Creative Writing Program

Undergraduate Creative Writing Courses, Summer & Fall 2019

EN 200 Introduction to Creative Writing

EN 301 Fiction Writing

EN 303 Poetry Writing

EN 305 Creative Nonfiction Writing

EN 307 Applied Creative Writing

EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing

 

Interim

Summer Session 1

EN 200

EN

 

 


EN 200: The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing

EN 200-001          MWF         10:00 – 10:50            TBA
EN 200-002         MWF         10:00 – 10:50            Olivia Townsend,
EN 200-003         MWF         11:00 – 11:50              Scott McWaters
EN 200-004         MWF         11:00 – 11:50              Sarah Landry
EN 200-005         M                2:00 – 4:30                Riley Bingham
EN 200-006         TR              9:30 – 10:45               Shanti Weiland
EN 200-007         TR              9:30 – 10:45                Marissa Bennett
EN 200-008         TR              11:00 – 12:15               Jenifer Park
EN 200-009         TR              11:00 – 12:15               Jane Morton
EN 200-010         TR               2:00 – 3:15                 Jeremy Burke
EN 200-011         MWF           2:00 – 2:50                Lily Davenport
EN 200-012         TR               2:00 – 3:15                 Matthew Brinkley
EN 200-013         MW             3:00 – 4:15                 Reilly Cox
EN 200-014         MW             3:00 – 4:15                 Peter Berge

 

EN 301: Fiction Tour

EN 301-001                          MW 3:00-4:15                        Kevin Waltman

EN 301-003                          MW 4:30-5:45                        Paul Albano

EN 301-004                          TR 11:00-12:15                       Julia Coursey

EN 301-005                           TR 2:00-3:15                         Wendy Rawlings

 

EN 303: Poetry Tour

EN 303-001                            MW 3:00 – 4:15                  Rebecca Brown

EN 303-003                            MW 4:30 – 5:45                  Ashley McWaters

EN 303-003                            TR 9:30 – 10:45                  Ashley McWaters

EN 303-004                             TR 11:00–12:15                   Shanti Weiland

 

EN 305: Creative Nonfiction Tour

EN 305-001                            TR 9:30–10:45                     Brooke Champagne

EN 305-002                           TR 11:00–12:15                     Brian Oliu

 

EN 307: Applied Creative Writing

EN 307-001                             TR 9:30–10:45                     Chase Burke

Narrative & Writing As Manipulation

In this course, we will look at how narrative is often the driving force behind our experiences with reality. Sports, albums, politics — we look for narrative is everywhere. We’ll dig into the language of advertising, political campaigns, and even social media in order to determine how story is utilized in the real world by everyone from sports journalists to lawyers. Successful writing is all about audience manipulation, so as we write and curate our own work, we’ll look at how we have been manipulated by the world around us — and we’ll do some manipulating, too. Students will engage with narrative and story as it exists in fiction, yes, but also as it appears in the real world — in our careers, past-times, and everyday experiences. This course should appeal to creative writers with an interest in advertising, marketing, politics, journalism, film, or just about any career that might find an audience.

Prerequisite: EN 200

 

EN 307-002                              W 10-12:30                         Hailee Sattavara

The Creative Mind at Work

Have you ever wondered what is going on in the brain when you imagine? What is this mysterious “esemplastic power,” as Coleridge called it, and how can we better understand and better harness the imagination whether making art, decorating a house, doing math, fashioning a moral life, planting a garden, cooking a stew, or otherwise moving the world toward elegant solutions? In this course, we’ll tap into the imaginative and artistic process and explore the psychology of creativity. In readings we will learn how philosophers, poets, spiritualists, scientists, and gurus of every stripe have sought to understand the operations and potentials of the imagination, and in our work we will seek to put their theories into practice. We’ll experiment within and beyond familiar forms, not only writing but photography, painting, self-improvement, meditation, music, performance, and more. Novalis called the imagination the seat of the soul, the place where the inner and the outer worlds meet, and by the end of the semester you will possess a framework for understanding creativity as an event that happens inside our bodies as well as new skills in the transformation of genius into practical power.

Prerequisite: EN 200

 

(These Two Courses satisfy the Creative Writing Minor’s Applied Elective)

EN 313-001                             TR 2:00 – 3:15                         Amber Buck

Writing Across Media

How often do you stop to think about the medium in which you are communicating? How does a specific medium change the way you write? What does it mean to “read” an image? How does our use of technology shape the way we communicate? What theories inform our relationships with media? In this class, we will explore the intersections between various media: print, film, images, sound, social media, etc. We will develop an approach for understanding and composing multimedia products while attempting to identify (and challenge) the implicit conventions of media. Along the way, we will consider the ways writing (as an object and as a practice) is shaped by these multimedia interactions from both theoretical and practical perspectives. By integrating practical activities with broader theoretical issues, we will work on developing effective strategies for designing multimedia presentations, and through this class, you will create image, audio, remix, and interactive projects.

 

EN 317-001                             TR 11:00 – 12:15                         Amy Dayton

Writing Center Practicum

This course will introduce you to the principles and practices of Writing Center work. The course is structured as a practicum, in which you will do some reading and reflecting on composition theory, and some hands-on work in the Center, including observations and consultations. This course is required for students who wish to work in the Writing Center. Registration is by permission only—application window has closed.

 

EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing

EN 408-001                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          MW 3:00-4:15        Coryell

Novel Workshop (Two-Semester Sequence)

This is part one of a two semester course designed with the goal of completing a draft of a novel. In this class we will deconstruct the novel-writing process, and move from brainstorming ideas all the way to workshopping books-in-progress. No matter the genre you’re looking to write, you’ll find this course an invaluable aid to developing a new or existing project. We will read and discuss a couple of novels in order to help inspire the writing process, and discuss the many challenges of writing longform narrative and strategies for overcoming them. Workshops will occur throughout the semester and novel sections will be turned in regularly. The goal of this course is not to write a perfect, complete text, but rather to learn how to forgive yourself for bad sentences and to do a lot of writing. By the end of the first semester, the goal is to have a partial novel draft completed with a full draft completed by the end of the second semester. We will also talk briefly about the novel publication process.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-002                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          T 2:00-4:30       Estes

Oblique Strategies

“A creative-writing class may be one of the last places you can go where your life still matters,” says Theodore Roethke. But this creative-writing class walks a via negativa: it is a no-class doing no-writing for a no-workshop with a no-teacher. This creative-writing class insists on slanting toward truths, that truths are what is made, that what is made frees us from the infinite by building exquisite frames. This creative-writing class prefers holes and gates and anything it can fall through: thus it wants to read, draw, listen, chat, and eat grass. This creative-writing class would rather fake it than make it but cannot decide between counterfeit, forgery, or fraud. In this creative-writing class “creative” is subjunctive  and “writing” a metaphor, thus it only aspires and never is: one minute it’s all cave art and moon landing, the next architecture and gardening, the next Claw of Archimedes and Magic-Bullet Theory. This creative-writing class loves candy volcanoes and lego angels; believes in the Fiji Mermaid and Piltdown Man; thinks it is the dark web’s mother. This creative-writing class is interested in mathematics, geology, meteorology, mythology, liturgics, and cooking more than it is creative-writing. This creative-writing class is a prisoner’s dilemma, a Schrödinger’s Cat, a ludic fallacy, a cascading failure, and a triumph over chaos. In this creative-writing class the only thing that matters is your life—saving it, revising it, changing it—and the only real continuous work is the deconstruction and construction of it. This creative-writing class is not for the half-hearted (whole- and broken-hearts welcome).

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-003                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          T 9:30-12:00        Collum

Screenwriting (Suspense/Thrillers)

Successful suspense/thrillers such as Memento, Inception, The Prestige, and Silence of the Lambs pique our interest, tap into our insecurities, and exploit our most primal fears because they are intelligent, thought-provoking, and filled with dangers (both real and imagined). In this course, we’ll examine how good suspense/thrillers simultaneously bring us pleasure, stir apprehension, and sustain uncertainty. Furthermore, we’ll explore how such stories prompt us to more closely examine ourselves and our fears. We’ll read a variety of screenplays in the suspense/thriller genre to examine how concept, suspense, plot, dialogue, and pacing make movies in this genre click. As we examine successful screenplays/films, we will also work through the process of developing, outlining, writing, and revising a full-length feature screenplay (approx. 90-120 pages) in the suspense/thriller genre. Students will work collaboratively and will present work through in-class workshops and activities.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303.

 

EN 408-004                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 9:30-10:45       Oliu

Writing for Video Games

In less than fifty years, dating from Atari’s release of Pong in 1972, video games and video gaming have revolutionized media consumption in the 21st century and shape the ways we interact with technology in the digital age. From that simplistic table tennis game has arisen whole empires—World of Warcraft is built out of over 5 million lines of code—and a multibillion dollar industry. Video games not only draw stylistic elements from art, literature, and film, but have influenced those art forms in turn, pioneering entirely new forms of storytelling. Whether you are new to gaming or have logged thousands of hours in front of a computer or console, this course will guide you in the writing and designing of your own video game, with special attention to interactive, non-linear (choice-based, open world) narratives—concepts which can be applied in many writing scenarios. As part of studying the art of video games and gameplay, we will read about video games, write about video games, discuss video games, Skype with video game writers, and of course play many kinds of video games, from traditional platformers such as Super Mario Bros 3, puzzle games in the vein of Tetris, as well as extended narratives such as Gone Home and The Stanley Parable.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-006                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          WF 9:30-10:45       H Staples

Capstone Thesis Project

Author Michael Ondaatje describes writing books as “a case of inching ahead on each page and discovering what’s beyond in the darkness, beyond where you’re writing.” This course will support such courageous forays. Students will work both independently under the instructor’s supervision and in a collaborative peer workshop to produce an artist statement and extended literary work or collection in the genre(s) of their choice. In addition to common readings and individualized reading lists, we will explore literary culture and ideas, artist biography, and other works aimed at preparing students for the writing life. In order to give priority to seniors and students in the English Honors Program, application is required; however, anyone with an interest in working on an extended writing project is encouraged to apply! Obtain a project application from the Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing (john.estes@ua.edu). #writethebookyouwanttoread!

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-007                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          MW 3:00-4:15    S McWaters

Advanced Fiction Writing

This course will approach the craft of writing fiction by developing students’ skills in both reading and writing. There will be assigned directed writing exercises as an introduction to the elements of form and craft. In addition, we will read and critique published stories and student manuscripts in a workshop setting. Both a midterm exam and a final reflection paper will be required.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-009          ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING    TR 12:30-1:45            Addington

Literary Journalism

No Description Submitted

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-010                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          T 2:00-4:30                 Behn

The Poet’s Toolbox

This is a chance to get up close and personal with how language can be used in poetry, and increase your ability to make varying poetic “moves” that allow your poetry to expand into new realms. We’ll spend about equal time with formal verse (getting familiar with meter, many kinds of rhyme, some fixed forms from English and other languages—and contemporary examples that really change up those forms) and tools that can be used to expand the possibilities of free verse (patterns of repetition and of image-making, figures of speech, rhetorical shapes that whole poems can take, found forms, erasures, uses of the “page,” etc.). You’ll gain a better ear for poetry, and end up with a portfolio of poems that dazzle the reader with all that you can do.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-011                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 12:30-1:45            Wyatt

Writing Trauma (Creative Nonfiction)

Writing about trauma is a crucial way for those who have experienced it to share their story in order to help others and themselves. However, many writers struggle with the best way to write their own harrowing stories. It can be difficult to honor your own journey without causing emotional strife to yourself or isolating others. For this course, we will read creative non-fiction books and essays that have traumatic events at their core. We will read Hunger by Roxane Gay, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed and others. Students will develop their own personal style and focus by doing a number of writing exercises, but will also explore many readings within the genre to gain a better understanding of writing about trauma. Students will write and workshop pieces of their own work and exchange lively discussion about the class readings. Though many of the subjects will be difficult, students will have a working foundation on how to write about the difficult topics.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-012                ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING          TR 2:00-3:15     A McWaters

The Graphic Novel

This class will explore the dynamic relationship of visual and verbal via the rapidly growing and increasingly influential world of graphic novels. Beginning with the literary and historic precedents of the genre, we will move through a series of works that show the range of artistic and storytelling approaches to such common cultural themes as sexuality, class, race, violence, religion and politics. With all these resources at hand, we will seek the best expressions of madness and happiness that writing + illustration may hold for the individual writers enrolled. Come as you are, whatever your level of drawing skill, whatever your prior knowledge of comics. This class will be a place to experiment with the form, from weekly visual exercises ranging from collage to self-portraiture, to the eventual collaborative creation of a graphic novel/comic of your own.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303