Creative Writing Honors Program


HONORS APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4 p.m., Monday, April 12, 2021

If you will graduate in May 2022 or December 2022, and wish to apply for the Honors Program in Creative Writing for the 2021-22 academic year, please read the following guidelines carefully.

All Creative Writing majors who wish to do Honors must apply to do so. The deadline for Honors applications for next year is 4 p.m., Monday, April 12, 2021. Students applying for Honors must have an overall GPA of 3.5.

Students who are graduating in December 2022 and wish to do Honors in Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 should also apply by the Spring 2021 deadline of 4 p.m., Monday, April 12, 2021.

All applications must include the following:

  • A cover sheet with your full name (first, middle and last names), address, student ID number, NETID, email address, and Spring and Summer 2021 contact information.
  • A resumé (CV) including your activities at Emory, and the Creative Writing workshops you've taken, including semesters and the names of the instructors
  • A one-page (single-spaced) synopsis of your project. Include enough detail to demonstrate your current thinking about the project: its genre, the form (a novella, for example), and what you know now about its possible content. Proposals are an important part of the application; work to make yours compelling.
  • A sample of work in the genre in which you plan to do the thesis -- 17-22 double-spaced pages of fiction or nonfiction, a substantial group of poems, or 17-22 pages of a screenplay or play (in the approved format for those genres).

Submit this material via e-mail to Paula Vitaris ( by the 4 p.m., Monday, April 12, 2021 deadline. All material must be included in ONE WORD OR PDF DOCUMENT.

If you propose a project in a genre of writing in which you have already taken workshops, and in which your writing sample demonstrates real proficiency, you increase your chances of acceptance into the Honors Program. Proposing a project in a genre in which you have not taken workshops substantially decreases your chances of acceptance.

If you are accepted into Creative Writing Honors, you will be assigned a faculty member to direct your project. Faculty availability in 2021-22 will affect how many students we accept into Honors. The process of selection, always competitive, will be especially so this year. Eligibility for Honors does not guarantee that you will be able to do an Honors project. The strength of your application, and the faculty's appraisal of your readiness to undertake a sustained project, in addition to the availability and agreement of a faculty member, will be the major factors considered in the selection process.

If your GPA is below the required 3.5 and does not rise to 3.5 by the end of the spring or during the summer, but you have a GPA of at least 3.45, an exceptional record in the Program and strong support from Creative Writing faculty, you may submit a petition for a waiver of the required GPA to the Emory College Honors Program. That would happen only if one of the Creative Writing Honors places became available. You will need to discuss this possibility with Program faculty in Spring 2021; students with a GPA of 3.45 and above, but below the required 3.5, must have the Creative Writing Program’s support to appeal for a GPA waiver to the College Honors Program. Students who have the Program’s support must submit their petition materials to the College by a deadline in August that will be announced later this spring.

To secure the Program’s support for a waiver petition, students must be in touch with Program faculty by early August at the latest. (There is a sample petition letter on the College Honors Canvas site). The petition should include:

  • A letter from the student explaining why they want to pursue honors, the kind of honors project they wish to pursue, as well as an explanation of any extenuating circumstances that caused their GPA to be lower than the required minimum.
  • A letter of support from the departmental honors coordinator or department chair
  • A letter of support from the student's potential thesis advisor

Any member of the Creative Writing faculty, including your advisor, is available to talk with you about your Honors proposal. Making an appointment now to talk with a faculty member (or more than one faculty member) is an excellent way to begin the process of preparing your application.

Examples of past applications of students accepted into the Honors Program may be viewed in the Creative Writing Program office, N209 Callaway. You may also look at past Honors theses in the Creative Writing office; bound theses also are housed in the Woodruff Library. (NOTE: Physical copies in the Creative Writing Program are not available for viewing in Spring 2021.) Honors theses are now submitted electronically via the library's Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository system and may be viewed via ETD -- use the keywords "Creative Writing" in the search function.