Students will learn the basics of writing a fictional narrative in this lecture-workshop course. Student skills are developed through a combination of lectures, workshops, peer editing, creative writing exercises, and exams.
This course is designed to teach students how to read literature as writers. Students will analyze the construction of literary texts in order to improve their knowledge and application of each element of storytelling (character, point of view, dialogue, setting, scene, and narrative arc). The goal of this course is to hone aspiring writers' critical thinking and creative skills through lectures on the reading, close readings of literary texts, and creative writing exercises based on literary models.
The term 'Anthropocene' is the name of a new epoch in which the human species has become a geological force, largely driven by industrialization, extractivism, and reliance on technology, that has caused climate change, species extinction and loss of biodiversity. Students will explore the cultural implications of this epochal shift by crafting fiction that helps them rethink the relationships among nature, culture and technology and consider how writing the Anthropocene invites new approaches to received fictional forms. This course will encourage students to engage from diverse perspectives with issues involving planetary change brought about by human activity while honing their creative writing skills.
There are many modes of fiction that can address issues of social justice beyond the realistic. In this course students will engage with fiction as a mode for creating expanded imaginaries that address pressing social problems and inequalities in our society. They will consider how fiction is a means of world creation, including the futuristic, fantastic and dystopic, and explore how fiction is a mode for entering the perspectives of others, sometimes those radically not like us.
In this course, students will learn a range of techniques and approaches, including memoir and the creative essay, for writing nonfiction about the natural world and the human relationship to it. Traditional nature writing placed humans on one side and nature on the other, often as an untouched, wild environment to be explored and described. In this course we will consider nature writing in an era of ecological loss and high-tech science, when access to land, clean water and air are prominent social justice issues and when it is no longer possible to separate nature from the realm of the human.
This course offers an introduction to writing poetic forms. Students will gain an understanding of the basic elements of poetry writing: line, metre, imagery, rhyme, rhythm, syntax, and metaphor, sound and sense. Through practical experiments in individual and collaborative poem writing, students will learn about global poetic forms such as the ballad, the sonnet, the blues, the villanelle, the sestina, the ghazal, the haiku, the renga and the pantoum.
This workshop introduces students to the fundamentals of screenwriting through various writing, reading, and viewing assignments and exercises, as well as the workshopping of students' written work. Topics will include: screenplay formatting, story theme, character development, story lines, scene construction, and basic three-act story telling structure. The course content may focus on: documentary and/or short-form (children's programming, advertising) screenwriting, animation, and/or introductions to specific genres and subgenres.
Students will gain a deeper understanding of the basic elements of creative writing (character development, effective dialogue, narrative arc, and setting) through practical experiments, discussions, and group writing exercises. Through the writing workshops, students will hone their skills as creative writers, critical thinkers, and editors.
Students will be introduced to one or more major forms of creative nonfiction-memoirs, personal essays, feature articles, reviews, profiles, nature writing, and literary travelogues. Students will craft works of creative nonfiction, share them with their peers, and offer constructive and respectful evaluations of their peers' work in a workshop format. Students will also read excerpts of professionally published creative nonfiction and be encouraged to borrow from, experiment with and playfully alter some of the creative writing techniques displayed by the professional writers.
In this workshop, students will gain a deeper understanding of the basic elements of poetry (form, line, metre, imagery, rhyme, rhythm, syntax and metaphor) by focusing on eco-poetry. In their creative practice, students will achieve a nuanced understanding of how poetic form and language can reflect and generate an environmental attentiveness.
Students will develop original story concepts through concept kits, character work, outlines, scenes and a short screenplay. Students will be challenged to sharpen their awareness of difference (race, disability, gender, sexuality and/or class) and apply this awareness in their creative work. While being critically aware of issues of cultural appropriation and reductive representations, students will learn how to practice inclusivity in their creative work.
This is an advanced course in writing for various modes of performance. Students will focus on writing stories that focus on social issues, marginalized groups (race, disability, gender, sexuality) or the environment, as well as explore issues of appropriation. Students will closely and critically read screenplays (or watch the films) and stage plays which have had a serious social impact and look at the way they are different from films and plays which simply reaffirm mainstream belief systems.
A development and extension of the creative writing/reading skills and techniques introduced in the creative writing workshops. This course will involve the generation and revision of challenging new work, sophisticated critique of the work of other students, and focused discussion of the cultural, social, and political issues in which the practice of creative writing is enmeshed.
This advanced poetry workshop will involve the generation and revision of new work, sophisticated critique of the work of other students, and focused discussion of cultural, social, and political issues in which the practice of poetry writing is enmeshed. This course may also focus on the application of poetic elements in hybrid forms and mixed-mode narratives. This capstone course will give students the opportunity to create a polished bound chapbook of 500-800 lines.
This capstone course focuses on scriptwriting and may involve writing for the screen, writing for the stage, or both. Students will begin the course by creating an outline of a full length feature film or play and will then be expected to make significant progress on their creative projects. This workshop course will also involve the sophisticated analysis and critique of scripts and focused discussions of the cultural, social, political and professional issues in which the practice of scriptwriting is enmeshed.