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English and Creative Writing

Student studying in Stuart Commons

The Department of English and Creative Writing offers courses for all students who wish to enrich their understanding of literature and language and to develop their skills as readers and writers, enabling them to lead constructive and imaginative lives.

Students gain hands-on experience in the field through internships and practica experience with organizations like the American Library Association, Chicago Scene, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Facets, Harold Washington Library, June Media, Newberry Library, and 826Chi

Two Academic Tracks to Choose From

The major offers creative writing and literature tracks, both of which offer students excellent training in the kind of clear writing, analytical reasoning, and creative thinking necessary for success in any career.

Student Involvement

In addition to off-campus study and internships, students take active roles in the Lake Forest College Press and the Lake Forest Literary Festival

Access to Chicago

Students and faculty regularly take advantage of a number of cultural resources that enhance their study of English, with trips to theaters like Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass Theater, Writers Theatre, and Second City.

Digital Chicago

Lake Forest College received an $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to involve students and faculty in exploring specific at-risk or forgotten sites in Chicago’s history, through urban archaeological digs, innovative digital humanities projects, and complementary coursework in a wide array of disciplines, including English, History, Art, Music, and others. 

The Digital Chicago project by Dr. Ben Goluboof offers retrospective on the life of minor Chicago playwright Kenneth Sawyer Goodman. 

You can view the entire collection of digital humanities projects at digitalchicago.lakeforest.edu.

Learn More

Why Study English?

Why Study English?

Perhaps you’ve asked, “Why should I major in English? I need a job when I graduate from college. I need a good income. Isn’t reading about and writing stories an impractical preparation for the world of work?  My parents and the news media tell me I should major in something practical instead.”  In fact, an English major is one of the most practical of all liberal-arts majors, either by itself or as a complement to another major, and studying English can richly reward those who understand its value. 

Carnegie English Essay Contest

Carnegie English Essay Contest

If you are applying as a first-year student for the fall of 2022, and plan to study English either through the literature or creative writing track, we invite you to participate in our annual Carnegie English Essay Contest. Five winners will be awarded $2,500 annually.

Student at Office

Opportunities After Graduation

Lake Forest College’s English majors pursue many different careers, running the gamut from software developer at Epic to art director at the New York Times; from lecturer at the University of Wisconsin to film producer and editor; from corporate communications writer at Abbott Labs to the local state’s attorney.

Lake Forest Press

Lake Forest College Press - &NOW Books

Lake Forest College Press publishes in the broad spaces of Chicago studies. Our imprint, &NOW Books, publishes innovative and conceptual literature, and serves as the publishing arm of the &NOW writers’ conference and organization.

Meet Our Students and Alumni

Biz Hyzy ’14

Biz Hyzy ’14

Editorial assistant for the adult and audio departments at Booklist

Lydia Wells ’15

Lydia Wells ’15

Teacher at Lake Forest Academy

Image of Stephanie Hicks

Stephanie Hicks ’06

Lecturer in the Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Related Programs

Contact Us

Carla Arnell
Professor of English
Chair of English
Carnegie Hall 109
847-735-5272
arnell@mx.lakeforest.edu

Connie Hollingsworth
Department Assistant
Carnegie Hall 105
847-735-5265
chollingsworth@mx.lakeforest.edu