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Major Spotlight: English, creative writing emphasis

Submitted by Stephanie Donovan on February 26, 2016 – 3:23 pmNo Comment

The Creative Writing emphasis at UALR exposes students to a wide array of literature while simultaneously polishing the students’ abilities as writers. Along with the required classes for an English major, students may choose creative writing classes, depending on whether they want to focus on poetry or fiction writing- or even a mixture of both. Some students may choose to major in disciplinary studies and choose creative writing as one of their minors. Michael Alexander, senior at UALR, chose this route and has nothing but praise for the diversity of the program. “All the classes complement each other even though they’re different,” Alexander said.

The class sizes for creative writing are generally very small and inclusive, allowing for greater teacher/student communication. For Intro to Creative Writing, Dylan Wright, freshman, said, “It was my favorite class last semester and I feel like I definitely got better as a writer.” He contributed the success of the course to the faculty and their feedback. The department can be found in 501 Stabler Hall, where they have been noted for being “very open and easy to reach,” according to Alexander.

Christa Matthews, senior with a creative writing emphasis, agrees that is important to keep an open mind when approaching the coursework: “You don’t know what to expect. There are so many different types of writing.” Matthews also suggests to students starting out to keep a daily journal to use for inspiration in writing.

Not only are there various scholarship opportunities provided by the English department, but there are also internships that can help students looking for experience and practice. For example, students can work with Equinox Literary Magazine or the Arkansas Literary Festival to gain some hands-on experience. Also, students have the opportunity to work under Jeffrey Condran, professor of Fiction Creative Writing, at Braddock Avenue Books for those interested in editing.

Professor of Poetry Creative Writing, H.K. Hummel, advises newcomers to “be brave and try everything, all of the genres” in the program and attend events like the Visiting Writer Series with Amy Greene on Feb. 24. Hummel believes that if you are interested in writing, then this emphasis is very beneficial and even fun.

“You get to use your imagination, integrate it with research and critical thinking… and engage in the community.”

Students can follow the English page on Facebook or introduce themselves to the department to stay informed and familiar with the program. For more information, visit ualr.edu/english/.

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