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).

 

Spring 2020

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.
Sections 001-006 all meet together in an auditorium on Tuesdays at 12:30 with Melissa Crowe, then the individual sections meet on Thursdays at 12:30 in classrooms with the assigned GTA.

CRW 201-007: 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 201-008: 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 201-009: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, ROA A
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 201-010: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BRIDGES H
This class focuses on the fundamentals of creative writing and what it means to be part of a writing community. We will study poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and hold regular workshops designed to empower each other as writers and improve our craft. 

CRW 201-011: 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 writing. At the end of the semester, students will submit a portfolio containing their work in each genre that showcases their development as writers and editors. Grading is based on overall effort, attendance, and enthusiastic participation in reading, writing, editing, discussion, and workshop.​

CRW 201-012: 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 201-013: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SPIEGEL R
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed. with additional texts provided.
This course centers on active and thoughtful 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 201-014: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, HOWARD A

 

CRW 201-015: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, LOVING O
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 201-016 & -017: 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 201-018: INTRODUCTION 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 203-001: 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 203-002: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, MUSICK M

 

CRW 203-003: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, MURPHY O
An introduction to the developments in four primary creative writing genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, and drama. Class will be reading and discussion based along with interactive activities, and students’ grades will consist of several analytical and creative assignments throughout the semester. 
Text: TBD.

CRW 203-003: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, BARBER K
This course is a survey of the development of creative writing over the centuries. Genres covered will include drama, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will read and analyze work by authors such as Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, and Hemingway. Rather than asking the English course question of "What did the author mean by this?", we will ask questions through a creative writing lens: why did the author make this choice? how would this piece be altered written in third person rather than first? why did the author write this character this particular way? in what ways has this genre of writing evolved over time? what techniques and crafts have carried through, and which have been lost—and why? In studying how writing has evolved and progressed throughout history, we will determine what we as writers can use in our own work and how to better read as writers. Students will write two analytical essays and one creative piece to be workshopped by the class.

CRW 204-002: RESEARCH FOR CREATIVE WRITERS, GERARD P
Research is a creative process. The goal of the class is to instill the habits of alertness, resourcefulness, and ingenuity as indispensable to the research process. Curiosity, a strong work ethic, and a hunger for exactness will be equally important. By the end of the semester, each student should also have a “toolbox” of practical methods and techniques to employ in the service of creative projects in any genre. We’ll approach the art and craft of research as part treasure hunt, part detective story, and part investigative reporting. This will be a field course, meaning that one of the goals is to get students out of the classroom and into the “field”—whatever field is relevant to a given creative project. Thus all students should plan to be fully invested in the class and ready to participate actively in and out of class.

 

CRW 207-001: FICTION WRITING I, HOWARD A

 

CRW 207-002: FICTION WRITING I, LOVING O
Text: Readings to be handed out in class.
This course is a study and practice of short fiction. The focus of the class is three-fold. It is about the assigned readings, your own writing, and 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 write workshop letters for your classmates and participate in the discussion of their pieces. Readings will be supplemented by in-class writing exercises and lessons on craft. Attendance is crucial. 

 

CRW 208-001: POETRY WRITING I, MUSICK M

 

CRW 208-002: POETRY WRITING I, MURPHY O
This course will serve as an introductory practice in reading, writing, and critiquing contemporary poetry. Students will read and respond to course texts, participate in craft discussions and unique writing exercises. Additionally, students will produce several poems to be workshopped by the class, culminating in the production of a portfolio of the student’s revised pieces. The main goal of this course is to work toward identifying and developing students’ own poetic aesthetic. 
Text: The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry (Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux) and Best American Poetry 2019 (David Lehman ed.) 

CRW 209-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, SPIEGEL R
Text: TBA.
This course centers on active and thoughtful student participation. We will read and discuss a broad array of published CNF works in order to inform and inspire our own writing, which will be workshopped regularly in class. Students must come in with an open mind: be willing to step outside of what is comfortable, take risks in your work, and re-examine what you think you already know. Coursework consists of weekly writer’s journal entries, readings, and creative writing exercises. A final portfolio will be submitted at the end of the semester.

CRW 209-002: 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, those that provide a platform for historically unheard voices, and those that broaden and complex the stories we’ve already heard. We will examine the truth of our lived experiences through reading, writing, and craft lectures. We will read and write in subgenres ranging from personal essays to literary journalism. We will also study experimental forms such as braided, lyric, and graphic essays (i.e., visual/illustrated essays).

CRW 302-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION—READING FOR CRAFT, BRENNER W
This is a reading and discussion course (not a writing workshop) focusing on the craft of telling a person’s true story, including your own. What is the truth and how best to find it, how to tell it? We’ll read recently published literary creative nonfiction and watch some notable documentary (nonfiction) films, with an eye towards how we writers can best use various story-telling techniques and approaches in our own work. 
Book list: Bad Feminist (Roxane Gay), Was This Man A Genius? (Julie Hecht’s biography of late comedian Andy Kaufman),Truth & Beauty: A Friendship (Ann Patchett), Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy’s memoir of illness and disability),The Corpse Walker (Liao Yiwu), Edie: An American Girl (editors George Plimpton and Jean Stein), Inscriptions for Headstones (Matthew Vollmer). Films will include Capturing the Friedmans, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and short works by director Errol Morris. Students will write and share several 1-page creative exercises copying / borrowing form, and one longer final creative project inspired by one (or more) of the assigned texts.

CRW 306-001: FICTION: READING FOR CRAFT, SIEGEL R
This course is an exploration of the major forms of literary fiction: flash fiction; the short story; the novella; and the novel. We will read, write about and discuss examples of these forms with an eye to issues of craft, looking at how they are put together and how they work. The ultimate aim is to learn how to read like a writer.

CRW 307-001: INTERMEDIATE FICTION WRITING, LEE R
We will begin the semester doing a series of exercises designed to think about character development, a 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 308-001: POETRY WRITING II, HUDSON A 
Students will examine an array of modern and contemporary poetry and participate in writing exercises, presentations, and workshops to develop their own poetic voice and craft. We will read craft essays to build and refine their poetry writing and discussion skills using poetry terminology. Students will influence content and the experience of the course alongside the instructor by collaborating on special topics of students’ interest and presenting topics to the class. Evaluation includes: oral and written participation and adherence to attendance policies, deadlines, and assignment requirements; fulfillment of in-class and at-home exercises, presentations, and workshop assignments; and a final portfolio of poems to be developed throughout the semester.

CRW 309-001: INTERMEDIATE CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING, MOEZZI M
In this course, students will read, write, discuss and critique a wide array of creative nonfiction (CNF). The class will include assigned readings, short writing assignments, and a final project. The aim of the course is to improve students' writing through critical reading, discussion, writing, and revision. By the end of this semester, students should have a better grasp of CNF in general, as well as a respectable portfolio of their own CNF writing.

CRW 318-001: INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING, MONAHAN D
An introduction to screenwriting format, technique, and structure. Students write multiple drafts of a short screenplay and complete exercises that engage storytelling craft and aid in the development of their script.

CRW 318-002: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, LINEHAN T
Theory and practice of screenwriting with an emphasis on the fundamentals of narrative structure. Students will write, revise, and workshop original short scripts.

CRW 318-003: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, HACKLER C
An introduction to screenwriting craft, format and structure. Students will write, revise, and workshop original short scripts.

 

CRW 321-001 & -002: INTRODUCTION TO BOOK PUBLISHING

 

CRW 322-001 & -002: 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. It is not a copyediting course. 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 of flash fiction and nonfiction. 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
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: THE EDITORIAL PROCESS, PHILLIPS BELL AL
This course provides an overview of, and hands-on experience in, the work editors do—a set of skills useful on the job market as well as in improving one’s own writing. We will consider the submission and acquisition of shorter and book-length manuscripts; developmental and substantive line-level editing; and fact checking, copyediting, and proofreading. Our focus will be on the editing of literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for magazine and book publishers; we will practice the craft by editing each other’s writing and, if the opportunity arises, work from writers outside the course. We will work to create and maintain collegial relationships throughout the editing process, and to gain an understanding of the overall process and how each phase of editing fits within it. Course texts will include The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, and Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.

CRW 325-001: LITERARY MAGAZINE: CHAUTAUQUA, GERARD J
This course is designed to give undergraduate students a practical magazine publishing experience. Students will read and respond to submissions, work on 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. Undergraduate students work on a team, led by a graduate student, with each team presenting regular updates on their projects and work. Course may be repeated for credit.

CRW 418-001: SCREENWRITING II: FEATURE FILM, HACKLER C
The craft of screenwriting applied to the feature form. Students plan a feature-length screenplay and write, revise, workshop, and complete the first act.

CRW 420-001: HYBRID POETRY & PROSE, WHITE M
This class will focus on writing that forges its own path. We’ll read collections by Italo Calvino, Mark Strand, Claudia Rankine, and Maggie Nelson. These are books which defy formal categorization; some of them take on difficult subject matter (including racism and sexual orientation) that demands its own genre-busting form. You’ll keep a reading journal; write and workshop in hybrid forms throughout the semester; and toward the end of the semester, assemble and workshop a longer (6-10 pp.) project on a theme of your choice. Grade will be based 50% on participation, including critiques and other contributions to workshop.

CRW 420-002: WRITING ABOUT FOOD, HEMINGWAY K
Hunger, sustenance, gluttony, nourishment. We must eat to survive, but the consumption of calories and nutrients is just part of our obsession with food. For centuries cooks, readers, eaters, and writers have used language to attempt to understand what happens when we eat, how we feed ourselves, and our connections to food. The history of food writing is a long one, stretching as far back as agricultural civilization, but in recent years we have seen a proliferation of texts written about food in the form of cookbooks, memoirs, fiction, poetry, histories, blogs, online “foodie” community message boards, farm-to-table and agricultural policy briefs, food justice manifestos, and even scholarship about food. Some celebrate the sheer pleasure of eating, while others explore the moral issues behind the food we consume and question how these choices shape us as individuals and as a culture These diverse texts delve into every aspect of food: its production and consumption; its connections to identity, culture, place, and history; its pleasures and power. Writing tells us how to prepare food, critiques and evaluates its quality, evokes memories and emotions, preserves traditions, and creates food communities in digital and physical spaces. Ultimately, this class examines food from all angles and considers how identity, place, and culture are tied up with diet, how what we and our families have eaten in the past shapes who we become, and how memory can construct our understanding of ourselves. Simply, this class is about stories and food.  In addition to reading a variety of texts in multiple genres, you will also have the opportunity to apply what you have learned by composing your own original food writing though a variety of exercises and short writing assignments, and culminating in a final, workshopped piece in a genre of your choice.

CRW 420-003: WRITING FROM PLACE IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, GESSNER D
In the workshop we will explore the role that writing about places can play in writing personal essays, journalism, fiction, memoir, and nature writing. This is particularly urgent in a time when nature is under siege, and in our reading we will explore how climate change is impacting our world. Through the use of exercise and prompts, and through our reading and studying tools like journaling and interviewing, we will learn how to create writing about place that is vivid and visceral, not dry and abstract. The first step in saving a place is often awareness of those places, and writers can be crucial in creating this awareness. 

CRW 460-001: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM, STID S
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 460-002: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM: LOOKOUT BOOKS, SMITH E
[Prerequisites: Students must have been accepted into the Certificate in Publishing program and must have completed both CRW 323 and 460-001. Permission of instructor is required.]
Want to gain experience working for a publishing house? A select group of undergraduate students supports the daily work of the department's literary imprint, Lookout Books (www.lookout.org). The practical course functions as an internship and provides hands-on experience in our daily operations. Interns assist with the writing of press releases and other promotional materials; research sales and marketing leads; mail review copies and press kits; design, produce, and mail promotional materials; assist with maintenance of our website and social media; and attend staff meetings. Lookout practicum students work 8 hours weekly in the Lab (including a 3-hour meeting), under faculty supervision. Participants are selected by permission of instructor on the basis of excellent performance in previous publishing courses and demonstrated interest in the field. What students get out of the course-in advancement of their own understanding of the publishing enterprise, or in marketable skills to take with them, will be directly proportionate to their leadership, teamwork, and dedication. Working hours are scheduled 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, 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

CRW 496-002: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, DASGUPTA S
The senior seminar is a capstone course in which each student produces a manuscript that represents their creative achievement in the BFA program. This manuscript must contain a critical preface of 8–12 pages, plus Works Cited page, along with 25+ pages of polished work. Students should be prepared to submit writing early in the semester for a class anthology to be edited and published by The Publishing Laboratory. This course also introduces students to the professional and practical aspects of the writing life, such as, publication, employment, graduate school, time management, daily writing practice, etc. These topics will be covered throughout the semester via workshops, presentations, class discussions, and individual conferences with the instructor. Students will also participate in the senior reading at the end of the semester and complete other assignments.


 

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