Professors in the English department are promoting creative writing classes to prevent them from being eliminated from the curriculum.
Kristine Snodgrass, an English professor who also teaches creative writing, said a poetry class was closed this semester when only two students were enrolled.
“I think students just don’t know about the classes,” Snodgrass said.It isn’t a requirement.”
Because of the many creative writing classes closing, Snodgrass encourages her former students to spread the word.
“I have sent emails to past students and gave flyers to students and faculty in the English and journalism departments,” Snodgrass said.
Rick Campbell, an English professor who teaches some of the creative writing classes has also tried to spread the word about creative writing classes to prevent them from closing .
“I put signs on our doors,” Campbell said. “We do advertise, maybe not enough.”
There are currently six creative writing classes available for students. Campbell said that there have been more opportunities for students to obtain these classes within the last five years.
“There was a year and a half period where students could get a concentration in creative writing,” Campbell said. “That ended when an accreditation study recommended that creative writing should not be offered as a concentration.”
As of now, the creative writing classes, concentrating in poetry, fiction and non-fiction, are only offered as electives to all majors.
While the classes are a part of the English department, creative writing classes are not a requirement for English majors.
“The curriculum for English majors is so full, they really don’t have any room for a creative writing class,” Snodgrass said.
Though some English majors don’t have room in their curriculum to take a creative writing class, it may become an option when a required class is unavailable.
Kiffani Jones, a 21-year old English education student from Quincy, decided to take a creative writing class as an alternative to a required course that was no longer available.
“I was supposed to take Advanced Composition but it wasn’t offered so I decided to take Techniques of Poetry Writing,” Jones said.
As a result of the impact that creative writing has on students, the void is being filled by students of other majors, particularly journalism.
“The majority of students in the creative writing classes are usually journalism students,” Snodgrass said.
Even with journalism students taking the creative writing classes, most of the classes are on the verge of getting closed every semester.
Despite low enrollment numbers in many classes, one particular creative writing class never has trouble filling up every semester.
Ruth Sawh, an associate professor of English, has been teaching Techniques of Fiction Writing for the past two years and has never had problems with enrollment.
“The class was supposed to be capped at twelve students but this semester 28 students were enrolled,” Sawh said.
While creative writing professors are trying to get the word out to writing inspired majors, students of other majors are clueless of the availability of creative writing classes.
Sophia Bromfield, a 21-year-old architecture student from Miami, had no idea that there were creative writing classes available.
“I did not know that there were creative writing classes until one of my friends told me about it my freshman year,” Bromfield said. “I wasn’t able to take one of the classes then because it conflicted with my schedule.”
Campbell and Snodgrass will continue their efforts to get the word out about the available classes.
“We are going to be more aggressive. We are going to write letters to different departments, put up posters, and tell others by word of mouth,” Campbell said.
Snodgrass just wants to see students of all majors be present in the classes.
“You would want to encourage English majors to take creative writing classes, but I think all students should take creative writing classes,” Snodgrass said.