Creative Writing (ENCW)

The Creative Writing Program offers students the opportunity to focus their study on the creation of literary texts through workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Immersed in the study of the literary tradition, students will practice craft and technique, develop voice and style, and gain exposure to a wide and diverse set of voices in contemporary literature as inspiration for their own work. The Program partners with the Stadler Center for Poetry to provide a diverse reading series and a vibrant slate of writers in residence, as well as internships on campus, thereby enhancing connections with living writers and enabling students to apply their skills beyond the classroom.

All Creative Writing courses involve the study of literary writing with a strong emphasis on contemporary texts. Literary Studies courses deepen the literary context for Creative Writing Majors. Individual conferences and group workshops support the writing process, and at the same time, teach techniques of writing in prose and in poetry. Workshops give students frequent practice in articulating their critical ideas in relation to the work of their peers. Seminar courses (in Literary Studies and in Creative Writing) build oral communication skills through discussion leadership and/or formal presentation to the class; many Creative Writing courses require performances in the form of students reading from their own work. Students gain information literacy in Creative Writing courses through required attendance at readings, exhibitions, and performances. They navigate the landscape of the current literary world through the library and online as a way of gathering information on published writers and of submitting their own work for publication. They blog and participate in online discussion boards. They learn to conduct informal writerly research on a wide variety of subjects. In addition, they fine-tune critical research skills in the required seminar course in Literary Studies.

Students electing the Creative Writing major will take a minimum of nine courses, as follows:

One 100-level or 200-level Creative Writing course1
Three 200-level Creative Writing courses (at least one in poetry and one in prose)3
Two 300-level Creative Writing courses 2
Three Literary Studies courses at the level of 198 or above, one of which must be a 300-level seminar.3
An approved Culminating Experience 1
One of the nine courses in the major must be a course designated as satisfying a Racial and Ethnic Diversity requirement. 2

Footnotes 

1

Requires seniors majoring in creative writing to attend six appropriate events during one senior semester selected from a list designated by the Department as acceptable. Students will submit a 250-word response to their advisers after each event. Participation in a Program-designated visiting writer’s workshop or master class, when available, is another way to satisfy the requirement. Students may petition the Creative Writing Program Director if they wish to suggest an alternative project (such as a departmental or honors thesis). Advisers will submit a pass/fail grade for the Culminating Experience.

2

 For a current list of these courses, please see the English Department website. 

In all of the Creative Writing courses, students will synthesize conceptual, formal, aesthetic, and technical elements resulting in the creation of works of art.

ENCW 302, ENCW 303, and ENCW 304 are repeatable if taken with different instructors. A student may take the same 300 level seminar twice (with different instructors) as a way of fulfilling the 300 level Creative Writing requirement for the major.

The Creative Writing Minor will consist of five courses distributed as follows:

Creative Writing Minor

One 100-level or 200-level Creative Writing Course1
One (additional) 200-level Creative Writing course1
One 300-level Creative Writing seminar1
Two Literary Studies courses (at the level of 198 or above)2

Courses

ENCW 101. Creative Writing. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to creative writing through the reading and writing of poetry and prose (fiction or creative nonfiction). Does not count toward the creative writing concentration or minor. Prerequisite: seniors by permission of the instructor.

ENCW 102. Writing Fiction. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
In this introductory fiction workshop, students will read and discuss contemporary and classic texts with a writer’s eye. Completing fiction exercises and revisions as well as responding to one another’s work, they will use the techniques and habits of successful writers to enhance their own writing and creativity.

ENCW 104. Creative Writing: Poetry. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
In this introductory course in writing poetry, students will read and discuss poems with a writer’s eye. Completing poetry exercises and revisions as well as responding to one another’s work, they will build their own skills and expand their ideas of what poems can do.

ENCW 1NT. Creative Writing Non-traditional Study. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies
Non-traditional study in English. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 202. Fiction Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Principles of writing fiction, with constant practice. Designed for students planning to concentrate or minor in creative writing. Preference given to juniors, sophomores, and first-year students. Restrictions: seniors by permission of the instructor.

ENCW 203. Creative Nonfiction Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Theory and practice of creative nonfiction, including travel writing, memoir, and other forms. Designed for students planning to concentrate or minor in creative writing. Preference given to juniors, sophomores, and first-year students. Prerequisite: seniors by permission of the instructor.

ENCW 204. Poetry Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Principles of writing poetry, with constant practice. Designed for students planning to concentrate or minor in creative writing. Preference given to juniors, sophomores, and first-year students. Prerequisite: seniors by permission of the instructor.

ENCW 205. Screenwriting Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Principles of screenwriting with constant practice. Designed for students interested in creative writing or Film/Media Studies.

ENCW 210. Special Topic in Creative Writing. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Studies in such topics as prosody, stylistics, characterization, or narrative theory. Course emphasizes formal or structural elements within particular genres and an appreciation of craft from a writer's perspective. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 211. Topics: Writing Foreign Places. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course in the reading and writing of personal narrative and lyric essays about foreign places is designed for students interested in writing out of experiences of travel and/or other kinds of cultural displacement. Each student will define "foreign" in relation to him or herself.

ENCW 212. Literary Arts Administration and Editing. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Focused on literary arts administration and editing, this course is particularly useful for students interested in careers in the world of arts administration and/or publishing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 220. Comedy and Satire Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Students will explore satire and humor in fiction through the work of comic writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, George Saunders, and Donald Barthelme. The focus will be on analyzing craft (i.e. hyperbole, understatement, the surreal) and on employing these elements in exercises, stories, and class workshops.

ENCW 221. Topics: Short Short Fiction. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Developing a sense of the foundational elements of short form fiction through reading and discussion of a variety of American and international writers, students will challenge conventions as they draft their own short form fiction and respond to one another’s work.

ENCW 222. Topics: Writing Culture in Fiction. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Students will be able to produce fictional work dealing with various aspects of their own culture, and with various aspects of cultures outside of their own, both with an eye to social consequence. Questions that will be considered: What constitutes a culture? What are its different manifestations in life?.

ENCW 230. Topics: Writing Nature. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This creative writing “form and theory” course explores writing about nature in several traditions with attention to the ways in which nature is inscribed in language and expressed by literary forms. It examines critical moments in the evolution of cultural awareness of nature in the West. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

ENCW 231. Environmental Writing. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This is a course in creative nonfiction focused on writing about the environment. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 237. Internship. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:4; Repeatable
Two competitive internships are offered: Stadler Center Internship provides practical experience in and insight into arts management; West Branch Internship provides practical experience in and insight into literary publishing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 240. Ecopoetics. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
An exploration of poetry as site-specific ecological practice. Intended for students interested in both Creative Writing and Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ENST 227.

ENCW 241. Topics: Poetry, Mind, Nature. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
In the reading and writing of poetry that observes the natural world explores the relationship between such poetry and the human imagination. The course involves workshops as well as fieldwork, which provides material for poems and increases students' ability to identify local flora and fauna. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 242. Long Poems & Sequences Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Students will read and discuss a variety of long poems and poetic sequences as a way of exploring various structures and subjects for the two long poems or sequences they will write and workshop over the course of the semester. Some degree of comfort with poetic process is expected.

ENCW 2NT. Creative Writing Non-traditional Study. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3; Repeatable
Non-traditional study in Creative Writing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 302. Advanced Fiction Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Advanced workshop in the writing of fiction. Prerequisites: Any 200-level Creative Writing (ENCW) course in creative nonfiction or fiction and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ENCW 602.

ENCW 303. Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Advanced workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction. Prerequisites: Any 200-level Creative Writing (ENCW) course in creative nonfiction or fiction and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ENCW 603.

ENCW 304. Advanced Poetry Workshop. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Advanced workshop in the writing of poetry. Prerequisites: Any 200-level Creative Writing (ENCW) course in poetry and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ENCW 608.

ENCW 319. Individual Projects in Creative Writing. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies; Repeatable
Individual special projects supervised by instructor; honors thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 379. Senior Thesis. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3; Repeatable
The writing of a scholarly or creative departmental senior thesis. Students must confer with and submit a proposal to an adviser prior to registering for the thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 380. Honors Thesis. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3; Repeatable
The writing of a scholarly or creative honors thesis. Students must confer with and submit a proposal to a departmental adviser and to the University Honors Council for approval. Prerequisites: senior status and permission of the instructor.

ENCW 391. Seminar in Poetry. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
A study of poetry as a genre and an analysis of the work of selected poets. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ENCW 3NT. Creative Writing Non-traditional Study. 1-1.5 Credits.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies
Non-traditional study in Creative Writing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.