Creative Writing Courses

Courses

All Creative Writing courses require an application or departmental permission to enroll. You may only apply to one course per semester.

Review the guidelines for virtual creative writing workshops »

Introduction to Art Making

LCA 101 · Fall 2020

C01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Mark Doten · Ruth Ochs · Shariffa Ali · Stacy Wolf · Olivier Tarpaga · Tess James

How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.

How People change: Short Stories and Life’s Transitions (LA)

FRS 147 · Fall 2020

FRS 147 · Mondays + Wednesdays, 1:30-2:50 PM

Instructors: Sheila Kohler

In this seminar we will study moments of change at seven crucial stages in the life cycle (childhood, adolescence, courtship and marriage, work, maturity, and death) in order to discover the conflicts and contradictions, the emotional truth, and the possibilities that such moments hold for us. Our medium will be the short story. Great short stories show us convincingly how change comes about, each one unique and yet ultimately universal. How do moments of revelation occur? What are these changes each of us must discover in a unique way? What pushes us? What shows us the way? Or, does it result from within?

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Wisdom of Crowds (LA)

FRS 169 · Fall 2020

FRS 169 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 3:00-4:20 PM

Instructors: Susanna Moore

This seminar will study the history and nature of fairy tales, superstitions, conspiracy theories, and urban myths, particularly in regard to the way that they reflect the concerns and fears of society. We will examine the ways in which these differ from one another, and the means by which entire communities create, preserve, disseminate and fortify them.

Introductory Fiction

CWR 203 · Fall 2020

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Aleksandar Hemon · Daphne Kalotay · A.M. Homes · Idra Novey · Joyce Carol Oates · Jhumpa Lahiri

The curriculum allows the student to develop writing skills, provides an introduction to the possibilities of contemporary literature and offers a perspective on the place of literature among the liberal arts. Criticism by practicing writers and talented peers encourages the student's growth as both creator and reader of literature.

Literary Translation

CWR 205 / TRA 204 · Fall 2020

C01 - Larissa Kyzer · Mondays, 2:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Larissa Kyzer

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings and will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and pratice of literary translation.

Graphic Design: Typography

VIS 215 / CWR 215 · Fall 2020

U01 — David Reinfurt · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: David Reinfurt

This studio course introduces students to graphic design with a particular emphasis on typography. Students learn typographic history through lectures that highlight major shifts in print technologies.

Writing and Performance

CWR 218 · Fall 2020

C01 — Danez Smith · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Danez Smith

In this course we will write and interrogate poetry across many avenues. From written work to spoken word to Instagram, traditional lineated verse to poems that see the blank page as more canvas than paper, we ask ourselves how this ancient holder for prayer, confession, and our wild strangeness performs across different manifestations of text and body.

Advanced Poetry

CWR 301 · Fall 2020

C01 - Michael Dickman · Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:50 AM

Instructors: Michael Dickman

Advanced practice in the original composition of poetry for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. The curriculum allows the student to develop writing skills, provides an introduction to the possibilities of contemporary literature and offers perspective on the places of literature among the liberal arts.

Advanced Fiction

CWR 303 · Fall 2020

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30 - 3:20 PM

Instructors: Daphne Kalotay

Advanced practice in the original composition of fiction for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. The curriculum allows the student to develop writing skills, provides an introduction to the possibilities of contemporary literature and offers perspective on the place of literature among the liberal arts. Criticism by practicing writers and talented peers encourages the student's growth as both creator and reader of literature.

Advanced Literary Translation

CWR 305 / TRA 305 / COM 355 · Fall 2020

C01 - Larissa Kyzer · Mondays, 2:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Larissa Kyzer

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings and will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and practice of literary translation.

Embodied Storytelling: Voice, Mediation and Address

CWR 311 · Fall 2020

C01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Nyssa Chow

In this writing workshop, students will be invited to write literary nonfiction essays that address their chosen imagined audience. We will engage writing by authors who have done the same in their work. From the fields of Oral History and Memory Studies we will borrow ideas of listening as a dialogic and intersubjective encounter, and the embodied self. We will reframe conversations about voicelessness + facelessness, and consider instead concepts of un-hearing + un-seeing — inviting new agencies and accountabilities into our creative practice.

Special Topics in Poetry: Race, Identity and Innovation

CWR 316 / ASA 316 / AAS 336 / LAO 316 · Fall 2020

C01 - Monica Youn · Wednesdays, 9:00 - 10:50 AM

Instructors: Monica Youn

This course explores works in which poets of color have treated racial identity as a means to destabilize literary ideals of beauty, mastery and the autonomy of the poetic text while at the same time engaging in groundbreaking poetic practices that subvert externally or internally constructed conceptions of identity or authenticity.

Introduction to Screenwriting: Writing the Short Film

CWR 348 / VIS 348 · Fall 2020

C01 - Aleksandar Hemon · Mondays, 1:30 - 3:50 PM

Instructors: Aleksandar Hemon

This course will introduce students to core screenwriting principles and techniques. Questions of thematic cohesiveness, plot construction, logical cause and effect, character behavior, dialogue, genre consistency and pace will be explored as students gain confidence in the form by completing a number of short screenplays.

Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television

CWR 405 / VIS 405 · Fall 2020

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Susanna Styron

This advanced screenwriting workshop will introduce students to the fundamental elements of developing and writing a TV series in the current “golden age of television.” Students will watch television pilots, read pilot episodes, and engage in in-depth discussion about story, series engine, character, structure, tone and season arcs. Each student will formulate and pitch an original series idea, and complete the first draft of the pilot episode and season arcs by end of semester.

Introduction to Screenwriting: Adaptation

CWR 448 / VIS 448 · Fall 2020

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:50 PM

Instructors: Christina Lazaridi

This course will introduce students to Screenwriting Adaptation techniques, focusing primarily on the challenges of adapting “true stories” pulled from various non-fiction sources. The class will address the ethics of adaptation, questions and techniques surrounding the need to fictionalize truth for dramatic purposes, as well as touching on the differences between fictional and nonfictional original materials.

Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Ancient Plots, Modern Twists

HUM 470 / CWR 470 / CLA 471 · Fall 2020

S01 · Mondays, 4:30 - 5:50 PM Wednesdays, 1:30 - 2:50 PM

Instructors: Jhumpa Lahiri · Yelena Baraz

This team-taught seminar will examine ancient plots as generative forces for new creative work. We will ask how ancient Greek and Roman plots are appropriated, reused, and reimagined by modern and contemporary writers. We will read the ancient texts in their own historical and cultural context and then ask why later authors turn to these plots and how they transform them in conversation with their own time and in relation to their own artistic goals.