The Fall 2022 semester at AUBG became the beginning of a new minor in Creative Writing. It finally came into reality after staying in the mind of Professor Sean Homer, Chair of the Literature and Theatre Department.
"I have been nudging my colleagues to open new courses over the last few years and then, last year, we took the idea of the minor to the curriculum committee," Homer said.
Prof. Homer’s departmental colleagues are creative writers in different fields. That is why they all received support for establishing the new minor.
"There are many creative writers in the Literature department. Prof. Michael Cohen is a published short-story writer, Prof. Levchev and Prof. Terziev are both published poets, Prof. Nikolova is an essayist, and it seems so obvious that this is what we should do," Homer said.
As described on AUBG’s official website, "the Creative Writing minor is an interdisciplinary program appropriate for students who wish to study both the practical and theoretical aspects of creative writing." It is more than that.
"The Creative Writing minor is unique because of its range of different forms of writing," Homer said.
The minor offers courses in poetry, prose, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction.
"I would say this minor is fulfilling because those writing courses will allow students to go deeper into themselves and think about how they view the world," Michael Cohen, a professor from the Literature and Theatre Department, said. "This minor will force students to examine their lives more deeply."
On Thursday, September, 29, there was a celebration of the Creative Writing minor at All Stars, a bar in Blagoevgrad, where AUBG students’ vivid interest in the minor became evident. A number of them read poems and short stories shoulder to shoulder with their literature professors.
"Being put in the exact same situation as someone who is established in the field of Literature, has done the hard work, and is now celebrating their success definitely served as motivation for me. I am thankful to the whole Literature department for providing us with this opportunity. It was an experience to remember," Brigita Andonova, a junior, said.
Good writing skills apply not only to academic requirements but may also become an advantage for students and alumni when searching for a job. As Homer said, "Even if you graduated in Business or Economics, you may end up writing. That is why it will benefit any kind of student."
"The minor boosts skills that will be valuable for any employer in the sense that it will force students to focus more on their writing and become deeper readers, better editors, and communicators," Cohen said. "I honestly believe that writing and reading deeply makes you a better human being. These make you more honest and self-reflective."
Some students also find the benefits of the new minor. Zlatara Chakarova, a sophomore majoring in Literature, said, "Creative writing is a process of finding a key to the locked door of your inner world." Brigita also said, "Writing is therapeutic, it helps you get to know yourself and make sense of the overly complicated world."
The minor may attract many potential applicants since creative writing exists in different forms within the scope of various fields and periods of time.
"If you think about it, creative writing is everywhere, not just on paper. The ability to form language (creatively) is a skill that can be used in every sphere of our life," Zlatara said.
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