This is a creative writing course concentrating on the literary essay.The class focuses on constructive in-class analysis of personal essays written by students.Through writing practice and reflection, the course explores contemporary developments in a range of genres, introducing students to issues, techniques and contexts of contemporary writing.
Through lecture, discussion, assigned reading, writing exercises, short story (or novel chapter) writing, and critiques of student writing in a workshop mode, the student will examine critically the elements of literary creation.
The students will keep a journal and prepare a portfolio of their work.
It covers ways to begin and develop a sustained and reflective writing practice, including revision and editing.
The course consists of a series of exercises designed to develop essential aspects of the creative writer's craft and a selection of connected readings in a range of approaches, styles and techniques.
Studying the writing technique of a range of authors provides students with models and inspiration as they develop their own voices and refine their understanding of the literary craft.
By taking a Creative Writing course, students find new approaches to reading and writing that can affect them on a personal level, as the skills they gain in each lesson directly benefit their own creative goals.Students study short stories by authors such as Bharati Mukherjee and Edgar Allan Poe, learning how to create believable characters and develop setting and plot.Likewise, students read poetry by canonical greats such as W. Yeats and Emily Dickinson as well as contemporary writers such as Pablo Neruda, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Notley.Assignments will enable students to express and develop their creative skills.This course is designed to guide students in creative writing through experience in three genres: short story, poetry, and creative non-fiction.Access is provided to computers, laser printer, and other production equipment. This course is an honors seminar for students who wish to write fiction and to do so with an awareness of fiction's role in culture.Students will study the relationship between cultural events and literary conventions: connections, for example, between World War II and Hemingway's concise sentences, the birth of jazz and the language of the beatniks, Existentialism and Ralph Ellison's view of character, or the systematic repression of Native American languages and Joy Harjo's fluid syntax.They also explore poetic forms ranging from found poems and slam poetry to traditional sonnets and villanelles.In addition to applying literary craft elements in guided creative writing exercises, students engage in critical reading activities designed to emphasize the writing craft of a diverse group of authors.See the current catalog section of "Special Studies" for full details of Independent Studies.This course is a practical introduction to creative writing through prose and poetry.