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    Creative Writing Courses

     View Creative Writing Major Requirements

    Open to All Students Interested in Creative Writing 

    writ 1100 - introduction to creative writing

    Goals: To introduce students to the practice of creative writing at the introductory level in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will begin to develop their understanding of creative writing as an art form, the writing process, and their ability to read as writers.

    Content: Each week practicing artists will discuss their own writing process in relationship to particular published works. Individual sections will meet to discuss the visiting writer’s work, to do writing exercises and share writing assignments designed to develop specific skills and techniques, and to workshop each other’s work. Each student will complete a creative writing portfolio combining poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

    Taught: Spring term.

    Prerequisite: ENG1110 or its equivalent before or concurrent with “Introduction to Creative Writing.”

    Credits: 4 credits 

    WRIT 3000 Creating Across Genres 

    Goals: This course is open to all students interested in creative writing. Students are introduced to the practice of reading as creative writers in three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

    Content: The primary text, Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing, gives guidance in creative process and writing skills across genres; supplemental anthologies or texts may be added at the instructor’s discretion. Students engage creatively with texts as writers, participate in class discussions, and begin to develop a writing practice. Emphasis is on developing an awareness of the diverse social contexts in which writers write and readers read. The course combines lecture, discussion, readings in and across genres, weekly writing exercises, and other assignments. Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better may apply for acceptance into the BFA program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: ENG 1110 or its equivalent.

    Recommended: ENG 3010 or one survey course (ENG 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250, 1270).

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 3110 Forms & Elements of the Craft I: Poetry  

    Goals: In this course students explore some of the fundamental elements of poetry, including image, metaphor, simile, rhythm, rhyme, voice, tone, syntactical structures of the line, the sentence, the stanza, ideas of unity and fracture, and fragment and wholeness in the body of a poem, and the ways these elements interact with a poem’s form.

    Content: Attention is paid to the ways in which poets integrate these elements into the form of the poem. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments. Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better may apply for acceptance into the BFA program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: ENG 1110 or its equivalent and WRIT 3000. WRIT 3000 may be taken simultaneously with WRIT 3110.

    Recommended: ENG 3010 or one survey course (ENG 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250, 1270)

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 3120 Forms & Elements of the Craft I: Fiction 

    Goals: In this course students explore and practice the fundamental elements of fiction, including character development, scene building, plot, point of view, structure, time, setting, and dialogue. Students will work in a variety of lengths and forms—flash fiction, the short story, realism and fabulism—to study how the elements of fiction are expressed by a writer’s formal choices.

    Content: Students will build skills through writing exercises and the study of contemporary and classic fiction, culminating in the completion of several pieces of short fiction. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments. Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better may apply for acceptance into the BFA program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: ENG 1110 or its equivalent and WRIT 3000. WRIT 3000 may be taken simultaneously with WRIT 3120.

    Recommended: ENG 3010 or one survey course (ENG 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250, 1270).

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 3130 Forms & Elements of the Craft I: Creative Nonfiction 

    Goals: In this course students expand their literary writing skills through the study of diverse subgenres co-existing under the creative nonfiction umbrella, learning the basics of writing the literary memoir, the personal essay, the lyric essay, literary reportage, the nonfiction short, and blended forms.

    Content: Students write across nonfiction form and read classic and contemporary creative nonfiction, as well as writings about nonfiction form, narrative and lyric craft, and other issues related to this hard-to-pin-down and still-developing genre. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments. Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better may apply for acceptance into the BFA program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: ENG 1110 or its equivalent and WRIT 3000. WRIT 3000 may be taken simultaneously with WRIT 3130.

    Recommended: ENG 3010 or one survey course (ENG 1210, 1220, 1230, 1240, 1250, 1270).

    Credits: 4 credits

    Topics Courses (Might Include the Following):

    The Short Story, Flash Fiction, The Graphic Novel, Writing Fiction for Middle-Grade Readers and Young Adults, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Memoir, The Lyric Essay, The Personal Essay, The Prose Poem

    Open to Students Who’ve Taken “CAG” or “Forms & Elements of the Craft I” in the Same Genre or with Permission of the Instructor:

    WRIT 3210 Forms & Elements of the Craft II: Poetry

    Goals: In this course students study the use and history of metrics, including scansion and substitution; received poetic forms, such as the sonnet, the sestina, the villanelle, the haiku, the triolet, the pantoum, the ghazal; and the open form of free verse.

    Content: Students examine the structure of poems and experiment with a wide variety of meters and forms, and how they affect elements of craft within a poem, to help them to discern the choices they have as writers in creating their own work. Readings include classic and contemporary poetry from various cultures, as well as one or more texts about the forms of poetry. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: WRIT 3000 and WRIT 3110

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 3220 Forms & Elements of the Craft II: Fiction

    Goals: In this course students explore and practice the fundamental elements of fiction, including character development, scene building, plot, point of view, structure, time, setting, and dialogue. Students will work in a variety of lengths and forms—flash fiction, the short story, realism and fabulism—to study how the elements of fiction are expressed by a writer’s formal choices.

    Content: Students will build skills through writing exercises and the study of contemporary and classic fiction, culminating in the completion of several pieces of short fiction. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments. Students who successfully complete this course with a grade of “C” or better may apply for acceptance into the BFA program.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: WRIT 3000 and WRIT 3120.

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 3230 Forms & Elements of the Craft II: Creative Nonfiction

     Goals: In this course students explore and practice the fundamental elements of creative nonfiction writing, including showing and telling, character and portraiture, figurative language, point of view and narrative distance, setting and place, and variations in literary structure, and examine how these elements operate across the diverse subgenres co-existing under the creative nonfiction umbrella.

    Content: Students develop their ability to create portraits of actual people, recreate themselves as characters on the page, manage time and event, construct narrative or lyric structures, compose effective reflection and description, identify deep subject, and apply these craft skills across nonfiction form. The course combines lecture, discussion, reading, writing exercises and experiments, and other assignments.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: WRIT 3000 and WRIT 3130.

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 5110 Advanced Poetry: Workshop

    Goals: In this course students write and revise a small collection of poems and respond to peer work. Special attention is paid to use of poetic techniques and forms.

    Content: Participants provide oral and written feedback that reflects an advanced understanding of craft. Respectful and constructive workshop methods are practiced. Students are introduced to the work of organizing, arranging, and balancing a manuscript of their own. The class may include student presentations and reading of selected poetry as creative writers.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: WRIT 3000, 3110, and 3210.

    Note: Restricted to creative writing majors or consent of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 5120 Advanced Fiction: Workshop

    Goals: In this workshop-centered course, students write and revise their own fiction and respond to peer work for successful application of fictional techniques such as plot, character, setting, dialogue, point of view, unity and subtext.

    Content: Participants provide oral and written feedback which reflects an advanced understanding of craft. Respectful and constructive workshop methods are practiced. The class may also include reading of selected contemporary fiction, encouraging students to read as creative writers.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: WRIT 3000, 3120, and 3220.

    Note: Restricted to creative writing majors or consent of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 5130 Advanced Creative Nonfiction: Workshop

    Goals: Students in this course focus on generating new creative nonfiction writing for peer workshop review. The primary work of the course is the development of respectful and constructive workshop methods, and the application of craft-based critique to significant revision.

    Content: Students analyze their classmates’ drafts and come to workshop prepared to contribute to a supportive, yet rigorous, discussion of work-in-progress. Students may also read selected contemporary texts, to further explore the diversity of CNF forms and study ways to apply an advanced understanding of craft to their drafts.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: WRIT 3000, 3130, and 3230.

    Note: Restricted to creative writing majors or consent of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    WRIT 5960 - Senior Seminar in Creative Writing

    Goals: Students will choose a genre of writing in which to execute a major writing project.

    Content: Through discussions, reading assignments and practice, they will extend their awareness of the genre they have chosen, and will compile a polished portfolio. Individual conferences and attendance at readings may be required.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: One of the following Advanced courses: WRIT 5110, 5120, or 5130. Creative Writing major in senior year or consent of the department chair.

    Credits: 4 credits