Professional Writing Concentration

Professional Writing students work collaboratively on Red Skies

Photo: professional writing students work collaboratively on Red Skies

The professional writing program educates students in the critical thinking, collaborative temperament and writing skills required for 21st century leadership. As knowledge workers, professional writers identify, access, harvest, process, create, and disseminate information in text, graphics and video, in both traditional and new media.

Recent graduates are employed as grant proposal writers, corporate conference planners, magazine editors, educators, or are enrolled in competitive graduate programs.

The professional writing program is coordinated by Professor Regina Flynn.

The professional writing program sponsors Salem State’s official undergraduate online journal, Red Skies.

Common Goals

The overarching goals for professional writing students are to a greater or lesser extent touched upon in all Professional Writing classes. Within specific courses, students should expect considerable latitude made possible by the creativity of their teachers.

  • Create audience-centric work. Professional writers strive to meet the needs and expectations of their audience by producing crisp, clear, accurate, informative prose for specialists or generalists.
  • Adapt voice to that of an organization. Professional writers emulate the voice of their organizations.
  • Understand the tradition of language and literary art as practiced by the best writers of our culture.
  • Perform as a liaison between specialists and generalists.
  • Work collaboratively. Writing is a social act. While literary art is most often a solitary undertaking, in practice most writing is produced by groups. Modern professionals are skilled with the software that enables collaborative processes without dependence on time or proximity.
  • Appreciate the relationship between content and medium. Effective presentation of content varies with audience, purpose, and medium.
  • Use technology as source, collaborative process enabler, or publishing medium. In the Information Age, knowledge workers access, critically consider, and produce new information.
  • Develop the entrepreneurial habits that allow a writer to be part a content creator for the digital economy. Many professional writing students publish in paying venues before they graduate!