Creative Writing

BFA Course Descriptions

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  • Visit catalogue.uncw.edu for catalogue course descriptions (choose current catalogue year from drop-down, then see link in left column for course descriptions).

Fall 2018

CRW 201: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
Introduction to the principles and techniques of creative writing, aimed at developing the creative process. Includes lectures, reading, and writing exercises in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

CRW 201-007: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BACON M
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
What is the difference between creative writing and Creative Writing? How can I even begin to write a poem? What exactly is Creative Non-Fiction? What are the basic building blocks of a story and how can I learn to combine them? Where do writers get their ideas? What is the connection between creativity and practice?

CRW 201-009: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SHEN D
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
In this course, students will learn the fundamental elements of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction through reading and analyzing texts as well as producing their own work. Throughout the semester, students will participate in workshops and eventually produce a portfolio of their pieces. This class is focused on refining student’s writing skills and widening their understanding of the term “creative writing”.

CRW 201-010: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, WILLIS D
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
This course covers three genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Through class discussion and regular practice, students will develop strategies for identifying writing techniques in published work, and incorporating them into their own work. Each student will submit original work for each genre to be graded by the instructor and workshopped by the class. Grades will be determined by attendance, participation, weekly writing exercises, and a final portfolio featuring work from all three genres.

CRW 201-011: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, FLORA K
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed. Additional readings to be provided in class.
In this course, students will produce work in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Students will learn the art of the image in poetry, what constitutes “truth” in nonfiction, and the storytelling elements that make one’s writing successful. This work will be supplemented using the course textbook as well as additional readings to be provided in class. Students will also learn revision techniques, how to send out their work for publication, and what literary magazines are looking for. 

CRW 201-012: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, GILBERT C
In this course, we will start with the examination of poetry, then move into prose writing, both fiction and creative nonfiction. We will look at a wide variety of forms, ideas, and ways to write well, starting with found poetry and ekphrastic poems and ending with short stories and flash. We will learn about conventions and how to tear them down, with many colorful discussions along the way. This course will be discussion based, so come ready with all the ideas you can fit in a notebook. Course grades will be based primarily on participation, with weekly creative assignments and writing activities. Attendance is mandatory. The culmination of your work will be in a final portfolio containing your best writing in each genre. In the beginning, we learn the “rules” of writing so that by the end, we can successfully break them. Come prepared to have fun and write what excites and inspires you.

CRW 201-014: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, MUSICK M
This course will introduce students to three creative writing genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Students will read contemporary published works in each genre and be expected to discuss assigned readings. Each student will write original work for each genre to be workshopped by the class. Coursework will include weekly readings and responses, creative exercises, quizzes, workshop pieces, critiques of peers' work, and a final portfolio.

CRW 201-015: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, MURPHY O
This course will introduce students to the principles of creative writing and its three main genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. For each genre, we will learn fundamental craft elements, read and discuss a selection of contemporary pieces, and participate in in-class writing activities. Coursework will include creative work in each genre to be workshopped by the class, as well as at-home reading, short writing exercises, and critique of peers’ work. The class will culminate in the production of a final portfolio, showcasing the students’ best and most developed work of the semester. Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.

CRW 201-016: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SPIEGEL B
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed. (Additional readings provided.)
This course is designed to give students an overview of each of the three genres of creative writing: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Students will read published works in each genre, participate in discussions of assigned readings, and write their own creative pieces, which will periodically be workshopped in class. 
Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

CRW 203: THE EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING—FICTION, POETRY, AND CREATIVE NONFICTION, FURIA P
Introduction to the historical development of poetic, narrative, and other forms of creative writing. Analytical and creative assignments develop student understanding of techniques such as metrics, point of view, and narrative structure. Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives. Satisfies University Studies VI: Common Requirements/Critical Reasoning. This course is a core requirement for the CRW major and CRW minor.

CRW 204-002: RESEARCH FOR CREATIVE WRITERS, DASGUPTA S
Research can be as creative a process as finding the right words to tell one’s story. Besides answering the “where,” “what,” “why,” and “how,” it can remind both the reader and the writer that whatever they are seeking to understand, analyze, or question is not an isolated phenomenon. It has happened to others as well. Every aspect of our lives can be researched—from hometowns to hobbies, fairy tales to mythological characters, favorite bands and musical instruments, to the seasonings used in a specific casserole, and the history of that casserole itself. The more a writer knows, the more authoritative they will appear on the page, and the more their reader will trust them. We will read poems, essays, and short stories by authors including Sandra Cisneros, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Kim Barnes to learn multiple ways of gathering information to use in our writing. Stellar attendance and enthusiastic participation will be expected from all students in every class.

CRW 207-001: FICTION WRITING I, BACON M
What effect do choices of form have on my story? Why should I choose one point of view (POV) above another? How can I write convincing, active dialogue? How can developed scenes make my work more immersive? How can I harness the power to surprise my reader and myself? What are the qualities of an effective opening, and an ending that delivers? How do I make my characters come alive on the page? Does realist fiction really exist, and how do the requirements of writing speculative, surreal, absurdist and genre traditions differ from it?

CRW 207-002: FICTION WRITING 1, HOWARD A
Text: TBA
In this course, we will traverse how to write short stories of literary merit. We will illustrate the fundamentals of fiction writing and its many nuances: narration, scene, character, voice, style, tone, etc. Students will submit two short story manuscripts to be workshopped in the course. Much of the required work will focus on reading and reviewing one another’s fiction for workshop––providing careful line editing and letters of critique. The class will be supplemented by works of contemporary fiction, writing exercises, and discussions on craft. Together, we will become stronger readers, writers, and critics of short fiction.

CRW 209-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION 1, SHEN D
Texts: Tell it Slant, 2nd ed., edited by Brenda Miller and Susanne Antonetta, and Touchstone Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, edited by Lex Williford and Michael Maratone
What does it mean to “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” as poet Emily Dickinson once said? In this course, we will be exploring what it means to write one’s truth in a world that tells us that it is no longer important, to enrapture our readers with our magic and light. Creative nonfiction is a genre that combines the lyricism of poetry, the elements of fiction, and the truth of one’s experiences into one. Throughout this course, you will be reading a selection of different essays, narrative journalism pieces, biography, and more. You will also be writing your own pieces and participating in workshops, where you will give and receive thoughtful commentary on everyone’s original work.

CRW 209-002: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, WILLIS D
Text: The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 1, edited by Lee Gutkind
Creative Nonfiction is a young and exciting genre. It challenges its writers and readers to find meaning in the world without embellishing. In this introductory course, we will explore what it means to tell true stories in creative ways. We will borrow techniques from some of the genre's fundamental texts to write some creative nonfiction of our own. Coursework will include weekly readings; assignments in a variety of styles including personal essay/memoir, narrative journalism and experimental forms; and student-led workshops.

CRW 305-001: THE CREATIVE PROCESS, GASKILL M
Prerequisite or corequisite: CRW 206, 207, 208 or 209 or consent of instructor. 
Investigation through reading, lectures, discussions, writing, and exercises of the creative process in general and its particular application to literary art.  Readings include studies of the creative process in a variety of other disciplines.

CRW 306-001: FICTION READING FOR CRAFT—YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE, DE GRAMONT N
In this class, we will read novels written for teens. This is primarily a reading and discussion class, and as such attendance is crucial. In addition to critical responses, students will write creatively in response to the reading.  Students will turn in a final revised exercise and a longer essay at the end of the class. Authors we’ll read will include M.E. Kerr, M.T. Anderson, Angie Thomas, and Rainbow Rowell.

CRW 307-001: INTERMEDIATE FICTION WRITING, LEE R
This will be a fiction workshop, with special emphasis on character. We will be looking at all the elements of fiction as they fall under the large umbrella of character development. Theme, event, setting, image, individual word choice; these all express the personality of the story itself, and its narrator. Students will write in-class exercises, and discuss each other’s work.

CRW 308-001: INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING, WHITE M
Why is it that certain poems can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, can trigger your deepest memories, can sing you into a spell? In this class, we’ll read contemporary voices such as Patricia Smith, Danez Smith, and Kaveh Akbar, and will also explore a variety of modes, from spoken word to prose poetry to traditional forms. I’ll assign exercises based on the readings, some of which will result in complete poems for workshop. Grade will be based on a final portfolio of six finished poems, to be submitted at the end of class, and on participation, including exercises and journal assignments.

CRW 309-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION II: VOICE AND VISION, BRENNER W
This course will include short writing exercises and reading assignments in contemporary published creative nonfiction of many varieties (essay, excerpt, flash, lyric, hybrid, other) before we turn to traditional workshop sessions in which student work is our primary text. Each student will be expected to hand in two new pieces of creative nonfiction for class discussion and at least one conference with instructor. Goals are to provide feedback and significant development of individual student projects and to illuminate issues of craft for everyone.

CRW 318-001: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, MONAHAN D
(FST 318 ) Prerequisite or corequisite: FST 201; or prerequisite: PCRW, CRW and CRW 207, CRW 208  or CRW 209; or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of screenwriting with an emphasis on the fundamentals of narrative structure. Students write original scripts, including a short screenplay for possible use in FST 495.

CRW 320-001: WRITERS’ WEEK FALL 2018, SMITH E
This two-credit intensive course was designed to complement Writers’ Week. The week will consist of workshop sessions, panels, readings, and an individual manuscript conference with MFA program students or alumni.  Students will meet to familiarize themselves with the work of our visiting writers and to learn the ins and outs of organizing the week.  As a group, we are responsible for keeping the week itself running smoothly. Class members will participate in the many facets of the week, from introducing the writers at readings to driving them around town. Students are expected to attend a total of 15 event-hours over the course of the symposium.

CRW 321-001, 002: INTRODUCTION TO BOOK PUBLISHING, RAMOS M
An introduction to the culture and commerce of books, this course examines the life cycle of a book; the people and processes involved in book publishing; and the art, history, business, economics, and ethics of the publishing industry. The class will be broken into formal lectures, given by the professor and invited industry professionals, each Tuesday morning, and smaller, discussion-based sections on Thursdays. Readings, research assignments, and a book auction will help students discover how publishing decisions are made. [Note: This course counts toward the BFA degree and the 12-hour Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 322-001: EDITING FOR PUBLICATION, BASS T
Required texts: The New Well-Tempered Sentence, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon, and Polishing Your Prose, by Steven M. and Victor L. Cahn. [Recommended but not required: On Writing Well, by William Zinsser.] CRW and PCRW majors only. Prerequisite: CRW 207, 208, or 209. This course will focus on editing students’ own creative writing for precision and clarity. We will emphasize developing and applying skills in self-editing for grammar, mechanics, spelling, manuscript formatting, style, and other fundamentals crucial to effective, polished writing in the creative writing profession. Students will complete exercises and write/edit work using a series of prompts and assignments. Exams and homework will make up the grade, along with a brief presentation. An attendance policy will be enforced. [Note: This course counts toward the BFA degree and the Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 323-001: BOOKBUILDING, JANSSEN, K
This course offers hands-on training in the basics of effective graphic design and typography for book publishing. Students will become proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite—InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator—while completing a progressively complex series of projects, culminating in a finished chapbook of their own work. The course also incorporates a survey history of publishing, with a focus on current trends and the future of the book. Students should be prepared for a rigorous, fast-paced course that requires lab work outside of class hours. [Note: Bookbuilding counts toward the BFA degree and the 12-hour Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 324-001: CHAUTAUQUA LITERARY JOURNAL, GERARD J
This course is designed to give students a practical magazine publishing experience. Students will read and respond to submissions,work on a developmental editing projects, search for possible cover art, and assist with design work. In addition to the work required to build the next issue of Chautauqua, students will have the opportunity to work on marketing and sales projects. We will work in teams – with each group presenting regular updates on their projects and work. Course may be repeated for credit.

CRW 324-001: COPYEDITING, PHILLIPS A
This course provides a thorough introduction to the art and craft of copyediting, a skill useful on the job market as well as in substantive editing of both others’ and one’s own work. We will focus on editing for magazine and book publishers—and will thus spend a good deal of time with the Chicago Manual of Style—but we will also consider other settings for copyediting. In addition to marking copy by hand and on screen, we will explore how to create and maintain collegial relationships throughout the editing process, with the goal of improving proficiency in what Carol Fisher Saller calls “working through the writer for the reader.” We will consider levels of editing; freelance and in-house editorial processes; making and using style sheets; effective use of style guides; and the finer points of grammar and usage. Students will be evaluated via quizzes (including editing tests similar to those given by publishers), editing projects, and a final portfolio. Texts: The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; The Copyeditor’s Handbook, 3rd edition, by Amy Einsohn; the AP Stylebook, 2014 edition; The Subversive Copyeditor, by Carol Fisher Saller.

CRW 418-001: SCREENWRITING II: WRITING THE FEATURE FILM, MONAHAN D
(FST 418) Prerequisites: FST 318  (CRW 318) or consent of instructor. Students plan a feature-length screenplay, and write, workshop, and complete the first act. The craft of screenwriting applied to the feature form.

CRW 420-001: WRITING SCENES & SHORT STORIES, EDGERTON C
Among class activities—in addition to the studying and writing of fiction stories and scenes: discussions of literary theory; discussion of technique in fiction; discussions and readings of favorite authors/passages; performance of student-written scenes, interest permitting; short papers and tests as needed; and in-class exercises.

CRW 420-002: THE CONTEMPORARY ESSAY, DASGUPTA S
The main goal of this class is to give you an overview of the many new forms that essayists are experimenting with at present. From traditional Longform to Flash to List to Lyric to Segmented, we are truly in an exciting time when it comes to creative nonfiction. In this course, we will read essays by authors such as Roxane Gay, Aurvi Sharma, Barry Lopez, and others, and use their works to inspire our writing. There will be short in-class writing exercises along with two full-length assignments that will be workshopped. Stellar attendance and enthusiastic participation will be expected from all students in every class. Students are also expected to meet the instructor for at least one conference during the semester.

CRW 420-004: LYRIC ESSAYS, PROSE POETRY, FLASH FICTION, COX M
A craft workshop focusing on a study of the margins of narrative.  Student poets critique and encourage each other's work, emphasizing experimentation.   Journal consists of responses to reading assignments in modern and contemporary literature, as well as weekly reflections and process exercises. Students will choose a writer to study in depth. 

CRW 460-001: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM, STAPLES B
Students must have been accepted into the Certificate in Publishing program in order to receive permission to enroll in the Publishing Practicum. Prerequisites: CRW 321, 322, 323 Up to five interns support the work of The Publishing Laboratory, with responsibility for editing, designing, producing, and promoting the senior BFA anthology in conjunction with CRW 496, the senior seminar. Practicum students work 9 hours weekly in the Lab (including a 2-hour meeting), under faculty supervision. Completion of CRW 321, 322, and 323, with a minimum grade of B in 321 and 322, is a prerequisite for the Practicum. Participants are selected by permission of instructor; a brief application is required. Working hours are scheduled at each student's convenience during standard Pub Lab hours. May be repeated once for credit. [Note: This course counts toward the BFA degree and the 12-hour Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 496-001: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, SIEGEL R
In Senior Seminar, students consolidate and polish a selection of work from the past three semesters into a cohesive manuscript representing the best of their writing, and then use that manuscript as the basis of two other audience-focused projects. The first of these is a public reading given with other members of the seminar; the second is the creation of a class anthology to be edited and published by The Publishing Laboratory. The Seminar also considers issues facing writers post-graduation, such as how to stay motivated and how to create a supportive writing community.

CRW 496-001: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, FURIA P
Prerequisite: Senior standing and CRW 407, CRW 408 or CRW 409 or consent of instructor. Majors only. Seminar addressing issues of the profession, including preparing a manuscript for submission to publishers, publishing, advanced study, the writing life, ethics, and employment. Senior thesis, chapbook created in conjunction with the UNCW Publishing Laboratory, and public oral presentation of creative work required. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Writing Intensive. Satisfies University Studies V: Explorations Beyond the Classroom/Certified Internship Program. Satisfies University Studies VI: Common Requirements/Critical Reasoning.

 BFA Course Descriptions Archive