Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’ve just declared my major as English: Creative Writing. Now what?

A. Congratulations! Welcome aboard! There are two people you want to see next:

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to check in with our English advisor, Dr. John Schwiebert. Please contact him at jschwiebert@weber.edu to set up an appointment. He’ll be able to help you determine what courses to take to complete your degree requirements.

Next, you’ll want to meet with Creative Writing program director, Dr. Siân Griffiths, who will explain the components of the creative writing portfolio and talk to you about who you might want to work with as a portfolio advisor. You can contact her at siangriffiths@weber.edu


Q. The class I want is full! How do I get in?

A. Please be sure to get on the class waitlist. Then, watch your email and phone messages closely. The university will contact you if there is an opening, but you only have a short time to register before they move to the next person on the waitlist. If you have any questions about how to get on the waitlist, stop in to see the English department secretary, Robin Scott, in the main English office in Elizabeth Hall. She can help you navigate the system.


Q. I’m about to graduate, but Cattracks says I still need to make a mandatory advising appointment. What do I do?

A. Easy. Stop in the English department office and ask Robin Scott, our secretary, to help you make an appointment with the English department chair. The chair will meet with you and they’ll mark you as cleared to graduate.
While you’re at it, consider meeting with Debbi Murphy. She’ll make sure you also have the courses you need outside the major so that you don’t find any nasty surprises as graduation day approaches.


Q. I want to be involved! Are there clubs and organizations on campus?

A. Yes! And they’re always looking for new, enthusiastic members! You have several options:

Writers’ Ink: Weber State University’s creative writing club reaches out across campus to students of every discipline who love to write. The faculty advisor, Dr. Siân Griffiths, can help put you in touch with the current club leaders.

Sigma Tau Delta: The National English Honor Society teams often with Writers’ Ink to create fun events and fundraisers. Faculty advisor Laura Stott can tell you more about eligibility requirements and the application process.

Metaphor: Weber State University’s undergraduate creative writing journal is looking to publish the finest student work. Every year, they seek out a top team of student editors whose passion helps create a consistently outstanding journal. Contact faculty advisor Jan Hamer for more information about how to be involved.

Weber State Creative Writers Facebook group: On social media? So are we. We have a closed group on Facebook to protect student privacy, but if you ask to join, and it’s clear that you are a student, alumni, or potential student, and we will clear you to be a part of the group. If you have any questions, email Dr. Siân Griffiths.


Q. I wrote something amazing! How do I share it with the world?

A. There are plenty of ways to publish your work at Weber State University. Some of the most popular venues are:


Q. How many pieces should I include in the “Representative Work” section of my creative writing portfolio? Should they all be one genre, or may I mix them?

The goal in collecting representative work is to allow you to show the very best of who you’ve become as a writer during your tenure at Weber State University. Select pieces of quality rather than quantity. While the exact number of pieces is worked out between the student and their portfolio advisor, a good guideline would be 3-4 submission-length pieces.

Submission length varies slightly by genre. Generally, they are as follows:

  • Poetry: 3-5 poems or pages of poetry
  • Short Fiction: one 3,000-5,000 word story (novelists may substitute chapters of the same length)
  • Personal Essay, Lyric Essay, or Memoir: one 3,000-5,000 word piece
  • Flash Fiction: 3-4 stories under 1,000 words.

Students should select work that reflects them best. If you work in multiple genres, then please do include work in multiple genres. If you work primarily in only one form, then it is appropriate to include only that genre. The bottom line is that the work should represent you.

To that end, please strive to revise and edit your work to a submission-ready quality. All work should be appropriately formatted and in 12-point, Times New Roman font or equivalent. Prose should be double-spaced. Poetry should be single-spaced. The feedback from your workshop classes should help you to revise, and all of our creative writing advisors are also happy to meet with students to offer additional advice. We also encourage all students to stop by the Writing Center on the second floor of Elizabeth Hall for added feedback.


Q. For the “Applied Research” section of my portfolio, should I look at graduate schools or publication venues?

A. To answer this question, ask yourself what your goals are once you finish school. If you have your heart set on graduate school, then it may be most helpful for you to research schools and complete an application. If you are more interested in sending your work to journals or in publishing a book, then researching publication venues will better serve your goals. Remember, the portfolio is designed to help you reach your writing and career goals.


Q. Can I pursue a graduate degree in Creative Writing at Weber State University?

A. We are currently piloting a program that allows students to earn an MA in English with a Creative Thesis. For more information on our program, please check out the MENG website: http://www.weber.edu/MAEnglish
Dr. Mali Subbiah, program director (msubbiah@weber.edu) or Genevieve Bates, secretary (gbates@weber.edu) would be happy to answer questions about the program and to assist you in applying if you wish to enroll.