Because students have many opportunities to apply to a workshop during their time at the College, Graham says that she thinks that it is acceptable—and might be beneficial—for some applicants to be turned down.
“People do have four years in which to take a class, and if they don’t get in one semester that might be a good thing—it might give them time to keep reading and writing till they are more ready for such a class,” says Graham.
Buell says it is difficult to balance the department’s educational philosophy with satisfying student demand for classes.
“There’s an issue here about the way creative writing is taught,” Buell says. “We do it in sections of 12, and believe that doing it in a labor-intensive, workshoppy sort of way is the way to go.”
“We could modify that and up the enrollments, but I don’t know if that would produce a better learning experience,” Buell says.
Powell, who was an economics major in college, says she believes that anyone could benefit from taking a creative writing class.
“I think at the introductory level everyone should have a chance at trying a fiction workshop,” Powell says. “That’s what I think. We don’t all agree on this.”
—Staff writer Ben A. Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.