Somewhere in the educational scheme there must be encouragement for the dreams and imaginings of youth. The student must be permitted emotional expression in order that he may be taught to discipline his emotions. His shy fancies must be drawn out of him for the good of his soul.
Creative writing can technically be considered any writing of original composition that is in no way guilty of plagiarism. In this sense creative writing is a more contemporary and process-oriented name for what has been traditionally called literature, including the variety of its genres. The practice of "professional writing" is not excluded from creative writing — one can be doing both in the same action. In her work, Foundations of Creativity, Mary Lee Marksberry references Paul Witty and Lou LaBrant’s Teaching the People's Language to define creative writing. Marksberry notes:
Witty and LaBrant…[say creative writing] is a composition of any type of writing at any time primarily in the service of such needs as
- the need for keeping records of significant experience,
- the need for sharing experience with an interested group, and
- the need for free individual expression which contributes to mental and physical health.
Unlike its academic counterpart of writing classes that teach students to compose work based on the rules of the language, creative writing is believed to focus on students’ self-expression. While creative writing as an educational subject is often available at some stages, if not throughout, K–12 education, perhaps the most refined form of creative writing as an educational focus is in universities. Following the reworking of university education occurring in most post-war eras, creative writing has progressively gained prominence in the university setting. With the beginning of formal creative writing program:
For the first time in the sad and enchanting history of literature, for the first time in the glorious and dreadful history of the world, the writer was welcome in the academic place. If the mind could be honored there, why not the imagination?
Creative writers typically decide an emphasis in either fiction or poetry. They then make a schedule based on this emphasis including literature classes, education classes and workshop classes to strengthen their skills and techniques. Though they have their own programs of study in the fields of film and theatre, screenwriting and playwriting have become more popular in creative writing programs, as creative writing programs attempt to work more closely with film and theatre programs as well as English programs. Creative writing students are encouraged to get involved in extracircular writing-based activities, such as publishing clubs, school-based literary magazines or newspapers, writing contests, writing colonies or conventions, and extended education classes.
To say that the creative has no part in education is to argue that a university is not universal.Those who support creative writing programs either as part or separate from the English discipline, argue for the academic worth of the creative writing experience. They argue that creative writing hones the students’ abilities to clearly express their thoughts. They further argue that creative writing also entails an in-depth study of literary terms and mechanisms so they can be applied to the writer’s own work to foster improvement. These critical analysis skills are further used in other literary study outside the creative writing sphere. Indeed the process of creative writing, the crafting of a thought-out and original piece, is considered by some to be experience in creative problem solving.
It is also believed by some in the academic sphere that the term "creative writing" can include "creative reading" which is the reading of something not typically understood to be a creative piece as though it were creative. This expanded concept further addresses the idea of "found" materials being of literary value under a newly assigned meaning. Examples of this might be product assembly directions being considered "found poetry."