Students in a Publishing in the 21st Century class discuss a project.

Professional Writing Major

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If you want a career as a writer, you'll need a solid foundation in the mechanics of good writing and editing, a storyteller's gift for narrative, a poet's eye for detail, and a desire to continue developing your talents in a dynamic industry. 

Why Study Professional Writing at Champlain College?

While you'll certainly explore literature and learn to critique writing, this is not an English degree. At Champlain College, you learn the professional aspects of writing and how to get paid doing what you love.

 Students start thinking like professionals from their first semester. Virtually all Professional Writing majors are published by the time they graduate, and many are earning freelance income as undergraduates.  

As a Professional Writing student, you'll:

  • spend time in classes and workshops preparing for life after college;
  • take professional practice courses that will enhance your digital presence on numerous social media platforms;
  • prepare your cover letter, résumé, and portfolio for the job market;
  • strategize your career plans and develop professional contacts; 
  • take courses in marketing and public relations so you can promote yourself; and
  • navigate ethical and legal issues in the profession.

Student work in the Professional Writing major includes a teen sci-fi television series; an anthology of essays and poems about womanhood and girlhood; a series of articles about the interactions between transgender identity and organized religion; anthologies of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction; produced plays; five shorts written and produced for television; and many others. 

Academic Experience

Through Champlain's Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll take program-specific courses in your first year. This early experience allows you much more time to refine your style and explore your professional interests.

 As a Professional Writing major at Champlain, you will tailor your education by choosing one of the following three concentrations: 

  • Editing/Publishing: Focus on editing the writing of others or preparing for various roles within the publishing world.  
  • Creative Writing/Literature: Learn how to earn a living as a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.
  • Journalism: Prepare for staff or freelance opportunities in this rapidly evolving media landscape. 

In addition to your required concentration, you may choose to focus on Screenwriting as an optional concentration.

Whichever concentration you choose, you'll be able to supplement your learning and your skills by taking electives from all three concentrations and throughout various other programs. You'll be introduced to a range of forms and styles of writing that will expand your abilities.

You can also choose to pursue any of Champlain's minors, tailoring your education to suit your goals. You'll work closely with your Academic Advisor to ensure that you get the most from your time at Champlain.

Center for Publishing

The Center for Publishing (CFP) is the hub for publications (aka, The Pub Hub) that live in the Division of Communication and Creative Media. This Pub Hub is where you will find all the information you need to get involved with our three student-run publications, as well as a professional magazine. Through a collaborative process with faculty and staff, students can gain valuable experience, training, and practice in writing, editing, design, and publishing, as well as graphic and website design, marketing and public relations, event planning, social media management, and public speaking.

Current student-run publications include:

  • Willard & Maple: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and fine arts literary magazine
  • The Crossover: publishes news, features, culture, and opinion stories
  • Chivomengro: monthly zine of personal essay, satire, and cultural commentary

Faculty-directed but fully student-created opportunities include:

  • The Weathervane: the Division of Communication & Creative Media's magazine

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In the meantime, check out our list of majors, come for a virtual visit, or explore our blog, The View, for the latest news and updates!