Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


Creative Writing Courses

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

Division of Creative Writing

Course Descriptions

SPRING 2016

All courses in the creative writing series emphasize the student’s own work and are taught as workshops.  The classes have an enrollment limit of 18 to insure the maximum efficiency of the workshop and to permit adequate individual attention.  Class attendance and participation will be counted as an extremely important part of the course requirement.

100 S INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, Davenport.  TUTH 2-3:15

Acquaint students with the technical choices a writer makes in creating a story or a poem. Mondays are given to lectures on specific elements of poetry and fiction. Wednesdays are dedicated to readings by faculty and visiting writers. Fridays allow students the opportunity to work in small group discussion sections applying the week's techniques and skills to a close reading of stories and poems.

104 INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE WRITING

Practice in the writing of narrative prose, with primary emphasis on short fiction. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.

106 INTRODUCTORY POETRY WRITING

Practice in the writing of poetry; experimentation with a number of fixed forms and free verse, but emphasis mainly on the student’s freedom to develop a personal style. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.

200 X READING FOR WRITERS.  MW 12:30-1:45

Think of Reading for Writers as the course a group of fiction writers and poets might take when they want to talk and write about the mechanics of stories and poems, the decisions that face writers as they build or shape the things they write, the formal elements that time and again surface as the basic tools at hand.  This course seeks also to help writers understand the necessity for a shared reading list that encourages conversations among writers about what we do and how it gets done well.  Such a reading list should help writers as they move through one of our Creative Writing sequences, poetry or fiction.  This class satisfies a literature requirement in the Creative Writing major.

202 D TOPICS IN CREATIVE WRITING, Price.  MW 11-12:15

        TOPIC: Trauma Writing

This creative nonfiction writing workshop will focus on writing about topics that are, for various reasons, difficult to approach. “Trauma” in the context of this course can refer to any formidable life event that has caused you personal upheaval, or simply a topic you have found especially difficult to write about. This could include family crises and the dynamics surrounding them, bothersome meaning-of-life questions (which would include pretty much all of them), or any challenging topic you’ve written about before, but that you came away from with the distinct feeling that you did not do it justice on the page and/or you schlocked it up with clichés. Students will decide which pieces they wish to share with the class.

202 P TOPICS IN CREATIVE WRITING, Harrington.  TUTH 11-12:15

        TOPIC: Writing for Young Children: The Picture Book

Ready to write the next Where the Wild Things Are?  Have you always wanted to write for younger children?  Do you enjoy reading children’s books?  Then join us for a fast-paced workshop in picture book narratives.  Students will use traditional forms (cumulative stories, anaphoric structure, poetry, and others) to write picture book narratives for preschool through third grade.  This is not an art class.  You won’t draw pictures!  You’ll do something even better: write the text.

204 INTERMEDIATE NARRATIVE WRITING

Practice in the writing of fiction, with emphasis on the short story. Prerequisite: CW 104 or equivalent.

206 P INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING, Madonick.  TUTH 11-12:15

Builds upon the workshop format of CW 106 with an emphasis on prosody and poetic technique. Students will deepen their sense of craft by putting into practice their study and understanding of a variety of poetic forms (e.g., syllabic poetry, dramatic monologue, sonnet, bound/free verse) and technical concerns (e.g., voice, tone, line, line break, image). The workshop component of the course typically includes 8-12 completed poems and their revisions.

208 X CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING, Sanders.  MW 12:30-1:45

Types of nonfiction prose, including the personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, and historical writing. Prerequisite: RHET 233 or CW 243, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

243 F INTERMEDIATE EXPOSITORY WRITING.  MW 2-3:15

Practice in expository types, with emphasis on style and critical analysis. Restricted to Creative Writing majors. Prerequisite: completion of campus Composition I requirement.  This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

404 1U/1G ADVANCED NARRATIVE WRITING, Rubins.  MW 3:30-4:45

Prerequisite is CW 204.  This third level workshop continues the writing of fiction at a more advanced level.  Students meet regular deadlines and work on projects of their own design.

404 2U/2G ADVANCED NARRATIVE WRITING, Sneed.  TUTH 11-12:15

Prerequisite is CW 204.  This third level workshop continues the writing of fiction at a more advanced level.  Students meet regular deadlines and work on projects of their own design.

406 1U/1G ADVANCED POETRY WRITING, Madonick.  TUTH 12:30-1:45

Practice of the writing of poetry aided by intensive study of examples.  Prerequisite: CW 206 or equivalent.  Prerequisite: CW 206 or equivalent.

406 2U/2G ADVANCED POETRY WRITING, Price.  MW 3:30-4:45

Practice of the writing of poetry aided by intensive study of examples.  Prerequisite: CW 206 or equivalent.  Prerequisite: CW 206 or equivalent.

455 WRITING TUTORIAL - NARRATIVE, POETRY, OR CREATIVE NONFICTION

This is a tutorial course for advanced student-writers in Narrative, Poetry, or Creative Nonfiction.  In Narrative and Poetry, the tutorial is designed for students who have completed the advanced course in their primary genre (404 in Narrative, 406 in Poetry).  In Creative Nonfiction, the tutorial is designed to follow the intermediate course, CW 208.  Interested students need to find an instructor with the time available for such an arrangement.  A substantial amount of writing is expected, either as a single longer project or as a series of shorter pieces.  As in all tutorial arrangements, self-motivation and self-discipline are essential in successfully meeting the demands of the course.  This course may be repeated for a total of 6 hours.

460 G INTRO TO LITERARY EDITING.  MW 3:30-4:45

Practicum in which students learn all the stages of developing and editing a literary publication. Students will solicit, read, and select poems and stories for an online supplement to the Ninth Letter literary journal. At the end of the semester, the supplement will be published on the Ninth Letter website (www.ninthletter.com). Students will gain experience in professional communications, copyediting, and marketing. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: CW 104 or CW 106.

GRADUATE SEMINARS

504 R WRITING WORKSHOP IN FICTION, Sneed.  TU 1-2:50

Directed projects in fiction writing, either short stories or sections of a novel, with group discussion and critique.  There will be a course packet for the class, featuring short stories and essays on the writing of fiction and related topics; there will be a discussion of these readings at the beginning of each class meeting. 

506 R WRITING WORKSHOP IN POETRY, Harrington.  TU 1-2:50

Directed individual projects, with group discussion in fiction.

563 BK SPECIAL TOPICS, Kelly.  M 3-4:50

        TOPIC: Short Plays

This class has been developed primarily for graduate fiction writers and poets who are interested in foraying into the territory of dramatic writing in an experimental way.  The main goal for the class is for each student to produce a one act (or longer) play during the second half of the semester.  The first half of the semester will be largely devoted to working on monologues, dialogues, slam stories, improvisations, and one person performances.  We will read plays or pieces by Fried, Pinter, Beckett, Norman, Spalding, Nichols, and Weiss, and watch a few recorded performances, but most of the class time will be devoted to the students’ writing and getting that writing up on its feet.