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College proposes writing minor

Feb. 9, 2001

Officials yet to approve program in creative writing

By CAROLINE BORIACK

Reporter

The College of Arts and Sciences has proposed a new creative writing minor in the English department. If approved by the provost, the minor could go into effect next fall.

Student interest encouraged the English department to develop this minor. The two introductory courses in creative writing average 20 students per class.

'We're excited about [the minor] because we've had good success, even with the few classes we've been able to offer,' Dr. Greg Garrett, associate professor of English, said.

Dr. Nancy Chinn, director of undergraduate studies in English, said that many of those interested are non-English majors who want to show a concentration in writing. Right now, the closest minor offered by Baylor is English.

'[The minor] will give [students] a chance to concentrate in an area they haven't done before and really learn the craft of poetry and fiction,' Chinn said.

Dr. William Davis, English professor, said that creative writing minors are typical at other schools.

In 1999, 43 colleges and universities offer a creative writing minor or an equivalent. These include small liberal arts colleges and state universities. California State University, George Washington University and Southern Methodist University are a few, according to the AWP Official Guide to Writing Programs.

Davis fears that Baylor has lost students to other universities offering a creative writing minor. This addition will make Baylor more competitive, he says.

Students who choose the creative writing minor would take 18 hours and have two tracks: poetry or fiction. Garrett and Davis are the primary professors for fiction and poetry, respectively.

The department will not need to add courses because all required courses are currently offered.

But, Garrett said, '[The minor] will enhance our curriculum in that we'll be producing people who can communicate better and, even if they don't pursue their writing formally after they graduate, that just the experience of being creative and expressive will help the rest of their lives.'

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