Contact: Tom Noyes
Phone: (814) 898-6209
171 Kochel Center, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
4701 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563
Students in the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Behrend specialize in fiction and/or poetry writing, are mentored by a faculty made up of well-published, professional writers, and have the opportunity to serve on the editorial team of Lake Effect, Behrend's international literary magazine.
Anyone not affiliated with Penn State Behrend is eligible to submit work to Lake Effect. Submissions are accepted online at:
In Penn State Behrend's BFA Program in Creative Writing, majors take extensive coursework in the literature and theory of fiction and poetry. Students work closely with faculty on skills development, and participate in frequent peer workshops where student writing is shared and discussed. In the senior year, all Creative Writing majors complete a two-semester senior project that produces a coherent collection of writing, including a substantive critical preface.
Students and recent graduates have published their work in some of the finest literary journals in the country, including Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Epoch, The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, Poetry East, Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, Third Coast, and Western Humanities Review, and have published award-winning books with numerous presses.
The combination of the program’s rigorous curriculum, the excellent faculty, and the opportunities for hands-on learning experiences helps our students begin to find their authentic voices as contemporary poets and writers of fiction and literary non-fiction.
Most BFA students choose to work with the program's faculty on Lake Effect, the award-winning international literary journal housed at Behrend. They solicit manuscripts from writers across the globe, read submissions for potential inclusion, edit the work accepted for publication, prepare the journal for publication, and market each new issue. This hands-on experience prepares Behrend graduates for careers in publishing and editorial content development.
Students also attend readings by poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction writers through the Smith Creative Writers Reading Series. These readings—usually six per year—bring writers of national stature to Behrend's campus and are open to the public.