Creative Writing | Liberal Studies


You know the story…the one about a curious little girl, captivated by a little white rabbit? Like young Alice, my curiosity compelled me to follow my own white rabbit down an unknown path, at least to me. It found me when I attained an internship in our university writing center the fall of 2012. And down the rabbit-hole, I fell. My adventures in writing center wonderland grew into an infatuation with writing—the tutoring of, the process of, the pedagogies of, the praxis of. Many discourses of writing pull at me, begging to be consumed and adapted to suit the situation. This infatuation led me down a path in which I could prepare myself for the rigors of graduate research, through the McNair Scholars Program, in 2013. For nearly two years, I developed and attained a summer research fellowship where I had the opportunity to explore the intersections of creative expressive writing, perceived selfefficacy, and the theory/practice of tutoring writing. I sought insight into new ways of combatting writing apprehension, both for my clients in the writing center, in addition to new apprehensions I was feeling as a writer/researcher/tutor. This exploration pulled me in directions that were unexpected, forcing me to face anxieties that I’d managed to suppress for many years. I found that intentionally applying low-stakes creative writing activities into the writing center consultation brought even more relevance to undergraduate creative writing programs. Moreover, making creative writing studies more transparent brings levity to the seriousness that often stigmatizes writing center praxis, fosters writing development across the curriculum, and shifts the writing center focus on perceived self-efficacy. This essay is a culmination of my research experience—it shares some insight into case studies documented over the Summer of 2014, my reflection of my research development—and intends to demonstrate the ongoing value of narrative inquiry, the methods of my madness.

Abstract Format




Faculty Mentor

Dr. Bruce Ballenger