Creative Writing Courses

Creative Writing

Introductory Fiction

CWR 204 · Spring 2023

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Aleksandar Hemon · Daphne Kalotay · Garth Greenwell · A.M. Homes · Kirstin Valdez Quade

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 206 / TRA 206 / COM 215 · Spring 2023

C01 · Fridays, 2:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jenny McPhee

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.

Re-Writing the Classics

ENG 246 / CWR 246 / CLA 241 / HUM 246 · Spring 2023

S01 — Kamila N. Shamsie · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

The 21st century has seen many Greek classics re-told in ways that challenge dominant power structures. We will analyze some of these new versions of old stories while interrogating the very idea of a 'classic'. Why re-tell a story from over 2,000 years ago to begin with? What are the politics of engaging with texts that have been used to underpin ideas of a superior Western civilization? What challenges do writers have to overcome in working with ancient texts? Students will consider these questions as readers but also as writers who will work towards a classics re-write of their own.

Advanced Poetry

CWR 302 · Spring 2023

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Marilyn Chin

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 304 · Spring 2023

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Garth Greenwell · Kirstin Valdez Quade

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.

Playwriting II: Intermediate Playwriting

THR 305 / CWR 309 · Spring 2023

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Nathan Davis

A continuation of work begun in Introductory Playwriting, in this class, students will complete either one full-length play or two long one-acts (40-60 pages) to the end of gaining a firmer understanding of characterization, dialogue, structure, and the playwriting process. In addition to questions of craft, an emphasis will be placed on the formation of healthy creative habits and the sharpening of critical and analytical skills through reading and responding to work of both fellow students and contemporary playwrights of note.

Advanced Literary Translation

CWR 306 / TRA 314 / COM 356 · Spring 2023

C01 · Fridays, 2:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jenny McPhee

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.

Writing from Life

CWR 310 · Spring 2023

C01 · Fridays, 9:00-10:50 AM

Instructors: Yiyun Li

What compels us to write about ourselves? What drives us to read about the lives of others? Where is the intersection between public life and private life? In this workshop we will examine different approaches to writing about the people, places and events that have shaped us.

Advanced Seminar in American Studies: ‘America’: Writing the Public, Writing the Self

AMS 404 / CWR 404 · Spring 2023

S01 — Richard Benjamin · Tuesday + Thursday, 3-4:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

In-depth look into current US issues, with emphasis on democracy and the question 'What is America?'-socially, culturally, politically. Seminar immerses students into nonfiction literature, particularly as it illuminates the idea of "America" and the state of "Americans". Together we explore seminal non-fiction writing about America, the better to hone students' ability to think and write critically about the public sphere, and to write intelligently about their lives. Seminar examines how major writers, and students, best integrate research, socio-political analysis, literary skill, to craft publicly valuable, self-revelatory writing.

Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television

CWR 405 / VIS 405 · Spring 2023

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Susanna Styron

This workshop class 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 discussions about story, series engine, season arcs, character, structure, tone and dialogue, which will be applied to their work.

How to Write a Song

ATL 496 / CWR 496 · Spring 2023

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Bridget Kearney · Stew

Taught by Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive) and Stew (Passing Strange) with class visits from guest singer/songwriters and music critics, this course is an introduction to the art of writing words for music, an art at the core of our literary tradition from the Beowulf poet through Lord Byron and Bessie Smith to Bob Dylan and the Notorious B.I.G.. Composers, writers and performers will have the opportunity to work in small songwriting teams to respond to such emotionally charged themes as Gratitude, Loss, Protest, Desire, Joyousness, Remorse, and Defiance.