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Creative Writing 05 Abstract Colours

SUMMER 2022

CRW 248: Photography & Narrative-Mixed Genre.

Juana Moriel-Payne.

Course Description:

In this class, we will take pictures out of the drawer, out of historical archives, or out of magazines to “read” them as scenes and sites of memory: geographic, cultural, historical, or personal places that can enrich our writing. We will look at photography as narratives of racial/ethnic identity, gender, sexuality, representation, difference, commemoration, testimony, and much more. The course will have at least 3 online sources to look & “read” to create a writing project (personal essay, short story, poetry, flash fiction, and vignettes). We will read poetry and narrative books, and the course will have one-main Book: Phototextualities: Intersections of Photography and Narrative, Alex Hughes & Andrea Noble, eds., a collection of essays whose authors “refuse to allow photo-images to sit silently on a page.”

Class Materials:

POETRY & Photography Books:

Fault Lines: A Collection of Contemporary Poetry and Photography, Clarissa Sofía.

NARRATIVE & Photography Books:

  • Phototextualities: Intersections of Photography and Narrative, Alex Hughes & Andrea Noble, eds. (selected Essays).   
  • Galleries of Friendship and Fame: A History of Nineteen Century Photograph Albums, Elizabeth Siegel.   
  • Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography, Rene Paul Barrlleaux & William Chiego, eds 
    *A couple of copies of each book (reserved) available @ MSMU-Library 

    In Canvas Files
  • “The Practice of Not Forgetting: Photography by Milton Rogovin in Buffalo’s Lower West Side.” 
  • “The Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin: A Retrospective Photo Essay”, Janet Zandy.  
  • Dubliners, James Joyce (The Two Gallants).  
  • “What is Photopoetry?” Michael Nott.  
  • Micro Fiction, Jerome Stern.  
    You may write in English, Spanish, or both.  

 

CRW 223: Travel Writing and Latin American Chronicle: Beyond the Personal Essay.

Juana Moriel-Payne.

Course Description:

In this course we will combine the study and craft of both Travel Writing and Chronicle following a Global and the Latin American literary traditions, respectively. The Travel Writing will cover the Study Abroad course that the CRW department organizes every Summer and encompasses the reading of Travelogues, observations that will en in a journal, group discussions, and creative travel pieces. The second part of the course will cover the Latin American Chronicle, one that has included both personal and journalistic essay forms using a narrator/observer who is emotionally involved in his/her socio-historical narratives. In this sense, chroniclers are enunciators who transgress the official social representations by exposing social tensions and conflicts. Students will write chronicles (personal and journalistic essays) based on observation of their cultural environment and following each of the Latin American Chroniclers’ techniques and style. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials:

  • Two video documentaries about the Conquest of Peru and El Festival del Sol in Cuzco. (In Canvas)
  • “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance”, Bell Hooks. (In Canvas)
  • An excerpt from “Victors and Vanquished” in The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, Bernal Díaz del Castillo (Primary Source in Canvas).
  • Excerpts from The First New Chronicle and Good Government, Guaman Poma de Ayala (Primary Source in Canvas).
  • Flora Tristan-Utopian Feminist: Her Travel Diaries and Personal Crusade, Doris Beik& Paul Harold. (Selected chapters in Canvas)
  • Nicos Hadjicostis. Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler, Travel Book Awards.
  • “Travel Writing as A Literary Genre English Literature Essay”, Essays UK. (In Canvas)
  • Gertrude Bell, The Desert and The Sown. (Selected chapters in Canvas)
  • Naipaul, “A Resting Place for the Imagination” (Chapter 1 in the book, An Area of Darkness. In Canvas))
  • Thompson, “Part One”, (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream). (In Canvas).
  • Viviane Mahieux. Urban Chroniclers in Modern Latin America: The Shared Intimacy of Everyday Life. (Introduction, Chapters 1, 5, Appendices, pp. 171-185 & Afterword).
  • Linda Egan, Carlos Monsivaís. (Contents I: 1 & 2 in Canvas)
  • Mexico- Carlos Monsivaís, Tradition Hour,Carlos Monsivais.
  • Mexico - “I Don´t Laugh at Death,” Diego Enrique Osorno (In Canvas).
  • Venezuela - “Report from Something Like an Apocalypse,” Yéiber Román (In Canvas).
  • Chile - “The Million Names of María Chameleon,” Pedro Lembel (In Canvas).
  • Colombia - “Wikdi´s Journey,” Alberto Salcedo Ramos (In Canvas). 

CRW 240: Latin American Fiction and Poetry

Johnny Payne

Course Description:

Short stories in Latin America evolved out of local traditions and tales, and the precise practices of European realism, replete with its use of situational irony and believable characters.  Yet early on, many writers also shared a predilection for the grotesque and garish, whether comic or serious, as reflected in the stories of Quiroga and Andrade.  The careful observation of social as well as domestic reality is characteristic of Latin American fiction, however expressed.  Charles May’s categories in his Introduction will cover most contingencies for the stories in this cycle.  Poe’s insistence on brevity and unity of effect are also honored in stories such Lugones’s “Yzur,” and Guiraldes’s “The Braider.”

Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, ed. Stephen Tapscott
The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, ed. Roberto González Echevarría.
The New Short Story Theories, ed. Charles May
The Cambridge Companion to Latin American Poetry, ed. Stephen H. Hart 

CRW 242: Writing for Screen II

Brian McAuley. Saturday 8:30 A.M. - 2:30 P.M.

Course Description:

In this course, you will learn the essential tools and structures of feature-length film screenwriting. After first distilling your own original film premise into a logline, you will then develop and practice your film story pitch in the professional format developed by Pixar Studios. Readings on feature film structure by David Howard will focus on the three-act/eight-sequence model, which you’ll use to construct a scene-by-scene outline of your entire film story. By the end of the course, you will have written and revised the first half of your screenplay – from the first scene through the middle of Act II. Along the way, you will analyze successful films and screenplays that represent a diversity of voices, genres, and story archetypes to widen your breadth of knowledge in the format. The workshop setting will encourage critical thinking and creative collaboration in preparation for the professional world. 

Required Texts:

How to Build a Great Screenplay by David Howard
PDFs of professional screenplays will be shared via Canvas

CRW 299 C: Studies in Publishing: Independent Publishing

Thomas Cook

Course Description:

An introduction to the process of founding an independent publishing project, including engagement with existing publishing projects founded by M.F.A. students and faculty. Students will gain knowledge of the mechanisms and institutions involved in beginning their own press.

Texts:

Miller, Wayne and Kevin Prufer. Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century. ISBN: 978-1571313546
Thompson, John B. Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century.ISBN: 978-0452297722.

 

FALL 2022

CRW 299 G: Studies in Publishing: Marketing and Sales

Thomas Cook. Online. Friday 5 P.M. - 8 P.M.

Course Description:

After a book is selected for publication, how does it make its way to the actual (or virtual) bookshelf? What choices do publishers make in terms of how a book is marketed and where a book is sold? This course will take students behind the scenes in process of marketing and selling a book, including engagements with professionals in those position who can speak from their personal experiences in those departments of major U.S. publishers. Topics will include book the author-publisher relationship and self-marketing required of authors.

Texts:

TBD
 

CRW 230: Fiction Writing I: Novel

Johnny Payne. In-Person. Saturday 9 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Course Description:

Students will write several novel chapters and four short stories.  We will focus on multiple aspects of fictional technique, such as point of view, character, plot, time and chronology, and tone.  There is a particular emphasis on comedy in this course, as well variety in the form and structure of the novel. 

Required Texts: 

Michael Ondaatje, Coming Through Slaughter

Eva Baltasar, Permafrost

Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting

Henry James, The Golden Bowl

Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis

James McBride, The Good Lord Bird

Phillip Stevick, The Theory of the Novel

CRW 232: Writing for Screen I

Alaric Rocha. In-Person. Saturday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description:

An overview of feature film story structure and detailed instruction on creating the "blueprint" for storytelling that we call the outline. Students will learn standard Hollywood film story structure as well as how to construct scenes with compelling action, believable reactions and escalating conflict that builds within the scene, while also elevating the stakes of the entire story. Students are expected to complete a short film screenplay by the end of the semester. Writing for the Screen I and II may be taken in either sequence.

Required Text:

  • “Creating Character Arcs” by, K.M. Weiland
  • "Save the Cat” by, Blake Snyder
  • “The Writers Journey” by, Christopher Vogler
  •  “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” short story by, Philip K. Dick. (Provided) 
  • Feature screenplays (provided):
    • “Bridesmaids” by, Kristen Wiig
    • “Chinatown” by, Robert Towne
    • “Total Recall” by, Dan O’Bannon and Gary Goldman
    • “The Blues Brothers” by, Dan Aykroyd and John Landis
    • “Raiders of the Lost” Ark by, Lawrence Kasdan
    • Three Unproduced screenplays TBA

Recommended:

  • “The Art of Dramatic Writing” by, Egri and Miller
  • “The Screenplay” by, Syd Field
  • “Hero’s Journey” by, Joseph Campbell

Software:

  • Final Draft
     

CRW 249: Writing for Independent Filmmaking

Jehnovah Carlisle. Online. Saturday 3 P.M. - 6 P.M.

Course Description:

Focus on the craft, the art, and the application of screenwriting for the self financed/independent film. Students will be challenged to think outside the box in order to develop personal, original and inventive stories, and characters within the scope and the budget of an independent or self financed film. The films and screenplays analyzed in this course will reflect creators and stories from diverse backgrounds and intersectional identities, in a range of genres, but ultimately all movies that were self financed or made with independent film budgets. Students will leave the course with a well-rounded knowledge of conventional and alternative methods of screenwriting and the first draft of their own feature length screenplay.

Course Focuses: writing within budget and scope, writing for the location, writing for untrained or non- professional actors, writing for crew and camera restraints, writing for the personal and groundbreaking, genre specific (genres that lend themselves to independent cinema).

Film List:

  • TBA

Required Texts:

  • Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay, by Andrew Horton
  • Creating Unforgettable Characters: A Practical Guide to Character Development in Films, TV Series, Advertisements, Novels & Short Stories, by Linda Seger
  • Film Genre for the Screenwriter, by Jule Selbo
  • Creating Character Arcs, by K.M. Weilan
  • Bluebook Series, by William C. Martell

CRW 252: Border Studies-Mixed Genre

Juana Moriel-Payne. In-Person. Sunday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description:

In this course we will create a class webpage where we will add content: our writing assignments that will include poetry, flash fiction, photo and image narrative, ekphrastic poems and songs, non-fiction, short stories, and more genres as we study a variety of materials that address the Borderlands from geographic, historical, political, cultural, social, and artistic expressions and perspectives. Helen Hunt Jackson and Rudolfo Anaya open the doors to a border fiction writing tradition that has taken its own path. Yuri Herrera and Luis Humberto Urrea´s novels deal with the complexities of crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. Analicia Sotelo´s poetry depicts identity issues of a Texas woman, Ben Saenz´s piece is historical poetry set in New Mexico, and JD Pluecker´s poems are dispersed in a complex borderlands’ geography. Lastly, Stephanie Elizondo´s travel accounts reflect about border-imaginary- divisions and their transformations. The course will include some films to complement the readings and expand the learning-writing experience during class discussions. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials:

  • Ramona, Helen Hunt Jackson (1884, Southern California-Novel)
  • Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya (1972, New Mexico-Novel)
  • Signs Preceding the End of the World, Yuri Herrera (Border Crossing-novella)
  • The Devil´s Highway, Luis Humberto Urrea (Border Crossing-novel).
  • Virgin, Analicia Sotelo (poetry)
  • Calendar of Dust, Ben Sáenz (Poetry).
  • Ford Over, JD Pluecker (Poetry).
  • All the Agents and Saints, Stephanie Elizondo (travel writing).
  • Films: Sin Nombre, Bless Me Ultima, Desierto, Under the Same Moon (In Canvas)
  • Documentary: Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, based on Juan González´ book. (In Canvas)

CRW 222: Latinx Memoir

Juana Moriel-Payne. In-Person. Sunday 1 P.M. - 5 P.M.

Course Description:

In this course, we will be writing a memoir as a collection of linked-personal essays/ feature writing, as we analyze the autobiographies/memoirs of Latinx authors from the last decade of the 20th Century. Through memoirs of Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Richard Blanco, and Lilia Quintero Weaber, we will see memoirs that explore themes such as immigration, assimilation, bilingualism, race, sexual identity, nationalism, in  the United States. Together, those works will open a door to explore and write about our unique cultural, personal and/or literary experience. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials:

  • PBS Latin America – selected Documentaries in Canvas.
  • Find Your Story, Write Your Memoir, Lynn C. Miller and Lisa Lenard-Cook. (In Canvas).
  • Before Night Falls, Reinaldo Arenas.
  • The Country Under my Skin, Gioconda Belli.
  • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria Anzaldúa. (In Canvas).
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros. (In Canvas).
  • The Prince of Los Cocuyos, Richard Blanco.
  • Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, Lilia Quintero Weaver. (In Canvas).
  • In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Macha
  • The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature, John Moran González, Ed.(Selected Essays in Canvas).
  • Autobiographical Writing in Latin America: Folds of the Self, Sergio Franco. (Selected Essays in Canvas).

CRW 231: Poetry Writing 1

Faculty. Online. Sunday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description:

In this course, we'll work as a community of poets to experiment with methods of composition; share the results of those experiments, our new poems, in workshop; revise with abandon; and, of course, read widely to work toward creating the world each of us want to live in. 

CRW 243: Short Forms

Faculty. Online. Sunday 1 P.M. - 4 P.M.

Course Description:

Short-short, prose poem, micro-essay, flash. Long before the internet short circuited our attention spans, Félix Fénéon was assembling Novels in Three Lines in the early 1900s; hundreds of years prior, Matsuo Basho was developing haibun. As Dinty W. Moore, editor of the flash nonfiction journal Brevity, writes: "There’s a through line of emotion, beauty, and discomfort that can fit into the tiniest of frames." How do these short forms capture emotion and beauty and discomfort? What makes their compression so appealing? Why does this form invite genre-hopping? In this seminar, we'll write short-form pieces of our own as we read hundreds of years of short form texts in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by writers such as Matsuo Basho, Félix Fénéon, Yasunari Kawabata, Ana María Shua, Augusto Monterroso, Diane Williams, Sabrina Orah Mark, and Naguib Mahfouz.

CRW 248: Special Topics: The Creative Habit

Faculty. Online. Saturday 1 P.M. - 4 P.M.

Course Description:

In The Creative Habit, choreographer Twyla Tharp writes: “Destiny, quite often, is a determined parent. Mozart was hardly some naive prodigy who sat down at the keyboard and, with God whispering in his ears, let music flow from his fingertips. It's a nice image for selling tickets to movies, but whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won't know how to harness the power of that kiss.” In this course, we'll get closer to harnessing the power of that kiss by studying literature of creativity, inspiration, and success by artists across mediums: dance, tightrope walking, painting, writing, and more. We'll study the genre of creative practice texts, examining our own creative practices in the process.

 

SPRING 2023

CRW 299E: Studies in Publishing: Editing

Thomas Cook. In-Person. Friday 5 P.M. - 8 P.M.

Course Description:

This course provides students with the tools necessary to become better editors of their own writing, as well as enlarges their purview of editing in a professional setting. Expressly, this course will serve students during the writing of their theses, but it will also help them establish a greater understanding of literary communities beyond their time in the degree program. We will explore editorial processes currently in place at literary journals, presses, and publishing houses, delve into the work of reading submissions and banding together as an editorial board, and assess our work in terms of aesthetics and potential publishing niches, all in the service of improving our own writing and editing practices. The aim of the course is for students to gain greater mastery over where they take their work on the page and how those pages will be met by editors in the publishing marketplace. Readings will include work submitted to current M.F.A. publishing projects, essays on literary craft, and drafts of student work among others.

Texts:

Davis, Lydia. Essays: One. ISBN: 978-1250758157

Ginna, Peter. What Do Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing. ISBN: 978-0226299976.

Tufte, Virginia. Artful Sentence: Syntax as Style. 978-0961392185
 

CRW 244: Poetics

Johnny Payne. Online. Saturdays 9 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Course Description: 

This course will ground you in conventional poetics and the Western tradition in poetry dating back to the 12th century up to the modern.  We’ll look at rhyme schemes and types, meter, and verse form including such prosodic elements as enjambment, assonance, consonance, and other aspects that contribute to a well-made poem.  This approach is meant to complement free-form and experimental approaches.  We will focus on the sonnet, ode, ballad, sestina, villanelle and elegy as forms.  Though you will write multiple poems, this is not merely a workshop.  Rather, you will be assigned intensive reading in theory and poems, as well as practice in creative exercises that allow you to understand and emulate these challenging forms, in the hope that they will shape your sense of poetics and of the great and varied history of Western poetry that has endured alongside more recent developments in the genre. 

REQUIRED TEXTS: 

Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form

Robert Hass, A Little Book of Form

Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, The Making of a Poem

Willis Barnstone, Six Masters of the Spanish Sonnet

CRW 249: Studies in Genre: Mexican Cinema

Alaric Rocha.  In-Person. Saturday 1 P.M. - 4 P.M.

Course Description:

An examination and discourse of the history and style of Mexican cinema, and it’s influence on Mexican and American culture. Focus will be on the Golden era, Mexplotation era of cinema, and genre style films. Course work will include weekly screenings, paper writing, presentations, and a short screenplay in one of the Mexican styles discussed in class. All films and readings will be subtitled, or in English.

Required Texts: 

  • Carl J. Mora. Mexican Cinema (3rd Ed). McFarland & Co, Inc. 2005 
  • Doyle Green. Mexplotation Cinema. McFarland & Co, Inc. 2005 
  • Handouts to be distributed in class from: 
    • R. Hernandez-Rodriguez. Splendors of Latin Cinema. ABC-CLIO, 2010 
    • Julianne Burton. Cinema and Social Change in Latin America, Conversations with Filmmakers.University of Texas Press, 1986 
    • Doyle Green. Mexican Cinema of Darkness. McFarland & Co, Inc. 2007 

CRW 250: Afro Latinx / MultiMedia-Mixed Genre

Juana Moriel-Payne. Online. Sunday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description: 

This course sees the AfroLatinx experience in two ways: in groups of people of African descent in Mexico, Central and South America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and by extension those of African descent in the United States whose origins are in Latin American and in the Caribbean (Jiménez Román and Flores, Eds). As such, the class will integrate two literary-cultural traditions that intersect and have influenced each other through years of continuous contact. As students examine the variety of class materials, they will write Young Adult fiction integrating poetry, macro fiction, pictures and songs, history and cultural resources available: original books of AfroLatinx authors, historical essays, literary criticism essays, cultural documentaries, videos, and films that explore themes such as transculturation, music and cultural legacy, women´s empowerment, multiethnicity, Latinism, Identity, Latin-Jazz, Blackness, Pan-Latinidad, religion, and more subjects. The creative work of Afro-Latin American and Latinx authors will include Cuban poets Nicolás Guillén and Nancy Morejón, multi-genre writers Quince Duncan and Elizabeth Acevedo, who wrote a novel in short stories and a young adult novel in verse, respectively, and Daniel José Older and Sofia Quintero’s young adult novels that explore rebellion, the power of fate, hip-hop music, and magic elements. The course will include cultural-historical documentaries and videos with dances and songs. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials: 

  • Regina Brooks, Writing Great Books for Young Adults. (Crafting the YA project).
  • Miriam Jiménez-Román and Juan Flores, Eds., The Afro-Latn@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States (selected essays). Electronic book available in MSMU Library.
  • Nicolás Guillén- selected poems. (In Canvas)
  • Before A Mirror, Nancy Morejón (Poetry)
  • A Message from Rosa: An African Diaspora, Quince Duncan (A novel in short stories)
  • The PoetX, Elizabeth Acevedo (A Young Adult novel in poems).
  • Show and Prove, Sofia Quintero (Young Adult novel. Printed version available through MSMU Library).
  • Shadowshaper Legacy- Book 1, Daniel José Older (Young Adult novel. Printed version available through MSMU Library).
  • PBS Latino Americans- Documentary -Selected Episodes. (Canvas-Pages).
  • PBS Blacks in Latin America. Dr. Henry Louis Gates-Documentary-Selected Episodes (Canvas-Pages).
  • Film: La Playa La Playa D.C. Director: Juan Andrés Arango García (MSMU Library).
  • Film: Pelo Malo. Director: Mariana Rondón (MSMU Library).
  • Film: Buena Vista Social Club. Director: Wim Wenders (MSMU Library).
  • Film: They Are We. Director: Emma Christopher. (MSMU Library).

CRW 256: Latin American Novella: Boom and Post Boom

Juana Moriel-Payne. Online. Sunday 1 P.M. - 5 P.M.

Course Description:     

In this class, the main goal is to complete the first draft of a novella, following the unique Latin America’s tradition that since the middle of the 20th Century has had a lively progress with the literary movement called the Boom and Post-Boom. We will read, analyze, and enjoy a set of novellas to better understand how Latin American writers transformed this universal-literary genre according to their own realities. At the same time, we will analyze their form, structure, and style to integrate or redefine Latin American writer’s narrative techniques. In general, we will be using mechanisms of the short story and the novel: a technique that combines intensity and expansion, elements that show contrary forces, and create a specific-unique rhythm, as Judith Leibowitz says in Purpose in the Novella. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials:

      Pre-Boom Novellas:

  • Brazil. Joao Gimaraes Rosa, My Uncle, The Jaguar
  • Uruguay. Felisberto Hernández, The Daisy Dolls
  • Cuba. Alejo Carpentier, The Road to Santiago/El camino de Santiago
  • Mexico. Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

      Boom Novellas

  • Colombia. Gabriel Garía Márquez, The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother/ La increíble y triste historia de la candidaEréndira y de su abuela desalmada.
  • Argentina. Julio Cortázar. The Pursuer/ El perseguidor

      Post- Boom Novellas

  • Colombia. Laura Restrepo, Tale of the Dispossessed/La multitud errante.
  • Puerto Rico. Ana Lydia Vega, Miss Florence’s Trunk/El baúl de Miss Florence
  • Argentina. Samanta Schweblin, Fever Dream/Distancia de Rescate
  • Colombia. Gloria Susana Esquivel. Animals at the End of the World/Animales del fin del mundo

Critical and Craft Readings:

  • Cass Canfield, Jr. Ed. Masterworks of Latin American Fiction: Eight Novellas (includes Gimares Rosa, Felisberto Hernandez, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez’s, Julio Cortazar, & Ana Lydia Vega’s novellas).
  • Leibowitz, Judith, Narrative Purpose of the Novella. Available @ msmu Library-Electronic Copy.
  • Sharon Oard Warner, Writing the Novella.
  • Additional Literary Criticism Materials available in Canvas-files

CRW 234: Screenwriting for Television

Brian McAuley. In-Person. Saturday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description: 

In this course, we will examine the ever-evolving format of the television/streaming series as you develop and write your own original pilot script. From treatments and pitches to story grids and outlines, you will learn and practice all the tools used by professional writers to both sell their own series and staff on someone else’s. Critical assignments will focus on deconstructing successful series pilots of various genres while workshop time will replicate the experience of a functioning series writers’ room. As such, there is a heavy workload not only of writing, but also of reading and critically responding to your fellow writers’ work. By the end of this course, you will have completed a revised pilot script and a comprehensive treatment for your own original series.

Required Texts:

The Hero Succeeds: The Character-Driven Guide to Writing Your TV Pilot by Kam Miller

PDFs of professional pilot scripts, outlines and pitch treatments will be provided via Canvas

CRW 233: Creative Writing Non-Fiction Writing I

Faculty. In-Person. Sunday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description:

In an interview with Leslie Jamison, writer Charles D'Ambrosio observes of his essays: "It’s a little spooky to realize how porous the personality is in writing ... so that things get revealed even when—or especially when—you haven’t given them much conscious thought. It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to indulge in a goopy confessional mode to write a personal essay—you’re more mysterious than you know, more naked than you imagine, and whether you intend it or not you’re going to be exposed." What does it mean to commit to self-exposure? How do writers occlude and invite? How do we channel and unchain the mystery in our own lives? In this creative nonfiction workshop, we'll write and workshop personal essays while reading work by Terry Castle, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Philip Lopate, Alexander Chee, Vivian Gornick, and others.

CRW 248: Special Topics: Experimental Women Writers

Faculty. In-Person. Sunday 1 P.M. - 4 P.M.

Course Description:

This seminar will explore the work of groundbreaking women writers whose novels, poetry, creative nonfiction, and screenplays defy categorization. What does it mean to deviate from literary or cinematic convention as a woman? How are outré works by women writers received by the literary community? Is there a distinctly female kind of experimentation? Whether these writers are considered renegades or forerunners, esoteric or innovative, their commitment to the avant-garde continues to pave the way for generations of female and non-binary artists. Kathy Acker, Octavia Butler, Miranda July, and Djuna Barnes are a few of the writers we’ll read.

 

SUMMER 2023 

CRW 299F: Studies in Publishing: Agents and Representation

Thomas Cook. Online. Friday 5 P.M. - 8 P.M.

Course Description:

Students will gain understanding of the exigencies of the agent-author relationship in today’s literary marketplace. The study of historical and current trends that guide literary agencies and their agents decision making process will be augmented by visiting literary agents who will discuss their approach to representation, their role in bringing a book from draft to saleable manuscript, and their relationship to editors and publishing houses which ultimately bring books to market. Students will also have the opportunity to pitch visiting literary agents.

Texts:

TBD

CRW 236: Playwriting

Johnny Payne. Online. Saturday 9 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Course Description: 

In this course, you will learn the primary components of playwriting: plot, story, thought, scene structure, and diction.  The reading focus will be modern and contemporary British playwrights:Caryl Churchill, Bola Agbaje, Sarah Kane, Camilla Whitehall, Nina Raine, Debbie Tucker Green, Tanika Gupta and Jez Butterworth.  You will also sharpen your critical skills in short responses that apply Sam Smiley’s concepts on playwriting to the plays we’ll be reading.  The course is a complete primer in the fundamentals of playwriting and stagecraft. 

Required Texts: 

David Ball, Backwards and Forwards

Sam Smiley, Playwriting: The Structure of Action

You will subscribe to the database Perlego, which contains the plays of all the listed playwrights (and thousands more).

CRW 223: Travel Writing and Latin American Chronicle: Beyond the Personal Essay.

Juana Moriel-Payne. Online. Sunday 9 A.M. - 12 P.M.

Course Description:

In this course we will combine the study and craft of both Travel Writing and Chronicle following a Global and the Latin American literary traditions, respectively. The Travel Writing will cover the Study Abroad course that the CRW department organizes every Summer and encompasses the reading of Travelogues, observations that will en in a journal, group discussions, and creative travel pieces. The second part of the course will cover the Latin American Chronicle, one that has included both personal and journalistic essay forms using a narrator/observer who is emotionally involved in his/her socio-historical narratives. In this sense, chroniclers are enunciators who transgress the official social representations by exposing social tensions and conflicts. Students will write chronicles (personal and journalistic essays) based on observation of their cultural environment and following each of the Latin American Chroniclers’ techniques and style. You may write in English, Spanish, or both.

Class Materials:

  • Two video documentaries about the Conquest of Peru and El Festival del Sol in Cuzco. (In Canvas)
  • “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance”, Bell Hooks. (In Canvas)
  • An excerpt from “Victors and Vanquished” in The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, Bernal Díaz del Castillo (Primary Source in Canvas).
  • Excerpts from The First New Chronicle and Good Government, Guaman Poma de Ayala (Primary Source in Canvas).
  • Flora Tristan-Utopian Feminist: Her Travel Diaries and Personal Crusade, Doris Beik& Paul Harold. (Selected chapters in Canvas)
  • Nicos Hadjicostis. Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler, Travel Book Awards.
  • “Travel Writing as A Literary Genre English Literature Essay”, Essays UK. (In Canvas)
  • Gertrude Bell, The Desert and The Sown. (Selected chapters in Canvas)
  • Naipaul, “A Resting Place for the Imagination” (Chapter 1 in the book, An Area of Darkness. In Canvas))
  • Thompson, “Part One”, (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream). (In Canvas).
  • Viviane Mahieux. Urban Chroniclers in Modern Latin America: The Shared Intimacy of Everyday Life. (Introduction, Chapters 1, 5, Appendices, pp. 171-185 & Afterword).
  • Linda Egan, Carlos Monsivaís. (Contents I: 1 & 2 in Canvas)
  • Mexico- Carlos Monsivaís, Tradition Hour,Carlos Monsivais.
  • Mexico - “I Don´t Laugh at Death,” Diego Enrique Osorno (In Canvas).
  • Venezuela - “Report from Something Like an Apocalypse,” Yéiber Román (In Canvas).
  • Chile - “The Million Names of María Chameleon,” Pedro Lembel (In Canvas).
  • Colombia - “Wikdi´s Journey,” Alberto Salcedo Ramos (In Canvas).