Whether one is dreaming of one day becoming an author or just enjoying writing for
oneself, the opportunity to learn the art of creative writing is available to all students at Jones
The teacher at the forefront of this class is Amanda Robertson. Robertson is a former
Jones student, a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey
University. Before moving into her current role as an English teacher, she served as director of
student accounts at Jones.
“I always loved to read,” Robertson said. “And I always loved to write. As a little girl, I
would read, write and make up plays.”
In spring 2023, she shared her love of writing with students through the creative writing
course. The class has not been taught at Jones since Fall 2020, and this is Robertson’s first time
teaching it. There were 15 students enrolled this spring, and Robertson said that was a great
“The smaller class size has made the one-on-one engagement with the students possible, and
I believe it has helped them to feel more confident and share their work,” she said.
In past semesters, creative writing was taught by another well-known English teacher,
Tim Morris. Morris is also a Jones and William Carey graduate. He describes his experience
with the creative writing class positively and as being just that—creative.
“It is a wonderful class,” Morris said, “and in the past, we have covered several genres.
We cover poetry writing, short fiction, creative nonfiction and drama. The students are given a
lot of autonomy in the class. Guidelines are set forth, but students have a lot of room to develop
and grow and express themselves, and to specialize in the areas that they enjoy.”
Since the class is offered hybrid, students meet only on Mondays and use Thursdays to
complete online work. The course is held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. and counts for three
“It’s just a great atmosphere,” Morris said. “I would encourage students from all majors
to sign up. If you enjoy writing, jump in the class.”
In the class, Roberts discusses what it means to be creative, discussing with them things such as
writing/literature, films, songs, visual arts, and other mediums they consider creative and why.
“I discuss my writing process with them because I think that is important for them to hear the
hurdles and triumphs that I may share with them,” she said.
The students do peer reviews where they discuss their work together and watch videos about
their writing process. Robertson shares with them current authors of poetry, short fiction and
plays, focusing on contemporary authors to make the class more relevant to the student.
Robertson said everyone can use creative writing as an outlet, regardless of their major.
“We have the music production [major]—” Robertson said. “Those [students] would
benefit from it, because they might want to do songwriting! Creative writing leads right into
songwriting. Journalism majors—I mean, it’s definitely for anyone. . . a nursing student who
really needs to get some things off their chest!”