NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A glimpse into the writing major option

Northern Essex Community College provides students with the tools needed to succeed, and the Liberal Arts Writing Option program gives students the opportunity to expand their career while they are enhancing their skills.

The Liberal Arts Writing Option major has been around for a long time.

Northern Essex’s English department created the program so those who are interested in enrolling have the freedom to explore both creative and professional writing styles.

When speaking with Professor Patricia Portanova, she said, “The purpose behind the writing program is to give students the foundation in creative and professional writing skills so that they can take on and use either in transferring to a four-year college program that focuses on creative writing or to the workplace, being able to work as a writer.”

Regardless of their career path, many who choose this route are sharpening their writing skills which are highly valued everywhere you go.

Currently, there are 24 students combined from the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses.

Skills developed during and after the first two years at NECC varies depending on one’s intended career path.

Students will learn how to pay attention to detail, developing character, description, and “flushing out a narrative” if they want to pursue a career that requires them to be creative.

When asked about the phrase, “flushing out a narrative,” Portanova explained that it meant to develop and tell a story.

That is one of the most important skills to have and it can be transferred to several settings.

Benefits of being in the writing option is that it is flexible. After completing the program, students can transfer to B.A. programs in English, Writing, Communications, and as well as other liberal arts majors.

Also, it prepares students for entry-level jobs.

To name a few, jobs such as a technical writer, an English teacher, content editor, freelance writer, and many more are available to individuals who are pursing the Liberal Arts Writing Option program.

Experienced writers are in demand as the media continues to bloom. Further, the program can be taken fully online so students can still enroll if they can not come in person.

To learn more about the Writing Option, visit