Welcome to the Creative Writing Program


The undergraduate Creative Writing Program at UNC-Chapel Hill is—and has long been—one of the best in the country. Its first-rate faculty and students have published widely, won many prizes, and played a major role in shaping the contemporary literature of North Carolina, the South, and the nation.

The fact that other schools in the state university system (UNC-Greensboro, N.C. State University, and UNC-Wilmington) offer graduate writing programs has challenged Carolina to concentrate on excellence for undergraduates. There are over 250 creative writing programs in the United States, mostly for students at the masters' level, but very few offer as much breadth, variety, and professionalism at the college level as UNC-Chapel Hill has for decades.

In the words of the late Doris Betts, Alumni Distinguished Professor of English emerita and mainstay of the Creative Writing Program for decades:

“When the Harvard faculty was considering hiring Nabokov to teach literature, one professor objected that such an appointment would be like hiring the elephants to teach zoology. Fortunately, Carolina's English Department has embraced its writers and we, like elephants, never forget. The staff of dedicated novelists, poets, and non-fiction writers has had a congenial professional history here, in an atmosphere that has encouraged many young writers and rewarded many readers. During my 35 years on campus, the program has grown larger and more varied, but without losing its selectivity and without weakening its focus on genuine talent.”

And in the words of Holden Thorp, Chancellor of the University from 2008 to 2013:

“It is hard to imagine an endeavor that has shaped the narrative of Carolina more than creative writing. It demonstrates our ideals of originality, equity and democracy.”

For more information, contact:  


Daniel Wallace
Director- Creative Writing Program
Department of English and Comparative Literature
Greenlaw Hall, CB #3520
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520 
Phone: (919) 962-4052


Anita Braxton
Program Assistant, Creative Writing
Department of English and Comparative Literature
203 Greenlaw Hall
Campus Box 3520
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3520
Phone:  919-962-4000
Fax:  919-962-3520

Armfield Poetry Reading with Todd Boss

As a part of the Public Readins at UNC, poet Todd Boss, a graduate of St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska at Anchorage, will be reading poetry in Donovan Lounge in Greenlaw Hall on Thursday, February 13, at 3:30 pm. Please join us for an enlightening session of enjoying poetry!

Donovan Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of Greenlaw Hall.


Donovan Lounge

Event Date: 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

2014 Distinguished Writer-in-Residence: Stewart O'Nan

The 2014 Distinguished Writer-in-Residence was Stewart O’Nan, who visited campus February 24-28.  While at UNC, O’Nan met with creative writing students, participated in a panel on baseball, and gave the annual Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Reading, during which he read from his forthcoming novel about F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

For more information about O'Nan or the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program, please see the links at the bottom of the page.







Pictures from top to bottom:
1. Stewart O'Nan dons a Carolina cap, to the delight of the audience, during his Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Reading. (photo by Graham Terhune)
2. Creative writing faculty member Jim Seay speaks with Stewart O'Nan (photo by Graham Terhune)
3. Distinguished Writer-in-Residence program donors Richard Hibbits (left) and his wife Ford Hibbits (right) with Weldon Thornton, Professor Emeritus of English (photo by Graham Terhune)
4. Daniel Wallace with his senior honors fiction students (photo by Graham Terhune)
5. Stewart O'Nan speaks with creative writing students (photo by Graham Terhune)

Past Distinguished Writers-in-Residence

Stewart O'Nan biography


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Event Date: 

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:30pm

Rachel Richardson Reading

Join us in Donovan Lounge in Greenlaw Hall on Wednesday, March 26, for a reading by poet and author Rachel Richardson. Rachel Richardson has authored the poetry collection Copperhead (2011), and is a recent graduate of the Master's Program here at UNC.

Donovan Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of Greenlaw Hall.

Event Date: 

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm