Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


English Course Descriptions: Fall 2008

Creative Writing Courses

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.

NARRATIVE

104 INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE WRITING

CW 104 is the beginning course in the writing of short fiction. There may be some minimal “structuring” and specific assignments, especially in the beginning, to ease the student into the discipline of writing fictional prose. Somewhat less production is expected than in the more advanced courses. Students will be required to submit their own stories for criticism from the class. An anthology of short fiction may be required.

204 INTERMEDIATE NARRATIVE WRITING

Practice in the writing of fiction, with emphasis on the short story.

Prerequisite: CW 104 or equivalent.

404 1U/1G ADVANCED NARRATIVE WRITING

D. Wright. 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.

404 2U/2G ADVANCED NARRATIVE WRITING

Howe. TUTH 2-3:15
Prerequisite is CW 204.

Perhaps two literary hallmarks of American Indian fiction are the author’s attention to “place” and the author’s use of “time.” In this course we will be writing/revising stories with a focus on manipulating time and emphasizing place in fiction. These are useful techniques for every writer to learn. We will also be reading authors such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and Michael Ondaatje for their focus on time and place. Students are expected to write three short stories, 12-15 pages each, (40 page total for the semester) revise them, and attend story conferences with me during the semester.

POETRY

106 INTRODUCTORY POETRY WRITING

CW 106 is the beginning course in the writing of poetry. Students will be required to submit their own poems for criticism from the class as well as complete assigned exercises throughout the semester. Instructors will assign various texts. In addition, poems by established American poets will be xeroxed and distributed periodically for analysis and discussion.

202 F COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP

Madonick. MW 2-3:15

TOPIC: Intermediate Poetry

CW 202 is the class that will compliment the already existing CW 106 and CW 406, the Introduction and Advanced classes in poetry. CW 202, Intermediate Poetry Workshop, will enable students to further engage in their study of the writing of poetry. This course will emphasize a more extensive reading and discussion of prosody than the CW 106 classes. CW 202 will better prepare the students for advanced work in 406 and
455. As with introductory and advanced classes the new intermediate level will concentrate on the studio-type study of student work.

202 G COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP

Shakar. MW 3:30-5:50

TOPIC: Screenwriting

A workshop in the fundamentals of screenwriting, exploring the basic theory and formal aspects of story structure, character development, use of conflict, scene-writing and dialogue. Students will do exercises and conceive of a premise for their own feature-length screenplay, for which they will then write a treatment, a synopsis, an outline, and the first act. This course assumes familiarity with the basics of fiction writing.

*Students must have completed CW 104 to take this course.*

202 Q COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP

Harrington. TUTH 12:30-1:45

TOPIC: The Craft of Writing for Children

This writing workshop will survey a range of children’s literature. Through intensive reading, analysis, and critical review, we will explore the writing of picture books, poetry, controlled vocabulary books, and fiction. The course will discuss the developmental characteristics and reading responses of children and evaluative criteria for writing for children. We will also survey contemporary children's publishing. Participants will
write two picture books, a controlled vocabulary text, and a chapter for a children's fiction book. Students will showcase their work before real children in local schools and libraries.

406 ADVANCED POETRY WRITING

Practice of the writing of poetry aided by intensive study of examples.

Prerequisite: CW 106 or equivalent.

455 WRITING TUTORIAL - EXPOSITORY, POETRY OR NARRATIVE

This is a tutorial course which is designed to accommodate advanced student-writers of either fiction, poetry or exposition. In fiction the course is designed to follow CW 404. In poetry it follows CW 406. In exposition CW 455 follows CW 208. The students have some, though not complete choice of instructor, with whom they plan their work and arrange their conferences. 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.

GRADUATE SEMINARS

502 G PROBELMS IN POETRY WRITING

Kelly. M 3-4:50

Examination of the creative process of poetry from the perspective of aesthetics and techniques, illustrated from the work of selected authors.

504 W WRITING WORKSHOP IN FICTION

Shakar. TU 5-6:50

An MFA course in the art of fiction, with equal emphasis on craft and that elusive thing called art. Plan on writing three short stories, reading and giving feedback to the work of your classmates, and reading and discussing published short stories of our collective choosing.

506 G WRITING WORKSHOP IN POETRY, Madonick. W 3-5:20

Directed individual projects, with group discussion in fiction.