communication studies, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and political science. Choosing a minor may be a beneficial credential when looking for a career after graduation.

Tutor guides fellow student through a writing assignment at the Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES) Resources

Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES) Resources

We enjoy easing the writing process for all students from any background. We also enjoy helping students develop strategies for reading and making sense of research and course material. Students set the agenda for each appointment — whether you’re concerned about reading material, about getting started on a writing project, about improving clarity, grammar, organization, or citations, or about any other aspect of reading, writing, or the English language.

Mitchell S. Jackson speakers during the Big Dog Reading Series

Big Dog Reading Series

Listen to and meet nationally famous, award-winning writers, such as Mitchell S. Jackson, who come to campus for the Big Dog Reading Series.

Department Faculty and Staff

Mark Decker

Mark Decker, Ph.D.

  • Chair of the Department of English, Professor, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies
Michael Martin

Michael Martin, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor English/Director of the Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric Program