Williston’s English Department teaches students the skills to handle language effectively; to think analytically; to write with originality, clarity, and depth; and to speak with thought and substance. We design our classrooms as arenas for intellectual risk taking, where a good question can often take the group further than a good answer. The skills taught in each grade work as cumulative progression, beginning with literature and composition. At each grade level, we seek to instill in our students a love of literature and to challenge them to grow as writers and thinkers.
Special Programs in English
Writers' Workshop Series
For 20 years, the Writers’ Workshop Series has brought an array of celebrated authors to campus, including Pulitzer-Prize and National-Book-Award winners. Four times throughout the course, an established writer gives a public reading followed by hands-on instruction for student writers who have studied the author’s work.
Williston’s student literature and art magazine, published twice a year, collects fiction, poems, and artwork of the Williston community. The publication is edited and produced by students under the direction of faculty advisor Sarah Sawyer.
Modeled on the Amherst College writing program, Williston’s Writing Center gives students one-on-one support to help them become a more flexible and effective writer. Open during the day and most evenings, the Writing Center is staffed by faculty and peer tutors, who can help with any kind of writing, from term papers to college essays.
Did you know Williston publishes the country’s oldest, continually published student-run newspaper? It’s true! Since 1841, Willistonian staff has covered current events and campus news, both serious and lighthearted. The Willistonian lives online, too, and its Instagram channel features fun, frequent takeovers. How un-1841.
Associated with the production of the student newspaper, The Willistonian, this contemporary publications course allows you to have a community voice while giving you real-world writing skills and keeping you in stride with the evolving advances and trends of journalism. You’ll learn and practice the skills of story development, including researching and vetting sources, interviewing, reporting, and editing.
The English Department and the History and Global Studies Department offer a Humanities Concentration to celebrate and encourage those students who have a demonstrated passion for the humanities. This concentration is intended for students who want to exceed the requirements in both departments by investing extra time, effort, and energy to pursue their passion. In order to fulfill this concentration, students must complete three additional electives, a Williston Scholars course in either department, and additional extracurricular work, such as publication or participation in relevant clubs.