Spring 2007 Courses


Beginning Fiction Writing (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.

PQ: Online registration. No submission necessary.


Intermediate Fiction Writing: Crafting the Short Story (CRWR 12001/32001)

Student work will be the primary focus of discussion, along with analysis of contemporary short stories with a wide variety of themes and styles chosen to engage the writer’s imagination. Other selected readings will also be on the syllabus, including essays and interviews relating to fiction. Form, story, character, dialogue, aspects of style and other elements of craft will be discussed; careful attention will be paid to the individual student’s voice, and each of these factors will be discussed regarding the process of revision. Critical and thoughtful participation in class discussion is required, and students are expected to write three new stories during the term, turning in revisions of two of these stories before the end of the quarter.

Instructor: Elizabeth Crane.

PQ: Beg. Fiction or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit 3-5 page fiction sample by 3/1/07.


Advanced Narrative Strategies (CRWR 22104/42104)

The goal of this class is to further students’ understanding of the rhetorical strategies,methods, and artistic processes involved with creating narrative fiction, placing a special emphasis on voice and plot. This class involves intensive reading and analysis of work by established authors, and also writing and participating in a workshop format wherein students critique and discuss the work of their peers. Students will learn to identify various aspects of literary craft which they are expected to incorporate into their own creative endeavors. The class involves many readings, discussions,workshop, and the creation and revision of a substantial work of fiction, under the guidance of the instructor.

Instructor: Nicolas Pizzolatto

PQ: Int. Fiction or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit one full-length short story (or novel excerpt) and a statement of purpose by 3/1/07.


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.

PQ: Online registration. No submission necessary.


Intermediate Poetry Writing: Image, Voice, and Vision (CRWR 13001/33001)

This intermediate poetry workshop is designed to deepen students' 
investigations into the fundamentals of writing lyric poetry. We will focus primarily upon the techniques of image-making, the constructions of a literary voice, and various approaches to the question of form. Weekly workshop discussions of student's original creative work will be supplemented by secondary readings in contemporary poetry and poetics.

Instructor: Srikanth Reddy

PQ: Beg. Poetry or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit 3-5 poems by 3/1/07.


Advanced Poetry Writing: Poetics in Practice (CRWR 23101/43101)

In this advanced poetry workshop, we will consider selected texts from a variety of 20th and 21st Century poetic traditions, ranging from Imagism, Surrealism, and Projectivism to the New York School, the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poets, and the so-called “Elliptical” poets. We will examine the diversity of voices, styles, and politics informing these movements, and consider the extent to which theory and community inform creative work. We will read these texts alongside your own original poems with the aim of enriching your poetic practice.

Instructor: Suzanne Buffam

PQ: Int. Poetry or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit 3-5 poems.

Creative Nonfiction

Beginning Creative Nonfiction Writing (CRWR 10400/30400)

This course seeks to develop your abilities in the writing of nonfiction as well as in the editing and critical examination of your own and others’ writing in a workshop environment. Through short assignments and readings, you will be introduced to basic considerations of craft in the writing of nonfiction. You will also be introduced to foundational concepts in journalistic writing and be invited to experiment within traditional genres of nonfiction (i.e. memoir, travel-writing, etc.). This work culminates in the development and presentation of an extended personal essay.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl 

PQ: Online registration. No submission necessary.


Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing (CRWR 14001/34001)

This workshop-centered course invites writers to regularly submit ongoing projects in nonfiction, both short essays and portions of longer projects. Within classroom discussion, writers are also invited to reconsider the concept of “genre” in nonfiction. What “play” develops in contemporary adaptations of “traditional genres” (i.e., memoir, nature-writing, etc.)? In this vein, we will attempt to construct a definition of the “nonfiction novel” by examining Dave Eggers’ What is the What.

Instructor: Garin Cycholl

PQ: Beg. Creative Nonfiction or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit a ten-page (max) personal essay or piece of literary journalism by 3/1/07.


Advanced Creative Nonfiction: The Fictions of Nonfiction (CRWR 24101/44101)

Like antimatter, nonfiction defines itself in the negative. It is not the truth but that which is not untrue. Like journalism it traffics in reality, reporting, and facts; unlike journalism, it values honesty over objectivity. In this course we will use daily and weekly reading, writing, and editing assignments to study how our memories can edit reality and complicate and perhaps enrich the so-called truth. You will write and rewrite your own personal narrative which you will publish, at quarter's end, in our class chapbook. You will receive one copy of this chapbook and a grade based on your participation and literary achievement.

Instructor: Dan Raeburn

PQ: Int. Creative Nonfiction or Instructor Consent AND online application. Fill out form and submit 3-20 page creative nonfiction sample-- academic essays, news reports, or critical term papers are not acceptable.


Vare Writer-in-Residence Course: Never Too Soon To Start: Getting Your First Book Underway

The kind of literary journalism, creative non-fiction, whatever you want to call it, that once appeared more frequently in magazines--the kind that I've written and the kind that I've taught at Columbia and NYU--is now being avidly published in the form of short non-fiction books. Editors and publishers are looking for promising young writers who can bring important new ideas, original subjects, hard work and style to books of about 150-200 pages. I'm looking for a group of ambitious, talented, writers, preferably already published in some form, sothat we can identify and develop your ideas into a book-potential magazine piece, a persuasive first chapter, or a detailed book proposal that has a chance of finding a publisher. We will focus on finding the right subject, learning how to think about it as a book, reporting and writing it. In addition to reading and writing assignments, I expect to have writers, editors, even agents, as guests.

Instructor: Ron Rosenbaum

PQ: Submit online application for Instructor Consent. Fill out form and submit a 10 page max nonfiction writing sample and a paragraph describing writing background/experience.

Writing for Performance

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