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Why Should You Choose Creative Writing as a Minor?

by Keara Scott

Auburn University at Montgomery’s Creative Writing minor in the Department of English and Philosophy provides students the knowledge of four different genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama. Dr. William Gerard is a professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing in the department. He teaches fiction writing and eighteenth-century British Literature. Students within the minor will acquire skills in writing, revising, and critiquing their own work and the work of others. I was interested in finding out more information regarding Creative Writing as a minor, so I interviewed Professor Gerard to gain more insight:

How would this minor be useful to students as far as their career paths?
“Any career that involves writing, which are many. Whether it’s writing business letters and memos, or coming up with a teaching curriculum, creative writing encourages not only development of the craft of writing but also the application of imagination.”

What skills does it teach?
“This may sound silly, but it teaches the best way to put words together and to shape a creative story. There are rules and guidelines that students may not have come across before. Learning how to write well is a life-long pursuit and has many benefits when it comes to other kinds of writing.”

Outside of the job market, what value would this course of study have for students’ lives?
“People who have creative yearnings will feel fulfilled if they take their ‘hobby’ seriously and pursue their improvement. Broadly speaking, too, being a better writer means being better with words, whether on the page or aloud, and writers can make their thoughts known more clearly and effectively in both formats.”

What classes does one take?
“A CW minor is made up of four classes. The Four Genres introductory course is required, and a student may choose from workshops in Poetry, Fiction, Playwriting, Nonfiction, or Songwriting for the others. In addition, more dedicated students can set up a Directed Writing Course, which would be like an independent study.”

Is this only for English majors or what other majors routinely pair with this minor?
“About 75% of CW minors are English majors. Others includes majors in the sciences, business, and education.”

What advice would Dr. Gerard have for students interested in this minor?
“Students who have wanted to be serious about creative writing should try to take a class and find out the ways they can improve their work and aim toward submitting their work for publication to journals and contests. They could find this very useful and fulfilling.”

What are some of the more challenging aspects of earning this minor?
“A student should enjoy writing and be committed to improving writing as a skill and craft, since they will be writing and revising a great deal.”

Outside of the job market, what value would this course of study have for students’ lives?

“People who have creative yearnings will feel fulfilled if they take their ‘hobby’ seriously and pursue their improvement. Broadly speaking, too, being a better writer means being better with words, whether on the page or aloud, and writers can make their thoughts known more clearly and effectively in both formats.”