The Creative Writing major at Loras College offers introductory and advanced coursework in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, in addition to specialized courses in Screenwriting, Nature Writing, Fantastic Fiction and Revision, Editing & Publishing. Seniors write a creative thesis mentored by a Writing faculty member, and all courses are taught as workshops with no more than 15 students in attendance.
Creative Writing majors are actively engaged on campus and beyond. A student editorial board edits and publishes Catfish Creek: A National Undergraduate Literary Magazine. Our students present their scholarship and creative writing along with that of peers from other institutions at the annual Streamlines Undergraduate Language & Literature Conference. And many of our students publish their works in The Limestone Review, the College’s annual journal of creative writing and scholarship.

Archived: Outlet & Alpha

2. LIMESTONE REVIEW (Loras to link)
From exploring the Midwestern countryside and learning parts of the Ho-Chunk language and history, to taking in the history and culture of Guatemala or Ireland, the English Department offers enriching and inspiring January Term courses. Read about options for expanding your horizons here.
Creative Nonfiction—Writing the Midwestern Landscape with Dr. Koch: Students combine digital photography with nature writing in Midwest winter landscapes. Dr. Koch, along with Dr. Strickler, have led students on snowshoeing hikes at Mines of Spain and Swiss Valley Nature Reserves as part of the writing process. Students’ projects, which include photography, have focused on environmental issues related to the Mississippi River as well as historical studies of Native Americans and miners in the area.

Travel Writing—Guatemala: In this creative non-fiction class, students create travel narratives that focus on a theme and then conduct interviews and research in a remote Mayan village called Semachaca. Students lived rough for a week, working to build a medical clinic and learning some soccer tips from the locals. Student projects, which include photography, focus on the intersection between Mayan spirituality and Catholicism, traditional medicine and the impact of Western medicine, international service and efforts to improve opportunities for women.
Native Voices, Native Lives with Dr. Stone: The most rewarding things that result from our Native Voices, Native Lives J-term course are the relationships. Every day you will make new friends and learn about their stories and culture, personally and in context. You will practice the Ho-Chunk language at the immersion school in Mauston and the Youth Center in La Crosse, laughing alongside Native teens, teachers and elders. You will learn about the importance of home and family, talking with members of the bear and eagle clans around a wood-burning stove in a traditional, dirt-floor ciiporoke. You may listen to the Bible being read in Ho-Chunk and have a prayer said for you by the great, great grandson of one of the founders of the one-room Missionary church you will visit. Experience real-life Ho-Chunk history and government, gathering with the Vice President and cultural preservation representatives for coffee around the large, square Council table in the technologically sophisticated Tribal Office Building. Lasting relationships and memories will be formed such as cooking Ho-Chunk foods like wild rice, fry bread and muskrat over an open fire to share with new friends. Through their stories and acts of kindness and generosity, you will discover why the Ho-chunk are called “The People of the Big Voice,” even though they are small in numbers.
Ireland in Film with Dr. Auge: In the three short weeks of J-term, Ireland in Film class is immersed in Irish culture. You will critically analyze different cinematic features laced throughout Irish films. After diving into topics such as geography, politics, religion and class distinctions, you will face a large task at hand: plan a film festival. Ireland in Film challenges everyone in ways they have not previously encountered. You will be encouraged to see more in the films than ever thought possible. The class will leave you with a new foundation of Irish culture and cinema. 

Bleak House in Context with Dr. VanLaningham: The amount that one can learn from simply taking the time to observe the world is astounding. However, it is easy to forget that it is possible to gain an abundance of valuable knowledge not only by looking around, but also by looking back. In the Bleak House in Context course, you will spend three weeks reading Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, which was originally published in monthly installments in 1852 and 1853. Instead of examining the Victorian Era from a purely outside perspective, the class will recreate the experience of readers in Victorian England. 
Students will have the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Special Collections room reading a variety of works from the time period. Writings such as the original Bleak House installments, periodicals and crime reports are included. In order to gain a better understanding of these materials, the class will make blogs inspired by the Victorian periodicals. Representing various facets of society, students will be split into groups of the courts, the house, travel/money and the streets. You will be role-playing that will place some of the Bleak House characters in a broader setting. This J-term course is a unique and interactive way of reading a novel. These few weeks are sufficient for students to more fully appreciate the Victorians for their wit, realism and curiosity. The characters of Dickens really come to life in Bleak House, and his moving sympathy for the downtrodden will be impressed upon your memories.
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The Creative Writing major at Loras (36 credits) offers introductory and advanced coursework in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, in addition to specialize courses in Screenwriting, Nature Writing, Fantastic Fiction, and Revision, Editing, & Publishing. Seniors write a creative thesis mentored by a writing faculty member. Courses are taught as writing workshops, with small class sizes (maximum 15). Writing majors also take five Literature courses, including Literary Studies and Literary Criticism. 
The creative writing faculty are active, published writers.  Their recent books include The Driftless Land: Spirit of Place in the Upper Mississippi Valley (Kevin Koch, nonfiction); The Clockwork Man (William Jablonsky, fiction); Sailing to Babylon (James Pollock, poetry).
The Creative Writing program publishes two literary magazines.

The Limestone Review prints the best student writing in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and scholarly essay.  The best work in each genre is submitted to the Delta Epsilon Sigma (national Catholic Honors Society) national writing contest, where Loras writers have a long history of top prizes.  Students may also serve on the selection committee for The Limestone Review.
Catfish Creek is a national undergraduate literary magazine produced and edited by Loras English majors.  Catfish Creek has published undergraduate student work from institutions as far ranging as the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Susquehana University, Bowling Green University, University of Windsor-Ontario, and DePaul University-Chicago. gave a resoundingly favorable review to the inaugural issue. To order a copy of Catfish Creek, click here. 


The Loras creative writing program also sponsors a Guest Author series.  Recent authors have included: 
• David Faldet, The Oneota Flow
• Michael Czyzniejewski, Elephants In Our Bedroom
• Amaud Jamal Johnson, Red Summer
• Alan Heathcock, Volt
Undergraduate Bulletin Core Curriculum:
Major requirements and course descriptions


Learn More

Catfish Creek, the National Undergraduate Literary Journal of Loras College
English January Term Classes
English Newsletter
Alumni Careers and Accomplishments
The Limestone Review: Loras College's Literary/Scholarly Publication
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