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 2019

CRW 201 (sections 001-012): 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. 
Sections all meet together for lectures on Tuesdays; then individual sections meet on Thursdays, each in a separate classroom with the assigned GTA.

CRW 201-013: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BRIDGES H
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
Introduction to the principles and techniques of creative writing, aimed at developing the creative process. Includes reading, discussion, and writing exercises in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will participate in workshops and learn how to discuss one another's writing in a constructive manner. Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives. 

CRW 201-014: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, LANGSTON E
This course will introduce students to poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. We will examine the works and techniques of published contemporary authors and experiment with similar devices in our own work. At the end of the semester, students will submit a portfolio containing their work in each genre that showcase their development as writers and editors. Grading is based on overall effort, attendance, and enthusiastic participation in reading, writing, editing, discussion, and workshop.

CRW 201-015: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, MCDERMOTT P
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 201-016: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, MEYER A
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.; additional readings will be provided.
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 write in each genre. Students will also engage in critical discussion and workshop one another's writing. Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

CRW 201-017: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SCHWARTZ E
This course is designed to give students an overview of each of the three genres of creative writing: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. The class will be mainly discussion based, although students will also produce short written examples of work in each genre and longer pieces to be workshopped by their peers. 

CRW 201-018: 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 201-019: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, LOVING D
Text: Readings to be handed out in class.
In this course, students will read and write poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. They will examine the works of published authors and learn skills and techniques to apply to their own writing. At the end of the semester, students will submit a portfolio containing their best work in each genre. Grading will be based on effort and a willingness on the student's part to participate in all aspects of the course: doing the assigned reading, editing rough drafts of their own work, and participating in class. Students will produce short examples of written work in each genre and longer pieces to be workshopped by their peers. Attendance is crucial.

CRW 201-020: 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 creating complete pieces of writing in each genre, as well as at-home reading, in-class writing exercises, and workshop sessions in which we will provide constructive critique. The class will culminate in the production of a final portfolio, showcasing your strongest and most developed writing of the semester. Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.

CRW 201-021: INTRO TO CREATIVE WRITING, ROA A
What exactly is this thing called creative writing? In this class we will explore the forms of creative writing- fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. We will learn how to write these forms, and discuss how they differ from the essays and research papers you are writing in your other classes. In other words, we will get our feet wet with prose and poems, try new things, while at the same time get an understanding of the published works out there that inspire us to write.

CRW 201-023 & -024: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SPIEGEL R
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed. (Additional texts are provided.)
This course centers on student participation, and 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 and revise 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 201-300: INTRO TO CREATIVE WRITING, BARBER K
This course will introduce students to three creative writing genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Students will read published works in each genre and be expected to discuss assigned readings. Each student will submit an 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 203 (sections 001-006): EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, WHITE M
Are you starting to get serious about your creative writing? This course will focus on tradition, innovation, and social engagement in the writing of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. On Tuesdays, we’ll break into small sections taught by TA’s, devoted mainly to craft exercises and workshops. On Thursdays, we’ll meet together in a large-format class, where we’ll read, discuss, and respond to a wide range of writing from the past several centuries. Grading breakdown: 33% on your portfolio of creative writing, 33% on exams, and 33% on participation.

CRW 203-007: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, FLORA K
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 203-008: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING: FICTION, POETRY, AND CREATIVE NONFICTION, HOWARD A
Text: TBA
An overview of how creative writing has evolved from the classics to contemporary works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Class will be heavily reading and discussion based with at least one presentation on an early work of creative writing and one presentation on a contemporary work of creative writing.  

CRW 203-009: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, MUSICK M

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 poems, essays, and short stories by authors including Sandra Cisneros, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Jeff P. Jones 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 204-002: RESEARCH FOR CREATIVE WRITERS, STAFF

CRW 207-001: FICTION WRITING I, LOVING D
Text: Readings to be handed out in class.
This course is a study and practice of short fiction. The focus of the class is two-fold. It is about your own writing as well as your feedback—the feedback you offer regarding the assigned homework (published short stories and novel excerpts) as well as for your classmate’s pieces for workshop. You will be expected to make line edits and write workshop letters for your classmates. Readings will be supplemented by in-class writing exercises and lessons on craft. Attendance is crucial.

CRW 207-002: FICTION WRITING I, HOWARD A
Text: Provided
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 208-001: POETRY WRITING I, MUSICK M

CRW 208-002: POETRY WRITING I, BAILIE

CRW 209-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, FLORA K
Everyone has a story; everyone can challenge what is known to be true. Novelist Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie describes growing up in Nigeria and reading the widely available British and American novels. In turn, her characters were British girls with blue eyes and white skin; they drank ginger beer, ate apples, and played in the snow despite the fact that it never snowed in Nigeria and Adichie grew up eating mangoes. She calls this the “danger of the single story.” She describes how, years later, she experienced a shift in her perception of literature when she began reading African books; they were harder to find, but in them, she encountered characters with similar lived experiences. She felt visible and validated. This course aims to tell the untold stories—the ones that challenge the single story. We will examine the truth of our lived experiences through reading and writing ranging from the personal essay to literary journalism.

CRW 209-002: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, GILBERT C
Anne Lamott once wrote that "If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal." This course will be an exploration of that something, a chance for you to write what is true and meaningful to you in a way that connects your experiences to something bigger than yourself. Part of the beauty of creative nonfiction is its ability to bring people from many backgrounds and walks of life together, and in this course, we will explore all the ways in which you can reach others through the magic of the written word. We will discuss a variety of essays and narrative structures, write our own, and participate in workshops to grow as writers and as human beings. By the end of the course, we will have reached an understanding of what makes an effective piece of creative nonfiction writing. Come ready to write about what matters most to you.

CRW 302-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION—READING FOR CRAFT, STAFF

CRW 303-001: FORMS OF POETRY—READING FOR CRAFT, MURPHY O
In this course we will explore the development of a variety of poetic forms over time, evaluating how each form is unique in capturing and preserving the poem’s content and the poet’s intent. We will also discuss elements of poetic craft in-depth and practice applying these skills to your own work. Coursework will include a reflection journal, in-class and out-of-class reading, as well as several imitation poems and other writing exercises, which will culminate in a final portfolio showcasing the poems you are most proud of. Text: none.

CRW 305-001: THE CREATIVE PROCESS, GASKILL M
Prerequisite or corequisite: CRW 207, CRW 208 or CRW 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 as well as an exploration of the historical relationship between creative genius and madness.

CRW 307-001 INTERMEDIATE FICTION WORKSHOP, LEE R
We will begin the semester doing a series of exercises designed to think about character development, the mysterious process of writing about people who seem real and have lives on the page that generate events (plot) and meaning (theme). Last half of semester will be devoted to workshopping student stories.  Writers in the class will ideally write two stories by end of semester.  

CRW 307-002: FICTION WRITING II, SIEGEL R
Students will produce original fiction; critique the work of fellow students; and read and discuss published stories. Emphasis will be on building an awareness of story structure, and on exploring the nature of scene--the purpose scene serves in fiction and the ways in which scenes can be created and used in a narrative. CRW 207 required.

CRW 308-001: INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING, CROWE M 
In this class, students will commit to further development of poetic voice and craft; we’ll spend the semester looking carefully at an array of models (modern and contemporary poems), experimenting with styles and forms (primarily free verse with a sprinkling of received forms), and offering and receiving considered, respectful feedback. We’ll employ a variety of open-ended exercises, both in-class and at-home, as mechanisms for trying new things and for generating poems to be workshopped. Students will produce, by semester’s end, a portfolio of polished poems and will be able to speak and write more fluently about their own poetic strategies and aims.

CRW 309-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING II, GERARD P
Students will write original fact-based narratives that in some significant way connect their own passions to the events, ideas, issues, etc., of the larger world. Assignments will include some directed short writing. We’ll discuss student manuscripts in a workshop setting designed to teach all of us more about the craft and art of writing, attending to such matters as narrative arc, underlying thematic concerns, suspense, scene and exposition, dialogue, research methods, and ethics. And always we will ask the question: How do you know what you know?

CRW 315-001: WRITING THE WAR, RAMOS M
Iraq war veteran lecturer asks: How do you write about war, which is supposedly unknowable to those who haven’t been?  How do you take “war writing” beyond bullets, beans, and band-aids? In this class, students will examine how writers from Homer and Hemingway to Tim O’Brien and Yusef Komunyakaa and others have written powerful, creative work that challenge the notions of war writing. Students in this class will also write their own works of literary merit that challenge and subvert the expected narratives and reactions to war writing.

CRW 316-001: PLAYWRITING I, CASTAGNO P
(THR 316) Intensive and imaginative exploration of playwriting through various exercises designed to foster and challenge personal creativity, ensure aesthetic understanding and application, while advancing fundamentals of craft. Concludes with the creation of a ten-minute play, or short form play.

CRW 318-001: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, STAFF
(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 an emphasis on the fundamentals of narrative structure. Students write original scripts, including a short screenplay for possible use in FST 495.

CRW 318-002: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, STAFF
(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 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 2019, COX M
This one-credit intensive course was designed to complement Writers’ Week. Most of the work will be practical and focused on preparation for the week, which will consist of workshop sessions, panels, readings, and an individual manuscript conference with one of the seven visiting writers who will be in residence. BFA students will 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 10 event-hours over the course of the symposium.

CRW 322-001: EDITING FOR PUBLICATION, BASS T
3 credit hours. Restricted to Pre-CRW majors, CRW majors, and CRW minors. Pre-requisite: Completion of CRW 201. This course focuses on helping students develop and maintain technical control over their creative work. The course emphasizes self-editing work for clarity in preparation for submission for publication and writing workshops. Heavy emphasis is placed on several topic areas, including these: revision, proofreading, punctuation, writing mechanics, spelling, vocabulary, and writing effective dialogue. Students should expect to write and revise several original creative works. The course also includes periodic exams, a mid-term, and a final. Required textbook: The New Well-Tempered Sentence, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. An attendance policy will be enforced. CRW 322 is required for the CRW major and is an elective for the CRW minor. The course counts in the Writing Intensive category of UNCW’s University Studies curriculum.

CRW 323-001: BOOKBUILDING, OLSON A 
Prerequisite: CRW 207, CRW 208 or CRW 209 or consent of instructor. Introduction to principles of effective graphic design and typography for book publishing, using desktop publishing applications in a computer lab setting and including hands-on production of several publications. Includes survey history and future trends in printing and publishing.

CRW 324-001: SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLISHING: DIGITAL FORMATS, WHITE K
In this course, students will be introduced to the ways that audiobooks and e-books support and disrupt traditional print publishing. We will also examine how these formats contribute to the evolution of the definition of “the book.” After an overview of the history of the e-book and audiobook formats, we will examine aspects unique to digital formats in acquisition, production, marketing, and distribution. The class will feature reading from a variety of sources as well as guest lectures. Active participation is a requirement. Assignments will include an essay examining students’ personal consumption of digital media and how that supports and disrupts the reading life, an individual research paper requiring a deep dive into a single aspect of digital publishing and a group project brainstorming and pitching an idea for a digital innovation. The final project will be a detailed proposal for a new digital imprint, enhanced digital product, company, or national marketing plan. Upon completion of the course students will better understand the current influence of audiobooks and e-books on the publishing environment, to better anticipate future digital innovations in book publishing and bring creativity and entrepreneurship to the publishing workplace and their own work.

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 418-001: SCREENWRITING II: INTRODUCTION, STAFF

CRW 420-001: BOUNDARIES & BEYOND: WRITING ABOUT FAMILIAR, FOREIGN, & FORBIDDEN PLACES, DASGUPTA S
This course will examine the many ways we engage and conform within the boundaries we are born and raised in, and those that lie outside. While the concept of “place” has been interpreted here somewhat loosely, the texts selected will still provide the kind of precise observations, rich descriptions, and unexpected insights one expects from stellar books on travel and place-based writing. Regular lectures and readings will be accompanied by matching in-class writing exercises, two major assignments, and one end-of-the-semester final portfolio. Overall, the course will encourage students to ask questions such as: What does it mean to give in to a place wholly? How long do you have to live in a place to write about it? Can one be a “traveler” in their own hometown?

CRW 420-002: SONG WRITING AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS, GERARD P
Songwriting can be a process of distilling themes, event, ideas, and emotions into coherent and memorable forms. It requires compression, focus, and resonance. Short phrases and key words must stand for whole pages of prose. Melody and rhythm infuse lyrics with a creative energy. Students will study songs from a variety of genres and then write—alone or in collaboration—original songs. The aim is to use the discipline of songwriting to enhance creative work in the student’s chosen genre. We’ll examine basic song structures and chord progression, define terms such as “verse,” chorus,” and “bridge” and how they can apply to traditional literary forms as both metaphors and guides to structure. The songs students write will in some way distill, refine, comment upon, enlarge, or be inspired by their work as poets, nonfiction writers, and fiction writers, and they will write short reflections to make the connections explicitly. The aim is not to write “hit” songs but to invigorate and expand their creative process of writing in all genres. We are interested in the process, not just the product.

We will explore any of several methods of composition, including but not limited to the top-down method, the narrative method, the melodic method, and the shadow or scaffold method.

Requirements:

  • The ability to listen closely.
  • The desire to create in a new form.
  • The willingness to sing and or play in front of others.
  • An openness to collaboration.
  • Not Required: Basic ability to sing or play an instrument will be helpful but not necessary. Each student can create lyrics in a given musical genre and work with a collaborator to make a rudimentary lead sheet of key, melody, and tempo.

CRW 420-003: WRITING ABOUT PEOPLE, BRENNER W
This course is for students working in all genres, focusing on the craft of telling someone’s story, including your own. We’ll read creative nonfiction, fiction, and hybrid forms, and watch a few documentary films, with an eye towards how we writers can best borrow or steal various story-telling techniques and approaches in our own work. Students will write and share short creative exercises practicing and playing with form, and hand in one longer creative piece near the end of the semester. Ample time will be allotted for reading -- usually two weeks between books, and we'll read only selections in some of the assigned texts.
Book list: Truth & Beauty: A Friendship (Ann Patchett), Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy), Working (Studs Terkel), The Corpse Walker (Liao Yiwu),  Edie: An American Girl (Plimpton and Stein), Inscriptions for Headstones (Matthew Vollmer), The Weekend  and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Peter Cameron), and Was This Man A Genius? (Julie Hecht's biography of late comedian Andy Kaufman). Films will include The Eyes of Tammy Faye (biopic of the late televangelist, narrated by RuPaul) and short films from director Errol Morris's "First Person" series.

CRW 425-001: ADVANCED SPECIAL TOPIC IN PUBLISHING: BOOK MARKETING AND PUBLICITY, SMITH E
[Note: This new offering course counts toward the BFA degree and the Certificate in Publishing. It can be substituted for CRW 324 to meet the certificate requirements.]
How is it that one book seems to be everywhere you look—reviewed in major newspapers, recommended by Oprah, nominated for awards, placed face-out on bookstore shelves, and styled beside a different frothy beverage every time you scroll Instagram—while another deserving book does not seem to have found its audience? Welcome to the ins and out of book marketing and promotion. In this advanced special-topic course, students will follow trade books in a variety of genres from their initial marketing plans through full publicity campaigns. We’ll discover where marketing and publicity fit into the life cycle of a book, how they differ and overlap, and how they influence a book’s overall success. Students will do market research and hone their writing skills toward developing artful book materials—from savvy marketing plans to compelling jacket copy, from tailored media kits to thoughtful reading guides. We’ll learn approaches to securing and promoting author interviews, festival invitations, and bookstore events, as well as the art of the pitch. Many class assignments and activities will offer hands-on experience with titles published by award-winning in-house imprint, Lookout Books. Marketing and publicity guests from the big five and independent presses will join us by video.

CRW 460-001: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM, STAFF
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 & -002: SENIOR SEMINAR IN CREATIVE WRITING, BASS T
6 credit hours. Restricted to full CRW majors in their final semester before graduation. Instructor permission only. Pre-requisite: successful application to the full CRW major and completion of at least one CRW 420 course. The senior seminar is the culminating course experience for majors in creative writing. The course requires students to complete the following responsibilities: review the degree audit to ensure that all categories are clear for graduation; complete the senior thesis—a critical preface of 8–12 pages, plus Works Cited page, along with a creative section of 25+ pages of edited creative work written while in the BFA Program; contribute to the senior anthology; prepare a résumé, cover letter, and writing samples for job applications after graduation; participate in the senior reading at the end of the semester; and complete other assignments made by the instructor. Students should expect to meet several firm deadlines and spend significant time revising previously written work. Consistent classroom participation is required. An attendance policy will be enforced. CRW 322 is required for completion of the CRW major. The course meets several degree requirements, including some specific to the major and two in UNCW’s University Studies curriculum: Writing Intensive and Explorations Beyond the Classroom.

 

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