Winter 2007

Fiction

Beginning Fiction Workshop (CRWR 10200/30200)

This beginning level fiction writing class class will use a wide range of exercises and activities to help students discover their oral and written voices. Point of view, seeing-in-the-mind, gesture, audience, and other aspects of story will be emphasized so that students can attempt to incorporate basic storytelling principles, forms, and techniques into their own writing. The major goals of the class are to guide students to discover and use the power of their individual voices, heighten their imaginative seeing and sense of imaginative options, and to develop their overall sense for story structure and movement. The activities of this course will emphasize the interrelated connections of reading, writing, listening, oral telling, sense of personal voice, imaginative seeing, and structure. Students will select at least one of the assignments undertaken, rewrite it extensively, and attempt a publishable-quality, complete story movement (short story or novel excerpt).

Instructor: Megan Stielstra. Day and Time: Wed, 12:30-3:20pm

NEW SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: In order to allow all students an equal opportunity to register, these courses will be determined by a lottery. Students interested in Beginning courses should email their name and desired course(s) to jnklein@uchicago.edu by 12/1/06. The list of admitted and waitlisted students will be announced within the following week.

Intermediate Fiction Workshop (CRWR 12000/32000)

The goal of this class is to further students’ understanding of the rhetorical strategies, methods, and artistic processes involved with creating narrative fiction, with a special emphasis on the short story form. This class will undertake an intermediate study of the techniques and practices of fiction writing through the reading and analysis of work by accomplished authors, and within the workshop format. Students will learn to identify various aspects of literary craft and utilize them in their own creative endeavors, and students will participate in critical discussions of literary work, with an emphasis on technique. A portion of the class involves ‘workshop,’ the reading and critiquing of student stories by their peers. The class requires several readings, discussions, and the creation and revision of a substantial work of fiction, under the guidance of the instructor.

Instructor: Nicolas Pizzolatto. Day and Time: Tu/Th, 1:30-2:50pm
PQ: Instructor Consent.

Thesis Workshop in Fiction (CRWR 29200/49200, sec 1)

This advanced fiction course will focus on the completion of a longer body of work, specifically the creative thesis. Students should come to the class with a body of work in progress (at least three stories or three chapters of a novel) and be prepared to discuss thoughtfully all aspects of the work of their peers in a workshop format. During the term, the focus will be on extensive revision of the larger body of work, including overarching themes and structure as well as point of view, voice, character, however, the course will also include close reading of assigned texts with an eye on how other writers are able to achieve their specific goals.

Instructor: Elizabeth Crane. Day and Time: Wed, 12:30-3:20pm
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in fiction.

Thesis Workshop in Fiction (CRWR 29200/49200, sec. 2)

The goal of this class is to further students’ understanding of the rhetorical strategies, methods, and artistic processes involved with creating narrative fiction, with a special emphasis on producing a polished short manuscript for thesis consideration. This class will undertake an advanced study of the techniques and practices of fiction writing, through the reading and analysis of work by accomplished authors, and within the workshop format. Students will learn to identify various aspects of literary craft and utilize them in their own creative endeavors, and students will participate in critical discussions of literary work, with an emphasis on technique. Much of the class will involve ‘workshop,’ the reading and critiquing of student stories by their peers. The class requires several readings, discussions, and the creation and revision of a substantial work of fiction, under the guidance of the instructor.

Instructor: Nicolas Pizzolatto. Day and Time: Tu/Th, 3:00-4:20pm
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in fiction. All others, email jnklein@uchicago.edu.

Poetry

Beginning Poetry Writing (CRWR 10300/30300)

This course will introduce students to the reading and writing of lyric poetry. Students will complete weekly assignments, or “imitations,” based on the work of published poets both contemporary and past. These assignments will form the basis for our discussions each week, and may be supplemented by reading assignments from a selection of essays on poetic craft. By the end of the quarter, students will have generated a substantial portfolio of original work and refined their critical skills as readers of poetry.

Instructor: Suzanne Buffam. Day and Time: Mon, 1:30-4:30pm

NEW SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: In order to allow all students an equal opportunity to register, these courses will be determined by a lottery. Students interested in Beginning courses should email their name and desired course(s) to jnklein@uchicago.edu by 12/1/06. The list of admitted and waitlisted students will be announced within the following week.

Intermediate Poetry Writing (CRWR 13000/33000)

In this course, we will develop a vocabulary for talking about archaic through 21st-century modes of writing poetry as we push ourselves to try them out, with like doses of fervor and awareness of what it means to occupy them today. On the premise that creative work is profoundly social, and that even writing aimed at self-expression is never conducted in a vacuum, we will be reading extensively, and expansively, while trying our hands at responses to the texts of others. We will examine a range of contemporary poetry collections, journals, and performances. We will delve into the matter of “poetics,” exploring how that term diverges from or dovetails with “verse.” Each participant will produce a number of poems, partly if not exclusively in conjunction with collective experiments, to be discussed as we move toward the latter part of the quarter. Attendance at readings and participation in other current poetry-related activities will be both celebrated and required.

Instructor: Jennifer Scappettone. Day and Time: WED, 12:30-3:20pm
PQ: Instructor Consent.

Thesis Workshop in Poetry (CRWR 29300/49300)

This course is an advanced creative writing seminar intended primarily for BA and MA students writing honors theses in creative writing as well as graduate students who are writing poetry at an advanced level. Because it is a thesis seminar, the course will focus on various ways of organizing larger poetic "projects." We will consider the poetic sequence, the chapbook, the long poem, the poetry collection, and the book-length poem as ways of extending the practice of poetry beyond the individual lyric text. We will also problematize the notion of broad poetic "projects," considering the consequences of imposing a predetermined conceptual framework on the elusive, spontaneous, and subversive act of lyric writing. Because this class is designed as a poetry workshop, your fellow students' work will be the primary text over the course of the quarter.

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy. Day and Time: Wed, 1:30-4:20pm
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in poetry.

Creative Nonfiction

Beginning Creative Nonfiction Writing (CRWR 10400/30400)

In this course we will study and practice nonfiction's fundamental form, the personal essay. The personal essay's inherently elastic structure is the perfect means for clarifying our struggles, as well as those of our culture and our time. Through daily and weekly reading, writing, and editing assignments you will learn to clarify and personalize your own essays and those of your classmates. At quarter's end you will publish your most evolved and polished essay of ten to twenty pages in our class's chapbook. You will receive one copy of this chapbook and a grade based on your participation and literary achievement. You will leave this course with writing and editing experience and a body of work to prove it.

Instructor: Daniel Raeburn. Day and Time: Tu, 9:00-11:50am

NEW SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: In order to allow all students an equal opportunity to register, these courses will be determined by a lottery. Students interested in Beginning courses should email their name and desired course(s) to jnklein@uchicago.edu by 12/1/06. The list of admitted and waitlisted students will be announced within the following week.

Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing (CRWR 14000/34000)

In this course we will examine what is creative about creative nonfiction. What makes a personal narrative rise above journalism, scholarship, or opinion to become a work of lasting, literary art? Through daily and weekly reading, writing, and editing assignments you will learn to combine the rhetorical strategies of literature--such as chronology, indirection, omission, voice, and dialogue--with your own retrospection and reflection. At quarter's end you will publish your most evolved and polished nonfiction of ten to twenty pages in our class chapbook. You will receive one copy of this chapbook and a grade based on your participation and literary achievement. You will leave this course with writing and editing experience and a body of work to prove it.

Instructor: Daniel Raeburn. Day and Time: Thu, 9:00-11:50am
PQ: Instructor Consent.

Thesis Workshop in Creative Nonfiction (CRWR 29400/39400)

Though this course will focus primarily on the individual needs of students working toward the completion of their thesis, we will also - necessarily, I think - touch on issues of genre (the use of "fictional" techniques in the personal essay, for example), structure (diverse vs. unified collections), evidence, voice, and so on. Readings drawn from a wide range of today's practitioners will be used to selectively illustrate issues specific to students' work. Students should come prepared to revise extensively, to read closely, and to consider with an open mind the rhetorical possibilities available to them.

Instructor: Mark Slouka Day and Time: Thu, 1:30-4:30pm
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in creative nonfiction. All others, contact jnklein@uchicago.edu.

Writing for Performance

TV Writing: The Sitcom (CRWR 27100/47100 , ISHU 27313)

Instruction, reading, and dialogue centering on the writing of the half-hour television comedy script. Aesthetic elements (i.e., formal requirements of the genre as well as the basics of technique) will be presented and assessed; practical necessities (including tricks of the trade) will be explained; real-world network and cable T.V. "ins and outs" will be touched upon. Classroom discussion, covering reading both theoretical and instructional, will be conducted in conjunction with participation by each student in the actual writing of a script. Although humor itself is subjective and ineffable, there are right and wrong ways to go about achieving it. The right ways--and how to get them on paper--will be illuminated in this class. No prior experience necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an intensive, condensed course. The course will meet two hours twice per week for the first six weeks of the quarter. In the remaining four weeks, students will meet two hours once per week.

Instructor: Jerome Perzigian. Day and Time: Wed/Fri, 10:30-12:30 (see note)

Writing for Performance

Visit the University Theater website for info about courses in Playwriting, Screenwriting, and TV Writing.