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Writing Studies

Our  Shared Mission, Vision, and Values:


We envision a future where people are engaged, flexible, and ethical learners and writers who lead meaningful lives of connection and contributions.


We support, lead, and learn with writers in classrooms, careers, and communities.


We value accessibility, adaptability, empathy, empowerment, and the recursive process of reflection, revision, and growth.


Learn more about our guiding values.

Our Amazing Students

Celebrating The National Day of Writing

Department of Writing Studies students wrote ghoulish resumes, haunting fact sheets, and terrifying prose as part of the national celebration of writing. They added a sprinkling of Halloween flavor to the celebration with colorfully creative pumpkin painting. A sampling of spine-chilling prose is shared below with permission from the generous author.

Group of students paint pumpkins sitting at a table on campus
student points ghost on pumpkin
DWS smiling while painting pumpkins. One students gives the camera two thumbs up.

Terrifying Prose

Rye Russell, a talented DWS student, shares original, frightening prose.

You start your day with a 7 gauge needle of adrenaline, just something to keep your eyes open. Rainbows dance across the hole in the ceiling and swans kiss mid air. Skipping down the broken glass laced stairs and beneath smeared stains of indistinguishable origin on the ceiling, your breakfast is a pastel bowl of snow cones topped with heroin, to start the day off right, y’know? You get dressed as per once a week at best. The hinges of your door stand no chance against your spiked, flame laden boots. That door piles up against the carnage of previous days. The sun has a gummy, cheery grin and waves at you joyously. You pull out a 40 gauge and shoot a salute, knowing the lead will never hit your friend above. It does, however, hit a plane. Down it goes in a kaleidoscope of carnage. Beauty-full. Off you carouse, cars blasting candy clouds of chloroform and monoxide screech past, but it’s a little difficult to see them beneath the porcelain mask of your constant, obnoxiously entertained caricature. Swans with teeth stolen from the sun beat drums with their grand wings above. Small signs of movement that may portray people have limbs sprouting from their back as they dig through the rolling waves of neon filth and shit that have long since consumed the neighborhood, searching for sustenance, or maybe meaning. One of the hands falls off and the rest dive at it. The crunching of numerous frail bodies crushing one another builds behind you while you caper on. You can’t tell if it’s bones beneath your feet or needles. One pierces through the two inch thick soles. It puts a pep back in your step. Reaching work’s vicinity, the buildings on the nicer side of town slant and slump in awkward directions, like drunken friends who can’t decide who should support who. They squirm and dance, and you can see top floor office officials in their padded suits bouncing merrily along to the spasms. One goes flying, cackling, gibbering, out the window and splashes a golden smear on the smoothened, spit shined pavement. You tread through it, and the metallic gleam shifts to crimson as you hit the shadow of your workplace. “All for Love! All for War!” Proclaims the motto. The glass door has last week’s experiment lodged in it. You can’t even tell there’s a door there. You just know. The moment your fingertips approach the transparent blur, the suction is so strong you get catapulted into the opposite end of the sitting room. The wall caves inward with your impact and you nearly go through. Not quite though, and you cartoonishly slide from the drywall like that swan that hit the skylight, then flew off with it. You have to peel the secretaries face off of your “face.” What a good day. Hiking up your heart underwear, you scramble up the awaiting steel cable where the elevator used to be to your floor, 144, your favorite number. Like a sharpened pencil, the shaft gets narrower as you approach the top. Soon you don’t even need the cable and are simply army crawling vertically, a learned skill. Disposable needles lodged in your arms provide great traction. Your gun falls, shooting as it goes. A stray bullet takes off your foot from the ankle down. Less weight helps you gain ground quicker. Digging your powder and snot laden fingernails into the tile, those of the dayshift pluck a few maggots out of their shoulders and armpits to acknowledge your arrival. How kind. You can see other rooftops from this high up, the gleeful sun watches as well as shoving fights send more to the earth below, as weapon displays get blasted away by the crackling supersonic defenses the police left in place before your team had turned them into lollipops and artificial sweeteners for the ravenous masses. Too bad it’s just your own head left to depend on now. Flicking out your coat tails, your weight, sends you through your chair and into the ground. It cracks, and you fall again, and again, and over and over and over and over and over until you hit an unknown floor. The surroundings are ashen powder, nothing like the eye bleeding, retina burning palette you’ve grown quite accustomed to. You’ve only seen it in your work on rare occasions when there aren’t enough exploitable workers left to do the gritty work. Oh yeah! Gunpowder storage. The spikes on your boots grate against the rough concrete floor, and a single spark sends the building into a vivid mushroom cloud the plane couldn’t rival. You hope your blood will be blue, and glorious like the swans.

Department of Writing Studies

DWS Community Events

Bronco Football Helmet golf cart on campus

Writing Studies at Bronco Day

Two writing studies faculty members, Ti and Jan, stand next to a table smiling holding the Writing Studies sign above their heads.

Jan Roser and Ti Macklin enthusiastically welcome new students to the Department of Writing Studies community during the annual Bronco Day on the quad.