Creative Writing Courses Spring 2023

ENGL 351: Fiction Writing I

Instructor: Brian Daldorph
46472 | M 4:10 - 7:00 PM | REGN 152 - EDWARDS

Instructor: Adam Desnoyers
55755 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 4068 - LAWRENCE
55756 | TuTh 1:00 - 2:15 PM | WES 4068 - LAWRENCE

If you have had a life-long interest in writing fiction then this is the course for you. By studying short stories from established writers, students will learn to read “like a writer” and recognize how narrative is constructed. We will study how characters are created and are made sympathetic (or less than sympathetic) by their actions, their words, and their histories. Students will learn how to write scenes, craft dialogue, build conflict, and otherwise learn how to tell a story, which is a skill that has benefit in every field.

Students will produce two short stories over the course of the semester. A class period will be allotted to each story you produce, in which you will receive feedback from all of your peers. You will have an opportunity to rewrite these stories based on that feedback before finally presenting them in your final portfolio for the semester.

Instructor: Logan Jorgenson
56065 | MW 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 1009 - LAWRENCE
54205 | MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM | WES 4076 - LAWRENCE

This course is an introduction to the art of writing fiction. Through the semester, students will engage with many craft elements, including character, dialogue, point of view, details, etc. Students will be expected to produce two pieces of fiction through the semester, including one short story and one other work of their choice. In addition, they will participate in writing exercises, read and respond to exemplar work, present on a literary journal of their choice, and provide feedback to their peers through workshop. The culmination of this class will be a final portfolio that includes a reflection on the student’s work, a revision plan for one work, and a cover letter for a prospective journal submission.

Dictionary entry of fiction

ENGL 352: Poetry Writing I

Instructor: Megan Kaminski
55759 | MW 12:30 - 1:45 PM | WES 4020 - LAWRENCE

This course introduces students to poetry writing as a genre of literature and as sustainable and socially meaningful creative practice. We will draw from our senses through embodied practices of observation, recollection, and reflection for source material and as a starting point for our imaginations.

Students will be encouraged to develop their strengths and to cultivate a distinctive poetic vision and voice, as well as broaden their range and experiment with new forms and notions of the poem. We will consider assigned reading as a guide to possibilities and will have visits from the poets we read.

A portfolio of poetry will be written and revised with the critical input of the instructor and the workshop. We will make chapbooks as a way of collecting our work and learning about the publication process.

Close up of typewriter with the word "Poetry" typed

ENGL 355: Nonfiction Writing I

Instructor: Laura Moriarty
47706 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 4076 - LAWRENCE
55760 | TuTh 2:30 - 3:45 PM | WES 4076 - LAWRENCE

In this course, we’ll read and write various types of nonfiction, including memoir, creative journalism, and the humorous essay. Students will both read nonfiction texts and practice creativity, craft, and voice while writing and revising their own nonfiction pieces. Creative work will have parameters: writing assignments will ask students to creatively mimic rhetorical strategies and structures in published texts. Although students can expect reading quizzes and assignments throughout the semester, we’ll devote much of our time to the workshop format in which each student reads and comments on the creative work of everyone else in the class and receives feedback from everyone else in the class; we will also focus on what it means to be a helpful and supportive critic. The final project will focus on revision.

Red pen on top of a typed essay with words underlined in red

ENGL 360: Ecology and Writing

Instructor: Megan Kaminski
54200 | MW 3:00 - 4:15 PM | WES 4020 - LAWRENCE

In this course we will explore writing as a practice to encounter, engage with, and explore the larger ecologies of which are a part. Our writing (and reading) practices will help us connect to our shared ecosystem as a source of knowledge and inspiration for strategies to live in the world, to navigate uncertainty—and to re-align thinking towards kinship, community, and sustainability. More specifically, the class will focus on writing that counters extractive and exploitative values and relationships with land and peoples (human and otherwise).

Our shared readings will range in genre, including nonfiction, poetry, speculative fiction, and somatic practices. While our reading list and collective investigations will be collaborative, students will carve out their own research paths and explorations in this project-based class. There will be many opportunities to connect with existing trajectories of exploration in botany, geology, philosophy, writing, the arts, social work, environmental studies, and social justice work, among other disciplines and frameworks.

In addition to class discussions of assigned course reading, your own written assignments will take the form of weekly writing responses, and three short writing assignments, all in genres of your own choosing. You will also get your hands into soil and find out about local environmental challenges through field work.

Cross-listed as EVRN 420 and EVRN 720

Group of people sitting in a circle outside in grass

ENGL 551: Fiction Writing II

Instructor: Brian Daldorph
46473 | M 4:10 - 7:00 PM | REGN 152 - EDWARDS

Instructor: Adam Desnoyers
40822 | TuTh 2:30 - 3:45 PM | WES 4068 - LAWRENCE

This course will help experienced student fiction writers develop their skills further. Through examples found in published stories and in-class instruction, we will focus on what makes stories work and present new ways to think about the different elements of story, including character, conflict, and dialogue. Students will also find themselves among a community of like-minded peers just as serious about fiction writing as they are.

Students can expect to produce two to three original works of short fiction; additionally, they will be reading and critiquing the work of their peers.

Instructor: Kij Johnson
47012 | W 4:00 - 6:30 PM | WES 4076 - LAWRENCE

Variety of books open to random pages

ENGL 552: Poetry Writing II

Instructor: Joseph Harrington
49111 | TuTh 1:00 - 2:15 PM | WES 4021 - LAWRENCE

This workshop is based on the idea that to be a good writer, you have to write a lot and read a lot. So, we’ll all be doing both. We will read a lot of the work of student poets in the class (i.e., you), as well as poems by published poets who aren’t in the class. You’ll be required to compose a poem most weeks and to submit it to other members of the class. We’ll take different approaches over the course of the semester, to see what a poem is doing and to suggest ways to take it in new and exciting directions. My philosophy: all poetry, regardless of subject-matter, is about words, and words are sounds or marks on a page + blank space. We get to make imaginative compositions out of those sounds, marks, and space, and doing so can be a lot of fun. The goals? To improve your skill and confidence writing, talking about writing, giving and accepting useful critique, and expanding your versatility as a wordsmith generally.

Gold and black fountain pen writing in cursive

ENGL 555: Nonfiction Writing II

Instructor: Doug Crawford-Parker
46482 | MW 3:00 - 4:15 PM | WES 4023 - LAWRENCE

English 555 is a creative writing workshop focused on continuing students’ development as essayists to expand their ability in the genre’s myriad possibilities of both form and content. The course focuses on student work through the peer review workshop, but we also read outside to understand better some of the potential, possibilities, and pitfalls of the essay form. Students write three essays and contribute regular critiques of one another’s work. One essay is then revisited at semester’s end as part of a larger revision project. Students are required to take part in a group reading of their own work and do several shorter presentations. The workshop format of the course demands a high level of student participation, both in degree and quality. Students can expect to be challenged intellectually and creatively in producing new and original writing and engaging with their fellow students to think about the process of writing as essayists.

Gridded notebook open on wooden surface with black pencil and greenery on either side