Anna Maria Hong
Inquires into basic elements of creative writing that occur in multiple genres and media. Studies and practices writing in a workshop atmosphere.
This course provides an introduction to creative writing in multiple genres and media including poetry, fiction, drama, and graphic novels. Students will study and practice writing in a workshop atmosphere and will engage in intensive reading of excellent writings, most of which employ interdisciplinary, cross-genre approaches to create writing that encompasses painting, photography, and other relevant phenomena. We will follow discussions of readings with writing experiments designed to spark original thinking, develop facility with writing, and enhance understanding of the creative process. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of the possibilities of creative writing and will apply this experience by writing both short creative prose pieces and longer works. Students will also learn how to give and receive constructive criticism of their writing.
Student learning goals
To learn how to consider how words denote and connote meanings
To investigate the imaginative and social uses of language as deployed in a variety of narrative modes and genres
To explore the effects of syntax, sound, and punctuation
To identify and use techniques including characterization, monologue, dialogue, repetition, rhyme, metaphor, and rhythm
To investigate the use of plot, point of view, and scene in story
To develop aesthetic appreciation across genres and media
General method of instruction
During most classes, we will discuss readings and do writing experiments related to the week's subject of inquiry. Students will also work collaboratively in small groups to give oral presentations on particular assigned readings. Some classes will emphasize workshopping or group critique of original student work. Since the course is heavily discussion-based, active participation is crucial. During one week, students will be required to view a visual art exhibit as part of a writing assignment.
Previous courses in writing, literature, and art are useful but not necessary. Curiosity about the world and yourself and a willingness to learn vigorously are essential.
Class assignments and grading
Students will write seven Short Creative Writing Assignments according to assignment. Students will also write a Final Writing Project, which may be a short story, a play, or a collection of poems. At the end of the course, students will write a Self-Reflection Piece commenting on their own writing process, goals, and development in this course. In addition, students will write and discuss several critiques of their classmates' writings and work with small groups to do oral presentations. Participation/Class Contribution will be assessed as a significant part of the final grade.
Students will receive numerical grades from 0 to 100 on all assignments and for participation; grades are not curved. The final grade will be calculated according to weighted percentages as outlined on the syllabus, and then converted to the GPA grade. Writing assignments will be assessed on the basis criteria including: fulfillment of assignment requirements, depth of engagement with the subject, thoughtfulness, originality, and elegance.