Creative Writing

Why should you come to Rocky Mountain College and major in creative writing?

"Go where light is," encourages Theodore Roethke in his poem "A Field of Light." For RMC students, the "light" has been their own creativity. It is through increasing student interest that a creative writing major emerged at the College.

Five years ago, 14 student editors were asked what major they would have taken had they had all the choices in the world. The overwhelming response was creative writing. As a result, the English program developed a 42-credit major that combines a variety of writing courses with literature courses to teach students the genres of writing, as demonstrated by quality writers from a wide range of cultures.

The creative writing major at RMC works to provide numerous opportunities to encourage student growth and creativity. For the last 22 years, the English program has sponsored an annual student writing competition. Beginning with essay, poetry, and fiction categories, playwriting and writing to theme were added as interest grew. Submissions rose from 12 in 1990 to more than 260 last year, and an art competition was added as a way of enhancing student writing. In 1997, the student literary journal Soliloquy was reborn, and a senior seminar in writing was developed three years ago for the specific purpose of encouraging students to be writers, communicators, and editors. Each year the English program sponsors an evening of "Voices" for students to share their award winning pieces that have been selected for publication.

In recent years, students on campus have used their writing skills to publish the literary journal (Soliloquy), write for the student newspaper (The Summit), initiate their own creative newspaper (Under the Rock), and complete internships with local newspapers, television stations, the RMC publications office, and The Writer's Voice of Billings. Over the past several years, writing students have had the opportunity to participate in the New York City Writer's Tour, a three-credit course focused on workshops and seminars on publishing, editing, magazine writing, and project development. They will meet with professional writers, editors, and agents who will introduce them to important aspects of writing and the publishing profession.

The creative writing major at RMC allows students to develop highly prized writing capabilities that provide them with skills necessary for life after college. RMC writers have become newspaper editors, sports journalists, and government writers, as well as professors, attorneys, and physicians.

When the faculty approved the creative writing major in the spring of 2008, it was honoring a "light" that students, faculty, administration, and board members had helped to grow. "Go where light is," urges Roethke. And we did.