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Program in Creative Writing

Director

Susan Wheeler

Executive Committee

Jill S. Dolan, English, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

Jeffrey Eugenides, Lewis Center for the Arts

Su Friedrich, Lewis Center for the Arts, Visual Arts

Chang-rae Lee, Lewis Center for the Arts

Susan Marshall, Lewis Center for the Arts, Dance

Paul B. Muldoon, Lewis Center for the Arts

Joyce Carol Oates, Lewis Center for the Arts

James Richardson, English, Lewis Center for the Arts, Creative Writing

Joseph S. Scanlan, Lewis Center for the Arts, Visual Arts

P. Adams Sitney, Lewis Center for the Arts, Visual Arts

Susan Wheeler, Lewis Center for the Arts

Edmund V. White, Lewis Center for the Arts

Stacy E. Wolf, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

Professor

Jeffrey Eugenides, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Chang-rae Lee, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Paul B. Muldoon, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Joyce Carol Oates, also Lewis Center for the Arts

James Richardson, also English

Edmund V. White, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Associate Professor

Susan Wheeler

Assistant Professor

Tracy K. Smith

Lecturer with Rank of Professor

C. K. Williams

Lecturer

Susan M. Choi

Michael C. Dickman

Sheila M. Kohler

Christina Lazaridi

Susanna P. Moore

David Rosenberg

Brenda A. Shaughnessy

Visiting Lecturer

Arch C. Whitehead

Hodder Fellow

Anthony Carelli

Danai Gurira


The Program in Creative Writing, part of the Lewis Center for the Arts, allows undergraduates to work with practicing writers while pursuing a regular liberal arts course of study. Students develop their writing skills; learn the possibilities of modern poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting; and gain a special access to the critical understanding of literature through their involvement in the creative process.

Small workshop courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and translation are taught by the program faculty, members of the Department of English, and visiting writers. These courses are limited in enrollment to ensure the benefits of working closely with faculty. Students begin the creative writing course sequence in either the fall or spring with 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 348 or 448. (Any of these may be repeated for credit with a different instructor.) Students who have taken two 200-level courses may apply for the 300 level. Some creative writing courses require an application process.

Each workshop focuses on one genre only (poetry, fiction, screenwriting, or translation). Workshops meet for up to three hours weekly and are devoted primarily to discussion of student work.

All creative writing program courses are graded pass/D/fail but are not counted in the pass/D/fail budget.

Program of Study

Students may earn a certificate in creative writing by successfully completing the following requirements:

(1) Candidates for the certificate normally take two 200-level courses in creative writing by the end of sophomore year and two 300-level courses by the end of junior year, though a portion of this requirement may be waived in unusual circumstances. The courses need not be in a single genre; students are encouraged to experiment with kinds of writing new to them.

(2) Students may earn a certificate in creative writing by writing a creative senior thesis in one genre (e.g., collections of poems, stories, literary translations, or a novel) under the direction of program faculty.

During the spring term of junior year, candidates for the certificate apply to the Program in Creative Writing for permission to write a creative thesis. The application consists of a short form and an extensive portfolio of work in the relevant genre. Successful applicants are assigned specific deadlines and an adviser they meet with throughout senior year.

Accepted students seek permission from their home departments to use the creative thesis to satisfy departmental thesis requirements. For students in the Department of English creative writing track and Comparative Literature Program D, approval is routine, and several other departments have welcomed creative theses, but some students undertake the creative thesis as a "second thesis." Unlike creative writing workshops, which are pass/D/fail, theses receive letter grades.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in creative writing upon graduation.


Courses


CWR 201 Creative Writing (Poetry)   Fall LA

Practice in the original composition of poetry supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript each week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Staff

CWR 202 Creative Writing (Poetry)   Spring LA

Practice in the original composition of poetry supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript each week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Staff

CWR 203 Creative Writing (Fiction)   Fall LA

Practice in the original composition of fiction supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript at least every other week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 204 Creative Writing (Fiction)   Spring LA

Practice in the original composition of fiction supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript at least every other week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 205 Creative Writing (Literary Translation)   Fall LA

Practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript each week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Staff

CWR 206 Creative Writing (Literary Translation)   Spring LA

Practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Each student is expected to prepare a manuscript each week. There will be a weekly workshop meeting and occasional individual conferences. Staff

CWR 215 Graphic Design (see VIS 215)

CWR 240 Creative Non-Fiction (see JRN 240)

CWR 301 Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry)   Fall LA

Advanced practice in the original composition of poetry for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. Prerequisites: 201 or 202 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 302 Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry)   Spring LA

Advanced practice in the original composition of poetry for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. Prerequisites: 201 or 202 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 303 Advanced Creative Writing (Fiction)   Fall LA

Advanced practice in the original composition of fiction for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. Prerequisites: 203 or 204 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 304 Advanced Creative Writing (Fiction)   Spring LA

Advanced practice in the original composition of fiction for discussion in regularly scheduled workshop meetings. Prerequisites: 203 or 204 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 305 Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also COM 355)   Fall LA

Advanced practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Prerequisites: 205 or 206 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 306 Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation) (also COM 356)   Spring LA

Advanced practice in the translation of literary works from another language into English supplemented by the reading and analysis of standard works. Prerequisites: 205 or 206 and permission of instructor. Staff

CWR 345 Special Topics in Creative Writing   Fall LA

Students will gain special access to the critical understanding of literature through their involvement in the creative process. Topics include autobiography, prosody and non-fiction. Students will be expected to prepare a manuscript at least every other week. Specific topics and prerequisites will vary. Staff

CWR 348 Screenwriting I: Screenwriting as a Visual Medium (also VIS 348/THR 348)   Fall LA

Students will write a short silent film, then will revise it as a script with dialogue; then as a script with dialogue and voice-over. The subject will derive from a painting or photograph. They will write a second series of short films (silent, dialogue, and dialogue with voice-over) based on a model from world literature. Students will find a newspaper story and write a short film in which an act of violence occurs. They will adapt a short story or non-fiction article as a film treatment so that it reads like a description of an intended film, not a literary work. They will take the treatment and transform it into a short screenplay. Staff

CWR 349 Screenwriting: Creating Visual and Emotional Unity (also THR 349/VIS 349)   LA

This class will familiarize students with the complex use of metaphorical, emotional, and visual threads in screenplay writing. Analyzing examples of international, independent, and classical structures, students will be exposed to the rhythms and demands of the process of conceiving and writing a long form narrative film. C. Lazaridi

CWR 401 Advanced Creative Writing Tutorial   Not offered this year LA

Tutorials in the original composition of fiction, poetry, or translations, open to those who have demonstrated unusual commitment and talent through four terms of creative writing or who provide equivalent evidence of their capacity for advanced work. Open also to qualified graduate students. Individual conferences to be arranged. Staff

CWR 402 Advanced Creative Writing Tutorial   Not offered this year LA

Tutorials in the original composition of fiction, poetry, or translations, open to those who have demonstrated unusual commitment and talent through four terms of creative writing or who provide equivalent evidence of their capacity for advanced work. Open also to qualified graduate students. Individual conferences to be arranged. Staff

CWR 448 Screenwriting II: Adaptation (also VIS 448/THR 448)   Fall LA

An advanced-level course in screenwriting. Students will write a feature-length screenplay adapted from a work of fiction (a novel or novella) or non-fiction (a biography, history, or book of investigative journalism). Students will start the course by writing a prose piece in which they map out in detail the approach they will be taking, both in content and tone, to adapting the work they have chosen. Once the structure of the script has been laid out, students will write steadily throughout the term, allowing time for revision. Staff

CWR 450 Screenwriting Topics: Writing in Space (Greece) (also HLS 450/THR 450/VIS 450)   LA

Can the emotional fabric of a world, a space, or a country be adapted into a work for the screen? Can a cultural space be used as the source material in the same way that a literary text could be used to create a screenplay adaptation? Using Greece and Greek culture as a source of inspiration, students will explore their own approach of transposing a physical and metaphorical space into the fabric of a short film/screenplay. Traditional screen adaptations of memoirs, novels, and plays taking place in Greece will be used as filmic study-texts. An intermediate course in screenwriting technique, also open to beginners. C. Lazaridi