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Creative Writing

Hone your craft with the pros, start a lifelong apprenticeship in the literary arts.

The creative writing program that nurtured Dennis Lehane ’88, best-selling author and HBO writer/producer, is now accepting applications to earn B.A. and BFA degrees. But you don’t have to be gunning for a Hollywood contract to enroll. Our liberal arts graduates also go on to MFA programs and careers in journalism, media, PR, editing and publishing, counseling and software design.


Writers in paradise.

Spend 8 days in workshops with writers like Andre Dubus III, Anne Hood, Laura Lippman, Lori Roy, Stewart O’Nan, David Yoo and Laura Williams McCaffrey. This conference is held on our Florida campus every January.

Facetime with famous authors

You’ll also have the chance to meet and talk with other celebrated writers including Stephen King, Carl Hiaasen, Julianna Baggott and Mark Bowden. These and other literary lights give talks here throughout the year.

Get help paying for college

Need help with finances? In addition to the academic scholarships we hand out upon application, you can apply for the Artistic Achievement Award.

In Their Own Words

“I was able to grow and take risks with my writing that I don’t believe I would have done at another college. I spent months in different countries studying subjects that were not my major and each of these trips impacted me as a student and as a writer. Whether you write for the award-winning newspaper, study abroad, mentor other students, or volunteer at local schools, Eckerd can help you achieve goals you were unaware you even had.” — Mackenna Cummings ’15

Beyond the Classroom


Creative Writing majors have interned on campus with our student newspaper, The Current, and our literary magazine, Eckerd Review. Another recent student was an editing intern at I Love the Burg , a creative agency in downtown St. Petersburg.

Pay it forward by tutoring with Journeys in Journalism . This community program teaches local elementary, middle and high school students how to be reporters, photographers, editors and page designers for their school newspapers.

Spend a term living at our London Study Centre and studying the literature of Great Britain. Includes a week of travel and tickets to epic museums and theatre productions. Or choose from one of 300+ other destinations we offer every year.

Eckerd is just a stone’s throw from some of America’s hottest literary landmarks and events. Check it out:

  • The Earnest Hemingway Home
  • The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings historic site
  • Miami Book Fair (November)
  • Zora Neale Hurston Festival (January)

Popular classes

Craft of writing.

This course reviews poetic and narrative language and introduces the concept of literary texture. Present what you write in class at public readings held on campus once a semester.

Writing Workshop: The Personal Essay

Learn about literary essays by reading masters like Harry Crews, Eudora Welty and Joan Didion. This class explores how to use imagination to shape format, technique and your own personal style.

What can I do with a Creative Writing degree?

  • Business Manager
  • Educational Assessor
  • Media and Newspaper Reporter
  • Software Designer of Interactive Fiction
  • Technical Writer

Where our Creative Writing majors go to graduate school

  • Chapman University
  • Emerson College
  • Florida International University
  • George Mason University
  • Hollins College
  • Indiana University
  • Stanford University
  • The Johns Hopkins University
  • The University of Miami
  • The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Iowa Writers Workshop

Where our Creative Writing majors go to work

  • Bluewater Books & Charts
  • Dupont Registry
  • Novelist & Poet
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Time Magazine

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St. Petersburg, Florida 33711 800.456.9009 or 727.867.1166

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Writers In Paradise


The conference, january 13 – 20, 2024.

Located on the beautiful waterfront campus of  Eckerd College  in St. Petersburg, Florida, this writers’ conference features professional writers at the top of their form spending quality time with motivated and talented participants seeking an intimate, unhurried climate for learning…in paradise.

  • Memoir with Ann Hood In this workshop, we will read and discuss published essays every day to examine what makes a good piece of memoir writing. We will then critique pages from your own memoirs and essays with an eye toward revision.
  • Nonfiction with Madeleine Blais Whether you are working on a personal story, an historical account, a biography, or some combination, your work is going to need a narrative arc, which can be challenging in nonfiction. Our group will work on ways to create an engine for your prose—-on how to turn a situation into a story (especially tricky in memoir). We will spend time devising strategies to create lively prose. A special emphasis will be placed on publication options and on generating future subject matter so that you leave the conference armed with new ideas and enthusiasm. Your 25 sample pages can be the opening chapter of a longer work or a self-contained article-sized piece of 25 pages or less (plus a 1-p synopsis).
  • Novel with Andre Dubus III If I teach nothing else in my writing classes, I teach this: do not outline your novel or novella or short story or essay. Do not think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author. But how, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”? And how, technically speaking, can we ignite a story into “writing itself”? Come to this workshop, and I will seek to demystify those writerly tools and skills that time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve, can penetrate the mystery of story itself.
  • Novel with Luis Alberto Urrea In this workshop, we will not only share our work, we will explore what remains elusive and even hidden to many writers. Your story is not only what is on the page — or on the screen — your story is in the shadows you cast and in the sky you have lit above it. I’m going to show you the Big River of Story and we’re gonna find what’s underneath your page. Expect handouts and even a couple of gifts. Bring your best. You will share.
  • Short Story with Stewart O’Nan The class will be primarily a workshop. Students will read one another’s stories, interrogating character, action, language, ideas and setting with an eye toward revision. Participants admitted to this workshop are asked to read The Art of Revision by Peter Ho Davies as part of preparation for workshop (a limited number of copies will be available for purchase at the conference during the evening readings).
  • Crime Fiction with Laura Lippman Looking for the formula for writing great crime fiction? Alas, it doesn’t exist. But this workshop can help writers with novels in which a crime is the engine that moves the story forward. Counter-intuitively, the emphasis will be on character, not plotting. Crime novels work best when characters are true to themselves. Then again, per Raymond Chandler, it never hurts to send a man through the door with a gun.
  • Suspense in Storytelling with Michael Koryta The workshop is open to fiction and nonfiction writers who are interested in improving their storytelling and broadening their range of techniques. Focus will be on how the handling of core issues such as character, plot, tension, and emotion are imperative regardless of the form, and demonstrating that fiction writers can benefit from seeing how journalistic techniques can add depth and realism to their own work, while nonfiction writers can benefit from learning how to build scenes, create suspense, and use dialogue. (A properly formatted screenplay opening of up to 25 pp will also be considered.)
  • Poetry with Denise Duhamel This workshop will focus on the poetry of its participants–with great care and attention to form (freeverse or fixed or invented), sound, and imagery. In addition to revision suggestions, we will try our hand at prompts and generative writing in order to create new poems and seedlings for poems. Please bring one or two family photographs (family of origin or family made of friends) for one such writing exercise.
  • Special 3-Day Short Story with Ana Menéndez (Jan. 14-16, $495) From Anecdote to Story in Three Days That image you can’t get out of your mind. That anecdote you’ve been telling for the last 10 years. That thing that happened in 2003 that changed everything – all these can be the beginning of a moving and well-crafted work of fiction. In the three days we’ll be together, we’ll spend half the time workshopping your stories and the other half starting a new work of fiction based on an anecdote from your own life. We’ll discuss the difference between anecdote and short story, learn the most basic of story structures, and discuss motif, binary constructions, and other details that will help you deepen subsequent drafts. You’ll leave the three days with at least a rough draft and some basic tools that will allow you to continue shaping the story long after you return home.  
  • Special 3-Day Structure in Fiction, Nonfiction & Memoir with Les Standiford (Jan. 18-20, $495) This workshop will focus on the overall conception and structure of book-length projects–novel, memoir, or general interest non-fiction, either completed or in progress. Discussion will center on the clarity and substance of a summary of the project and the efficacy of the opening 25 pp, given the stated intention.

Full submission guidelines are available on our Submittable page starting August 1.

Manuscript Consultation

Manuscript Consultation with Sterling Watson ($450)

During our meeting, the participant and I will discuss the manuscript including my thoughts on what I think works and doesn’t work.  I will give the participant a brief report on the manuscript, which will be the basis for my spoken comments.  Additionally, I will provide the participant with a line-edited copy of the manuscript (participants may decline line-edits if they wish to).  Finally, we will address any questions that the participant prepares for the meeting.
  • by application only via Submittable from August 1 – November 1
  • novels in progress, up to 35pp plus synopsis
  • one-hour consult
  • may be combined with a 3-day workshop or stand-alone only
  • may not be combined with a full week workshop due to scheduling conflict
  • accepted manuscript consultees will be considered full participants and thus be eligible to attend all conference events (except workshops)
  • meeting must take place during the conference week (January 13-20)
  • participant will work directly with Sterling Watson to arrange meeting time and location

New for 2024

  • Emmy-award winning journalist and  NYT  best-selling author of the memoir,  Between Two Kingdoms ,  Suleika Jaouad , will kick off the week as our Keynote Speaker.
  • Luis Alberto Urrea , Pulitzer-prize finalist and “literary badass” ( NPR) , joins the Workshop Faculty at Writers in Paradise for the first time.
  • Newly minted St. Petersburg Poet Laureate and winner of the Poetry Gold Medal Florida Book Awards, Gloria Muñoz , returns to Eckerd College as this year’s Emerging Artist in Poetry.
  •   NYT Editor’s Choice and “Best Books to Read in 2023” by  Today , author of the short story collection, When Trying to Return Home,  Jennifer Maritza McCauley , will read and lecture at Writers in Paradise as this year’s Emerging Artist in Fiction.
  • Writers in Paradise welcomes back Poet, Collaborator, Professor and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist ( Blowout ), Denise Duhamel , as Faculty to lead the Poetry Workshop.
  • Mitchell Kaplan , Founder and Owner of Books & Books, co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, Podcast host of The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan,  and Producer (The Mazur Kaplan Company), joins the publishing panel at Writers in Paradise.
  • International best-selling debut sensation whose short story collection,  If I Survive You, who has garnered countless accolades including the PEN/Faulkner Award and National Book Award short lists, Jonathan Escoffery , will close our 2024 conference.

Applications Deadline

Our applications period runs from August 1 to November 1 ( 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time).    Apply starting August 1 on Submittable .

For more information on workshop selection, deadlines and conference costs, click on Application & Cost .

Les Standiford

Dennis lehane.

Co-founded by  Dennis Lehane  and  Sterling Watson , and co-directed by  Les Standiford , Writers in Paradise offers an intensive eight-day experience of workshop classes, roundtables, panel discussions, Q&As, readings, book signings, and receptions with our award winning-faculty and guest speakers.

The tranquil seaside landscape sets the tone for this informal gathering of writers, teachers, editors, and literary agents. The size and secluded location of the  Eckerd College Writers’ Conference  allows you the time and opportunity to share your manuscripts, critique one another’s work, and discuss the craft of writing with experts and peers who can help guide you to the next level.

Why You Should Attend

After eight days of workshopping and engagement with peers and professionals in your field, you will leave with a refreshed understanding of your craft and solid ideas about how to find an agent and get published.  At the heart of the conference are six days of workshops led by master faculty in various genres where techniques are discussed and participant manuscripts are closely examined.

2024 Faculty & Guests

Writers in Paradise offers a wide array of  Fellowships and Scholarships.

Additional Information

The 20th edition of Writers in Paradise will take place from January 13 – 20, 2024.  Esteemed faculty and selected participants workshop for three hours in the morning, attend panels and craft talks in the afternoon, and attend evening readings and events. Participants are actively engaged with our faculty and guests from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information about Writers in Paradise, please  visit our FAQ  or contact Conference Coordinator, Marina Pruna, at  [email protected].


“ Writers in Paradise helped me find my footing and develop a successful plan for revising my memoir. Conversations with faculty and fellow workshop participants refueled me, helped me untangle some of the issues I was working through in my manuscript, and fostered a sense of community. ” Angela La Voie
“ Writers in Paradise is well organized and enormously supportive of everyone. Where else can you find a group of this caliber willing to focus on your work with such intensity and good intent? Truly a gift. ” Wikki Krawczyk
“ Writers in Paradise is an extremely well put together week of inspiring readings, critique, people, and ideas. There is kindness and support amidst the hard work and a nice sense of camaraderie. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on craft. Worth the effort to clear a week for! ” Hana Maris
“ At Writers in Paradise, passionate instructors help you succeed at an event organized to provide you with a seamless experience. I've made lasting friendships with other writers while honing my craft. If you want constructive honesty, check your ego at the door and listen. ” Jenn Mondello
“ I found WIP to be life-changing. In a week, my drive to write went from 'moderate' to 'fever pitch'. Andre Dubus III is as gifted an orator as he is a writer, very helpful. ” Jim Mentink
“ It’s hard to imagine any writer who wouldn’t come away from WIP without a bag full of skills, ideas and renewed energy... and stuff to read for months afterward. As if that isn’t enough, we come away engaged more deeply in the community of those who share love of craft and respect for those who practice it. ” Mary Fox
“ Since the conference, two of my novels written under a pen name- a YA and a Thriller - are under contract for publication [in 2020]. And last week I received a request from a lit agent for the full manuscript of the novel I workshopped. Obviously, I learned a lot. ” Tim Vargo
“ If it was only inspiration from the drop-dead talented readers and workshop leaders, Eckerd Writer’s Conference wouldn’t be as useful. Daily, we retrain our focus on what it means to be a writer, explicating the craft and its toolbox. WIP is that balance of soaring spirits and nuts n’ bolts. ” Diane Dewey
“ I've tried many different ways to write about this conference and my experience working with eleven other poets, Major Jackson charting our journey from strangers into a community of poets who learned the ways of eachother's rhythms. Extraordinary experience is not an overstatement. Writers In Paradise is a perfect writing environment with an engaged faculty and it is one of the most well-run conferences because its staff clearly wants to deliver the best experience for every participant. ” Sara Schlossman
“ Attending Writers in Paradise has been an essential ingredient to my development as a writer. I’ve attended several years and have always come away with new tools and skills. The readings, faculty, panels, lectures and fellow students make it a great week and a conference not to be missed. ” Gale Massey; The Girl From Blind River (2018 Florida Book Award)
“ Les Standiford fosters a friendly and respectful environment and is especially masterful in teaching the art of creating story blueprints. I left the conference with a filled notebook, several new friends and ideas on how to structure my next project. No doubt I hope to return. ” Sara Goudarzi The Almond in the Apricot [novel, "Exquisite and magical debut," Publisher's Weekly]
“ Attending WIP has been one a pivotal points in my writing journey. Every aspect, from my memoir workshop with Ann Hood, to the craft talks and nightly readings, went beyond expectation. I came home with a notebook full of inspiration and much work to do. Thank you! ” Diane Forman
“ I was intimidated by the manuscripts of the other participants in Ann Hood's memoir workshop. How I dreaded having my work critiqued by these more accomplished writers. We came together as strangers and left entrusted with intimate details of each others lives. Our workshop revealed flaws, plot holes, confusing prose, and inconsistencies. My manuscript is now so much better for the gentle, thoughtful, consideration of the group. Thank you! ” Eileen Vorbach Collins
“ For decades, even while working as a journalist, I had an outsized faith in talent and effort. I didn’t even know about the myriad techniques to improve a piece of work I learned here. This conference hit me at exactly the right time. ” Andrew Meacham
“ WIP feels like a community led by inspiring and amazing mentors and staff. The readings and craft talks are sometimes sacred experiences, other times hilarious and fascinating. I'm addicted. ” Lita Kurth
“ Studying with Laura Lippman catalyzed a new way for me to approach manuscript revision, and the additional instructional lectures throughout the week were brilliant. The Writers in Paradise deep dive into narrative structure and craft has improved my work-in-progress and will inform all of my work going forward. ” Dev Rogers
“ A writer friend said WIP was an outstanding conference. She was right! Novel Writing with Stewart O'Nan was beyond the pale. My fellow writers were professional and concise in their feedback. The lectures were inspiring. Readings and parties. Beautifully orchestrated and organized with 24/7 help available. What's not to love? ” Pamela Cederquist
“ Writers in Paradise encouraged a wonderful balance of rigor and community on one of the most beautiful college campuses I have ever been to. My instructor, Andre Dubus III, was one of the most knowledgeable, down to earth, and passionate writers I have ever met. He guided our short story cohort not only on how to write better but how to be better as people. This was, in all honesty, a pivot point for my writing career and I will always look back at this time fondly. ” Noel Quiñones
“ WIP helped elevate my writing more than any other workshop I've ever attended. I gained literary authority and found the bravery to write my hard, yet crucial, truths— all in the company of other craft-obsessed writers. It's called Paradise for a reason and it has nothing to do with the beach. ” Danielle Monroe

Our Mission

Our mission at Writers in Paradise is to provide talented and hardworking writers of all levels and genres the opportunity to learn from and work with other writers under the guidance of masterful and successful authors.  For an entire week, we strive to provide an open, inclusive, and nurturing environment where creativity, critical awareness and writing techniques can be exercised, fostered and encouraged.   Every year we try to grow our conference to include new voices and ways of looking at writing and what it means to write in today’s market while maintaining a core faculty of proven authors who are both successful in their genres as well as gifted in the classroom. Our central premise has always been to help talented writers reach their intended audiences.  We understand the complexities of putting together effective stories, and this understanding and sensitivity makes our workshops popular and coveted.  One of our goals is to create community among our participants which is why our workshops are closed to all but those participants who submit manuscripts and are accepted into workshop—one long time faculty member calls it “having skin in the game.” We believe that keeping workshops small allows for focus, productive criticism and honesty.

Our commitment to providing a week filled with writing education and sanctuary includes poetry. Nearly every year we rotate a nationally-acclaimed, award-winning poet who teaches as part of our core faculty. In addition to the poetry workshop and craft talk(s), we are honored to have as part of our lineup the poet laureates of St. Petersburg and of Florida, Helen Pruitt Wallace and Peter Meinke.

With the help of our St. Petersburg community and Eckerd alumni, we work with an endowment that affords us the opportunity to help many participants financially.  We never want money to be the reason that you can’t come be with us for a week.  If you’ve got a story that’s burning to be told, we want to help you add to your set of craft-box tools, so you can effectively tell it. While we are competitive and accept writers based on the strength and potential of their writing, we abide by the notion that good writing is good writing and we all stand to learn from one another no matter where we come from, how old we are, or what we may or may not have studied formally.  After a week at WIP, we hope you leave with a new and inspired sense of direction, some good friends who you can share writing with throughout the year, and with confidence you can navigate new writing challenges on your own.

Les Standiford , Conference Director Marina Pruna , Conference Coordinator

eckerd college creative writing

Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College 4200 54th Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33711

The Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise is organized by Marina Pruna, conference coordinator, and by Les Standiford, conference co-director.

727.241.2802 [email protected]

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Eckerd College

Eckerd College campus (aerial view)

Eckerd College is a private four-year coeducational liberal arts college at the southernmost tip of St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Eckerd College has a suburban 188-acre campus on Frenchman's Creek and Boca Ciega Bay, about 3 miles from Gulf of Mexico beaches. The campus is near, but separate from, residential and commercial neighborhoods of St. Petersburg. The college is committed to a more environmentally friendly and sustainable campus, supported by such initiatives as its Yellow Bike program. Eckerd College awards both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. In addition to programs in Marine Science, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, International Business, and Creative Writing, Eckerd offers majors covering the spectrum of the liberal arts. Degree programs in 39 fields are available, along with opportunities for student-designed majors.

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Training & Development

Leadership development training:.

The Leadership Development Institute offers custom approaches and techniques for building leadership capability, fostering team development and supporting positive change.Custom programs area vailable for law firms, educators, and nuclear power.

Leadership Development Training

Mediation Training Institute:

The Mediation Training Institute (MTI) ® is the foremost provider of training, certification, licensing, and consulting in workplace conflict management and mediation. Through the institute, we offer programs and products for conflict resolution and mediation including a variety of mediation certification programs.

Mediation Training Institute

Osher Lifelong Institute:

No tests. No grades. Just the joy of learning and sharing. OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at Eckerd College is a non-profit education program designed for people age 50+ and open to all adult learners. Each year OLLI provides more than 300 intellectually stimulating non-credit classes, interest groups, local and international trips and special events for its 1,500+ members at several locations in Pinellas County.

Osher Lifelong Institute

(727) 864-7500

Are you an employer who recognizes the value of collaborative leadership, innovation, analysis and critical thinking, problem-solving, strong research, oral and written communication skills, and a commitment to service? Then look no further—hire an Eckerd Triton! To post internships or part-time or full-time jobs, visit TritonTrack, Eckerd's online internships and jobs database accessible to students and alumni.


Internships & Apprenticeships

Career Planning & Applied Learning

The Center for Career Planning and Applied Learning connects all of the off-campus and experiential learning opportunities aimed at enhancing students’ academic and personal development.

Contact Information:

Grant Bailey Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Career Services [email protected] (727) 864-8865

Are you an employer who recognizes the value of collaborative leadership, innovation, analysis and critical thinking, problem-solving, strong research, oral and written communication skills, and a commitment to service? Then look no further—hire an Eckerd Triton! Eckerd internship opportunities typically center around the fields of Marine Biology, Environmental Studies, Human Development, and Political Sciences. To post internships or part-time or full-time jobs, visit TritonTrack, Eckerd's online internships and jobs database accessible to students and alumni.

TritonTrack Marine Science Internships Environmental Studies Internships Human Development Internships Political Science Internships

Ronald Porter Director of Service-Learning [email protected] (727) 864-7512

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Exploring the Impact of Lifelong Learning on a Career in Writing

  • Post author By Cheryl King
  • Post date 26 October 2023

Exploring the Impact of Lifelong Learning on a Career in Writing

Amidst the bustling atmosphere of Eckerd College’s faculty dining room, a group of writing students and career advisors recently gathered to delve into the world of “careers in writing”. The event, organized the Eckerd College Career Center, featured the presence of Alexia Fernández, a talented creative writer and storyteller.

Fernández, known for her employment at prestigious outlets like the Los Angeles Times and People magazine, now finds herself as a synopsis writer on the creative writing strategy team at Netflix. During her captivating presentation, Fernández highlighted the profound significance of becoming a lifelong learner, drawing from her own experiences.

Throughout her journey, Fernández continually seeks growth opportunities, even in her leisure time. By taking acting classes, she not only pays homage to her childhood dreams but also acknowledges the importance of avoiding stagnation. According to Fernández, individuals who believe they possess all the knowledge necessary often find themselves trapped, unable to evolve.

Eckerd student Allison Kern, who aspires to major in creative writing or film studies, found Fernández’s talk to be particularly enlightening. As a budding screenwriter, Kern was eager to gain insights into Fernández’s unique role at Netflix. The young student was especially inspired Fernández’s perspective on rejection, deeply resonating with her own emotional nature. Fernández reminded Kern that rejection is merely a part of the learning experience and shouldn’t be taken personally.

Following the presentation, Kern had the opportunity to engage with Fernández on a more personal level. The two passionate writers exchanged contact information, vowing to stay in touch throughout their respective journeys. Fernández emphasized the importance of forming connections along the way, as she believes her own job opportunities have stemmed from these invaluable relationships.

Indeed, the event echoed the sentiment that lifelong learning plays a pivotal role in enhancing a writer’s career. By constantly seeking opportunities for growth and remaining open to new experiences, individuals can cultivate a dynamic and evolving writing practice.

What is the significance of lifelong learning for writers?

Lifelong learning provides writers with the chance to continuously expand their knowledge, skills, and perspectives. By embracing new experiences and seeking growth opportunities, writers can enhance their creativity and adaptability in a rapidly evolving industry.

How does rejection impact writers?

Rejection is a common experience for writers. It can be emotionally challenging, but it is crucial to remember that rejection is often not a personal reflection of one’s abilities. Instead, it serves as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.

Why are connections important in a writing career?

Forming connections within the writing community can open doors to valuable opportunities. Job prospects, collaborations, and mentorships often arise through the relationships built over time. Nurturing these connections can play a significant role in the advancement of a writer’s career.

Eckerd College

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4200 54th Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33711 US


Located on 188 acres of waterfront property in St. Petersburg, Florida, Eckerd College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences known distinctively for marine science, environmental studies, international relations and global affairs, creative writing, management, study abroad, and civic engagement. Eckerd's 1,850 residential students from 47 states and 33 countries choose among 38 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Nearly 40% of each Eckerd graduating class goes on to pursue advanced degrees, and Eckerd is among the nation's leaders in the percentage of its graduates who earn doctoral degrees.

In addition, 700 students are enrolled in the Program for Experienced Learners, a bachelor's degree program for adult learners. Eckerd's Leadership Development Institute executive education program, Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC), Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Road Scholar identify the college as a national leader of innovative programs in continuing education and lifelong learning.

Eckerd College is one of only 40 schools listed in Loren Pope's trusted Colleges That Change Lives. One of the youngest colleges to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for the quality of its undergraduate education, Eckerd has one of the highest proportions of students who study abroad during their college career.

Enrolled Students

1,893 students

Tuition Undergraduate

Tuition graduate.

On-campus courses cost $1,100, as well as directed or independent study courses, senior project courses and senior thesis courses.

Notable Alumni

Dr. Julie Huber, Dennis Lehane and Grace Gair.

There are 38 different majors to choose from at Eckerd College.


Eckerd College awards scholarships to residential students that show academic and/or artistic merit through the scholarship program. Academic Scholarships are awarded based on the student's application for admission. Some scholarships include Academic Achievement Scholarships for first year students, International Student Scholarship & Aid, Artistic Achievement Awards, Church and Campus Scholarships, Freshman Research Associateships, Transfer Scholarships, QuEST Transfer Scholarships for Science Students, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships, Athletic Aid, Yellow Ribbon Awards, Florida Scholarships and other State Scholarships.

Financial Aid

96% of students receive some sort of financial aid at Eckerd College. Last year, in total, $43 million in financial aid was awarded to students. The average award per student was $26,000, the total range from $1,000 to $42,000. There are many types of aid available to students including scholarships, grants, loans and job opportunities. In order to apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Undergraduate Programs

American Studies, Ancient Studies, Anthropology, Art (Visual Arts), Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, Creative Writing, East Asian Studies, Economics, English, Environment Studies, French, Geosciences, History, Human Development, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Arts, International Business, International Relations & Global Affairs, International Studies, Literature, Management, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, Visual Arts and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Graduate Programs

Majors: American Studies, Business Management, Human Development, Management, and Organizational Studies. Minors: American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, Firm Studies, Hisotry, Human Development, International Business, Journalism, Law & Justice, Leadership Studies, Management, Religious Studies, Visual Arts, and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Continuing Education

Continuing education at Eckerd College opens up worlds of opportunities for a wide variety of lifelong learners.

Adult Degree Program (PEL) Executive Education (LDI) Center for Conflict Dynamics Conference Center & Lodge English Language School Eckerd College Writers' Conference: Writers in Paradise Center for Leadership & Lifelong Learning

A variety of senior learning opportunities offer active adult learners many choices. Our programs provide various levels of involvement and numerous topics of interest.

Osher Lifelong Institute Academy of Senior Professionals (ASPEC) Road Scholar

On Campus Clubs

Arts clubs include: Anime Addicts Anonymous, Creative Writing Club, Culinary Arts Club, EC Dance Company, EC Disney Pride, EC Film Aficionados, EC Meditation club, EC Swing Dance Club, EC Tritones A Capella Club, Slam Poetry Club, The Film Club and the Theatre Troupe.

Check out Similar Professors in the Creative Writing Department

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Eckerd College

4 year • St. Petersburg, FL

eckerd college creative writing

Eckerd College is a private institution that was founded in 1958. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,993 (fall 2022), and the campus size is 188 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. Eckerd College's ranking in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #130. Its tuition and fees are $50,348.

Located in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, the waterfront campus of Eckerd College overlooks Boca Ciega Bay on the western coast of the state. Eckerd College offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and more than 50 minors. Every year, students and faculty travel outside the U.S. to more than 40 countries for research and cultural learning via study abroad programs.

Students at Eckerd can stay busy outside of the classroom by exploring the International Cinema Series and various art exhibitions, theater performances, poetry slams, writing workshops and guest lectures. Much of recreational life at Eckerd College is based on its waterfront location. That ocean theme includes the name of its varsity sports teams, the Tritons, which compete in the NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference. Students can also get involved in the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team (EC-SAR), which works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and responds to distress calls in the area.

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Tuition & Fees

Undergraduate Enrollment

Acceptance Rate

2024 Rankings

Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank schools.

  • #130 in National Liberal Arts Colleges  (tie)
  • #168 in Top Performers on Social Mobility
  • in Psychology Programs

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High School GPA*

* These are the average scores of applications admitted to this school. Ranges represent admitted applicants who fell within the 25th and 75th percentile.

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Data provided by U.S. News College Compass Users.

Room & Board

Average Need-Based Aid Package

*Average cost after aid

Popular Majors



Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Natural Resources and Conservation

Social Sciences

Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

* In cases where salary data at the specific major level is unavailable, a general salary for the major category is displayed.

Pick the Perfect Major

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Graduate Enrollment

Total Enrollment

Full-Time Degree-Seeking Students

Student Diversity

Gender Distribution

Ethnic Diversity

Minority Enrollment

Two or more races


Not Specified is not included in this breakdown due to an enrollment of 0%.

Campus Life

Housing and Dorms

Types of campus housing available:

  • women's dorms
  • apartment for single students
  • special housing for disabled students
  • theme housing
  • wellness housing
  • other housing options

Student Activities

Sports Teams


After College

Graduation Rate

Graduating Students Who Have Borrowed (any loan type, 2021)

Average Debt at Graduation

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Undergraduate data are based on the 2022 school year.

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    2024 Rankings · #130. in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie) · #168. in Top Performers on Social Mobility · in Psychology Programs.