Skip over navigation

Program in Creative Writing

Director

Susan Wheeler

Executive Committee

Michael W. Cadden, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

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

Jeffrey K. Eugenides, Lewis Center for the Arts

Su Friedrich, Lewis Center for the Arts, Visual Arts

Brian E. Herrera, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

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, Lewis Center for the Arts

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

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

Tracy K. Smith, Lewis Center for the 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 K. 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 Lewis Center for the Arts

Tracy K. Smith, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Susan Wheeler, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Edmund V. White, also Lewis Center for the Arts 

Lecturer

Michael C. Dickman

Christina Lazaridi

Hodder Fellow

Katy E. Didden

Adam Ross


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, screenwriting and translation; and gain a special access to the critical understanding of literature through their involvement in the creative process.

Small workshop courses in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, 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. All creative writing courses require an application process.

Each workshop focuses on one genre only (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, 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, a screenplay, a novel, or literary translations in poetry or fiction) 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. Prerequisite: by application. 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. Prerequisite: by application. 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: by application. 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: by application. 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. Prerequisite: fluency in a language other than English and by application. 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. Prerequisite: fluency in a language other than English and by application. 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 by application. 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 by application. 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 by application. 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 by application. 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 by application. 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 by application. 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. By application. Staff

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

This class introduces students to basic screenwriting principles and techniques, using cross-cultural and cross-temporal examples. Students complete the course with a strong working sense of the core elements used in visual storytelling as applied in film, tv, or new media. Final portfolio includes one silent short film and two narrative shorts. Prerequisite: by application. Staff

CWR 349 Screenwriting: Creating Visual and Emotional Unity (also VIS 349)   Spring 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. Prerequisite: By application Staff

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 441 Notes on Color (see VIS 441)

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

An advanced-level course in screenwriting. Students 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 write steadily throughout the term, allowing time for revision. Prerequisite: by application. Staff

CWR 451 Screenwriting for a Global Audience (also VIS 451)   Spring LA

How can screenwriters create stories for global consumption? How can they remain grounded in an understanding of human nature, while working to innovate visual narrative forms? This course will analyze elements of storytelling techniques used across cultures and time, through an investigation of how the human brain processes narrative visual information. Using fairytales, films and new media, as well as scientific and technological breakthroughs in the understanding of brain function, the course will give students techniques for communicating a dramatic continuum to the human brain using traditional and cutting edge film/media platforms. C. Lazaridi

CWR 496 Princeton Atelier (see ATL 496)