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Chaparral 2018-2019: 27.1 Creative Writing Spotlight

Creative Writing Spotlight

by Kate Martin Rowe and Joanna Parypinski

Did you know that GCC has developed a brand new creative writing program for students who want to study the craft of writing, or who just want to try their hand at writing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction? I talked to Kate Martin Rowe, winner of the Exceptional Adjunct Award, acclaimed poet, and GCC creative writing instructor, about the new program, student readings, and how we can help get the word out.

What is the new Creative Writing Option for the AA degree in English?

The English Division is now offering a creative writing option for the AA degree for transfer and a creative writing certificate for students who are not seeking transfer. These two new options will allow students to get exposure to different genres of creative writing and to specialize in one genre, whether fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry or screenwriting.

Why creative writing?

Creative writing is a spectacular way to explore one’s personal obsessions, represent powerful emotions and experience, tell stories, as well as move and entertain people. And it’s a great way for all students to improve their writing in general. Creativity is not only one of the higher order thinking skills, it is considered the highest level skill. And it’s fun!

How will this program benefit our students and/or the greater GCC community?

Students will be exposed to many different styles and genres of writing in order to discover techniques other writers use and to develop their own creative aesthetic. The English Division also hosted our first ever literary reading of student work this past spring at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park and plan to continue that reading series.

What can GCC offer here that’s unique or special?

The northern Los Angeles region lacks an option for low-cost, high quality creative writing instruction as an alternative to high priced private or university extension classes. Some other community colleges in Southern California have a robust offering of classes in creative writing, host literary magazines and run student readings but none of those are located in northern Los Angeles. GCC also has award-winning and published creative writers as faculty, and as a community college, our emphasis on quality teaching means more students can get a great class at an affordable price.

What can we do to help make sure people know about this new program?

You can share this information with students, friends and family who may want to explore creative writing. Know someone with a memoir they’ve always wanted to write? An idea for a novel they’ve never gotten on paper? Spread the word!

Pictured below in the following order: Michael Chung, Han Sun Kwon, Shant Eulmessekian, Valerie Jimenez, and Kimberly Hernandez reading at Avenue 50.

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