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 pieces and longer works. Students will also learn how to give and receive constructive criticism of their writing.
Student learning goals
To gain confidence in the ability to analyze, discuss, and write creative works.
To identify and use narrative techniques such as characterization, monologue, dialogue, and foreshadowing.
To learn how to identify and use other literary techniques such as repetition, alliteration, rhyme, rhythm, and metaphor.
To develop aesthetic appreciation across genres and media.
To learn how to formulate and contribute constructive critiques of classmates’ writings.
To cultivate a sense of what feedback is useful and how to apply it to one's own writing.
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.
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 several Short Creative Writing Assignments according to assignment and 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. Once during the course, each student and three or four other students will present on an assigned book. Participation will contribute significantly to the final grade.
Writing assignments will be assessed according to several criteria including: fulfillment of required objectives, timeliness, clarity of expression, originality of thought and use of language, development and polish, depth of engagement, and completeness. True and consistent effort matter a great deal, as do contributions to the class. To receive full credit for participation, students must contribute significantly to all discussions in class, including discussions of assigned readings, group presentations, and group critiques and participate in all activities in a timely, committed, and lively manner. Students will be required to provide peer- and self-assessment of group participation.