Creative Writing

BFA Course Descriptions

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Spring 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.
Sections 001-007 all meet together in an auditorium on Tuesdays at 12:30 with Wendy Brenner, then the individual ‘breakout’ sections meet on Thursdays at 12:30 in classrooms with the assigned GTA.

CRW 201-008: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, GORMLEY R
The semester will begin with a review of what is poetic and what makes for poetic moments. From there, we’ll look at examples of found poetry and I’ll ask you to assemble your own found poem, which we’ll later use to practice enjambment and erasure. The purpose of this exercise is to get an idea of what meaning-making involves, as well as opening your eyes to the poetic moments around us every day. From there, we’ll segue into the nonfiction section. We’ll take stories from our own lives to talk about narrative and structure. We’ll review the building blocks of nonfiction writing—exposition and scene—and will practice using these with a braided essay assignment. We’ll finish the semester with fiction, discussing what does or does not make a good story. We’ll pay special attention to narratives that push the boundary of a story, and talk about what qualifies them as a story, if anything. We’ll also review the attributes of a good character, and various techniques fiction writers use—scene, summary, flashback, setups and payoffs, etc. Course grade consists of attendance, participation, creative assignments, and a final portfolio. This is a community-based class, so participation and decency is expected and grade. This course is multidisciplinary. I’ll incorporate music and photography in the poetry section, documentary film in the nonfiction section, and movies and TV shows in the fiction section. The goal of this is to get you to realize the aesthetics common in all art forms. 

CRW 201-009: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BARBER K
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.
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 201-010: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, BACON M

CRW 201-011: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, FALESCHINI I
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.Additional readings provided.
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 201-012: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, CANLE B
Text: Show & Tell (6th Ed.)
This course will be a contemporary introduction to the field of Creative Writing. While we will cover the three main genres of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, we will also look at some works which blend or bend the genres. All material covered will be from contemporary writers, giving students an idea of the literary realm as it currently stands, and how the evolution of language and technology have influenced literature. Coursework will include the regular submission of creative works which we will peer workshop throughout the semester. This is an attendance and participation based class. All students will be expected to attend and engage in every class.

CRW 201-013: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, HOBBS H
Text: Show & Tell 6th ed.Additional readings provided.
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 201-014: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, ROHRER J

CRW 201-015: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, KROUSE L
Anne Lamott said, “Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.” Ernest Hemingway put writing simply: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” This course will be a practice in exploring truth and understanding who we are, and, on the smaller scale, writing the truest sentences we know. Introduction to Creative Writing covers the genres of poetry, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Students will read published works, discuss and imitate assigned readings, and regularly submit creative exercises, workshop pieces, and critiques of peers’ work. All readings will be provided by the instructor.

CRW 201-016: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SHEN D
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 201-017 & -018: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING, SMITH E

CRW 203-001: EVOLUTION OF CREATIVE WRITING, JONES L

CRW 204-001: RESEARCH FOR CREATIVE WRITERS, FURIA P

CRW 204-002: RESEARCH FOR CREATIVE WRITERS, RAMOS M
Do you ever get tired of writing about yourself? Have you ever wanted to write about something you didn’t know about? Then you wonder where to start, and once you’ve started, how do you stop? In this class, we will look at how to: begin conducting research about a new subject, stay focused when researching, decide what research is useful and more importantly how to take that research and write compelling, creative narratives and poems that honor the researched subject and enrich the writer and readers’ lives.

CRW 207-001: FICTION WRITING I, FALESCHINI I
Text: Janet Burroway A Guide To Writing Narrative Craft (8th edition). Additional readings provided.
In this course students will closely examine and discuss both published contemporary short fiction and the writing of their peers. Lectures will cover elements of fictional craft and creativity as a process. Students will complete weekly writing exercises and assignments, in addition to two full-length short stories and revisions. By the end of the semester, students will have a firmer grasp of how fiction works in general, and a deeper insight into their own process.

CRW 207-002: FICTION WRITING I, BARBER K
Students will read published works by contemporary writers, as well as read and discuss the work of their peers in a workshop setting. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the critical elements of successful fiction writing and how we can apply them to our own work. Students will be expected to produce weekly writing exercises and scenes, complete reading quizzes, and finish two full-length pieces of fiction, with a final portfolio serving as the final exam.
Texts required: The Art and Craft of Fiction by Michael Kardos

CRW 208-001: POETRY WRITING I, CANLE B
This course will be an introduction into the writing and reading of poetry. We will be exploring contemporary poetry in a variety of forms, some less "traditional" than others, learning new ways in which poetry can be composed. Visual, surreal, spoken word, translation, found and erasure, collaboration, lyric essay/prose poetry, comics, experimental-- we will be looking at this art form from around it's (infinite) boarders. This class will require student participation and attendance, as well as an analytical paper and final revised portfolio.

CRW 208-002: POETRY WRITING I, ROHRER J

CRW 209-001: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, WILLIS D
Texts: 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 209-002: CREATIVE NONFICTION I, KROUSE L
William Zinsser once wrote, “Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.” Sometimes people ask, “How can nonfiction be creative?” It’s choosing the window to tell the truth through that makes creative nonfiction a creative practice. Of course, creative nonfiction is more than memoir. It’s essays, journalism, and journaling. It’s documentary, podcasts, blogs, memoir-comics, biographies, etc. Creative nonfiction can be literary, lyrical, philosophical, political, religious, or scientific. In this class, we’ll explore nonfiction in its various forms and learn to tell, read, and listen to true stories well told.
Required texts: The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates.

CRW 302-001: FORMS OF CREATIVE NONFICTION—READING FOR CRAFT, FAXON-HEMINGWAY K

CRW 303-001: FORMS OF POETRY—READING FOR CRAFT, MÖRLING M
In this class we will study the craft of poetry, consider forms and how they fit and inform the philosophical perspective of our poems. What choices do we make in crafting our poems? What is our process of selection? Are poems, like the bowls of the ancient Japanese potters, born? Or are they made? Emily Dickinson wrote: “Nature is a haunted house.Art--/a house that tries to be haunted.” How can our poems be as natural as possible, the form and the content inevitable to the point of near invisibility? The global designer Bruce Mau has said: “For most of us, design is invisible. Until it fails.” Is this what the 18th century Japanese poet Ryokan meant when he wrote: “Who says my poems are poems?/ My poems are not poems,/ After you know my poems are not poems,/ Then we can begin to discuss poetry.”

CRW 306-001: FORMS OF 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
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, 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: INTERMEDIATE CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING—VOICE AND VISION, MOEZZI M
In this course, we 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 your 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: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, MONAHAN D
(FST 318) Prerequisite or co-requisite: 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 318-002 & -003: SCREENWRITING I: INTRODUCTION, LINEHAN T
(FST 318) Prerequisite or co-requisite: 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 322-001 & -002: 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 student strategies for editing their own creative writing for precision and clarity. It is not a traditional copyediting course. 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. Several exams and homework assignments will make up the grade. An attendance policy will be enforced. [Note: This course is required for the BFA degree and the Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 323-001: BOOKBUILDING, STAPLES B
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 FROM ACQUISITION TO PUBLICATION, STAPLES B
This course is an overview of the editorial process as writing travels from submission to publication. Students will explore the process of acquiring books and manuscripts from an editorial perspective, substantive editing and working with a writer to develop a manuscript, the process of fact-checking a manuscript, the copy editorial process, and editorial and typographical concerns through the proofreading stage. Students will receive an overview of a variety of editorial roles, and practice executing them toward refining their own editorial knowledge and skills.

CRW 325-001: LITERARY MAGAZINE: Chautauqua, GERARD P
This course is designed to give 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, including social media. We will work in teams – with each group presenting regular updates on their projects and work. Optional: Participation in Chautauqua On the Air, a broadcast edition of the journal. Course may be repeated for credit.

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

CRW 420-001: SONGWRITING: THE CREATIVE PROCESS, GERARD P
Songwriting can be a process of distilling themes, events, 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. Song is related to poetry but is not exactly poetry, though some poetry—such as that of Byron, Yeats, and Burns—has been readily set to music.
The aim of this course will not be just to write songs but to use the songwriting process to enhance and open up the writer’s creative process in his or her 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. Students will study songs from a variety of genres and then write—alone or in collaboration—original songs. 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 even more than the product.
Note: All students are welcome, even those who don’t sing or play an instrument. You will learn the rudiments of music theory as it applies to songs and those with musical experience will help those without. Near the end of the semester, we will record one song from each student in the class in a professional recording studio. There is no fee for this.

CRW 420-002: STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY POETRY, WHITE M
In this course, we’ll focus on six to eight diverse collections of contemporary poetry, including books by Kaveh Akbar, Solmaz Sharif, Layli Long Soldier, Molly McCully Brown, Eduardo Corral, and Danez Smith. Students will read, discuss, give presentations, and write new poems in response to the assigned texts. Some class time will be reserved for workshopping these new poems, which you’ll later revise for inclusion in a final portfolio, upon which 50% of your final grade will be based.

CRW 420-003: WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DE GRAMONT N
A workshop focused on writing fiction for teens. Students will work on stories or novels, read and critique each other’s work, perform in class exercises, and read contemporary Young Adult literature.

CRW 420-004: THE HANDMADE BOOK, PHILLIPS BELL A
This course offers a hands-on exploration of traditional and experimental practices for book making. Each week, we will learn a new book structure or book-arts technique, beginning with the basics—simple pamphlets and zines—and progressing to such structures as buttonhole books, Coptic binding, and complex folded books. As we experiment with making our own books, we will actively seek out and review both historical and current examples of the craft, investigating the history of book arts in the context of small-press culture. We’ll consider artists’ books, little magazines, tiny-press publishing, broadsides, printed ephemera, visual poetry, altered books and erasures, and other visual forms, all in light of literary practice. We will ask what book arts can offer to the writing process, and to engagement with audiences—both for our own work, and for the work of others we hope to publish. Schedule permitting, we will visit the studio of a letterpress printer or book artist, and guest speakers will broaden our perspective on design principles. The course will include two extended book-arts labs, to occur on Fridays, which will be scheduled at the beginning of the semester. Students will leave the course with a fuller sense of the history of text-image intersections, and with a range of skills and techniques for creating handmade and limited-edition artist books.

CRW 420-005: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, GESSNER D
The main goals of this class are to give you an overview of the genre of graphic novels and to give you a language to discuss this emerging form. To achieve these goals we will read from a broad, though admittedly far from comprehensive, range of graphic novels. Secondarily, we will work on our own graphic projects. It should be stressed that no art background is required for this. Stick figures are okay. 

CRW 460-001: PUBLISHING PRACTICUM—UNDERGRADUATE ANTHOLOGY, STAPLES B
[Prerequisites: Students must have been accepted into the Certificate in Publishing program which requires completion of CRW 321 and 322 with a minimum grade of B. Participants are selected by permission of instructor; a brief application is required.]
Up to five interns support the work of The Publishing Laboratory, with responsibility for editing, designing, and producing 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. Working hours are scheduled at each student's convenience during standard Pub Lab hours.
CRW 460 may be repeated once for credit (up to 6 total hours). [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. Please write Emily Smith for permission to register for this course.]
Want to gain experience working for an independent press? A select group of undergraduate students helps with 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; update our database of review outlets and bookstores; design, produce, and mail promotional materials; assist with maintenance of our website and social media outlets; and attend weekly staff meetings. Practicum students work 9 hours weekly in the Lab (including a 3-hour staff 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.
CRW 460 may be repeated once for credit (up to 6 total hours). [Note: This course counts toward the BFA degree and the 12-hour Certificate in Publishing.]

CRW 496-001: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, COX M
The senior seminar is a capstone course in which a student produces a senior manuscript that represents his or her creative achievement in the BFA program and introduces the student to the professional and practical aspects of the writing life. Through workshop, revision, presentations, class discussion and individual conferences with the instructor, each student will consolidate and polish a selection of work done during the past three semesters into a manuscript, then present part of that in a public reading. Each student will participate in a publishing project that incorporates an excerpt from his or her manuscript and complete a Senior Exit Survey. Each student should be prepared to submit  writing early in the semester for a class anthology to be edited and published by The Publishing Laboratory. Additionally, we will address matters of the profession: publication, employment options, graduate school, time management, the writing habit, and ethics.

CRW 496-002: SENIOR SEMINAR IN WRITING, RAMOS M
In this class, students will assemble and edit a cohesive BFA thesis, write a critical preface for their thesis, contribute work to the BFA anthology published in the UNCW Pub Lab, and conduct a public reading of their work. We will also grapple with questions and issues writers face: How to stay motivated without assignment deadlines, to grad school or not to grad school, how to submit to literary journals and magazines, working as a writer, working to pay the bills while trying to write, and other professional development questions.

FNA 102- (001—005): EXPLORATIONS IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS, CROWE M
In this class, which places great emphasis on creative problem solving, students will gain a broader, deeper understanding of the methods by which artists generate ideas, locate and pursue projects, and sustain satisfying and productive creative lives. Artists from a wide variety of fields—including creative writing, music, painting, sculpture, theater, dance, and film—will offer multimedia presentations, sharing both their work and the strategies and procedures by which results were achieved. Students will engage in small-group discussion as well as in-class and at-home exercises designed to help them discover and develop their own strategies for living a creative life.

 BFA Course Descriptions Archive