Winter 2008

Fiction

Beginning Fiction Writing (CRWR 10200/30200)

This workshop-centered course introduces writers to foundational concepts and tools in the craft of fiction, including point of view, voice, plot, and the dimensions of the “character.”  Regular assignments include the submission and editing of short fictions, as well as working reflection on the historical and artistic context of the “short story” as a form itself.  Within the workshop, we will seek not only to become better fiction writers, but also better critical readers of others’ work.  To this end, we will examine work by other past and contemporary writers, including Ford Madox Ford, Cyrus Colter, Leslie Scalapino, and Barry Hannah.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl . Thursday, 1:30-4:20pm 
PQ: Online registration. No submission necessary.

Intermediate Fiction Writing


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: Nic Pizzolatto . Tuesday, 9:00-11:50am 
PQ: Beg Fiction suggested, Instructor Consent required. Online submission Fill out form and submit either 1 full-length story or novel excerpt.

Thesis Seminar in Fiction I

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: Thursday, 9:30am-12:20pm 
PQ: Instructor Consent. Limited to students completing BA/MA theses in Fiction.Online submission Fill out form and submit writing sample and short plan for your project. 

Intensive Fiction Workshop

This advanced fiction course will focus on the development of a longer body of work such as the creative thesis, and is open to students currently concentrating on their theses as well as those who have taken intermediate fiction and are interested in developing a larger, cohesive body of work. Students should come to the class with this body of work in progress (at least three stories or three chapters of a novel), regardless of how preliminary these drafts might be, 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 and character as well as looking closely into the mechanics of editing on a paragraph, sentence and word choice level. The course will also include discussion of reading as a writer, assigning texts to be read with an eye on how other writers are able to achieve their specific goals and helping students toward an even deeper understanding of what is absolutely necessary to move their stories forward.  

Instructor: Elizabeth Crane. Day and Time: Wednesday, 9:30am-12:20pm 
PQ: Instructor Consent. Online submission and submit either three stories or three chapters of a novel that you intend to workshop during the course by December 1. 

Poetry

Beginning Poetry Workshop (CRWR 10300/30300)

Introduction to the foundational concepts and tools in the craft of poetry is the focus of this workshop course. We will study how to present ideas through the use of visual imagery and figures of speech, and the use of sound, verbal rhythm and melody to frame those ideas. We will examine the work of contemporary as well as canonical poets with the intent of becoming not only better poets, but also better critical reader’s of others’ work. 

Instructor: Ed Roberson . Day and Time: Mondays, 1:30-4:30pm 
PQ: Online registration. No submission necessary.

Intermediate Poetry Workshop

In this course, we will develop a vocabulary for talking about 21st-century and archaic modes of writing poetry as we push ourselves to try them out, with equal doses of enthusiasm and recognition of what it means to occupy traditional forms today. On the premise that creative work is profoundly social, and that 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, with occasional intervention by visiting and local poets. We will be attentive to the transformation of poetics across media, discussing sound poetry, visual poetry, digital poetry, and performance poetry as well as poetry of the page. Participants will develop a sheaf or chapbook of poems across the quarter’s course, partly if not exclusively in conjunction with collective experiments. Attendance at readings and participation in events related to poetics will be both celebrated and required.

Instructor: Jen Scappettone. Day and Time: Tuesday, 3:00-5:50pm 
PQ: Beg Poetry suggested, Instructor Consent required. Online submission. Fill out form and submit 5-8 poems. 

Thesis Seminar in Poetry

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 examine works by Jack Spicer, Nathaniel Mackey, Cornelius Eady, Lyn Hejinian in relation to the central focus on the work of your fellow students.

Instructor: Ed Roberson. Day and Time: Wednesdays, 1:30-4:30pm 
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in poetry--Students writing at an advanced level are also welcome to apply. Online submission. Fill out form and submit writing sample and short plan for your project.

Creative Nonfiction 

Writing Journalism

This workshop will begin from the craft of mainstream news reporting and pursue the art of literary journalism. Along the way we will practice arts reviewing, travel writing, commentary, narrative, profile, and other forms of the students' choosing. We will depart from traditional social-scientific approaches to journalism and examine it through the humanities to gain critical purchase on the cultural production, ethical obligation, and imaginative practice of journalists. We will study methods of style and storytelling that separate enduring prose from tomorrow's bird-cage liner, while plundering technique from an eclectic array of journalists and non-fiction writers, such as Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Roger Ebert, E.B. White, Annie Dillard, Heywood Broun, David Sedaris, A.O. Scott. As much as possible, we will follow the rituals of the job, completing brief weekly assignments and a longer final project that target specific audiences and particular publications. Sleeves will be rolled up. Deadlines will be met. Publication will be our goal.

Instructor: Jeff McMahon . Day and Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00-1:20pm 
Online registration for graduate students.
PQ: Undergrads by consent of instructor only (Contact Jeff McMahon for consent) 

Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing


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. I will base your grade on your participation and literary achievement. You will leave this course with writing and editing experience and a body of work.

Instructor: Dan Raeburn. Day and Time: Tuesday, 1:30-4:20pm 
PQ: Beg Creative Nonfiction suggested, Instructor Consent Required. Online application.Fill out form and submit a 3-15 page sample of a personal narrative or essay. Fiction, poetry, academic essays, and news reports are not acceptable.

Thesis Seminar in Creative Nonfiction


This course is for students who are writing a Bachelor's or Master's thesis in nonfiction. It is a workshop, so come to the first day of class with your thesis-in-progress ready to share. You will repeatedly rewrite and re-envision your thesis and help your classmates to do the same. You are required to work on your classmates' theses as diligently as you work on your own. I focus on editing because writing is, in essence, rewriting, and by learning to edit other people's work you will gradually acquire the objectivity you need to edit your own. You will find that you profit most not only from the advice you receive, but from the advice you learn to give. In short, I will teach you to teach each other, and thus yourselves.

Instructor: Dan Raeburn. Day and Time: Thursday, 1:30-4:20pm
PQ: Instructor Consent. Priority for students completing BA/MA theses in creative nonfiction. Online submission Fill out form and submit writing sample and short plan for your project.

Writing for Performance

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