Introduction to Creative Writing
We are going to hear what contemporary writers are talking about and enter the conversation. Digging into the trinity of creative writing, we will hone our language to write fiction (build worlds and create people), write poetry (make the sound machine sing), and write creative nonfiction (turn Facebook on its head with our intricate and eloquent confessions about our breakfast, our gaming, and our broken hearts). We will learn how to excavate contemporary texts for their meaty sustenance and use that meat to build our own beasts of language from how to create a character to how to represent yourself in writing to how to use a sonnet to talk about Batman. We will also learn how to build up each other's writing through constructive criticism in a workshop setting, and you will walk away from the course with a small collection of writing all your own.
Introduction to Creative Writing
This course will be focused on exposing the many layers of skin “creative writing” has & can have. It will cover a wide range of fresh ideas & writing genres, including Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Memoir, Ekphrasis, Eulogy, Free-Writing, Journal-Writing, and Dance, Film and Television Reviews. Self-evaluation, improvisation, & performance will also be navigated in this course. Exciting! Students should also expect to be challenged physically & mentally. Class will be held outside of the classroom once a month! This course is open to students of all abilities & is designed to foster individual growth according to course-objectives and students’ personal goals. This class will be fast-paced, increasing the challenges every week as we confidently attack the “art of writing.” We will write every single class!
Introduction to Creative Writing
This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of creative writing. Over the semester, we will investigate forms, techniques, language, and tropes of poetry and fiction and everything between. We will not only experiment with writing in these forms, but also learn strategies for reading contemporary works of literature. Much of this course will involve writing and sharing exercises and original creative works in a workshop setting. By the end of the semester, each student will have produced a unique body of writing in various genres.
Introduction to Fiction Writing
In this class, we’ll look at the project of writing fiction in both real and unreal settings. Students will study the elements of fiction (such as language, setting, character, and narrative structure) with an additional focus on techniques for writing about things and places that don’t exist, and ideas that complicate our understanding of reality. The reading list will consist of literary fiction alongside science fiction, fantasy, and the surreal; students will focus on growing as both readers and writers, with a blend of discussion and workshop based exercises, and apply these techniques to creating their own works of fiction.
Introduction to Poetry Writing
$#@% happens. So does poetry. Instead of resigning reading & writing poetry to the mystical (it’s hard to understand, you’ve either got talent as a writer or you don’t), this introductory course thinks in terms of tools & technologies that can be manipulated—like electricity in circuits, or gathering data to represent in a graph. We will read & discuss poetry produced using extremely varied methods, from ancient epics, through traditional forms, to contemporary avant-garde techniques & procedures. We will also try out lots of these games ourselves, sharing work with our peers in group workshops, in the end producing a small portfolio of our own poems. By any means necessary.
Oscar Wilde said, “A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.” In this course, students will practice constructive misbehavior in the service of fiction. Through guided exercises, in-class discussions and analyses of select readings, we will explore the craft of prose writing. We will look at ways in which the imagination can be tapped, harnessed and refined. While infinitely complex, fiction is composed of a limited number of moving parts. We will isolate and examine them. We will identify how they function in the works of contemporary authors whose minds have misbehaved spectacularly. As we expose the inner workings of fiction, students will gain lessons to apply to their own creative work, which will culminate in a complete draft of a short story.
Can you tell a story through a list? A series of letters? Through emojis? Can you create a new story from one that already exists? Fiction exists in countless forms, and this course will encourage you to analyze form by analyzing innovative methods of telling stories. The methods include creative imitations, psychogeographical dérives, and competitive-cooking-show-related challenges, among others. In addition to writing, you will read contemporary prose, workshop the work of your peers, and create a new portfolio of your own fiction.
Lauren Conrad says that the hardest thing about writing prose is that “there’s always a first page and a last page.” But how do we get there? How do we, as Virginia Woolf so eloquently puts it, “exchange the fluidity of life for…concentration”? This course will offer students an introduction to the craft of prose writing. In addition to generative assignments, we will utilize close reading techniques to obtain a better understanding of prose writing. To find our way toward this understanding, we will read literary fiction, speculative fiction, commercial literature, experimental prose, prose that pushes at the boundaries of fiction and poetry, fan-created works, essays, and more!
Poetic Dreams: Grasping the Ungraspable - “As if poems were the earth’s dreams. Sometimes it appears that poems are this: the earth’s dreams.” – Raúl Zurita, Purgatory
Poems are dream-like things. They’re slippery, and exist in a state of constant metamorphosis. They can be at once emotionally powerful, beautiful, and even frightening, and yet they elude our attempts to define them exactly. The aim of this course is to teach its constituents to read and decipher poetry, and more importantly to write poetry that’s compelling and dreamily dynamic. We will do this by examining poetry from various places and time periods. We will also practice and utilize poetic devices such as diction, tone, figurative language, form, and more while working to develop style and craft. Poetry, like dreams, always maintains an air of the mysterious and mystical. This doesn’t mean that poems are impossible to grasp! This course will give you the tools to think about and write effective and fantastic poetry.
Introduction to Writing Creative Non-Fiction
In this course we will explore the various forms and conventions of writing creative nonfiction, a burgeoning genre with old-school antecedents. We will be writing within various subgenres of CNF, including memoir/personal essay, literary journalism, and hybrid forms. We’ll also be reading a number of both classic and contemporary creative nonfiction texts to help us understand what makes some nonfiction writing “creative,” and so that we can pilfer them for ideas to fuel our own writing process. Over the course of the semester, we will forge a serious and personal inquiry into the genre, its expanding definitions and its limits, all for the purpose of considering (and reconsidering, time and again) the concept of writing life, as it has been experienced, into literature.