Creative Writing Program

Undergraduate Creative Writing Courses, Spring 2019

EN 200 Introduction to Creative Writing

EN 301 Fiction Tour

EN 303 Poetry Tour

EN 305 Creative Nonfiction Tour

EN 307 Applied Creative Writing

EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing

 

 


EN 200: The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing

EN 200-001                  MWF 9:00 – 9:50                 Sarah Scarr
EN 200-002                 MWF 12:00 – 12:50              Scott McWaters
EN 200-003.                MWF 2:00 – 2:50                  Brian Whalen
EN 200-004                 MW 3:00 – 4:15                    Riley Bingham
EN 200-005                 TR 9:30 – 10:45                    Gregory Ariail
EN 200-006                 TR 11:00 – 12:15                   Chelsea Klopp
EN 200-007                 TR 12:30 – 1:45                     Sara Hughes
EN 200-008                 TR 2:00 – 3:15                      Heather Wyatt
EN 200-009                 TR 2:00 – 3:15                      Grant Miller
EN 200-010                 TR 3:30 – 4:45                       Peter Berge
EN 200-320                 TR 5:00 – 6:15                      Sarah Cheshire

 

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 408-002                           MW 3:00-4:10                            Brock Guthrie

Advanced Poetry Writing: The Long Poem

When we think of the best work by the greatest poets, it’s no wonder we often think of their longer poems. The genre bestows a certain prestige upon its successful practitioner—for good reason. The short lyric poem is challenging enough in its demands for compression, precision, and musicality, yet writers of long poems must also sustain our attention and reward our investment of time—they must extend our curiosity over many pages. In this workshop we’ll focus on longer poetry, from short-long poems (100+ lines) up to book-length poems, reading judiciously within the subgenres—meditation, sequence, collage, verse-novel, etc.—and including great older works by the likes of Whitman, Frost, Stevens, and Bishop, as well as more recent works by Kenneth Koch, Frank Bidart, Anne Carson, Terrence Hayes, and Maggie Nelson, among others. Students will dabble in a variety of subgenres with the aim of developing a penchant for one, culminating in a lengthy final project. Since narrative is typically a vital presence in the long poem, prose writers are especially welcome and should feel at home, even as they reckon with the devices and music of poetry.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-003                           TR 9:30-10:45                   Cade Collum

Criminal Intent (screenwriting)

Crime films such as Silence of the Lambs, The Shawshank Redemption, American History X, The Departed, and A Time to Kill garner such high acclaim because they are complex, engaging, culturally relevant, and thought-provoking. But what makes their characters so remarkably unforgettable, relatable, and complex—or villainous and shady? How do the ethical dilemmas posed in such crime films beckon us to invest in the story? In what ways can a crime film both entertain us and urge us to more closely examine ourselves as well as the lives and motivations of others? In this course, we’ll examine a variety of crime films to identify the key features and strategies—including concept, plot, dialogue, pacing, and description—that make these movies click. Furthermore, we’ll look at the role of crime in concept, plot, and character motivation. As we examine successful films and their screenplays, we will also work through the process of developing, outlining, writing, and revising a full-length feature film. Students will work collaboratively and will present work through in-class workshops and activities. Note: This course requires the purchase of Final Draft 11, which is the industry standard software for screenwriting format and production. These are available at a student discount at the SupeStore and at finaldraft.com

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-004                           TR 11:00-12:15                   Jessica Kidd

Fantasy Writing (fiction)

If you like to hang out in, explore, and create fantastical realms of gold (as Keats called Homer’s mythical landscape) this course is for you, whether you enjoy the old-school lands of Faerie that fueled the imagination of JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the magic-infused worlds of JK Rowling, Robin McKinley, or Diana Wynne Jones, or whether you prefer the unsettling vision of writers like Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. Students will explore ways that speculative elements enter a text, methods of world building, and elements of social, political, and environmental consciousness that find their ways into fantasy writing. The final project will guide students through researching a suitable journal and preparing a submission to that publication.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-005                           WF 12:30-1:45                   Heidi Staples

Young Adult Lit (fiction/hybrid)

“I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.”—J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

In this course, we will get excited about the 12-18 set, reading and writing young adult fiction. We will discuss the literary possibilities for the genre, and review subgenres, including adventure, contemporary, dystopia, diaries, and historical—while also considering hybridizing strategies such the inclusion of texts, ads, lists, images, and verse. Readings may include S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, M.T. Anderson’s Feed, Julie Bauxbam’s Tell Me Three Things, Jason Reynold’s Long Way Down, and Kevin Waltman’s Slump.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-006                           W 2:00-4:30                   Robin Behn

Writers Writing Together (multi-genre)

In this class we will investigate how writers can work together. Writers in the class will collaborate with one another, practicing a wide variety of approaches to the process. Over the course of the semester, you will write with every other person in the class at least once. We’ll read from the rich history of collaborative writing, drawing inspiration from writer pairs such as Neil Gaiman & Gene Wolfe, Frank O’Hara & Kenneth Koch, Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely, and Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza; and from anthologies such as They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing and Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. We will also learn about other ways that writers combine their energies: collaboratives such as Lambda Literary Foundation and Cave Canem, writer’s conferences and colonies, and writing groups. The emphasis will be on having fun, trying new things, and supporting one another in our explorations. Weekly collaborative assignments, one short report, and a longer final project.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-007                           W 2:00-4:30                   Hali Felt

Advanced Creative Nonfiction
The Personal is Political: Memoir as Activism

In this course we’ll explore how individual stories can come together to create communities, solidarity, and movements. We’ll look at the intersection of art and activism, discuss self-care practices, and how to get your writing to the audience that needs it. One of our main goals will be to identify holes in the (nonfiction) narratives that most often get told about/by members of your community—and how to expand the parameters of those narratives. We’ll also address the following questions: What can you do with the frustration of not seeing yourself represented on the page? How can you develop confidence in the value of your story? How might expanding your ideas about the boundaries of the self allow for the amplification of voice?

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-008                           TR 2:00-3:15                   John Staples

The Circadian Narrative (multi-genre)

The past is no good to us. The future is full of anxiety. Only the present is real–the here-and-now. Seize the day.  Saul Bellow, Seize the Day

This course will focus on the study and writing of circadian narratives, imaginative works that take place over the course of a single day. We will investigate the respective approaches and techniques evident in well-known circadian writings, paying particular attention to the ways in which their authors engage memory, back-story, and forward-moving action to progress novels, verse-novels, stories, and epic poems. Taking inspiration from these formal models, students will each draft, workshop, and revise their own circadian narratives. You will gain experience of writing in multiple genres and ultimately choose one piece to develop more fully for the end of the semester. Texts may include works such as Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer, Seize the Day by Saul Bellow, excerpts from Ulysses by James Joyce, among others.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

 

EN 408-009                           TR 3:30-4:45                     Marsha McSpadden

Advanced Fiction Writing: You Are Where You Are

In this class we’ll take a look at the agency of place as it relates to reading and writing short stories. Dorothy Allison says of place, “I grew up among truck drivers and waitresses, and, for me, the place where most stories take place is the place that is no place for most other people. But for me those places are real places, with a population I recognize and can describe, a people I love even if they do not always love me.” This is what she writes. We’ll read a wide selection of short stories set in landscapes both familiar and foreign, and examine how land shapes character, how place drives plot, how place builds people and wears them down, and how place informs desire and facilities change. We’ll not only pay particular attention to the shape of the place, but the language of that place. We will ask of one another what Allison asks of those writers she likes to read: Can you take me somewhere I’ve never been before?

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-010                           TR 3:30-4:45                   Wells Addington

Writing Places (creative nonfiction)

 In this course, we will write about places. We will delve into the particular character and culture of places. Whether wilderness or city, bucolic fields or suburban decay, we will work to represent places truthfully and dynamically. In essays both personal and journalistic, we will examine the people who live in those spaces; the environments, flora, fauna, geology, architecture, the refuse of those places. We will pay close attention to the ethics of representing places, to how we choose to depict these places and everything within and around them. We’ll consider our own relationship to places—how places define us and we define places.

Prerequisites: EN 200 and EN 301 and EN 303

 

EN 408-011                           MW 3:00-4:15                   Paul Albano

The Little Magazine (editing/publishing)

This course will examine the origins, evolution, and the present-day landscape of literary journals and small presses, with a special emphasis on print culture, and learn the fundamentals of the editing process, from the acquisition and revision of work through its proofreading and publishing. As part of this process, we will discuss and implement strategies for publishing our own work covering the entire submission process, from identifying suitable journals to writing professional cover letters. As a culminating project we will produce a print edition of the second issue of Call Me [Brackets]—the literary journal started by the fall semester class. This will involve selecting a new theme and aesthetic, and introduce, in addition to the aforementioned skills, the basics of layout, design, and binding while considering essential post-publishing efforts such as distribution and marketing.