Creative Writing

BFA Course Descriptions

  • Note: for day & time information, please go to SeaNet and search for courses.
  • 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 2020

CRW 201: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BRENNER W
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.
Sections 001-012 all meet together in Morton Hall 100 (first-floor auditorium) on Tuesdays at 9:30 with Professor Wendy Brenner; the individual sections meet on Thursdays at 9:30 in various classrooms as listed on Seanet, led by Graduate Teaching Assistant instructors. Students should check their own schedules for their section number and Thursday classroom, and/or email Professor Wendy Brenner with any questions.


CRW 201-019: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, MEYER A
Introduction to the principles and techniques of creative writing in each of the three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will learn fundamental craft elements, read published works and craft essays, and write in each genre. Students will also engage in critical discussion of creative writing and workshop one another's writing. No course text required. 
Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

 

CRW 201-020: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BRIDGES HORN, H

 

CRW 201-300: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BJORKLUND P
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed. Additional texts will be provided
This course is designed to give students an overview of the genres of creative writing: poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and centers on active student participation. Students will discuss assigned readings, keep a journal, practice guided meditation as a springboard for short writing assignments, and draft a longer piece for workshop.

CRW 203: COMMUNING WITH GHOSTS: AMERICAN STORYTELLERS, LEE R
In this course we will study the most urgent and beautiful voices that emerged in this country over the past two hundred years.  From Sojourner Truth to Walt Whitman to Emily Dickinson to James Baldwin to Charles Shulz, we will look at the major and minor storytellers, writers whose voices were both electrifying and influential. 
Students will write creative, experimental responses to this literature.  The main goal of the class will be to listen to the past and to attempt to express the moment we are in.
Sections 001-006 all meet together in MO 100 auditorium on Thursdays at 9:30 with Rebecca Lee, then the individual sections meet on Tuesdays at 9:30 in classrooms with the assigned GTA.

 

CRW 203-007 & -008: THE EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING—FICTION, POETRY, AND CREATIVE NONFICTION, LANGSTON E

 

CRW 204-001: 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 a variety of works to learn multiple ways of gathering information to use in our writing. Required text: Art of Creative Research by Philip Gerard (ISBN: 9780226179803). 

CRW 207-001 & -002: FICTION WRITING I, SCHWARTZ E
Students in this course will do various in-class writing assignments, out-of-class writing assignments, and participate in traditional workshops. The course objective is to give students the skills they need to write effective and moving fiction, and to think critically as well as creatively.

CRW 208-001: POETRY WRITING I, MEYER A
This is a course for students who have an interest in reading, writing, and critiquing poetry. We will read poetry spanning from the turn of the 20th century to the present with attention to form and content, and we will engage in craft discussions, writing exercises, and significant workshopping and revision of our own poetry with attention to our writing process. This course will embody traditional connotations of the “workshop” as an industrious, experimental, messy place where everyone is engaged in the creative process and where they can find community, resources, and knowledge. Assessment will be based on participation, attendance, completion of writing exercises and workshop assignments, and a final portfolio of revised poems. No course text required. 


CRW 208-002: POETRY WRITING I, BRIDGES HORN H

 

CRW 209-001 & -002: CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING I, MCDERMOTT P

 

CRW 303-001: POETRY—READING FOR CRAFT, COX M

 

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 307-001: FICTION WRITING II, SIEGEL R
 

CRW 308-001: POETRY WRITING II, STID S

 

CRW 309-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING II, MOEZZI M
In this course, we will be reading, writing, discussing and critiquing creative nonfiction (CNF) of all sorts. A simultaneously peculiar and popular genre, CNF attempts to wed two highly unsettled concepts: truth and literary merit. This rocky marriage of equally unreliable partners makes CNF a ridiculously vague and constantly evolving genre, so you should have no trouble creating work that fits within it. Think personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, criticism, profiles, interviews, and/or persuasive, narrative, descriptive, expository, nature, travel, lyrical, political, observational, and/or technical writing, and so on. And think beyond all of that as well. When it comes to good writing, labels often bleed and overlap, defying neat categorization. So, if you have an idea for a piece of CNF that the field has yet to assign a clean and fancy label, then by all means, run with it! In this class, as in life, I strongly advise you to invent, not imitate: in Rumi’s words, to become the sky and clouds that create the rain, not the gutter that carries it to the drain. While you won’t be inventing facts here, everything else is fair game. The hope is to learn from and be inspired by other writers, writing, and categories of writing without being so unduly limited and influenced by them that you abandon your own unique creative signature. In other words, learn from others, but do you. By the end of this course, you should have a better grasp of CNF in general, as well as a respectable portfolio of your own CNF writing, including at least one piece that is either ready or nearly ready for submission and/or publication.

 

CRW 316-001: PLAYWRITING I, TBA

 

CRW 318-001, -002, -003: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, TBA
(FST 318) Prerequisite: PCRW, PFST, CRW, or FST major; and CRW 207CRW 208CRW 209, or FST 201 or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of screenwriting with an emphasis on the fundamentals of narrative structure. Students plan, write, revise, and workshop original short scripts.

CRW 320-001 (2cr): WRITERS’ WEEK FALL 2020, 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: INTRO TO BOOK PUBLISHING, TBA
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 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, TARPLEY T
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: WRITING AS EDITOR, CROWE M
While much of an editor’s job focuses on helping other writers craft their work, editors of literary periodicals and presses must frequently produce clear, convincing, even beautiful prose of their own. Editors write in many forms and with a wide variety of aims: to communicate their editorial vision to contributors or readers, to evaluate and/or recommend others’ writing, to sell subscriptions, to advocate for writers and act as literary citizens. With a heavy emphasis on real-world models, this course offers students the opportunity to practice the kinds of writing (letters from the editor, calls for submissions, reviews, and interviews, etc.) editors must do in the course of their work.

 

CRW 324-002: THE EDITORIAL PROCESS, TBA

 

CRW 325-001: 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 350-001: BEYOND THE BFA, BASS T

 

CRW 418-001: SCREENWRITING II: WRITING THE FEATURE FILM, BARROW J

 

CRW 420-001: [—updated—] READING & WRITING HORROR, DASGUPTA S
What if we thought of fear as an amazing act of the imagination, something that can be as profound and insightful as storytelling itself?  ~ Karen Thompson Walker
In her extraordinary TED Talk, What Fear Can Teach Us, Walker, the author of the novel The Age of Miracles, points out that when you are a child, the link between fear and imagination is easy to see (and experience). As you grow older, you leave most of your fears behind. And yet some of the most creative minds in literature (and art in general) have lived with “strange” fears and channeled that to create incredible work. Walker encourages us to think of our fears as stories, because fears have characters, plots, suspense, and strong imagery, and because they make us grapple with the question, what happens next. This will be our primary goal this semester: to channel our fears into stories, to see them as “gifts” and not burdens. We will read a variety of subgenres that fall under the broad category of “horror” (fairy tales, personal, environmental). We will study how various storytelling techniques demonstrated in these works may be incorporated into our own writing, research, and analysis skills, regardless of genre. Required texts: There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (ISBN-13: 978-0143114666), Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala (ISBN-13: 978-0345804310), and In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (ISBN-13: 978-0141001821).

CRW 420-002: A STUDY OF THE IMAGE IN POETRY, MÖRLING M
What is an image and how does it occur? Pound defined it as: “…an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time.” Gogol said: “The function of the image is to express life itself, not ideas or arguments about life.” In this class we will study the image in poetry but also look at photography and film. We will write and workshop poems with the aim of exploring and developing our own innate sense of the image and its possibilities because as Pound concludes: “It is the presentation of such a ‘complex’ instantaneously which gives the sense of sudden liberation; that sense of freedom from time limits and space limits; that sense of sudden growth, which we experience in the presence of the greater works of art.”

 

CRW 420-003: WRITING SHORT, GERARD P

 

CRW 460-001: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM, RAMOS M
Students must have been admitted to the certificate program in order to receive permission to enroll in the publishing practicum. Prerequisite: CRW 321, 322, 323.
A select group of students support the work of the Publishing Laboratory, with responsibility for editing, designing, and producing books and other publications. Undergraduate practicum students work 9 hours weekly in the Lab (including a 1.5 hour staff meeting), under faculty supervision. Completion of CRW 321, 322, and 323, with a minimum grade of B in 321 or 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.

CRW 496-001: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, DE GRAMONT M
In this course students will compile, perfect, and submit their BFA theses, collaborate with other writers and our department’s Publishing Lab to create an anthology of BFA student work, and give a public reading of their own fiction.  The class will also include discussion of professional issues such as submitting creative work for publication, careers in writing and publishing, and applying to graduate school.


 

 BFA Course Descriptions Archive