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Program in Creative Writing

Director

Tracy K. Smith

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

Judith Hamera, Lewis Center for the Arts, Dance

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

Jhumpa Lahiri, Lewis Center for the 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

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

Jhumpa Lahiri, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Chang-rae Lee, also Lewis Center for the Arts

Paul B. Muldoon, 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


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 451. (Any of these may be repeated for credit with a different instructor.) Students who have taken two 200-level courses in poetry, fiction and translation may apply for the 300 level. All creative writing courses require an application process. Screenwriting students may apply to advanced screenwriting classes after one introductory screenwriting class.

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. Applicants for a screenwriting thesis must have taken one course in poetry, fiction, or translation; and at least two courses in screenwriting; it is strongly recommended that Advanced Screenwriting: Writing the Feature (349) be among 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, one feature or several short fim screenplays, 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. I. Novey

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. J. Lahiri

CWR 211 How to Write A Song (also MUS 212)   Spring LA

An introduction to the art of writing words for music, an art at the core of almost every literary tradition from Homer through Beowulf to W.B Yeats and beyond. Composers and writers will have the opportunity to work in small songwriting teams to respond to such emotionally charged themes as Contempt, Gratitude, Revenge, Desire, Disgust, Joyousness, Remorse, Loneliness, Despair and Defiance. Assignments are based on study of a range of works in the popular song tradition. The final exercise will be a public showcase of work from the semester. P. Muldoon

CWR 214 Graphic Design (see VIS 214)

CWR 215 Graphic Design: Typography (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 315 Life Is Short, Art is Really Short   Spring LA

All literature is short - compared to our lives, anyway - but we'll be concentrating on poetry and prose at their very shortest. The reading will include proverbs, aphorisms, greguerias, one-line poems, riddles, jokes, fragments, haiku, epigrams and microlyrics. Imagism, contemporary shortists, prose poems, various longer works assembled from small pieces, and possibly even flash fiction. Students will take away from the thrift and edge of these literary microorganisms a new sense of what can be left out of your work and new ideas about how those nebulae of pre-draft in your notebooks might condense into stars and constellations. J. Richardson

CWR 320 Writing The Other   Spring LA

Writing about people who do not share our race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation is high-risk, particularly if we write from a place of privilege. Often, the fear of appropriation and stereotyping means that we avoid writing about characters of other backgrounds completely. Instead of excluding writing about or from the perspective of characters of Otherness at all, this course will provide the background and space to think critically and openly about the representations our work creates, even as we attempt to create our own work in this context. By application. H. Pylväinen

CWR 321 Words As Objects (see VIS 321)

CWR 340 Autobiographical Storytelling (see THR 340)

CWR 345 Special Topics in Creative Writing   Fall LA

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

CWR 348 Introduction to Screenwriting: Writing the Short Film (also VIS 348)   Fall LA

This course will introduce students to core screenwriting principles and techniques. Questions of thematic cohesiveness, plot construction, logical cause and effect, character behavior, dialogue, genre consistency and pace will be explored as students gain confidence by completing a number of short screenplays.The course will illustrate and analyze the power of visual storytelling to communicate a story to an audience, and will guide students to create texts that serve as "blueprints" for emotionally powerful and immersive visual experiences. Final portfolio will include one short exercise and two short screenplays. By application. Staff

CWR 349 Introduction to Screenwriting: Writing for a Global Audience (also VIS 349)   Spring LA

How can screenwriters prepare for the evolving challenges of our global media world? What types of content, as well as form, will emerging technologies make possible? Do fields like neuroscience help us understand the universal principals behind screenwriting and do tech advances that alter the distance between audience and creator, man and machine, also influence content of our stories? This class will use fairytales, films, games and new media to illustrate universal script principles while creating a rich interdisciplinary lens to explore the innovative intersection of narrative screenwriting, science and technology. 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 403 Special Topics in Screenwriting (also VIS 406)   Spring LA

This class will familiarize students with the complex use of metaphorical, emotional, and visual threads in long form 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: Introduction to Screenwriting and by application. Staff

CWR 405 Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television (also VIS 405)   Fall LA

This advanced screenwriting course will introduce students to the post 1990's "golden age of television" and outline the differences between writing for film and a scripted TV series. Students will be required to watch a television pilot each week and engage in an in-depth discussion about its structure, pacing, character development, etc. Each student will formulate and pitch an original series idea and write their own pilot, (50-60 pages) due by the end of the semester. Staff

CWR 441 Notes on Color (see VIS 441)

CWR 448 Introduction to Screenwriting: Adaptation (also VIS 448)   Fall LA

Introduction to screenwriting adaptation techniques, focusing primarily on the challenges of adapting "true stories" pulled from various non-fiction sources. The class will address the ethics of adaptation, questions and techniques surrounding the need to fictionalize truth for dramatic purposes, as well as touching on the differences between fictional and nonfictional original materials. Students will be exposed to various contemporary non-fiction adaptations, and will write a short film and one longer project. By application. Staff