Introductory Creative Writing (CWR) courses will no longer require an application, according to a statement from the Lewis Center for the Arts (LCA). This update to the creative writing program will come into effect from fall 2022.
Prior to this announcement, students were required to submit an application for all CWR courses offered by the department, including an introductory poetry course, CWR 201, an introductory fiction course, CWR 203, and a Introduction to Literary Translation, CWR 205. then receive a decision before course selection.
Applications were also previously required for places in higher-level CWR Poetry, Fiction, and Screenwriting courses such as CWR 301, CWR 303, and CWR 405. With the latest update, advanced courses will now only require a departmental authorization for registration.
The application consisted of a brief writing sample that varied depending on the specific guidelines for registering for this course. Applications were also limited to one course per semester. Although students no longer have to register for CWR courses, they are still only allowed to register for one course per semester.
Creative writing program director Jhumpa Lahiri wrote in an email to the Daily Princetonian that the change was made to make the program more “inclusive”. These changes come in light of a history of being competitive for places in the CWR classes.
The number of applications for CWR courses, not including cross-courses, has increased in previous semesters for roughly the same number of spots within the program, according to the Creative Writing department. In the fall of 2020, the CWR department received approximately 360 applications for 250 available places. In spring 2022, the department received over 500 applications for 260 available places.
The Creative Writing program gives students the opportunity to create original pieces while working alongside renowned writers such as Lahiri, Aleksandar Hemon, Paul Muldoon, and Susan Wheeler, among others. Classes consist of approximately 10 students, these students get personalized feedback throughout the workshop.
The Daily Princetonian spoke to students about the change in enrollment requirements for creative writing courses for the upcoming fall semester.
“With the application process complete, I feel like I can experiment more freely with creative writing classes and not feel like I’m stepping into an overly competitive space that I had to earn,” Julia said. Born ’25.
Liana Slomka ’23 told the ‘Prince’ that while the application process was not strenuous, it was still daunting and a reason she chose not to apply for many semesters.
“The application for the creative writing classes was pretty straightforward, not too difficult,” Slomka said. “But having an application in the first place was really daunting.”
“There were a few semesters where I thought about taking one, but I was overwhelmed with having to apply,” she continued.
Slomka is a staff writer of Satire for “The Prince”.
Other students felt that deleting the app also had significant downsides to consider.
“I think there are good and bad things about getting rid of the application requirement. Obviously more people will have the opportunity to join the class,” Samyukta Neeraj ’25 said. “But I think also that removing the app increases the rush to get into the class with limited places and might limit people who are genuinely interested but don’t have the right time when registering for the course to successfully get a place for the class.”
Mikayla Merin is a news contributor for “The Prince”. She can be reached at [email protected] or @mickyyyyyyy__ on Instagram.