Studying Creative Writing

Today, I’m going to tell my story of becoming a UNC-Chapel Hill Creative Writing Minor.

I had always been a strong writer in high school (at least so I was told), but I hated any type of writing that wasn’t narrative. I never doubted I could write other things; I just hated them.

Through my high school career, I really didn’t have the opportunity to write anything considered “creative.” It’s sad more high schools don’t have any sort of creative writing program, but alas, that’s a topic for another day.

I can’t quite remember how I decided to start pursuing the creative writing minor in college, but I did so pretty quickly, because by sophomore year I was in my first class.

Intro to Fiction Writing was where I realized I could do this. I had a phenomenal professor who actually encouraged fantasy and science fiction writing (you’ll see why this is so important later) and he gave me fantastic grades. It boosted my confidence for sure because before, I was only writing for myself. I had no real basis of how good I could be, at least by the education system.

Some of my pieces I wrote for that class are my favorite of all time: “Gone” (a zombie story!) and “Veins” (told partly in the perspective of a tree… lol).

At some point I decided I also wanted to do the poetry track in the minor as well, so the semester I took Intermediate Fiction Writing, I was also in Intro to Poetry Writing.

Intermediate Fiction Writing was a kick in the ass. My professor, while hilarious and nice, hated any type of stories that weren’t strictly “literary fiction.” In case you don’t know exactly what that means, they are “novels that are regarded as having literary merit from most commercial or ‘genre’ fiction.” Aka, not fun. I remember she had a rule where we couldn’t write about anything that couldn’t feasibly happen to us. Which, as a genre lover, was torture for me. But I managed.

And I felt pretty good about the story I ended up writing, entitled “Home,” which you can check out here!

By the time I took Advanced Fiction Writing, I hadn’t written for a while. Luckily, my professor rocked in all the ways. He was a mix of both my previous ones, and really pushed me. I knew I wasn’t the most “literary” person in the class, and nowhere close to the most talented, but I felt like those two reasons helped me learn the most.

Check out my stories from that class, “Double Yellow Line, Single Red Line” and “Inhale.”

Finally, my two poetry classes. I only took Intro and Intermediate, but both made me grow as a poet so, so much. My favorite types of poetry are full of rhymes, but after some tough love, I learned that poetry can still be amazing without them.

I love every single poem I’ve written, and I’d love if you clicked here to give them a read too!

Overall, if I gained one thing from my time getting a creative writing minor at UNC, it would be confidence. Confidence in myself, in my writing, and in the fact that genre writing is still writing.

I am so grateful to this program for the wonderful people it led me to and the amazing stories I got to read in the process.