Creative Writing (CRWR)

ENWR 115  Imaginative Writing: The Art & Practice of Writing Creatively  (4)  

This course aims to show the role of imagination in the composing process, including its role in writing with creativity and empathy. The focus of this class is the study and practice of creative writing and creativity. This course introduces the craft of creative writing at the college level. This will include the opportunities to develop your writing skills by engaging in the practice of creative writing as well as engaging in an analytical study of craft and creativity. We will engage in exploring questions about the nature of inspiration and the concept of creativity and consider the ways in which the craft based skills of creative writing can help us in all our writing endeavors. This course will include weekly reading and writing exercises, and strategies for revision.

ENWR 190  Special Topics  (0)  
ENWR 202  Introduction to Creative Writing  (3)  

Introduction to Creative Writing will teach you the basics of writing poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Every student will write original, creative work in all three genres. Class time will be split between reading published works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, writing exercises designed to teach you the basics of creative writing, and full-class workshops where you will receive constructive feedback on your writing in a supportive and encouraging environment. This class will help you strengthen your writing skills at large, learn about the arts, and practice creatively-focused, imaginative problem solving. W sections of this course carry 4 credits and allow students to fulfill the writing proficiency requirement.

ENWR 222  Tourist or Traveler: Travel Writing in the New Millennium  (3)  

In this course, we will write essays about place and places, your reflections on travel, and your adventures as a traveler. The class will be discussion and workshop based.

ENWR 224  Nature and Environmental Writing  (3)  

In this creative writing course focused on the natural world and the environment, we will develop as writers as we forge and examine our relationship to nature and place. We will begin with the self—how can we as individuals make meaningful connections to the natural world? What can the study of a single species tell us about ourselves? What is our connection to certain places, and how do we make those places come to life in our writing? Next, we will broaden our focus and undertake a study of how gender, race, and culture can complicate writers’ relationships to the natural world. How do women writers position themselves within the wilderness narrative tradition? How do writers of color and indigenous writers write about the natural world and environmental issues? What are ways that we can express these complex intersections between identity and environment in our own writing? Finally, we turn our attention to environmental writing as activism. Studying the works of writers who hope to achieve an environmental goal in the act of putting pen to paper, we will define our own environmental causes and create persuasive pieces of writing that aim to effect real change in the world.

ENWR 227  Writing Children's Books  (3)  

This course is an introduction to writing children’s picture books (for readers ages 2-8, to be read to a child by an adult, or by an early reader child in grades K-2). It will cover the basics of writing picture books for preschool and early elementary children, including concerns of: craft; publication; inclusivity, representation and diversity; and targeting a specific age range and audience. Students will study and consider models of published children’s books, study techniques of writing, plotting and storyboarding, storyboard and write their own children’s book, and do a market-based research presentation on a published children’s book. Class time will be split between instruction, in-class writing, peer workshops and presentations. This class is appropriate for Creative Writing Majors, as well as for non-majors.

ENWR 290  Topics in Writing  (1-3)  

A range of courses offering specialized instruction in writing. May be repeated with different topic.

ENWR 307  Rhetoric  (3)  

Rhetoric is at once the most ancient and most modern of disciplines, and rhetorical considerations influence every aspect of contemporary life, from public policy to clothing choices, from advertising to the funding of science, from Oscar nominations to rules governing sports. Rhetoric is a field of study not limited to any specific subject matter; its practice is pervasive. Readings will range widely across three broad areas of concern: social and political justice, food, and the environment. By analyzing dozens of texts from multiple media sources varying widely in scope and rhetorical mode, you will become adept at identifying different kinds of arguments and evaluating the strengths. This sharpening of your critical reading will strengthen your ability to write persuasively—to generate your own arguments, to support them with sufficient evidence, and to organize them effectively.

ENWR 320  Creative Nonfiction Workshop  (3)  

In this class, we will study the art of writing creative nonfiction, a genre with one foot in reality, and one foot in the wilderness of the imagination. Through weekly readings of skills-based craft essays and creative nonfiction essays by notable authors, we will observe, discuss and learn methods for writing successful and captivating narratives about true events. Students will read and model personal essays (memoir), cultural criticisms, travel writing, lyric essays and other sub-genres, and will learn how to incorporate research into a crafted piece of writing in a way that elucidates and illuminates. Emphasis will be placed on learning to narrativize true events, learning to master the reflective voice, and learning to pirate techniques from other literary genres to make your writing fly off the page. Our class time will be split between discussing readings, directed writing exercises designed to practice skills, and workshops of peer essays.

ENWR 321  Fiction Workshop  (3)  

Further experimentation and practice in fiction within a workshop environment. Students will build upon their experience and explore new techniques in working toward a confident voice. Prerequisite: ENWR 202.

ENWR 323  Poetry Workshop  (3)  

Poetry is a rich part of the human experience, and the oldest form of literature. Every culture, across time and location, has a poetic tradition and history. In this course, students will join these traditions, as they build their practice of poetry. Students will study styles, forms, subjects and tones of contemporary poetry, practice techniques through targeted writing exercises, and receive large group feedback on their writing. Our study of poetry is inclusive, supportive, welcoming, and grounded in an exploration of how craft and content work together to create poems that move, captivate, disrupt, break hearts, surprise, perturb, beg for mercy, and sing from joy. Beginners and experts welcome. Prerequisite: ENWR 202 or instructor permission

ENWR 325  Playwriting  (3)  

Principles of writing for the stage. Emphasis on dramatic structure, character development, plot management, dialogue, and critical analysis. (also listed as THTR 325)

ENWR 390  Topics in Writing  (1-3)  

A range of courses offering specialized instruction in writing. May be repeated with different topic.

ENWR 397  Independent Study  (1-3)  

May be repeated.

ENWR 420  Advanced Creative Non-Fiction Workshop  (3)  

In this class, students will undertake the advanced study of creative nonfiction. This term denotes a broad category of prose works such as personal essays, profiles, nature writing, narrative essays, idea-based essays, criticism, and literary journalism. We will focus on several of these genres over the course of the semester. We will study contemporary essayists, memoirists, and literary journalists to attempt to help us write our own essays that mix facts, reflection and imagination. We will also explore different forms of creative nonfiction, including but not limited to: audio essays, blogging and flash nonfiction. This is an advanced workshop in creative nonfiction. This means that you should already possess a substantive knowledge of contemporary writers; a fair understanding of process-oriented strategies for writing; a high degree of familiarity with the dynamics of in-class workshopping; and a strong sense of what constitutes the different facets of maintaining a viable journal. Prerequisite: ENWR 320 or Instructor Permission.

ENWR 421  Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop  (3)  

In this class, students will undertake an intensive study of fiction, examining the work of contemporary writers working in the genre while honing their own craft. Students will write and workshop at least three longer fiction pieces and complete weekly writing assignments. The workshop model—which lies at the heart of this course—will enable writers to write and revise original fiction. Students will develop skills as active readers and writers and cultivate a regular, productive writing practice. A total of 25 pages of polished, revised fiction is due in the final portfolio at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: ENWR 321 or Instructor Permission.

ENWR 423  Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop  (3)  

An advanced seminar/workshop in the artistic practice of writing lyric; study of ways in which poets have thought about lyric; practices of imaginative making; introduction to contemplative practices which will fuel your writing; practice in the reading and interpretation of lyric poems. Prerequisite: ENWR 323 or Instructor Permission.

ENWR 425  Advanced Workshop in Flash and Micros  (3)  

This multi-genre advanced creative writing workshop will focus on short prose works in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Exploring published works within the genres of flash fiction, micro-fiction, prose poetry, short-short stories, flash nonfiction, brief essays, and hybrid and experimental forms that blur the boundaries between genres, students will undertake a focused study of works under 1,000 words and practice writing flash pieces across genres. Grounded in intensive whole-class workshops, this course will enable students to continue to develop their skills as active readers and writers and to cultivate a regular, productive writing practice. A final portfolio showcasing flash and micro pieces in multiple genres is due at the end of the semester. Serving as a laboratory for generating new work and developing definitions of the multiple genres students will be working in, this course will require students to complete regular in-class writing assignments, seek out and bring in outside texts relevant to our study, design and share generative writing assignments, and push against genre definitions even while working within them. Though the course is organized in units loosely based on genre, students will be writing across and between genres throughout the semester.

ENWR 426  Advanced Workshop in Formal Constraints  (3)  

We often think of creative writing as a discipline with few rules. Poems don’t have to follow the rules of standard grammar and punctuation. In stories, the fantastical can happen. Creative nonfiction allows us to retell the narratives of our lives in speculative ways, imagining what might have happened, alongside telling what did. What happens, then, when we apply rules? In the same way that it can be liberating to abandon convention, there can be a different type of freedom allowed when writers work within prescribed constraints. In this course, we will study formal constraints across the genres of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Students will read and write formal poetry, and study and write prose that takes on the formal constraints of “fakes” and letters. Class time will be split between reading and discussing literary models, and workshopping student writing. Prerequisite: ENWR 202 or instructor permission.

ENWR 427  Advanced Workshop in Writing the Body  (3)  

This multi-genre advanced creative writing workshop will focus on reading and writing works across three genres—poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction—that are grounded in the body. Examining topics like desire, pleasure, sexuality, gender, queerness, race, misogyny, commodification, trauma, consent, pain, illness, and healing, the reading and writing assignments in this course will interrogate the body narratives that we have been prescribed and will stimulate the “undoing” or rewriting of these narratives. The majority of course readings will be by women writers, queer writers, and/or writers of color (acknowledging that in many cases, these identities overlap and intersect), and most will be from the last decade (with a few exceptions). Readings will be organized thematically, not by genre; most weeks we will be reading in multiple genres. Students will have a great deal of flexibility about which genres they work in, though each student is required to write in all three genres over the semester. At the end of the semester, students will create a final portfolio showcasing work in multiple genres that explores the myriad issues of living in and writing from/through a body.

ENWR 428  Advanced Workshop in Fabulism, Fairytale and Fable  (3)  

This course is a study of fantastical literary writing across the genres of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. We’ll consider examples of contemporary literary fabulist work; that is, literary work that bends the rules of physics and reality, containing elements of the surreal, magical, fantastical, mythical, imagined and bizarre. This will include a study of contemporary fairytales (or retelling of fairytales) and fables (or retelling of fables). In this class, animals can talk, centaurs might be real, the foliage is sentient and may be coming to get you, and people are possessed with magical powers. We’ll read broadly, specifically considering the sub-categories of magical realism and eco-fabulism. We’ll also consider ways that fabulist modes can not only entertain and entice, but can also (and often do) explore and speak back to larger and interlocking systems of structural oppression including racism, sexism and classism, as well as reconfigure environmental crises like climate change. Students will write fabulist work in all three genres (poetry, fiction and nonfiction), bring work in for workshop, and explore new forms and models that may have previously seemed too far-fetched. Prerequisite: ENWR 202 or ENWR 202W, Junior Standing, or Instructor Permission

ENWR 490  Topics in Writing  (1-3)  

A range of courses offering specialized instruction in writing. May be repeated with different topic.

ENWR 495  Senior Writing Project  (3)  

Required of English Writing majors during the first semester of the senior year. Successful completion of the Senior Writing Project satisfies the comprehensive examination requirement for the B.A. Prerequisite: 2 ENWR courses or Instructor Permission.

ENWR 497  Independent Study  (1-3)  

May be repeated.

ENWR 499  Writing Internship  (1-3)  

May be repeated.