Carolina students were writing and publishing creative works long before creative writing became part of the curriculum. Beginning in the late nineteenth century with the Carolina Magazine, students published poetry and short stories in campus publications. Dramatic writing became a focal point at Carolina when Frederick Koch started the Carolina Playmakers in 1918 and his students —including future novelist Thomas Wolfe —wrote original "folk plays." In the 1940s Jesse Rehder, a faculty member in English, taught creative writing. Her classes were popular enough that by 1966 a creative writing program was established within the English department. Novelist Max Steele was the first director of the program and led it for more than twenty years. Many well-known authors have since taught in the department, including Doris Betts, Jill McCorkle, Bland Simpson, Randall Kenan, and Daniel Wallace.
Date Established: 1966
Date Range: 1966 – Present