Heeding the Call for Narrative in a Fragmented World

"I could not have imagined a more fitting paradigm of writing for my master's. Prodigious! What a lovely word. You are a designer of wonderful literary paths and practices, Laura. I feel honored to be aligned with the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative in its inaugural stage." -- Kelly Pearce, Writer, Student

"If you want to strengthen all aspects of your life with the end product being your voice, enroll in this program." -- Matthew Hartwiger, Writer, Student


The Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative offers graduate-level and certificate courses in narrative training across disciplines in Thomas Wolfe’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. Drawing on the creative, social, historical, and intellectual legacy of Thomas Wolfe, the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative upholds the practices of positive aesthetics--exploration, eloquence, and attention in developing expansive and insightful narrative. Students at the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative write boldly and much, seeking the shape of story that emerges organically from deep engagement with topic and with close consideration of the multiple forces at work within all stories, including social dynamic and geographical history.

Course Work includes Explorations in the Evolutions of Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, as well as Workshops in these genres and others.Students also engage Special Topics such as Screenplay and Children's Literature. All students complete self-designed Internships and present a Portfolio of completed work upon degree completion. This is a program for writers from all backgrounds, regardless of undergraduate majors, because Narrative applies to all fields of work and being human. Course work may be completed at any pace, taking three courses in a term, two, or just one. Distance options are available for all courses to best accommodate real life.



The Master of Arts in Writing degree engages scholarship in literature, narrative theory, and creative process development to prepare graduates to be the storytellers and story interpreters in professional and cultural environments.  Students will participate in a journey of discovery, exploring the evolution of literary genres, paired with a series of supportive, intensive close reading and writing workshops.  Coursework includes: Workshops in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction; Evolution of Genre courses in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction; Foundations in Rhetorical Theory and Research; Practica in Publishing and Editing throughout all courses; Special Topics Electives such as Screenplay, Journalism, Environmental Writing, Transformative Writing, and more.



The Narrative Medicine Certificate within the M.A. in Writing at The Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative offers narrative competency training to physicians, nurses, social workers, mental health professionals, chaplains, social workers, academics, and all those interested in the intersection between narrative and care.  Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to develop the narrative future of medicine, a field that proposes that effective care requires increased human engagement.  Narrative training builds empathy, a skill required for effective care. The Narrative Medicine program aligns itself closely with the goals and practices of its parent program, the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University School for Physicians and Surgeons.



The Narrative Medicine student takes four courses to develop facilitation skills that will enable them to carry Narrative Medicine into their workplaces and beyond. In listening to patient and client histories and stories, students cultivate a more profound attention to the meaning of illness and struggle, beyond the diagnosis of it, and build a lexicon for opening these stories.  Those who complete the Narrative Medicine track to supplement licensure and professional degrees will be prepared to expand the narrative culture within healthcare through program development, research, writing, supervision, and training of colleagues and students.