Course Catalog

Autumn Quarter begins September 27, 2021. Creative writing courses are offered once per week for two hours and 50 minutes; the current canonical hours policy is here: https://registrar.uchicago.edu/page/201718-canonical-hours-policy.

View the academic calendar here: https://www.uchicago.edu/academics/calendar/.

The Creative Writing Program's application form is now open for Autumn Quarter. The application form is available at this link.

Please contact alepique@uchicago.edu with any questions. 

All Arts Core courses and Beginning Workshops are open bid through my.uchicago.edu. If you are unable to secure a spot through bidding, please contact the instructor to be placed on the waitlist. Admission into Advanced Workshops, Technical Seminars and Fundamentals in Creative Writing require instructor consent via program application form. 

All students can take creative writing classes, but students who are majoring in creative writing, completing a minor in creative writing, or completing the Creative Writing Option for MAPH receive priority in consent-based CRWR courses.

CRWR 20410/40410 Technical Seminar in Nonfiction: Epistolary Form

This reading and writing seminar will focus on works of literature that have found shape and substance via documents such as letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, legal documents, medical records, and more. Students will analyze the causes and effects of the archival impulse on various craft elements, including: dramatic pacing, narrative persona, structure, and theme. Students will conduct independent research according to the genre of their choosing (from memoirs to novels and poems) and write short critical reading reports throughout the quarter. All the while, students will compose and/or compile their own archival materials for creative experiments that test the limits and possibilities of the craft.

Day/Time: Thursdays, 11:00am-1:50pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Technical Seminars

CRWR 20227/40227 Technical Seminar in Fiction: Reading and Writing the Body

In her seminal essay “On Being Ill,” Virginia Woolf writes, “Literature does its best to maintain that its concern is with the mind; that the body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear. […] On the contrary, the very opposite is true. All day, all night the body intervenes.” This seminar will actively examine these bodily interventions in writing, and explore the merits of engaging deeply and precisely with the taboo subjects of sex, aging, illness, bodily change, and bodily difference. We will also discuss the concept of embodied writing—and the embodiment of physical experience through writing—using the body-centered prose of Bruno Schulz, Annie Ernaux, Rebecca Brown, Yasunari Kawabata, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and other writers. Assignments will include short critical and creative responses, a presentation, and a critical essay.

Day/Time: Mondays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Technical Seminars

CRWR 20226/40226 Technical Seminar in Fiction: Beginnings

This technical seminar will investigate the purposes and possibilities of beginnings in fiction. Students will read opening lines, paragraphs, pages, and occasionally chapters, from Aimee Bender, Miranda July, Dorthe Nors, Kobe Abe, and others, asking: what work do these beginnings do—and why, to what end? Of course, this means we will also read the stories that follow, to analyze these introductions in the framework of their narratives. How do openings guide—or mislead—the reader? How should they balance introduction and momentum? How do they orient us, not only to character, setting, and conflict, but also to elements like tone and sensibility, to a story’s own sense of itself? What archetypes or common “moves” can we identify and use? What are the implications and meanings of beginnings—of starting in a particular place and way, when a story might very well start in any number of places? And how do such authorial decisions ripple through the story? Students will be responsible for reading responses, short craft analyses, vigorous class participation, and several creative exercises putting what they learn into practice.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Technical Seminars

CRWR 12145 Reading as a Writer: Re-Vision

To revise a piece of writing isn’t merely to polish it. Revision is transformation and yields an alternate reality. A new view, a re-vision. This course will examine the radical potential of revision, drawing case studies from a range of writers such as Marguerite Duras, Jorge Luis Borges, Elizabeth Bishop, Dionne Brand, Li-Young Lee, Janet Malcolm, Lydia Davis, Terrance Hayes, Yiyun Li, francine j. harris, Bhanu Kapil, Shane McCrae, and Chase Berggrun. We’ll start by tracking compositional process, looking at brilliant and disastrous drafts to compare the aesthetic and political consequences of different choices on the page. We’ll then study poems, essays, and stories that refute themselves and self-revise as they unfold, dramatizing mixed feelings and changing minds. We’ll end by considering erasure poetry as a form of critical revision. Our conversations will inspire weekly writing exercises and invite you to experiment with various creative revision strategies. Students will be asked to lead one presentation and to share their writing for group discussion.

Day/Time: Fridays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Contact the instructor for a spot on the waiting list. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Arts Core Courses

CRWR 12146 Reading as a Writer: London vs. Nature: Writing Utopia and Dystopia in the Urban Landscape

Crosslistings
ARCH 14146

In this Arts Core course, students will be introduced to a range of the utopian and dystopian fantasies that writers have produced in response to the metropolis of London as the imperial epicenter of manufactured ecologies, from the late nineteenth century through the present day. They will study early responses to modernism and modernization in the city by figures like William Blake, Frederick Engels, Henry James, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf before moving on to contemporary writers such as R. Murray Schafer, who apprehends the city through “earwitnessing” of noise pollution, and Bhanu Kapil, who recalls the race riots of the 1970s against the backdrop of the Nestle factory on the site of King Henry VIII’s hunting grounds. Students will be exposed first-hand to how London is read by writers confronting planetary and political crisis through meetings with living publishers, authors, and art collectives like the Museum of Walking, grappling with the continual metamorphosis of the landscape—and through a sequence of on-site visits and psychogeographical experiments, they will have the opportunity to respond to the city in their own writing across a range of genres. 

Prerequisites

This course is scheduled through Study Abroad Office and acceptance to the London Study Abroad Program is a prerequisite for enrollment. 

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Arts Core Courses

CRWR 12143 Reading as a Writer: Embodied Language

This course studies how writers engage the senses to shape language into something actually felt and not just comprehended. We’ll track the sensual life of words—what they do to the mouth, to the ear, their musical kinships with one another—and learn how these qualities combine to generate mood and atmosphere. Alongside writing that renders embodiment and the physical world, we’ll read writing that makes abstraction feel concrete. Our reading will guide our ongoing inquiry into questions such as: what constitutes an image? How does writing enact feeling? How do the sensory elements of a piece intensify or erode or expand its subject, and to what end? Case studies may include poetry and prose by Bashō, Sei Shōnagon, Homer, John Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jean Toomer, D. H. Lawrence, Lorine Niedecker, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Sylvia Plath, Ai, Elaine Scarry, Wanda Coleman, Toni Morrison, Hai-Dang Phan, Nathaniel Mackey, Durga Chew-Bose, Justin Torres, and Jenny Zhang. These writers will provide inspiration for your own creative experiments on the page. Students will be asked to lead one presentation during the quarter and to write short weekly pieces to extend the group discussion.

Day/Time: Thursdays, 2:00pm-4:50pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Contact the instructor for a spot on the waiting list. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Arts Core Courses

CRWR 12148 Intro to Genres: Speculative Women

Crosslistings
GNSE 22148

Despite common misconceptions women have been at the forefront of the speculative genre from its earliest inceptions. Not merely defying the limitations and restraints of literature as defined by their contemporary society’, but inventing whole worlds and genres which continue to influence writers and writing as a whole today. Mary Shelley’s 1818 publication of Frankenstein, to Virginia Woolf’s 1928’s publication of Orlando, and even Margaret Cavendish’s 1666’s novel, “The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World. This course will be a brief foray into the strange and yet familiar worlds of various women across the history of speculative writing. From Mary Shelley to Ursula K. Le Guin, from Lady Cavendish to Margaret Atwood, from Alice Walker to Octavia E. Butler.

Day/Time: Tuesdays, 11:00am-1:50pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Contact the instructor for a spot on the waiting list. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Arts Core Courses

CRWR 17004 Fundamentals in Creative Writing: High School Reading

We all know them—The Great Gatsby, The Lord of the Flies, The Bell Jar, and other books that seem to have been taught or read in every high school in the country since the dawn of time. In this cross-genre Fundamentals course, we’ll re-examine these and works by the likes of Henry Miller, Sandra Cisneros, Allen Ginsberg, and Zora Neale Hurston. We’ll think about the cultural history of what makes a classic high school read, about coming-of-age stories, and what it means to be educated, enlightened, and/or entertained. We’ll think, too, about how we learn to read, write, and speak back to texts as adults (whatever that means). You’ll write creative exercises, critical responses, and a final paper on a work of your choosing.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Students must be a declared Creative Writing major to enroll. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Fundamentals

CRWR 17012 Fundamentals in Creative Writing: Creative Research/The Numinous Particulars

According to Philip Gerard, “Creative research is both a process and a habit of mind, an alertness to the human story as it lurks in unlikely places.” Creative writers may lean on research to sharpen the authenticity of their work; to liberate themselves from the confines of their personal experience; to mine existing stories and histories for details, plot, settings, characters; to generate new ideas and approaches to language, theme and story. The creative writer/researcher is on the hunt for the numinous particulars, the mysteries and human stories lurking in the finest grains of detail. In this course, we will explore the research methods used by creative writers and consider questions that range from the logistical (eg. How do I find what I need in an archive?) to the ethical (eg. How do I conscientiously write from a point of view outside my own experience?) to the aesthetic (eg. How do I incorporate all these researched details without waterlogging the poem/story/essay?). We will read poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that relies heavily on research and hear from established writers about the challenges of conducting and writing from research. Assignments will include reading responses, creative writing and research exercises, short essays and presentations.

Day/Time: Tuesdays, 9:30am-12:20pm

Prerequisites

Students must be a declared Creative Writing major to enroll. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Fundamentals

CRWR 10306/30306 Beginning Poetry Workshop: Writing Identity (2)

What is the role of the self in our writing? Are we known or made things, even to ourselves, in our work? This workshop focuses on writing and revising poems that capture the nuances of our often-intersectional identities, centering the questions: How is my work representative of me, and Who is the person represented in my work? Throughout the quarter, we will read, write, and discuss contemporary poems dealing with issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity and cultural background, etc., and develop strategies for addressing similar ideas in our own work. Throughout the quarter, you will learnthrough practice, writing drafts that engage with craft elements like imagery, form, rhythm, and voice. We will workshop these drafts as a class, building a supportive, process-oriented community that focuses on creative and critical feedback. By the end of the quarter, you will revise your work into a cumulative portfolio, and will be able to articulate your own work’s place in the landscape of contemporary poetry. While fellow students’ work will be the primary texts, other possible readings include work by Cortney Lamar Charleston, Su Cho, Tarfia Faizullah, Nikky Finney, Dorothy Chan, torrin a. greathouse, Jillian Weise, and others.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10306/30306 Beginning Poetry Workshop (1)

This workshop is an introduction to writing and revising poems, and the related art of giving helpful feedback to other writers. One of the course’s goals is to help you reflect on your writing as a process. Most weeks you will write drafts that focus on the poetic concepts we are studying. You’ll receive feedback on your drafts from your classmates during workshop and will respond both critically and creatively to theirs. At the end of the quarter, you’ll revise your drafts and collect them in a portfolio, accompanied by a critical introduction. At the same time, this course will also introduce you to poetry from a variety of time periods, languages, and approaches to content and structure. You’ll learn to apply critical tools and terminology by drafting poems that experiment with elements such as form, voice, rhythm, imagery, translation, and creative response. We’ll discuss not only how poems are written, but also why they are written and what relationship they have to the contexts in which they are written and read.

Day/Time: Fridays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10406/30406 Beginning Nonfiction Workshop: Narrative, Lyrical & Confessional Truths (1)

Creative nonfiction is an often difficult to define genre. Frequently caught up in ontological and political controversies, and perpetually torn between allegiances to journalism, science, philosophy and art. This course will serve as a brief introduction into the genre by focusing on its history, primary influences and some of the major subgenres which compose it today. From the lyrical, narrative and hybrid, to science writing, reportage, the memoire and even illustrated journalism straight from warzones. This will be accomplished through reading, lectures, discussions and guided writing prompts.

Day/Time: Mondays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10406/30406 Beginning Nonfiction Workshop (2)

Given the recent shift to remote learning and its challenging effects on mental health, this course is designed to get us out of our heads and back into our bodies, minimizing the time we spend looking at the screen through activities and prompts that stimulate physical awareness, support wellness, and enhance creativity. An active writing life demands a refined ability to stay present and receptive to ideas that not only inspire possibility but animate our hands into action. If we view the relationship between sensory experience, memory, and imagination as a triangle of interdependence, then by exercising the gifts of perception writers can gain access to a wealth of "raw material" that sparks discovery of unconscious themes and associations while forging a path for reader accessibility and immersion within the world of a story. Many issues of craft— setting, scene, imagery, characterization— boil down to a writer's intuitive understanding of how corporeality informs emotion and spirituality. From scavenger hunts to yoga, photography, cooking, and dancing, students will exercise the integration of the nervous system and the business of creation, developing original drafts that can be felt in the spine and enriched with a robust workshop experience. Given the multidimensional nature of our practice, students will have the option to pursue multimedia and cross-genre projects. Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to join in this exploration of the senses.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10206/30206 Beginning Fiction Workshop: Basics of Narrative Design (1)

Describing fiction writing as an “art” is perhaps a misnomer. Depending on who’s describing it, the process of creating a narrative is more like driving in the dark, or like woodworking, or gardening. It’s like raising a half-formed, misbehaved child and then trying to reason with it. The metaphors abound, but the techniques for creating effective fictional prose are often quite consistent. This course will begin with a weeks-long consideration of selected works of fiction where discussion will aim to distinguish the basic devices of effective storytelling. Weekly topics will range from subjects as broad as point of view and plot arrangement to more highly focused lessons on scene design, dialog, and word choice. Throughout the term, the writing process will be broken down into stages where written work will focus on discrete story parts such as first pages, character introductions, and dialog-driven scenes before students are asked to compose full-length narratives. Along the way, students will chart their processes of conceptualizing, drafting, and revising their narratives. Finally, in the latter weeks of the quarter, emphasis will shift to the workshopping of students’ full stories.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10306/30306 Beginning Fiction Workshop (3)

“All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey toward a lost land.” So wrote Janet Frame, a singularly talented author who was institutionalized at the age of 21, then saved from a lobotomy only because she won a literary prize. In keeping with Frame’s reflection, this craft-based course will focus on strategies for saving our lives through fiction writing: how to cultivate a convincing voice; how to extract strength from our writerly weaknesses; and, ultimately, how to forge a home for ourselves in our own words. Through a combination of creative exercises and workshops, we will explore and examine the craft components of strong, original fictions, including character development, descriptive detail, compelling dialogue, and rich sentences. We’ll also learn how to read the works of published writers for creative inspiration, mining texts by established masters such as Janet Frame, Alice Munro, and Julio Cortazar, as well as lesser-known contemporary voices. We will workshop our writings throughout the term, developing a portfolio of stories that reflect our individual interests, desires, and needs as writers.

Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:50pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 10206/30206 Beginning Fiction Workshop (2)

Writers at all levels learn through the careful reading of works they admire. We will spend more than a third of our time in this class reading stories worth learning from, both classic and contemporary, by writers like James Baldwin, Sherman Alexie, Deborah Eisenberg, Adam Haslett, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Discussion will be lively--passionate opinions and enthusiasm are welcome--but most of our focus will be on the choices that writers make, the nuts and bolts of craft, including: point of view, tone, direct and summary dialog, setting, and use of time. In-class exercises will further hone your understanding of specific techniques, fire your creativity and get you writing. In writing workshop, each of you will each have the opportunity to present your work to the group. Critique will be respectful and productive, with emphasis on clarity and precision. By the end of the course, you will have generated significant raw material and completed at least one story, which will be revised and handed in as a final portfolio.

Day/Time: Mondays, 1:30-4:20pm

Prerequisites

Open bid through my.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory. Course requires consent after add/drop begins; contact the instructor for a spot in the class or on the waiting list.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Beginning Workshops

CRWR 23123/43123 Advanced Poetry Workshop: Form and Formlessness

Wallace Stevens suggests that “The essential thing in form is to be free in whatever form is used.” How does form provide a kind of freedom for a poet? How does it manifest itself in a poem? Does it mean we have to follow prescribed rules, or is there a more intuitive approach? This course will give students a chance to try out a range of traditional and experimental forms, both as an attempt to improve as writers and in order to interrogate form and its other, what Bataille called the formless, or “unformed” (l’informe). We’ll explore traditional and contemporary takes on a variety of forms and modes, such as sonnets, odes, aphorisms, serial poems, and poetic collage. Readings may include a mixt of poems and prose by Will Alexander, Joyelle McSweeney, Mark Leidner, Robert Hass, Aimé Césaire, Wallace Stevens, Dean Young, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Thylias Moss. Students should expect to write exercises, submit new poems, contribute feedback on peer work, write short response papers, and submit a final portfolio.

Day/Time: Fridays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu (include writing sample). Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 24009/44009 Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Lives

Certain lives catch and keep our attention – they seem magnetic, illustrative, confusing, broken off, revelatory. Sometimes we suspect that through studying a life we will be able to understand a scientific discovery, an artistic creation, a political issue or an historical period; sometimes we are drawn by the drama of the life the subject lived, or by the person’s introspection or testimony. This is a course for students interested in writing lives – and might be of particular interest to a variety of students: creative writers from nonfiction, fiction, and playwriting with an interest in profiles, group portraits, documentary work, or historical meditation; graduate and undergraduate students of history, art, politics, medicine, or law who imagine one day writing a biography, or who are interested in oral history, portraits, medical narrative writing, testimony, case histories, or writing for general / magazine audiences. We’ll work to learn methods and techniques of interviewing, quotation, portrayal and documentation from historians and journalists, and also from playwrights, psychoanalysts, documentary photographers and archivists. Students will write weekly exercises in a variety of forms, and will complete one longer essay to be workshopped in class and revised.

Day/Time: Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 24014/44014 Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: The Performative Essay

The advantage of working within a non-genre is best understood as a spatial metaphor: the house of fiction has kicked us out, but so what? That only means we are free to roam a limitless landscape, mingling with other genres and establishing new traditions. In recent years small presses have begun to celebrate the hybrid impulses of nonfiction writers, and as a result we are witnessing an exciting explosion of books that challenge our impulse to categorize literature. To name a few pioneers, many of whom are women of color: Claudia Rankine, Solmaz Sharif, Jenny Boully, Anne Carson, and Natalie Diaz. In this course, students will unlock a new way of reading and writing postmodern works that dissolve the lines between poetry, prose, visual and performance art, exploring what is becoming known as “the performative essay.” Central to our aim is defining the limits and possibilities of literature that subverts our expectations and defies description. Topics will include Viktor Shklovsky’s defamiliarization, Andy Graff’s Foundational Narrative Design, and deviation from John Gardner’s “fictional dream.” Each week, students will playfully experiment with prompts targeting innovative sources of narrative momentum and share original hybrid works in progress. Self-assessments, conferences, and workshops will be student-led. To conclude the quarter, students will perform revisions of the workshop essay and reflect on the power of performative works to incite social change.

Day/Time: Fridays, 11:30am-2:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 22133/42133 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Writing the Uncanny

Sigmund Freud defines "the uncanny" ("unheimlich") as something that unnerves us because it is both familiar and alien at the same time, the result of hidden anxieties and desires coming to the surface. In this advanced fiction workshop, we will explore how fiction writers use the uncanny to create suspense, lend their characters psychological depth, thrill and terrify their readers, and lay bare the darkest and most difficult human impulses. We will read and discuss fiction by writers like Shirley Jackson, Jamaica Kincaid, Octavia Butler, Kelly Link, Ben Okri, Haruki Murakami, and Victor Lavalle, drawing craft lessons from these writers to guide our own attempts at writing the uncanny. Much of our class time will be dedicated to evaluating student work and honing our skills of composition and critique. In addition to shorter writing exercises and "mini-workshops" throughout the quarter, every student will complete a full-length "uncanny" short story for workshop and compose critique letters for each of their peers. Students will be required to significantly revise their full-length short story by the end of the quarter.

Day/Time: Thursdays, 9:30am-12:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 22128/42128 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Novel Writing, The First Chapters

In this workshop-focused class we will focus on the early stages of both developing and writing a novel: choosing the POV, establishing the setting, developing the main characters and the dynamics between them, setting up the conflicts and seeding the themes of book, etc. As a class we will read, break down and discuss the architecture of the openings of several published novels as you work on your own opening chapters, which will be workshopped during the course. 

Day/Time: Mondays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu (include writing sample). Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 22110/42110 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Exploring Your Boundaries

What natural and artificial boundaries do we impose on ourselves as writers? Are those boundaries clarifying or limiting? How might we push beyond them to more effectively tell the stories we need to tell? This workshop-based course will focus on these questions and ask you to expand the formal and also emotional, thematic, and aesthetic possibilities in your fiction. To that end, we’ll read the work of writers who offer distinct visions of the world through innovative storytelling approaches, and we'll examine how their risk-taking might be as personal as it is literary—an encouragement for you not necessarily to be “experimental” writers, but to explore more meaningful, honest, and expansive ways of telling your own stories. For the course, you will do writing exercises and weekly reading responses, as well as workshop one full-length story that attempts an approach in form or content that you have not tried before in your fiction.

Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:50pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops

CRWR 22146/42146 Advanced Fiction Workshop: Disruption and Disorder

This workshop-based course proceeds from the premise that disorder and disruption are fruitful aesthetics that might be applied to numerous elements of fiction to unlock new possibilities in our work. Students will seek to identify typical narrative conventions and lyrical patterns and then write away from them—or write over them, toward subversion, surprise, and perhaps even a productive anarchy. In the first half of the course, students will search for hidden structures in work by Mary Gaitskill, Dennis Johnson, Taeko Kono, A.M. Homes, Lydia Davis, and Diane Williams, examining the methods these writers use to lead readers to unexpected, original, and transgressive places. Students will complete several short creative exercises in which they practice disruption and disorder in plot, pace, dialogue, and syntax. In the second half of the course, students will workshop one story or excerpt and write thoughtful, constructive critiques of peer work. Revision is also a crucial component of this class, as it is an opportunity to radically warp and deviate from our prior visions. Throughout the quarter, we will attempt to interrupt and shake up our own inclinations as artists.

Day/Time: Fridays, 10:30am-1:20pm

Prerequisites

Instructor consent required. Apply via creativewriting.uchicago.edu. Attendance on the first day is mandatory.

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Advanced Workshops