Writing at Saint Martin's is seen as critical to the quest for truth and improvement of the human condition. Whether writing poetry, policy, or a blog or business report, the ability to write clearly in a number of styles prepares students for the range of writing requirements that their spiritual lives and careers will inevitably demand.

Program highlights

  • What to expect at Saint Martin's

    The Writing minor is a flexible minor that draws on the discipline of rhetoric by emphasizing the link between rhetorical theory and ethical thought, focusing on investigative inquiry and research.

    As an integral part of Saint Martin's vibrant Department of English, the Writing Program provides students with:

    • Courses in the following three tracks: Journalism, Professional and academic writing, and Creative writing
    • Access to, and interaction with, a highly engaged faculty
    • On-going opportunities for world travel
    • Participation in the yearly Washington state Les Bailey Writers Series
    • Professional experience through Saint Martin's student publication, The Belltower
    • Membership in Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society
    • Membership in the SMU English Majors Facebook page
    • Opportunities for Internships with local businesses, the arts and the Washington State Legislature
    • Opportunities for field trips and ethnographic observations of the Washington State Legislature
    • Creative writing retreats at the Saint Martin's Abbey's Lambert Lodge, a beautiful, restorative, retreat center on Eld Inlet in the Puget Sound
    • Close relations with the Olympia Poetry Network’s monthly poetry readings and the Olympia Song Writer’s circle, both held at downtown Olympia's Traditions café

    The Writing minor welcomes and is applicable to all majors. Informed by the Benedictine philosophy of education, the writing minor offers students an enriching unique and practical academic experience that meets the needs of the whole person and assists students in writing eloquently for various purposes, audiences and contexts. 

  • Career paths

    The Writing minor helps students develop the key communication, critical and creative thinking and research skills necessary to prepare them for entry to academic, professional and career-oriented fields that are writing intensive. Strong writing skills are an asset in any number of professions, including:

    • Creative writing
    • Journalism
    • Science and medical industries
    • Technology
    • Publishing
    • Rhetoric and writing
    • Education
    • Law
    • Government
    • Human rights nonprofit groups

    For a complete list of professional applications, visit "What Can I Do With Major?". For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.


  • Three semester hours of literature
  • Nine semester hours (three semester hours from each category) in creative writing, professional and academic writing and journalism
  • Six upper-division semester hours; any two courses from the three categories (creative writing, academic/professional writing, and journalism)
  • Writing courses (18 semester hours)

    Three semester hours of literature:

    Must be outside of General Education upper-division semester hours. View the list of literature courses in our undergraduate catalog.

    Three semester hours from creative writing:

    WRT 292: Creative Writing
    WRT 405: Advanced Creative Writing
    WRT 302: Play Writing
    WRT 402: Play Writing II

    Three semester hours from professional and academic writing:

    WRT 306: Professional and Academic Writing Skills
    WRT 320: Ethics in Writing
    WRT 390: English Internship

    Three semester hours from journalism:

    WRT 299: Introduction to Journalism
    WRT 302: Advanced Journalism
    WRT 303: Digital Journalism

    Six upper-division semester hours:

    Chosen from from any of the three categories above (creative writing, professional and academic writing and journalism)


Saint stories

Jacob Ames, Class of 2012

The far edge of the radar

"Saint Martin’s provides many, if not all, of the qualities of a larger institution without most of the negative aspects ... resulting in an ambiance that feels more like home and less like a business."

Jacob Ames Mechanical Engineering Class of 2012

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