Creative Writing program enhances students’ skills

The Creative Writing program at Seton Hall has grown in recent years as more students enroll in the program and are taking their creative writing skills to the next level.

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Assistant Professor Cara Adams explained the program’s growth. “We have grown in size, with more students deciding to major at the undergraduate level and to pursue creative writing at the graduate level through our M.A. in English, which offers a creative writing track,” Adams said.

She has taught Introduction to Creative Writing, Advanced Fiction and other creative writing courses. She said that students learn the principles behind the business of creative writing and that they learn more about editing and publishing.

According to Adams, graduate students in the program have earned competitive scholarships for the New York State Summer Writers Institute, a creative writing workshop that draws the most qualified candidates.

“I chose to be a creative writing major because I love English and I love writing, but I love writing more than I love English,” said Aubrey Casterline, a sophomore creative writing and philosophy major.

Brian Doyle, a sophomore creative writing major, said he enjoys the program and feels engaged with the program. “The classes are interesting, all the professors who I have had have really helped me engage and stay involved within the topic and also the people a part of the program,” Doyle said.

He added, “In high school—like when I was a freshman—I had no interest in English or creative writing whatsoever, but then I started taking classes, electives in high school, about it and they really interested me.”

Casterline said she is interested in becoming an editor or paralegal after graduation and she is open to exploring other fields. “I have time to experiment a little bit more with what will interest me more in the future,” she said.

Casterline shared some advice to those considering majoring or minoring in this subject. “Make sure that you can sit down and write for at least an hour, She said, “You really need to be able to sit down and allow yourself to think about things going on around you.”

Doyle added, “If you think a 10-page paper is a lot, then I think you may want to evaluate if you really want to be a creative writing major.”

Adams also provided some additional tips on how to be a successful creative writing major. She said that students should take advantage of the opportunities offered by the creative writing major, such as the literary editing and publishing course. Students can also attend the Poetry-in-the-Round series, which brings in top writers from around the country and the world.

Adams added that she also recommends taking classes from other faculty members, like Dr. Nathan Oates, who directs the creative writing program. She said, “It’s good to study with a range of people and to study a range of genres.”

Adam Varoqua can be reached at adam.varoqua@student.shu.edu.

Author: Adam Varoqua

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