Molly Hanna Bae

News is like broccoli, I once wrote in an essay for my capstone journalism class. It's good for you, but most of the time it doesn't go down easy. I always struggled with the dry, "just the facts" mentality presented to journalism students. Of course we should record the truth, but who really read lifeless articles? My second major in creative writing made me a better journalist. Words are the tools of my trade, and I've learned that voice, color and character are essential to any good story, whether it be a novel or a news report.

Molly Jasmine Baranpourian

Nothing has nourished my writing more at the University of Miami than the faculty’s understanding. I cherish their openness to the students’ different ways of creating on the page. We all come from a different place, a different story, different perspectives, and we write about life through the filter of these ideas, and I appreciate the creative writing professors for taking that into account. They really take the time to look behind the writing at the intention behind the story, and then they guide the students into a fuller expression of that intention.

I had entered the major late in my college career, unsure of the direction I wanted to go, and I had little confidence in my writing. However, the open atmosphere of the classes, the encouragement, and the constructive criticisms allowed my confidence in my writing to grow. I learned how to accept criticism, and even to stand up for my work, to trust my instinct. Most of all, it was an environment of sharing while I explored the potential of creative writing through my own pen/keyboard.

MollyEmily McLaughlin

My experience as an undergrad creative writing major was all about the faculty. The faculty that gave more time than they could possibly have had, the faculty that pushed, inspired, provided courses full of the most unique and necessary writers, innovative plans, the faculty that even when I thought I took advantage of every opportunity the program offered, still went out of their way and hunted down more. The program had an eye and ear for keeping up with what was going on outside of UM, what was important to students that age, right then, and to evolve with the multi genre trends that as a screenwriting double major I found particularly useful. I was also able to take a graduate craft course, read one of my stories at Books and Books, and during my senior year, I was able to work with Evelina Galang on my thesis. Her one-on-one nurturing and mentorship was worth every tuition dollar, because it seems like every day, five years later, I come across a new way to value the quality of my UM creative writing education that much more. The program has heart that can’t be competed with.

Molly Molly's Full Interview Molly Kempf

My undergraduate writing experience at the University of Miami was incredible. I worked with teachers on staff and took a few classes with a visiting poet. I loved the workshop feel of the classes and the wide variety of styles and subject matter we were encouraged to tackle. Working in groups and providing feedback for my classmates really prepared me for my job now as an editor. I actually often find myself writing comments to my authors now that mirror what my teachers said in class! More...

Lashon Lashon's Full Interview Lashon Daley

My creative writing experience really was a breath of fresh air.  I struggled with deciding whether writing was going to be my end goal.  I changed my major from psychology to pre-med.  Then to journalism and then my senior year, I finally decided to settle into what I loved most,  which was writing short stories.  So I got a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing.  I wanted to have a practical career and I was fearful of the road that writing would lead me down. Starving artist was not my life's ambition.  More...

Christian Christian's Full Interview Christian Howard

I established my creative writing major pretty late in my undergraduate career, but I think I managed to take in the full experience. I had been taking creative writing classes every semester since freshman year, and had steadily fallen in love with the short story form. Since I was also a science major, I had to literally beg my way into the upper level classes and submit a portfolio of work. The creative writing courses I took at UM, though demanding and often frustrating, always left me wanting to drop everything I was doing and write.

I really felt like part of a community of writers at UM. One that, above all else, looks toward fostering that same energizing sense of community in all its writers. I think the program really forces you to take responsibility for your writing and for what you do with it. Aside from really learning how to structure and critique a story, professors expect you to push yourself to uncomfortable limits. It's hard, but I think the program is rare in its honesty toward being a writer. You don't just learn how to write a compelling story, but also how to commit to writing as a constant part of your life. There is a genuine attempt to debunk the "starving artist" myth; it's really a lesson in how to grow as an academic, as well as a writer.

Alyssa Alyssa's Full Interview Alyssa Eily

(Recipient of the 2008 University of Miami prize in poetry)

I'm glad I was involved in a program that explores so many different aspects of poetry, especially since I delve so much into the surreal and mathematical. Stay close to your classmates, you'll be spending quite a lot of time together over the course of four years and their input will transform your writing in ways you could never anticipate. More...

Jeffrey Jeffrey's Full Interview Jeffrey Concerto

(Recipient of the 2008 University of Miami prize in fiction)

Fun. I enjoyed reading other students' stories as it showed more about how they saw the world and themselves than most conversation could reveal. I also found it exciting to listen to and understand these same students' reactions to my stories. More...