English Literature Department UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta just conducted a creative writing workshop for its internal lecturers on Tuesday, August 10 2021 via Zoom Cloud Meeting. The workshop is important for the lecturers because the department has just renewal the student curriculum and there are some new subjects. One of them is creative writing. The subject is adopted to provide the students to produce creative works or at least they can learn the process of making creative writing. The workshop invited an experienced creative writing expert, Winda Setia Sari, PhD. from Medan State University. The speaker has a lot of experience in teaching and producing creative writing in a second language context. Her PhD education is also about creative writing. The workshop was guided my Maria Ulfa, M.Hum, M.A from English Literature Department UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. As the host of the Workshop, the head of English Literature Department, Hasnul Insani Djohar, PhD delivered her opening remarks as well as opened the workshop officially.
Without lingering, the invited speaker took the session to deliver her presentation. She started by giving a clear definition of creative writing. She said that creative writing is activities in which the writer investigates, explores, articulates, and speculates, which are abilities for academic research. Then why we should teach creative writing? Creative writing has enabled students’ better essays and dissertations, as creative writing requires, among other things, and attention to detail as well as other analytical skills that are transferrable to other genres of writing. She then explained creative writing in a second language as what the department will do in the coming semester. Creative processes in L2 contexts can generate engaged and emancipatory critique in both mother and other tongues. The speaker also delivered the aims of creative writing in a classroom such as, to express students’ creative voices using English as an additional language (EAL), to invent new ways of writing a second language, and to stimulate students’ creativity in using language and connecting the use of this language to their lived experiences.
Winda Setiasari proposed the best method of teaching creative writing. She argued that the lecturer can start with lecturing for the first three meetings to explain the basic concept of the subject and the rest meetings can be run by making the workshops. According to her, making workshops is more effective to engage students’ creativity during the class. Besides that, the speaker suggested the seven methods of creative writing based on Morley (2007) as follows: the preparation, plan using brainstorming, incubation, beginning, flowing, the silence reservoir, breakthrough, and finish. She added, one of the benefits of creative writing workshops for a second language learner is there will be a contact of literature. To create ‘contact literature’, is probably one of the most effective ways of getting to know how to become culturally sensitive, broad-minded, and eloquent. She emphasized that the fallacy and inaccuracy made by the second language learners can enrich and become the new characteristics of bilingual creativity. Furthermore, in teaching creative writing, she suggested using some digital platforms and social media in creative writing workshops, such as Twitter, flash fiction, and txt stories. To close her presentation, she concluded that we don’t expect the students to be a professional but we make them activate their writing skills. We offer them some choices to learn how to write. (TH)