English 483, 484 Honors Thesis in Creative Writing

The Concentration in Creative Writing (ENCR) includes the opportunity for students to enroll in a four-credit course: EN483 (fall) or EN484 in combination with EN478/479 (spring). An exception will be made in 2018, when 479 is offered in Jan plan; students who are interested in poetry honors should sign up for the 479 for two credits in January and 484 for two credits in spring. This is the only way to earn honors in Creative Writing and is offered only within the English Department. Latin Honors and Distinction in the Major remain but are based on grade averages rather than the completion of a certain kind and amount of independent work. This also counts as the fourth or “other” course required for the concentration. Here are the ground rules: You must have a 3.0 GPA and a 3.25 in the major at the end of junior year. In addition you must have completed EN378 or EN379 with a grade of A- or better. Exceptions will be made by special permission only, on the recommendation of the Creative Writing faculty. After completing the sequence of workshops culminating in EN378 or 379, you need to follow these steps:


1. For fall semester: Speak to the Creative Writing professor with whom you would like to work. Be aware, however, that the Creative Writing faculty will encourage you to do your project in the spring, when Advanced Studies in Poetry and Advanced Studies in Prose is typically offered. Enroll in EN483 for four credits.


2. For spring semester: Sign up for EN478/479 for two credits and EN484 for two credits. EN478 (Advanced Studies in Prose) and EN479 (Advanced Studies in Poetry) are courses that allow you to work on an independent study and/or honors thesis project. The EN478/479 courses offer the framework of a regular academic class, while providing you with frequent one-on-one meetings with your instructor. In 2018, EN479 will be offered in Jan plan and not in spring.  Students wishing to do honors or advanced work in their senior year should follow the instructions for January or, if not on campus in January, contact the instructor, Adrian Blevins at ablevins@colby.edu, for advice.


3. For Jan plan 2018:  Sign up for EN479 for two credits in Jan plan and EN484 (honors) for two credits in the spring.


4. For fall, January 2018, and spring semester: Secure a second reader for your project on registration for EN484.


The finished work—with all final revisions—must be submitted by the last day of classes to your tutor/instructor and a second reader. An additional copy for binding should be submitted to the English Department secretary. (This copy should include a formal cover page. Copies are available in the English Department office.)


Your tutor/instructor and second reader will evaluate your thesis. If there is disagreement between the two readers about the grade, the English Department will provide a third reader.


We do not count words, but most fiction manuscripts will probably be between 60 and 70 pages; poetry manuscripts 15-25 poems. They should be finished fiction or poetry of high quality, which demonstrate independence, originality, and thoroughness. The grade they receive will be the grade for EN483 or EN484; a B+ or higher is necessary to graduate with honors.