Removing the Writer's Block

Carter Hall isn’t the only thing under construction around Covenant: a new writing concentration is in the works, exciting English majors who want to pursue something other than literature studies.

Professor Sarah Huffines, director of the Writing Center, offered as much information possible about the still-developing concentration and it’s clear that Covenant is constantly observing its peer institutions to compare its programs and see what more it can deliver.

The process for a new concentration started two years ago when Dr. Tate submitted a proposal to the English department. The department then began to consider the potential for a new concentration: what it could have, how much work it would require, and how it would be staffed. Professor Huffines started teaching Intro to Creative Writing, a course that could be advanced with subsequent classes to accommodate a future writing concentration.

During homecoming weekend, the curriculum committee approved the proposal, making it available this semester. Literature classes are still included in the writing concentration, though there are not as many.

The writing concentration contains twenty-one credit hours of various literature classes and nineteen hours of writing courses, including courses in creative writing, rhetoric, composition, and journalism, whereas the literature concentration contains classes in British, American, and contemporary literature and any linguistics or English class above a 200 level.

Since each professor excels in a specific field of writing, the classes will be distributed according to their specialty. Two new writing classes, Intro to Professional Writing and History of Rhetoric, will be offered in the spring of 2017. Additionally, an English internship, still in the process of development, will be added to the catalog.

The writing concentration is also available as a minor. This option only requires sixteen to eighteen credit hours, and leaves out the literature classes the major currently demands.

Ann Ferris Caston, a sophomore English major, said, “When I first heard Professor Huffines announce the concentration, I was thrilled! Literature has always been a passion of mine but there's always been something extra special about learning to engage in that literary conversation yourself.”

Caston proceeded to express how she is excited to develop her writing skills for her future jobs, fueled by her love of words.

The writing concentration is also beneficial to students interested in journalism.

For Zach Jones, a sophomore English major, the new concentration is a beneficial addition. He said, “I want to pursue journalism in grad school, and the writing concentration is going to help big time.”

Overall, the English department is enthused about its latest expansion. The professors feel as though they are meeting a need and are excited to continue growing to more fully advance their program.