Department of English

CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

34605 • Mahajan, Karan
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM CAL 221
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CRW 325F  l  Fiction Writing

 

Instructor:  Mahajan, K

Unique #:  34605

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, (316K,) 316L, 316M, 316N, 316P, 316K, or T C 603B.

 

Description:  This will be an exciting and challenging class. Each student will turn in two stories over the course of the semester, anywhere from 10-15 pages.  Then, while discussing these stories, we’ll hit upon the nitty-gritties of craft:  What exactly is point of view? Why write in one tense over the other? What is gained or lost with multiple perspectives? And what are the benefits of first person versus third?  The challenge is to balance the fun of writing against a need for comprehension and clarity.  Fiction writing might not have any “rules,” but, like any other form of communication, it is enhanced by certain standards.  This course should give you the confidence to keep going as a writer.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will turn in two stories over the course of the semester.  Two student stories and one anthologized story will be discussed in every class.  A one-page critique is required for each workshopped story; these will be handed in to the workshopped student as well as the instructor.  Class participation is required.

 

Work must be new—please don’t turn in stories you’ve used in other courses.  Needless to say, the work must be original.

 

Grading: 1st story 25%; 2nd story 25%; short assignments: 10%; in-class participation 20%; written critiques 20%.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

34620 • Unferth, Deborah
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CAL 200
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CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

Instructor:  Unferth, D

Unique #:  34620

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  Short Stories --

This is a new course.  Originally created for graduate creative writers, this course is now offered at the undergraduate level.  This class will focus on creative nonfiction, which has exploded in the past thirty years and continues to expand its reach with its many unique approaches to form, style, and narrative.  We will read selections of memoirs, biographies, comics, meditations, cross-genre texts, essays, reportage, aphorisms, and more.  We’ll talk about how the work is shaped, from where it draws tension, how historical and political contexts interact with subject and style, and ultimately why the work moves us.

 

Texts:  We will read full books or selections by some of the following writers (tentative and subject to change):  Eula Biss, Patti Smith, James Baldwin, Maggie Nelson, Zadie Smith, Geoff Dyer, Siddhartha Deb, John D’Agata, Bernard Cooper, Avi Steinberg, Sarah Ruhl, Claudia Rankine, Sei Shonagon.

 

Requirements and Grading:  We will do in-class and take-home creative writing exercises as responses to the readings.  Some of these will be handed in for short workshops.  Students will do presentations and hand in an end-of-semester original work of creative nonfiction.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

34615 • Berry, Betsy
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 221
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CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

 

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  34610 & 34615

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing.  CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course.  The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work.  Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy.  You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.”  But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results.  Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

 

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature.  We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot.  We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

 

Texts:  We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them.  (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.)  We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read.  We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27.  We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course.  I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

 

Requirements & Grading:  There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding).  One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester.  Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.


CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

34610 • Berry, Betsy
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CAL 200
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CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

 

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  34610 & 34615

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing.  CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course.  The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work.  Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy.  You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.”  But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results.  Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

 

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature.  We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot.  We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

 

Texts:  We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them.  (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.)  We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read.  We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27.  We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course.  I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

 

Requirements & Grading:  There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding).  One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester.  Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

34625 • McCracken, Elizabeth
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CAL 200
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CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

 Instructor:  McCracken, E

Unique #:  34625

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

 

Prerequisites:  CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

 

Description:  This is an intermediate workshop in fiction writing.  Every class session, we will discuss one or two stories by students in the class, with generosity and with rigor.  The goal is not only to help the authors see what is working and not working in their fiction, but also to think the most interesting things about fiction (ours and other people's) we can.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will give classmates (and the teacher) at least a page of criticism on each story.  Students will write two stories for class.  You may revise one story for extra credit.

 

All work must be original—that is both your own work, and written for this class.  Please do not recycle work written for other courses.  Do not submit work written by other people, even substantially rewritten.  That includes characters and scenarios: please, no fan fiction or alternate versions of other people’s published work.

 

Grading: 1st story 30%; 2nd story 30%; in-class participation 20%; written critiques 20%.  To receive full credit for in-class participation, you must be present and vocal.


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

34640 • Mahajan, Karan
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CAL 221
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E 341  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Mahajan, K

Unique #:  34640

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

 

Description:  You’ve learned the basics of craft in your intro fiction class.  What next?  In this course, we’ll read two student stories per session.  We will discuss the merits of these stories and identify the sources of their energy.  This will help the writer gain an understanding of his or her strengths.  Stories will also be parsed for content, which is often overlooked in discussions of craft.  How would you categorize the story if you came across it in an anthology?  How does it relate to the world at large?  And how do form and content interact?

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will turn in two stories over the course of the semester.  Each story will be 10-20 pages.  A one-page critique is required for each workshopped story; these will be turned in to the workshopped student as well as the instructor.  Class participation is required.

 

Work must be new—please don’t turn in stories you’ve used in other courses.  Needless to say, the work must be original.

 

Grading:  1st story 30%; 2nd story 30%; in-class participation 20%; written critiques 20%.


CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

34644 • Lasalle, Peter
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM PAR 310
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CRW 340F l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

 

Instructor:  LaSalle, P

Unique #:  34644

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M

 

Description:  This is an intermediate fiction-writing course.

 

The student will be responsible for two complete short stories, 12-15 pages each.

 

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion, and the student will meet with the instructor in conference to discuss projects and progress.

 

There will also be discussion of some larger ideas concerning theory and technique of fiction writing, reading from an anthology of short stories, and a project involving reading and reporting on literary magazines.

 

 

Requirements & Grading:  The grade will be a matter, essentially, of the quality of the written work (90%); in-class quizzes and class participation will also be figured in (10%).

 

This is a writing course with no final exam.


CRW 340P • Poetry Workshop

34645 • Heinzelman, Kurt
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 419
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CRW 340P  l  Poetry Workshop [Certificate]

 

Instructor:  Heinzelman, K

Unique #:  34645

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

 

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

 

Prerequisites:  CRW 325M or 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  This is an advanced course in writing poetry, reading poetry, and talking about poetry.  You are eligible for this course based on your past writing, but this semester is about producing new work and learning practices for being a skilled working poet.  Although much of the course will entail working collectively with your peers to better understand each other’s productions, it is also a course in reading and discussing books and essays by professional writers, in preparation for a future that may be yours.

 

Attendance is required because the actual work of the workshop takes place in the workshop.  Each week you will submit your own writing, respond to the work of your peers, and do some outside reading for in-class reflection and discussion.  Some of that outside reading will be decided by you.

 

Requirements & Grading:  A final portfolio of 8-10 pages, written and revised over the semester, will be required, along with a short essay on the processes and craftsmanship you used.  This will be due at the final class meeting.

 

Final portfolio = 20% of grade; Weekly writing = 40%; Weekly participation in class = 40%.

 

Effort and meaningful engagement count for a lot.


CRW 370H • Honors Creative Writng Project

34650 • Saurborn, Laura
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.216
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CRW 370H  l  Honors Creative Writing Project

Instructor:  Saurborn, L

Unique #:  34650

Semester:  Spring 2017

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  Creative Writing Honors

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  Consent of the honors advisor.

 

Description:  The Honors Creative Writing Project is intended for advanced students in creative nonfiction, fiction, playwriting, poetry and screenwriting, those who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to writing and wish to work under supervision on a particular project to culminate in a final creative thesis.  In addition to providing an opportunity for creative concentration, the CRW HP allows students to further refine their analytical and critical capabilities through intensive peer review workshops.

 

Please note:  Applicants must have completed or be enrolled in their third upper-division Creative Writing certificate course at the time of application.  A University Grade Point Average of GPA of at least 3.33 and a grade point average of at least 3.66 in program courses are required for the Honors Creative Writing Certificate to be awarded.

 

Requirements and Grading:  Grades will be based on the final thesis of original creative work (50%); thesis status reports (15%); class participation (25%); and a thesis reading (10%).

 

Attendance is mandatory.  More than three absences may negatively impact the final grade.