The Creative Writing Minor Program
About Creative Writing at JMU

The written word has been a powerful tool used by many to convey different thoughts and feelings. The core study of Creative Writing at James Madison University allows for students to convey their ideas and sentiments through various genres. From fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenplay writing, and numerous other genres, students can craft and develop their writing techniques in our program. Creative Writing can connect, question, and allow us to reflect in the ever-changing world around us.

Our Mission

Our mission in the Creative Writing program is to prepare students to be able to convey emotions and messages through language and the written word. The true meaning behind creation is a powerful link between human experiences and feelings. In Creative Writing, we develop our students to be able to craft their unique skills and approaches to writing. We pride our students in their ability to compose and create while exploring what it means to convey meaningful messages.

Iris Literature and Arts Magazine
Iris Magazine
Creative Writing Minor Checklist
Creative Writing Minor Checklist
Meet Our Coordinator


Erica Cavanagh is an Associate Professor of English. She teaches creative nonfiction, food studies, and African American Literature. She is working on two books: a memoir about the years she lived in Benin as a Peace Corps volunteer and a book-length letter to her daughter about family, country, and the power of secrets. Her writing has appeared in The Missouri ReviewNorth American Review, The Iowa Review, Bellevue Literary ReviewGastronomicaOff AssignmentThe Journal, and elsewhere. Originally from Rochester, NY, Erica grew up steeped in her city’s abolition and suffrage histories. She graduated from JMU with degrees in English and Art History and earned Master’s degrees from The University of Chicago Humanities Program and the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. 

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