Courses & Curriculum
The English Department creative writing major and minor provide interested students the opportunity to learn and practice the fundamentals of writing stories, poems, essays, and plays. Workshops – very small classes focused on discussion of student work – encourage the mastery of technique and experiment in form, style, and subject matter.
Creative Writing Major: Curriculum Requirements
Introduction to Creative Writing
Three of the following Creative Writing Courses:
- Young Adult Fiction
- Literary Publishing
- Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
- Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
- Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction
- Creative Writing Internship
Creative Writing Capstone
Seven English Courses, including:
- Introduction to English Studies
- English Literature – one course
- American Literature – one course
- Contemporary Literature – one course
ENG 294 Introduction to Creative Writing
Four of the following Creative Writing Courses:
- ENG 311 Playwriting
- ENG 342 Young Adult Fiction
- ENG 388 Literary Publishing
- ENG 394 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
- ENG 395 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
- ENG 396 Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction
- ENG 498 Internship
- ENG 490 Creative Writing Capstone
Fall 2013 Courses
ENG 294 A & B
Introduction to Creative Writing
T-Th 10-11:15 am
W 6:00-8:45 pm
This course will allow students to explore the fundamental skills of fiction and poetry writing, and is designed around the belief that one must read widely and closely in order to write well. This is an intensive writing course, meant for students who are dedicated readers and serious about the process of writing. We will examine the works of both established and emerging writers in hopes of discerning and emulating the qualities of good poetry and fiction. Frequent writing exercises will provide the opportunity to practice, to imitate, and to experiment. Class members will work together to create a welcoming and productive workshop, including extensive in-class discussion of both published writers and student work.
Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir
M 6-8:45 pm
This course continues with foundational workshop aspects from the Introduction to Creative Writing course. We will concentrate on a variety of facets, spending equal time on examples from established contemporary memoirists and the work of class members. We will use focused reading, discussion, exercises, and workshop activities to begin cultivating individual voices. Before a writer makes an explicit decision to embrace or reject the principles of a given form, the writer should have a meaningful relationship with and an understanding of the opportunities the form offers.
The things that happen to us indeed shape who we are. For the memoir writer, another consideration must come into play. In order to convey that impact, we must not only understand the events of our lives. We must also learn to shape the telling of those events for an audience other than ourselves. To do this, a writer must make a serious commitment to the study of the form. This course offers both directed study and room to cultivate and nurture one's voice in a supportive environment. There will be frequent writing assignments, exercises and responses to texts, as well as major works for the semester. Grading will be based on a portfolio of work, including exercises and responses, the level of consistent meaningful participation, the major works, which you should consider actively revising as you learn different techniques and a reflective essay on your performance at the semester’s conclusion.
T-Th 2:30-3:45 pm
UNLEASH THE PLAYWRIGHT WITHIN! Those who write plays are called playWRIGHTs – like cartWRIGHTs – because playwriting is a craft. Plays are not simply written; they are WROUGHT through a process of blood, sweat, and tears. In this course, we will study that process in depth. We will explore techniques for developing all the ingredients of dramatic writing: conflict, character development, monologue, dialogue, plot structure, and much, much more. We shall wring wisdom from the greats by analyzing some of the most famous plays of the American Theatre. And, naturally, we will write. We will write, write, and write some more. Students will be called upon to perform a number of in-class and out-of-class writing exercises while simultaneously developing dialogue of their own creation. Ultimately, all students will emerge with at least one fully crafted scene of theatre. Don't deny your muses a moment longer, come spread your playwriting wings!