Creative Writing & Lit Major Meets Career

Graduates of Naropa’s BA in Creative Writing & Literature program have published books and been finalists for the Walt Whitman Prize from the Academy of American Poets. They have received awards from the NEA, Prism International, StoryMagazine’s Raymond Carver contest, and the Ernest Hemingway First Novel Contest. Their work has received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation, the Colorado Book Award, and theInternational Latino Book Award in historical fiction. Works have been nominated for theBeliever Book Award, featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and received the Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction. Some career paths of recent graduates include work with Poets & Writers Inc.,state-wide coordinator for Colorado Writers-in-the-Schools, and assistant professor at the University of Texas and The Evergreen State College.

Discover Career Pathways for Creative Writing & Literature Graduates

Career Options

  • Choreographer

  • Dance Therapy

  • Bringing dance  to  under served / minority populations through non-profit initiatives and grand funded opportunities

  • Performing re: Contemporary, lyrical, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, cultural specific dances

  • Writing for dance companies / journals

  • Teaching / working in dance history in institutions, cultural heritage sites, tourism, etc.

  • Creative Writing such as: novels, poetry, screenplays, scripts, cards, commercials, jingles, lyrics, commercial scripts,

  • Marketing / Advertising such as: commercial scripts, jingles, blogs, content writing, feature writing, copyrighting (websites, products, brands, etc.)

  • Freelance writing Technical writing

  • Journalism i.e. investigative, photo, sports, editorial, online, etc.

  • Reporting

  • Editing & proofreading

  • Publishing

  • Traditional / fine visual art areas such as: Illustration, film, performance, installation, video

  • Commercial art such as: Graphic art, motion design, web design graphic novels, illustration

  • Advertising / Marketing such as: Branding, logo design, story boards, animation, typography, art direction, layouts, packaging

  • Museum work such as: curating, restoration, conservation, collections, exhibitions, education, tours, history

  • Performance

  • Acting

  • Be a part of a stage crew i.e. set design, management, direction, construction, lighting / sound

  • Work in the media industry i.e. television, radio, video, etc.

  • Technical direction i.e. camera opps, rigging, carpentry, etc.

  • Behind the scenes creativity: casting, costume design, special effects, hair/make-up, wardrobe, props, etc.

  • Composing / Arranging

  • Music and Program Direction

  • Performance

  • Advertising / commercial: voice overs, composition, sound mixing, post- production, copyright

  • Music composition, editing, licensing

  • Entrepreneurial / freelance creative

  • Marketing / Advertising: talent acquisition, product  management, art direction, event planning,  public relations, branding, media relations, etc.

  • Publishing and Editing

  • Producing & Recording

  • Administration

  • Retail

  • Teaching in an institution, private lessons, more formalized instruction, etc.

  • Research re: contemporary, innovative modalities and initiatives

Potential Employers

  • Cultural organizations and arts councils

  • Theaters and arts venues

  • Self-employed / freelance Non-profits

  • Grant-funded initiatives

  • Therapeutic & Wellness programs

  • Ecstatic dance

  • Yoga / embodiment organizations

  • Festivals

  • Dance companies, studios, and academies

  • National Endowment for the Arts

  • Performance organizations: dance, theater, broadway, touring, off-broadway, television, motion picture, commercials, music videos

  • Tourism & recreation: cultural heritage sites, visitor centers, resorts, sporting events, amusement parks, cruise ships, etc.

  • In-house at an organization you love

  • Freelance / entrepreneurial ventures

  • Publishers i.e. magazines, newspapers, technical, academic publications

  • Digital i.e. social media, websites, content creation, blog building companies

  • Advertising / Marketing / PR organizations

  • Broadcast media i.e. television, motion picture, radio companies including television,

  • Universities

  • Government agencies

  • Art Museums

  • Galleries

  • Community centers

  • Self-employed

  • Studios

  • Advertising agencies

  • Public relation agencies

  • Design firms

  • Company marketing departments

  • Publishing companies

  • Magazines

  • Newspapers

  • Books

  • Department stores

  • Television and motion picture industry

  • Internet media companies

  • Governmental agencies

  • Self employed through hire or private instruction / performance

  • Bands, groups, ensembles, orchestras, choirs, theaters, production companies

  • Record company

  • Media outlets: television, radio, motion picture, etc.

  • Music agencies, production companies, recording studios, etc.

  • Advertising, public relations, marketing, design firms

  • In-house creative departments

  • Publishing companies

  • Production companies

  • Media industry i.e. Television, radio, motion picture

  • Digital / tech / social media companies

  • Retail

  • Nonprofit agencies

  • Grant-funded initiatives / projects

  • Government agencies

  • Schools: public, private, charter, Waldorf, universities, colleges

  • Art, design, creative, performance specific schools/ universities

  • Nonprofit / grant-funded initiatives

  • Tourism agencies

  • Government organizations

  • Community centers

  • Therapy / wellness organizations

  • Hospitals

  • Elderly care

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Community, regional, commercial theaters

  • Self-employed / freelance

  • Nonprofits

  • Grant-funded initiatives

  • Touring companies

  • Marketing / Advertising: commercials, videos, etc.

  • Tourism & recreation: cultural heritage sites, visitor centers, resorts, sporting events, amusement parks, cruise ships, etc.

Career Path Preparedness

  • Sign up for the Internship class & complete an internship related to the creative arts field. Visit the Office of Career Development to see the site list and for a variety of different organizations to get involved in.

  • Get involved in school creative I performance groups & resources i.e. SUN, Naropa Circus Club, etc.

  • Complete a service learning project aligned with your career goals / path. See your COR professors & advisors for details.

  • Align your classes, curriculum, research projects and thesis / capstone projects with your career goals / path.

  • Volunteer / familiarize yourself with organizations that align with your career goals & provide the opportunity for hands-on training.

  • Earn a minor in a specialized field of interest.

  • Get out and explore—immerse yourself in artistic skills and interests.

  • Attend workshops, conferences. MeetUps, panels, etc. to build your network.

  • Obtain skills in business, marketing, technology to increase employment and entrepreneurial options.

  • Develop a variety of creative skills—become “multi-disciplinary” i.e. dance, singing, acting, art, design, fashion, etc.

  • Cultivate resilience, patience and determination in order to make your artistic dreams a reality. And most importantly—GET CONNECTED!

  • A graduate degree, i.e. a Master of Fine Arts could be a great way to further your career in the creative and performing arts field.

  • Understand and practice communicating the transferable and sought-after skills that differentiate you as an “artist” or “creative.”

If you are interested pursuing a graduate degree there are several things you will want to keep in mind while in your undergraduate studies:

    1. Academic work, and the way you show up is VERY important. Put in your best effort academically and aim for a high grade point average.

    2. Relationships matter. REALLY matter. Build positive connections while in the Naropa community with faculty, staff, colleagues, etc. These relationships will continue to support you and you can ask those same people to provide recommendation letters for your graduate degree applications!

    3. Get experience! A lot of it. Either through academic, internship, volunteer or work opportunities. This will bolster your application and CV immensely.

Alumnx Spotlight

Getting connected with Naropa Alumnx is a great way to build your professional network and resources. Some ways to get involved are:

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

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Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.