Our method of teaching creative writing is radically different from anything presently offered in American education. In addition to our method of teaching, the content of our curriculum is also very different from our academic counterparts.
Masters of Fine Arts and collegiate writing programs are well known for producing writers and work that is far divorced from the demands of the marketplace. Within the publishing industry it’s jokingly called “The MFA Effect” or “Grad School Syndrome.” These institutional programs produce writing that is artistic and follows all of the rules, but fails to connect meaningfully with the American public. The writing is simply not interesting or relatable. No one wants to buy it.
While self-expression is important and written communication is a gift from God that every American should practice individually, that’s not why we’re here. We’re not here to create “artists,” we’re here to train writers to produce content for specific markets.
Our interest is in producing work that will reach large audiences and transform hearts and minds. Rather than challenging marketplace expectations in favor of an elusive artistic standard, we will embrace consumer demands. There are product profiles that Americans will consume, so that’s what we’ll teach our students to create—embedded of course with the gospel message and values.
We’re also not limiting our students to any media or outlets. While fiction, short and long form, will be a big part of what we do, we’ll train and develop portfolios for marketplace writing, social media marketing, and new media products.
Creative writers are the bedrock of the vast majority of media that Americans are consuming. Podcasts, blogs, social media, YouTube videos, and TV shows all start with writers. So that’s the content our writers will be trained to produce. Our small size allows us to give individual attention to each student, and to cater their work to their unique calling.
Our writers will be trained, confident, and ready to take advantage of opportunities wherever they present themselves, and to pay their bills while they do it.
Our single objective is to reach Americans, to change hearts and minds for Jesus. The writers we’re training will be prepared to produce great work for outlets that actually exist.
This is not a creative writing program with a Christian gloss on it. This is a radically new model for training writers. God has given us the opportunity to evaluate what works, and the boldness to be as unconventional as necessary.