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Professional Writing at Gaylord College

Professional Writing

Gaylord College announces 2017 William Foster Harris Prizes for Young Writers

The University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, in recognition of the Professional Writing Program's 65th anniversary in the college, invites submissions for the 2017 William Foster Harris Prizes for Young Writers. Two $500 awards will be given, one for a short story of up to 1000 words by a high school student and another for a short story of up to 2000 words by an undergraduate student. There is no entry fee.

For more information, read here.

Program overview

The Professional Writing program has a 65-year history of helping its majors develop the skills needed to succeed in the publishing industry. Those skills, which include the ability to communicate clearly, think logically, manage large-scale projects, and craft a compelling narrative, are critical to virtually all careers. They also prepare students for graduate work in writing-intensive fields that include creative writing, English, journalism, and the law.

Key contacts in the Professional Writing program

Monica Rasekh


Professional Writing academic adviser
(405) 325-3686

Dr. Ralph Beliveau

Ralph Beliveau

Professional Writing sequence head
(405) 325-4169

Skills gained from a Gaylord Professional Writing degree

Career tracksPractical skillsSoft skills 

Novel writing


Nonfiction writing






Fiction and nonfiction

writing for publication

Narrative development



Grammar and style

Collaborative writing

Writing for digital and print outlets

Assessing traditional and independent publishing options

Understanding the business of writing

Creative thinking

Critical thinking and logic

Planning and time management

Execution of large-scale projects

Degree requirements for Professional Writing majors

A maximum of 50 hours of JMC will be counted in the 124 hours required for graduation. At least 80 hours must be completed outside of Gaylord College.

JMC Core

1013 Introduction to Mass Communication

2033 Writing for Mass Media

4813 Mass Communication Law

Professional Writing Core

3011 Practicum (three hours)

3504 Introduction to Professional Writing

4514 Writing the Novel

4524 Writing the Short Story

4563 Category Fiction

4573 Theories of Professional Writing

4603 Business of Professional Writing (capstone)

Major Requirements

Completion of a minor outside of Gaylord College

(15-21 hours)

Electives to bring credit total to 124, including 48 upper-division hours