Area Program in Literary Prose

Area Program in Literary Prose

This area program of the Department of English allows talented undergraduate writers to pursue serious study of the craft of literary prose writing (fiction, nonfiction, hybrid forms between) within the context of the English major. The Area Program in Literary Prose (APLP) stresses not only writing but extensive reading and rigorous thinking about the nature of narrative, and it encourages exploration in corollary disciplines engaging strategies of narrative, according to each student’s individual focus.

The APLP is a two-year course of study, and admission is competitive. Students apply in the spring semester of their second year and declare a major in English, although the requirements for the APLP differ from the requirements for a standard English major; students are encouraged to double-major or minor in another discipline that relates to their literary projects and inclinations.

In addition to taking upper-level English literature courses, students in the APLP will take at least 12 hours of upper-level (ENCW 3000 level and higher) workshops (three in fiction and one in memoir), two 3-hour literary prose seminars (ENCW 4550) designed especially for writers in the program (these are offered every term), and, in the second semester of the fourth year, a required thesis class (ENCW 4720), a one-semester project which culminates in the creation of a manuscript of original fiction, nonfiction (memoir) or hybrid forms between (40 + pages).

Because close reading and creative writing are inextricably linked, the program requires its students to complete:

  • The pre-requisite to the English major (completion of an ENGL 2000-level course with a grade of “C” or completion of two ENGL 3000-level courses, with the average grade between the two courses being a “B”)

As well as 30 hours of upper-level course work, including:

  • ENGL 3001 and ENGL 3002 (formerly 3810 and 3820)
  • Four (4) upper-level workshops (12 hours), three in fiction and one in memoir/non-fiction
  • Two (2) Literary Prose Program seminars (ENCW 4550) on various topics of interest to creative writers (students may take more than two of these classes if they wish)
  • One pre-1800-level course in English at the 3000-level or above (Medieval, ENGL 3100/4100; Renaissance, ENGL 3200/4200; or 18th-century, ENGL 3300/4300), including any Shakespeare course at the 3000-level or above)
  • The Thesis Course (ENCW 4720)

How to Apply to the APLP:

Rising third-year majors interested in the APLP should apply each spring using a form where you will provide your basic contact information and the name and email of one faculty or graduate instructor reference. At the end of that form there will be a link where you can upload your supporting documents, which include a current transcript, a writing sample (a short story, novel excerpt, creative essay, etc. of fifteen double-spaced pages or fewer), a one-to-two page personal statement, and the name and email of a UVA instructor who knows your work and potential in a small, focused program of study. These supporting documents should have filenames that start with your last name and first intitial so we can easily identify who they are from, i.e. "SmithJ-shortstory.doc."

Applications for 2023 will be due online by 5 p.m. on Friday, 24 March 2023.

For more information, contact Professor Jeb Livingood,