The Importance of Art and the Rise of Creative Writing Degrees

In the current economical climate, where Art Council grants are being cut and libraries are closing left, right and centre, and university fees are soaring, making potential students think twice before they embark on a creative degree… we have to take a stand.

We have to fight for our right for art, for culture, for our means to be creative. These areas of our society are not deemed essential, and technically they aren’t – we can survive without art. But that existence will be compromised, anaesthetized and jeopardised.

Art is not a meaningless product of a society – it is at the heart of society. It is the purest testimony of human insight and feeling, it documents and conceptualises. It gives a voice to a multitude of people, through entertainment and expression. Art trains our minds to think outside the box, process our emotions and develop our understanding. I can’t think of anything more damaging to a society than to take that away.

Despite the looming threat of art cuts, creative writing courses have never been more popular. Perhaps it is something to do with heightening technology, where aspiring writers can connect directly to their literary heroes through blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Perhaps it is to do with the vast amounts of adaptations in the media – it seems almost every blockbuster film these days was based on a novel. Perhaps it is to do with the increasing popularity of e-readers and the accessibility to books and e-books through online retail giants. Perhaps it is the lure of self-publishing success stories.

Whatever the reason, more and more people are exploring their potential as writers, gaining qualifications and learning from established writers and fellow students alike.

What are your thoughts on creative writing courses in the current economical climate?

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3 comments


  • The college I attended for my AA stopped offering Creative Writing courses for a few semesters. However, creative writers around the school collaborated with the Writers’ Club to get the dean to reinstitute it. I visited several different classes and professors to get signatures for bringing the course back onto the schedule; there was definitely enough interest; we got about thirty signatures and managed to get the course offered online.

    As an English major/Creative Writing minor, I’ve found that these courses are extremely important to students, and am excited for the few I’m talking this fall–British Novel I in particular!
    Michaela Tashjian recently posted..On Burning Books

    April 10, 2011
  • Hi Mechaela, thanks for stopping by. That’s such a shame that your college cut its creative writing courses – what was their reasoning? (Budget, I assume? It doesn’t sound like lack of interest!) Good for you, though, for rallying against it! Best of luck.

    April 11, 2011
    • We lost our only Creative Writing professor, Elise Mclain, to cancer, actually. There’s a tree planted on campus in her honor, and we miss her terribly, but some of our English professors have offered to teach the course since there’s enough interest.
      Michaela Tashjian recently posted..On Burning Books

      April 11, 2011

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