a woman reading a book in front of a window in sunlight

English and Creative Writing

Cultivate your creativity, feed your curiosity, and engage with the world through language and literature. 

Student studying in Stuart Commons

Our students understand that the world is made of stories, that good writing is power, and that creativity has currency.  

Our program is thoughtfully designed to give students access to hands-on experience that will carry them into the future. Our curriculum enriches students’ understanding of literature and language while developing their skills as writers. With both creative writing and literature tracks available, students are empowered to pursue their intellectual interests and imaginative visions in order to prepare for future success. 

Make it constructive. Make it imaginative. Make it English.

denzel marufu photo
I think reading great works of literature gives you a respect for people as you find there is a correlation between respecting language and respecting your fellow man. Studying English also made me more aware of the complexities of people while giving us insights into our own lives, too.
Denzel Marufu ’23

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. Each track emphasizes the value and importance of critical thought while offering a variety of exciting opportunities that allow students to pursue their passions and prepare for the future. 

Student Involvement in English

In addition to off-campus study and internships, students take active roles in the Lake Forest College Press and the Lake Forest Literary Festival. Students can join clubs and organizations such as our vibrant literary club INK, which organizes used bookstore hops, literary debates and games, open mic nights, trips to the American Writers Museum, and other cultural attractions in the city. Other clubs and events include our annual fall party, the Writing Club, and weekly Russian Tea Time where we discuss Russian literature. We also make trips to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. 

Access to Chicago—Experiential Learning

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. Additionally, our proximity to Chicago offers internship and experiential learning opportunities with an abundance of organizations in and around the city such as the American Library Association, Chicago Scene, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Facets, Harold Washington Library, June Media, Newberry Library, and 826Chi.

Why study English?

Sure, you love reading and embrace the creativity of writing, but you may be wondering what paths a degree in English can open up for you. With a focus on critical thinking, writing skills, research, and engagement, a major or minor in English can enrich your aspirations and elevate your engagement with the world around you.

More than ever, we're seeing employers ask for candidates with solid writing skills and a liberal arts background. English is a diverse field of study that can equip you with the skills you need to pursue a wide variety of paths. 

RL Watson and a student chatting outside

Fielding Fellows Program

The Fielding Fellows Program is an engaging one-on-one research opportunity for students passionate about English and interdisciplinary learning. English majors can apply for this paid fellowship, gain marketable real-world experience in the field of English studies, and receive guided mentorship from department faculty.  

Students writing on paper

Carnegie English Essay Contest

Do you have a voracious appetite for reading and writing? Does a blank page make your heart race with the endless possibilities for filling it? Submit your essay today for a chance to earn more toward your education. Submit your essay to the Carnegie English Essay Contest.

CAIR woman employed

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. Read about opportunities after graduation

Caroline Warrick-Skolnick
Majoring in English has given me more confidence, especially in a professional setting. With solid writing skills and a general desire to learn, interacting with the world becomes easier and much more interesting.
Caroline Warrick-Schkolnik ’22
Majoring in English can really support your life goals no matter what you choose to pursue.
Stephanie Hicks ’06

Related Programs

Contact Us

Robert Archambeau 
Professor of English
Chair of English
Carnegie Hall 209

Karin Loiacano
Department Assistant
Carnegie Hall 105