Creative Writing Runs Again

Elizabeth Hsieh, Feature writer

After catching the attention of many students, the creative writing class will be reintroduced to the curriculum in January as a one semester elective for the first time in years.
The movement to bring the class back started with the students and spiraled up to the administration.
“We just had an ideal situation,” Rose Fleming, English teacher, said. “We had a group of students that were continually asking ‘Can we run creative writing? Why isn’t that an option?’, and there were enough students to generate a little bit of talk and a little bit of interest.”
The class was originally cut because it didn’t have the necessary number of students needed to run a class.
“We didn’t talk about it,” Fleming said. “We weren’t recommending it because there weren’t enough students to run it, and it wasn’t being run because there weren’t enough students. It was just a continuous cycle.”
Many of the students who pushed for the class helped by spreading the word and convincing others to join.
“I went into Ms. Fleming’s classes and told people about the class and why they should take it,” senior Kailey Blunk said. “I did that too for Green and White review when we were selling the magazines.”
The class first began to lose its popularity because of a curriculum change.
“Creative Writing used to be counted as an English Credit, so it was a viable option for a lot of students who needed a semester of English credit, but when we revamped our curriculum quite a few years ago, they took that option away,” Fleming said.
“The prevailing thought at that time was that English needed to be recognized as having certain criteria,” Fleming said. “The people who were looking at the curriculum at that time felt that the creative writing class, along with some other courses we had, did not meet the rigor as a regular English class would.”
One positive aspect of running the class as an elective is that it offers a more open-ended approach.
“In my other classes, we have to follow a particular format and a particular structure,” Fleming said. “In creative writing, while we will definitely have a structure and things we need to do, I think the class itself will be more open to student input.”
Compared to other English classes, creative writing will also focus on honing writing skills, but through a different genre and approach.
“Writing papers is completely different from creative writing,” Blunk said. “It will broaden their knowledge on what writing really can be.”
“I think there’s a huge need for fostering creativity in a way that’s different from art or music, our traditional fine arts programs,” Fleming said. “I just think it’s there.”