Beyond the Story
Annie Freshwater uncovers the possibilities of a creative writing major at Redlands.
Transcript of the video interview:
"My name's Annie Freshwater, and I am a sophomore, and I'm a creative writing major, with a philosophy minor.
"I'm from Lake Elsinore, which is about an hour and twenty minutes 'southish' from here. I actually live up in the Cleveland National Forrest on a horse ranch.
"I've been writing short stories and things like that, since I was pretty much about six years old, I think. And then, I decided to take writing seriously when I was a senior in high school.
"I didn't believe that there was a university or a program that could teach me how to write. I thought you either had it, or you didn't, and didn't really think that I had it.
"I applied for the creative writing scholarship, and I received it, and that's when I decided just to go for it. And I couldn't be happier with the decision I've made to come here.
"A creative writing major, here at Redlands, is unlike that of any other school. The workshops are no more than 12 people, and it's very intensive. You're looking at other peoples' manuscripts; they're looking at your work. You're working one-on-one with your professor.
"I'm actually working with my advisor, Pat Geary, who's a creative writing professor here. She actually takes sections of my novel, will go through them, and help me work on second drafts--everything. I'm about two-thirds of the way through with my first novel.
"I took a course with Kevin O'Neill, who is an absolutely incredible professor. I had never considered philosophy as a discipline that I would want to seriously pursue, and after taking his course, I definitely wanted to minor in it.
"I'm considering doing a double major with it, and it has really, actually, heavily-affected my writing because it makes me realize that even though I am a fiction writer, and especially a fantasy writer, I am able to bring, and I should bring, these deeper issues to my writing.
"Like right now in the story that I'm working on, it's dealing a lot with class issues, and the way that students who are different, or just children--people in general--who are treated different by the group that is considered the norm.
"And it's made me realize that I can use my fiction to go beyond the story I'm writing to get issues that people can bring back to this world."