Why study Writing Communication at MC?

This major develops skills in creative and professional writing. Majors study trends in creative writing and the dynamic evolution of contemporary writing. They learn the distinctions between literary and popular forms of writing, as well as between accessible and experimental modes of writing. The honing of analytical skills is matched with an emphasis on the writing process.

In both creative and professional writing classes, editing, critiquing and providing constructive feedback on manuscripts is emphasized. Students also master methodologies of different rhetorical situations, different modes of writing in journalism, public relations and business and technical writing. Best practices, ethical and professional issues, and industry standards that are introduced in major classes are reinforced and developed through internships.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

On campus opportunities

Student staff members of The Highland Echo publish a 10-page campus newspaper every other week during the semester. Impressions, an annual publication and bimonthly online literary magazine, features artwork, creative writing and poetry submitted by MC students.

External Relationships

The American Red Cross
The Daily Times
East Tennessee Historical Society
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
Knoxville News Sentinel
Knoxville Zoo
Mary Beth West Communications
New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center
Scripps Networks
United Way of Blount County

Meet a current student

Candace Whitman ’17
Hometown: Mount Juliet, Tenn.

Candace, secretary of the College’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, is preparing for a career in communications or public relations in the non-profit sector. She spent last summer as the Bio-Med Marketing and Communications Intern at the Nashville area Red Cross, where she wrote news releases, public service announcements and other communications materials; managed the Twitter account for the Tennessee Valley region; and interviewed and photographed blood and platelet donors. “The written and verbal communication skills that I developed in the classroom gave me the tools I needed to succeed in my internship,” she said. “The coursework and practical experiences I have had in this major have prepared me for a variety of career paths.”

Outcomes of Recent Grads

Featured Graduates

Garrett Painter ’14
Currently: Trade and Event Marketing Coordinator at Scripps Networks

As a student at MC, Garrett took advantage of the Writing Communication internship program by interning in digital communications at Pyxl and in distribution and marketing with Scripps Networks. It was his experience at this final internship that led to his successful career in event marketing. “I wouldn’t have this job if I hadn’t put myself  out there with those internships,” he said. “The major is one you can take in many directions. You don’t just have to be a novelist or a journalist. You can do marketing or public relations, and there are lots of opportunities in those fields.”

Jacob "Jake" Burns '10
Currently: Multimedia journalist and anchor for wtvr in richmond, va

Jake began his broadcasting career as a sports intern. He is now working full-time in Richmond and has won three regional Emmy awards, one National Press Photographers Association regional award, and was named Richmond Magazine's "Best New Face on TV" in 2012. "I'm in a business with multiple daily deadlines and assignments that constantly change. You have to be good at learning quickly and adapting," he said. "At MC, I learned HOW to learn. It's a critical skill in my daily work, and one that I cherish."

Video Gallery

Career Options

Journalism (print and web based newspapers/magazines), public relations, writing for non-profit organizations, grant writing, television and radio broadcasting, editing and publishing, film and television production. This major also prepares the student for graduate study in communications and for law school.