Course Descriptions

  • Core Courses

    490.652 - Contemporary American Writers

    This course surveys issues and trends in recent fiction and nonfiction, with emphasis on the diverse work and methods of American writers publishing today. Students read and discuss contemporary writing and hear from Writing Seminars faculty or other accomplished writers. This core course focuses on developing skills to read as a writer, and it explores the similarities and differences between factual and nonfactual writing, including the roles of truth, accuracy, and reader expectation. This core course is required for all incoming fiction and nonfiction students and usually must be completed before students in those concentrations enroll in a writing workshop. This course replaces Contemporary Nonfiction as one of two nonfiction core courses.

    490.654 - Fiction Techniques

    Students examine in depth the elements of fiction, including point of view, plot, character development, and the forms of short stories and the novel. The course also introduces students to the writing process, the techniques of reading as a writer, and the workshop process. Readings usually include short stories, one or more novels, and books or articles on craft. Writing assignments may involve exercises, response writings, and one complete piece, either an original short story or novel chapter. Revisions also may be required. This core course is required for all incoming fiction students as a prerequisite to any workshop. Others may take it as an elective, although the program may limit the number of registrants from outside fiction.

    490.655 - Poetry Techniques

    This course offers an introduction to prosody and the technical elements of poetry with an emphasis on structural principles, metrical and syntactical rhythm, sound and rhyme, formal and stanzaic organization, and the use of figurative language. Students read and write poems exploring lyrical, narrative, and dramatic subjects. Writing assignments include exercises, imitations, responses, and original work.

    490.656 - Nonfiction Techniques

    The intensive reading and writing exercises of this course help students gather information and transform it into clear, creative prose — whether in literary essay and memoir or journalistic forms such as articles, reviews, or opinion. Reporting techniques include interviewing, personal observation, and examining documents. Writing techniques include structure, quotation, detail, word choice, transition, and revision. This core course is required for all incoming Nonfiction students prior to enrolling in a workshop. Students in fiction may consider this course as an elective.

    490.658 - Techniques of Science-Medical Writing

    This core course develops and hones the reporting, creative, and explanatory skills demonstrated by the best science-medical writers. The course features writing assignments and exercises in journalistic and literary writing, plus interviewing, ethics, and the use of scientific journals and databases. In some cases, students may be able to choose from a range of writing topics, including nature, technology, health, space, biology, medicine, or other technical or scientific issues. Science Writing students should complete this course before enrolling in any writing workshop. Enrollment is encouraged by other students interested in this growing professional and creative field.

    490.703 - Principles of Journalism

    (Also available as an elective for Nonfiction and Science-Medical Writing) Many of today's finest creative writers have backgrounds in journalism, with its emphasis on research, accuracy, clarity, ethics, and public responsibility. This craft course features intensive study and exercises in these and other elements, including news writing, interviewing, journalism history, objectivity, deadlines, competition, and professional standards. Students in nonfiction and science-medical writing without a background in journalism are urged to consider this course as an additional foundation for their broader creative writing goals. The course includes frequent writing assignments, lectures from practitioners, and exercises in-class and off-site, with analysis of online and print newspapers and newsmagazines, plus news broadcasts, blogs, and other forms. Some nonfiction and science-medical writing applicants or degree students may be urged to take this course to improve their writing samples or to help prepare for core courses or writing workshops. Fiction writers may consider this as an elective.

    490.750 - Contemporary Science-Medical Writing: Creative and Professional Forms

    This core course provides a broad foundation in the diverse forms and venues encountered in contemporary science writing careers. Students learn elements of classic forms such as essay, profile, news article, and op-ed, and examine the range of venues for science writing, including magazines, institutional publications, literary journals, blogs, speeches, and even museum exhibit text. The course covers the differing goals of various forms and how they might be used in multimedia, social networks, and other digital communication. Guest speakers present real-world expertise, with students engaged in discussion, exercises, and writing assignments.

    490.800 - Independent Study in Writing

    An independent study is a special project that an advanced student proposes to complete within a single semester, for either elective or workshop credit. Most independent studies in the Writing Program involve a student working one-on-one with a faculty member. The project must involve writing or writing-related work equivalent to a full-semester, graduate-level course, and the project must not duplicate any course or other part of the program’s curriculum. Students usually are not eligible to propose independent studies until they have completed at least five courses, including at least one workshop. The tuition for an independent study is the regular, single-course rate for the term in question. Proposals for an independent study must be submitted in writing to the program’s independent study coordinator no later than 60 days before the start of the target semester. Proposals are evaluated competitively after that date, and only a small number of proposals will be approved.

  • Non-Graduate Courses

    490.010 - Graduate Writing Techniques

    This non-credit course is designed for students in the Advanced Academic Programs or others who want to improve their general academic and workplace writing skills. The 20-hour course focuses on techniques that can be applied to classroom papers, reports, and theses, or to workplace projects and documents. The course features exercises in structure, language, usage, and form. Students critique each other's work in a writing workshop, and some students may be able to submit writing from courses in other programs. This course is not a creative writing workshop and is not designed for students who need help with English as a second language. This course is designed primarily for students from outside the M.A. in Writing Program. At publication time for this directory, the program was considering changes to or the possible elimination of this course.

    490.301 - Creative Writing

    This introductory course is designed for writing students who want to develop initial understandings of the elements of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing. Some students in this course will be exploring different fields to consider applying to a university writing program. Students will be able to focus on certain fields as they move ahead in the course, which offers opportunities to write and revise creative work, join in workshop discussion of that writing, and read extensively in the different forms. This course is offered only during select semesters and only with sufficient enrollment.

  • Thesis

    490.801 - Thesis And Publication

    This final course is required for all degree candidates in fiction or nonfiction and is offered only in the fall and spring terms. The two course goals are the completion of a successful thesis and an enriching, challenging capstone experience for the entire program. A creative writing thesis must be of considerable ambition and length — portions of a novel or a nonfiction or science-medical book, or a collection of poems, short stories, essays, or articles. Thesis students should select their best, most revised work from previous program courses; not all program writing will become part of a thesis. Students in this course are required to submit a full thesis draft early in the course; the author spends the term revising this draft. To provide extensive time for revision, thesis students meet as a class only for certain weeks during the term. During those class sessions, students contribute to and edit a class journal project, engage in forward-looking discussions on the writing life, participate in a program-capping roundtable discussion, and rehearse and conduct a public reading. Prerequisite: All other required and elective courses. Students may not take another course during their thesis term without program permission; such a course must be in addition to program requirements. Students enrolling in this course must submit a Thesis Planning Form at least 30 days in advance.

    490.802 - Thesis and Careers in Science Writing

    This course involves the revision of a program thesis and a final capstone experience that prepares a student for a science writing career. If possible, students should enroll in this final program course after completing all other cores, workshops, and electives. Thesis: Each student's thesis is created from writing in earlier courses. Students revise and refine an individual portfolio that includes creative writing, journalism, and communication writing. Students submit a Science Writing Thesis Planning Form at least one month before the course begins. Student should prepare a thesis draft before the course starts; the term is spent revising that work. Capstone: The group experience of the course requires each participant to develop a career plan that includes personal goals such as publication, job applications, or job advancement. Other capstone experiences may include attending science writing events or seminars, publication of a course magazine or journal, and discussions of the changing business of writing. The Science Writing Program also may propose an optional mini-residency that includes a series of final onsite experiences at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and Washington. (This thesis course applies only to the MA in Science Writing; for the MA in Writing, see 490.801.)

    490.888 - Thesis Continuation

    This course is only for Writing Program thesis students who completed 490.801 Thesis & Publication or 490.802 Thesis and Careers in Science Writing, but failed to finish an approved thesis and were not approved for an Incomplete. If both conditions are met, students must register for this course and pay its accompanying fee for every term (including Summer) until a final thesis is approved.

  • Workshops

    490.660 - Fiction Workshop

    Fiction Workshops concentrate on intensive writing and revision, with some required reading. As members of a general workshop, students submit short stories or novel chapters to their instructor and peers for critiques. Typically, two or three stories or chapters are submitted during a semester; revisions are usually required. Workshop participants also submit detailed critiques of their fellow students' writing. We recommend, but do not require, that students take at least one general workshop before progressing to more specialized workshops, and we urge students to take workshops from different instructors. Students may take Fiction Workshop up to three times, although specialized workshops also can count toward the requirement of three workshops for a master's degree. (See Writing the Novel Workshop).

    490.661 - Fiction Workshop

    Fiction Workshops concentrate on intensive writing and revision, with some required reading. As members of a general workshop, students submit short stories or novel chapters to their instructor and peers for critiques. Typically, two or three stories or chapters are submitted during a semester; revisions are usually required. Workshop participants also submit detailed critiques of their fellow students' writing. We recommend, but do not require, that students take at least one general workshop before progressing to more specialized workshops, and we urge students to take workshops from different instructors. Students may take Fiction Workshop up to three times, although specialized workshops also can count toward the requirement of three workshops for a master's degree. (See Writing the Novel Workshop).

    490.662 - Fiction Workshop

    Fiction Workshops concentrate on intensive writing and revision, with some required reading. As members of a general workshop, students submit short stories or novel chapters to their instructor and peers for critiques. Typically, two or three stories or chapters are submitted during a semester; revisions are usually required. Workshop participants also submit detailed critiques of their fellow students' writing. We recommend, but do not require, that students take at least one general workshop before progressing to more specialized workshops, and we urge students to take workshops from different instructors. Students may take Fiction Workshop up to three times, although specialized workshops also can count toward the requirement of three workshops for a master's degree. (See Writing the Novel Workshop.)

    490.663 - Poetry Workshop

    These general workshops provide an intensive writing experience in conjunction with appropriate reading. As members of a workshop, students submit poems to their instructor and to their peers for weekly critique sessions. Students are expected to spend their time generating new poems and revising others.

    490.666 - Combined Workshop & Readings in Science-Medical Writing

    This innovative new course allows students to earn either workshop or elective credit in Science-Medical Writing, in a single, combined course. Students seeking workshop credit submit writing in the usual manner; enrollees needing elective credit will complete extensive reading and exercises. At times, all students will engage together in workshop discussion or reading analysis. At other times, the two groups might separate for special attention to reading or the workshop. Students must complete Techniques of Science-Medical Writing or Nonfiction Techniques before enrolling in this course. (Registration Note: Science-Medical Writing students may enroll in this course if they need either workshop or elective credit toward their degree.)

    490.667 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Fiction

    This challenging course allows students to earn either Fiction Workshop credit or a Fiction reading elective credit in a single, combined course. Students seeking workshop credit will submit fiction in the usual manner. Students needing elective credit will complete extensive fiction reading and exercises. At times, all students will engage together in workshop discussion or reading analysis. At other times, the two groups might separate for special attention to reading or the workshop. The dual goal is to provide Fiction elective students with workshop experience as they earn reading course credit, while workshop students will enjoy the full writing critique process while also completing helpful reading along the way. Students must complete Fiction Techniques before enrolling in this course. (Registration note: Fiction students may enroll in this course if they need either workshop or elective credit.)

    490.668 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Nonfiction

    The innovative experience allows students to earn either Nonfiction Workshop credit or a Nonfiction reading elective credit in a single, combined course. Students seeking workshop credit will submit nonfiction in the usual manner; enrollees needing elective credit will complete extensive reading and exercises in factual writing. At times, all students will engage together in workshop discussion or reading analysis. At other times, the two groups might separate for special attention to reading or the workshop. The dual goal is to provide Nonfiction elective students with workshop experience as they earn reading course credit, while workshop students will enjoy the full writing critique process while also completing helpful readings along the way. Students must complete Nonfiction Techniques before enrolling in this course. (Registration note: Nonfiction students may enroll in this course if they need either workshop or elective credit.)

    490.669 - Combined Workshop in Nonfiction and Science-Medical Writing

    This course allows students in nonfiction and science-medical writing to earn a workshop credit in the same class. Students in both concentrations are urged to enroll. With the instructor's permission, students in one concentration may submit writing in the other concentration. For more information about the type of writing required for this course, see the descriptions for 490.670 Nonfiction Workshop and 490.673 Science-Medical Writing Workshop. This is NOT a workshop for writing only about science or medicine.

    490.670 - Nonfiction Workshop

    These general workshops give students extensive experience in writing and revising their factual work, regardless of topic or form. Submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor. Students typically submit two to four essays, articles, or book chapters; revisions are required. Reading and writing exercises also may be required. Students may take this workshop up to three times to meet the workshop requirement for a master's degree, although specialized workshops also meet that requirement.

    490.671 - Nonfiction Workshop

    These general workshops give students extensive experience in writing and revising their factual work, regardless of topic or form. Submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor. Students typically submit two to four essays, articles, or book chapters; revisions are required. Reading and writing exercises also may be required. Students may take this workshop up to three times to meet the workshop requirement for a master's degree, although specialized workshops also meet that requirement.

    490.672 - Nonfiction Workshop

    These general workshops give students extensive experience in writing and revising their factual work, regardless of topic or form. Submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor. Students typically submit two to four essays, articles, or book chapters; revisions are required. Reading and writing exercises also may be required. Students may take this workshop up to three times to meet the workshop requirement for a master's degree, although specialized workshops also meet that requirement.

    490.673 - Science-Medical Writing Workshop

    In a writing workshop, students receive professional guidance in translating complex scientific or medical knowledge and research into graceful, lucid prose. Students submit individual essays or articles, or parts of a larger work in progress. Writing submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor, then revised. Students are encouraged but not required to take this course from different instructors. (The three section numbers designate the term in which the workshop is offered. Students earn workshop credit by taking any section number multiple times, or by combining any sections.)

    490.674 - Science-Medical Writing Workshop

    In a writing workshop, students receive professional guidance in translating complex scientific or medical knowledge and research into graceful, lucid prose. Students submit individual essays or articles, or parts of a larger work in progress. Writing submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor, then revised. Students are encouraged but not required to take this course from different instructors. (The three section numbers designate the term in which the workshop is offered. Students earn workshop credit by taking any section number multiple times, or by combining any sections.)

    490.675 - Science-Medical Writing Workshop

    In a writing workshop, students receive professional guidance in translating complex scientific or medical knowledge and research into graceful, lucid prose. Students submit individual essays or articles, or parts of a larger work in progress. Writing submissions are critiqued by peers as well as by the instructor, then revised. Students are encouraged but not required to take this course from different instructors. (The three section numbers designate the term in which the workshop is offered. Students earn workshop credit by taking any section number multiple times, or by combining any sections.)

    490.679 - Experimental Fiction Workshop

    This specialized workshop introduces students to innovative forms and approaches in non-traditional or experimental fiction. It is designed for students who write, or wish to write, experimental fiction, and for students who generally write more traditional fiction but would like to stretch the boundaries of their work. Assignments challenge students to experiment with styles that differ from their previous work; extensive reading assignments come from the latest collections. The course generally follows a format similar to that of 490.660 Fiction Workshop, although readings and exercises take precedence during the first few weeks. The course is open to fiction students who have completed the fiction core courses. This course counts as one of the required three workshops for earning a master's degree in fiction.

    490.682 - Writing The Novel Workshop

    This specialized workshop is designed for students who are writing a novel. Students must submit a total of 40-75 pages of a novel in progress, plus a synopsis. Revisions also may be required. Included are readings and discussions on the particular demands of longer fiction. Prerequisite: Fiction Workshop, or permission of the program fiction advisor. (Enrollees also must have completed or waived the fiction core courses.)

    490.690 - Travel Writing Workshop

    The best travel writers weave a rich "sense of place"— a trait also crucial to literary fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction. The telling detail, apt metaphor, historical reference, cultural connection, and vivid character sketch, coupled with reflections that link these observations to broader themes, can elevate travel writing beyond the guidebook. In this specialized workshop, students complete exercises, hear guest speakers, and analyze the works of acclaimed writers such as Jan Morris, Barry Lopez, Ian Frazier, and Jonathan Raban. Students may be asked to visit an assigned nearby location to prepare writing. This workshop is intended for nonfiction and science-medical writing students and counts as a writing workshop. (Enrollees must have completed or waived nonfiction core courses.) Students in fiction or poetry may enroll with the permission of the program director or assistant director.

    490.692 - Profile and Biography Workshop

    Articles or books about people are a central component of contemporary nonfiction and science-medical writing. In this specialized workshop, students examine methods used in profile articles, biographies, and, to a lesser extent, fictionalized biographical accounts. Students usually write two or three profiles or biography chapters in this course, plus revisions. This course is open to nonfiction and science-medical writing students who have completed or waived both core courses in their concentrations.

    490.693 - Writing Memoir & Personal Essay Workshop

    Writers have long enjoyed a major impact on contemporary thought by producing compelling essays about personal experiences, feelings, or ideas. In this specialized workshop, students experiment with memoir and the personal essay as distinct forms and as an exploration of the self. Seminal essays are read to clarify students' thoughts and to help them develop their own voice and style in personal nonfiction. This course is open to nonfiction and science-medical writing students who have completed or waived both core courses in their concentrations.

    490.695 - Viewpoint Journalism Workshop

    This specialized workshop in nonfiction and science-medical writing combines extensive reading and writing in the area of opinion. Students explore the conventions governing effective editorials, personal columns, first-person writing, and other kinds of commentary. Specialists from different areas discuss their craft in guest lectures. This workshop is open to students who have completed or waived the nonfiction and science-medical writing core courses.

    490.698 - Writing the Review Workshop

    This specialized workshop focuses on writing reviews. Students learn that reviews and criticism require special writing skills and detailed knowledge. Students read and write reviews of various entertainment and art, including books, films, plays, television, and music. Students might be asked to attend films, concerts, and plays, or to critique certain books and recordings. This course is not focused on literary criticism. It is designed for nonfiction and science-medical writing students who have completed or waived core requirements; fiction or poetry students may enroll with the permission of the program director or assistant director.

    490.701 - Advanced Workshop

    An advanced workshop is offered occasionally to select students, depending on enrollment and available faculty. The course may focus on a special form or topic, or it may be led by a visiting writer, special instructor, or other experienced faculty member. The concentration in which this course is offered varies. In most cases, enrollment will be competitive, and new writing samples may be required. This workshop counts as one of the three required for the degree. Interested students should discuss this course with their advisor or the program's director or assistant director. Application information and other details for each Advanced Workshop will be presented in the appropriate term's Course Schedule. Prerequisite: At least one workshop in the student's concentration or permission of the program director or assistant director, plus approval through any special application process.

    490.746 - Workshop in Review and Opinion Writing

    This new workshop focuses on the writing of reviews and other opinion. From blogs to columns to editorials, opinion writing is a diverse field. Among the categories are reviews, which can focus on just about any art or item, including books, film, food, and music. Critics develop specialized knowledge to help readers assess how to spend money, time, or attention. Students might be asked to attend films, concerts, and plays, or to critique certain books and recordings. In the broader area of opinion, students explore conventions governing effective editorials, personal columns, or other kinds of commentary. Student must complete Nonfiction Techniques or Techniques of Science Medical Writing before enrolling, or receive permission from their advisor.

    490.754 - Specialized Science Writing Workshop

    This writing workshop follows the format of 490.673 Science-Medical Writing Workshop, but students will focus their writing on a special topic such as technology, science profiles, or science books. The topic for a Specialized Workshop will be announced in advance. This course may be taught by a visiting writer or other special instructor.

    490.756 - Advanced Science Writing Workshop

    This writing workshop follows the format of 490.673 Science-Medical Writing Workshop but is designed for students who have completed one or more earlier workshops and who want to focus on more sophisticated reporting and writing projects. This course may be taught by a visiting writer or other special instructor. At times, admission to this course may be based on a special application process.

  • Elective Courses

    490.676 - Sentence Power: From Craft to Art

    This craft elective focuses on revision at the sentence and paragraph level and is open to students of all concentrations. Through close reading and brief exercises, students learn various techniques to assemble sentences and establish syntactic relationships within paragraphs. Students imitate other writers, as well as revise, exchange, and discuss paragraphs or stanzas from their own work. Authors to be studied may include Updike, Munro, and Welty in fiction; Dillard, Maclean, and Mitchell in nonfiction; Brodsky, Hecht, and Bishop in poetry; and Thomas, McPhee, and Quammen in science and nature

    490.677 - Shakespeare: Art and Audience

    This reading elective focuses on Shakespeare's ability to create art of the highest quality while remaining entertaining to large audiences -- a goal that has proved elusive to many of today's writers. Students analyze how Shakespeare created dramatic and poetic traditions and was instrumental in shaping current prose fiction. The course involves reading, discussing, and possibly attending plays, as well as critical and creative writing options. This course may be offered in conjunction with festivals or other productions of Shakespeare's work.

    490.678 - Novel Form, Style, & Structure

    This craft elective is meant primarily for fiction writers, especially those writing or wishing to write a novel. Others, however, might find it of interest. The course focuses on a writer's analysis of novels, expanding the study of fiction into techniques and issues relating to the longer form. Topics include structure, character arcs, style, consistency of voice, techniques of backstory, and plot management. Class assignments may include response writings and original fiction as well as oral presentations. Readings usually include a number of novels, plus books or essays on novel craft.

    490.680 - 20th Century World Literature

    In this fiction reading course, stories or novels from such authors as Kafka, Beckett, Waugh, Marquez, Malamud, Coetzee, and Tanizaki are used to explain how different cultures may have different literary traditions but how the mechanisms of good writing are universal. Class assignments may include response writings and original fiction as well as oral presentations. While this elective may still be offered from time to time, its content is now included in 490.702 Readings in Global Fact and Fiction.

    490.681 - The Craft of Poetry: A Reading & Writing Workshop

    This course offers intensive study in poetry techniques, readings, and workshop. Poetry students who enroll earn full course credit for a core course, elective, or workshop, as needed. Content of this course will be targeted to the needs of students who enroll and to the strengths of differing instructors. some students may focus on workshop discussion of their poetry, while others may focus on reading or discussion. Some may choose both goals. To learn more about poetry, Fiction or Nonfiction students may take this course as an elective.

    490.683 - Voice in Modern Fiction

    This course explores how fiction writers create their own personality on the page, leading students to develop and refine their own writing voices. Student will consider how style, point of view, tone, word choice, structure, and culture all contribute to an author's or narrator's individual voice. In recognizing how authors use these elements, students engage in exercises to strengthen their own writers’ voices. Readings include novels, short stories, and other fictional work, as well as articles on craft. Class assignments may include response writings and original fiction as well as oral presentations.

    490.684 - The Heritage Of Fiction I & II

    This reading course examines the historical development of fiction craft, emphasizing the interrelationship of social and cultural development with the maturation of writing. Students learn to appreciate how contemporary authors have roots in the fiction of the past, and how they themselves might be inspired by those who came before them. The course requires extensive reading as well as creative and critical writing. Section I examines fiction before the 20th century; Section II examines the 20th century. Either section may be taken, and neither has to be taken in order.

    490.686 - Identity in Contemporary Writing

    This cross-concentration reading elective explores how personal identity is transformed into fiction, poetry, and essays. Writers studied include those whose race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability figure prominently in their work, as well as writers who ignore or dismiss such categorization. Students may be asked to write responses, creative pieces, craft analyses, or essays for discussion by the class. This course should be of interest to students of any concentration.

    490.687 - The Short Story: Past & Present

    This fiction reading elective begins with a brief review of the history and development of short fiction, moving to analysis of contemporary forms, trends, and practitioners. Featured authors may include Chekhov, Carver, Paley, Barthelme, Munro, and Dixon . The course focuses on intense reading, analysis, and discussion more than writing assignments. Students also may be asked to make class presentations and to review a range of literary journals.

    490.688 - The Evolution of Fiction Forms

    This reading/craft elective examines the formative genres of fiction. Students will read examples of romance, confession, anatomy, and novel and consider contemporary fiction in terms of these historical trends. The readings will range from ancient Egyptian tales and Greek romances to typically misplaced 19th century works such as Flaubert's The Legend of St. Julian the Hospitaller and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Colette, Camus, Julian Barnes, Stephen Dixon, and Lucy Ellmann also may be included in the reading. Students will respond to the readings with fictional pastiches reflecting the forms under study, culminating in a final hybridized project.

    490.689 - Masters of Nonfiction

    This reading elective allows students to analyze and discuss contemporary nonfiction and science-medical writing without the additional requirement of extensive writing assignments. While students write brief reviews and make a class presentation, the course largely involves reading and discussing such masters of the genre as McPhee, Wolfe, Didion, Talese, Kidder, and others. Extensive reading is required, and students should be prepared for significant class participation. This course is designed primarily for students in nonfiction and science-medical writing; fiction writers and poets also may find it of interest. The goal of the course is to develop reading and craft-analysis skills that will help writers grow throughout their lives.

    490.691 - Science Policy, Funding, and Politics

    This Residency course, intended to be onsite in Washington, D.C., explores how science, medicine, and technology can be affected by politics and practices within government, the private sector, and within the fields themselves. Students use the evolution of science policy as context for discussion, research, and writing about contemporary issues. Students will meet with leaders from Capitol Hill, the White House, and federal agencies.

    490.696 - The Nature of Nature

    This reading course focuses on Mother Nature, human nature, and the nature of the beast. Students analyze books, essays, and articles from writers who tell gripping, true stories about topics ranging from outdoor adventure to personal reflections on illness. Readings include authors such as Richard Selzer, Diane Ackerman, E.O. Wilson, Kay Redfield Jamison and John McPhee.

    490.697 - The Literature of Science

    In this reading elective, science-medical and nonfiction students analyze current and classic books, magazine articles, and newspaper series to discover how the best science, medical, nature, and environmental writers create compelling, entertaining, factual literature. Assignments may include craft reports, individual and team presentations, and extensive class discussion. The course covers a range of important writers from the past and from the contemporary era such as Erik Larson, Atul Gawande, Rachel Carson, John McPhee, James Gleick, Lewis Thomas, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Jonathan Weiner.

    490.699 - Magazine Style and Substance

    This reading and craft elective course is designed for nonfiction and science-medical writers. To improve as writers and learn about markets, students read, study, and discuss a range of contemporary mass-market magazines and magazine writing in print and online. Students write brief reports and deliver presentations, although the course involves a minimum of writing and a maximum of reading. Students focus on magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Discover, Harper's, The New Yorker, Slate, Outside, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Wired, as well as less-prominent digital and print publications. This course generally does not cover literary journals and is not focused on the publication of fiction or poetry.

    490.700 - Readings in Creative Nonfiction

    "This new elective course features intensive readings and discussion of Creative Nonfiction in its many forms. While the traditional essay, memoir, and article continue to be popular, Creative Nonfiction has reformed these traditions into sophisticated or experimental incarnations. Creative Nonfiction respects reader expectations for factual accuracy, but it also explores new approaches to narrative, factual expression, the blending of fact and fiction, and innovations in structure, theme, and form. Readings include short, medium, and book-length works, digital and in print. This elective course is not a workshop and focuses mostly on reading, discussion and team presentations. "

    490.702 - Readings in Global Fact and Fiction

    This elective course presents intensive readings in fiction and nonfiction from around the world. By discussing both fact and fiction, students learn how different cultures, values, and histories create differing literature. Readings will include a sampling from at least three continents, with specific texts announced in advance for each section. Fiction and nonfiction students earn elective credit in this course, which focuses on craft analysis and discussion but also may involve student and team presentations and a final project of creative or analytical writing. This course combines the content of the previous International Nonfiction and 20th Century World Literature.

    490.704 - Readings in Essay & Memoir

    This reading course focuses on essay and memoir both short and long, with the goal of deeper understanding of these popular writing forms. The course is designed for nonfiction and science-medical writing students; others may consider it with an advisor's permission. Only minor writing assignments or exercises are included. Students who want to submit their essays and memoir in a writing workshop should consider 490.693 Writing the Memoir and Personal Essay or regular nonfiction workshop.

    490.705 - Crafting Nonfiction Voice

    This craft elective should be of interest to nonfiction and science-medical writers. Through reading and writing exercises, students become familiar with the techniques of re-creating voices of others and of shaping a writing voice of their own. The skill to represent a person's character, mind, and feelings also is essential to ghostwriters, speechwriters, writing collaborators, feature writers, and novelists. This course focuses on the tools such writers use to craft a voice.

    490.707 - Prize Winners: The Best Writing About Science, Technology, Environment, & Health

    Whether the prize is a National Magazine Award, a Pulitzer, a Peabody award for electronic media, or other honors, the work in this course offers lessons in reporting and writing for any student. A special feature will be sessions with prize-winning authors, by video or tape, to discuss how they created their winning work. Readings and guests for each section of this course will be announced, but they might include Pulitzer-winners Diana Sugg, Siddhartha Mukherjee or Natalie Angier, Peabody winner Christopher Joyce, or National Book Award finalist Lauren Redniss. Students in this course join in team or individual presentations, with several options for a final writing assignment. Readings may include articles, essays, or books.

    490.708 - Medicine in Action

    This special Residency course based at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore allows writing students, program alumni, and others to experience the front lines of medicine. Participants spend time observing doctors and nurses in action and may be assigned to follow a practitioner during a full work shift at the hospital. The course also includes meetings with doctors, nurses, and patients, plus a final writing project. Previous sections of this course included meetings with winners of the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize.

    490.709 - Science in Action

    This residency course takes students to the front lines of science, labs, and current research, with a focus on developing writing ideas, reporting skills, and the craft of explanatory writing. Science in Action focuses on fields beyond medicine and health, including space, environment, energy, climate change, and other topics. The course involves field trips and lab visits, plus video and other links with visiting or out-of-town scientists. This Residency course may be held in Washington and Baltimore or in other locations, as announced.

    490.710 - In the Field: Science Writing in the Woods,Coasts, & Labs of Mt. Desert Is., ME

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, home to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, is a place of exquisite natural beauty. With thriving environmental science centers and a world-class genetics laboratory, the island is also a hub of cutting-edge research. This Hopkins Conference on Craft science-medical writing course allows participants to immerse themselves in the region's stimulating natural and intellectual environments while honing their reporting skills, refining their writing artistry, and gathering information for stories. Extensive field excursions will be announced. This condensed course provides residency credit for students enrolled in the online / low-residency Science-Medical Writing concentration.

    490.711 - Masterworks: Examining the Boundaries

    This cross-concentration reading course, designed for students of any concentration, focuses on a writer's analysis of masterworks in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and science-medical writing and how those forms may be combined in various hybrids. The course involves extensive reading and discussion to study matters of technique and to investigate the changing boundaries among the genres. This course may involve craft reports, response writing, and individual or team presentations, plus a final creative or critical work.

    490.712 - Teaching Writing: Theory, Practice, & Craft

    This elective course is for students in all concentrations who currently teach, would like to teach, or are curious to know what’s involved in teaching writing. The course combines practical aspects such as creating a syllabus and responding to student writing with an examination of the roles, values, and beliefs that contribute to good teaching. Students design two courses, one on teaching college-level writing or literature, and the other of the students choice. From this latter, they select a mini-lesson they teach to the class. This course may be offered online or onsite.

    490.713 - Fiction for Young Readers

    This elective course, covering fiction for children through young adults, combines lectures, reading, discussion, exercises, and some workshopping. Besides craft elements such as character, plot, voice, and humor, the course will address professional issues, such as markets, agents, and reader age groups. This course is not a workshop, but students will submit some writing for review. The course is designed as an elective for fiction students, who are urged to complete Fiction Techniques before enrolling. Students from outside the Fiction concentration must have the permission of the program fiction advisor before enrolling

    490.714 - Essence of Place: Description, Detail, and Setting

    This craft elective course, designed for students from any program concentration, focuses on how detail and setting combine with other techniques to create a sense of place in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Readings come from travel, short fiction, memoir, science, novels, nature, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Through reading, discussion, and writing exercises, student learn how to enhance the sense of place in their own writing. This course counts as an elective in nonfiction, fiction, or science-medical writing.

    490.716 - Reading Washington

    From Frederick Douglass to Gore Vidal, from Rachel Carson to Edward P. Jones, the nation’s capital has been the home of or setting for some of America’s finest writers and writing. This special, elective course focuses on everything in DC from mystery and politics to the inner city and the plight of immigrants. This course will meet for one week from June 15-21, 2014, in an all-day format; students must attend from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., plus some evening events. The reading will be cross-concentration, supplemented by author visits, field trips, and special surprises. Student should complete all reading before this intensive course starts. This course combines some events with students in the Science Writing Residency Course; both courses make up the 2014 Hopkins Conference on Craft. See http://writing.jhu.edu/craftconference for more information. $200 conference fee required.

    490.719 - Technology Tools, Multimedia, and Digital Publications for Writers

    This course is a practical, hands-on experience that teaches students tools and theories for multimedia and online writing and publication. Students learn basic design and digital tools for text, audio, photography, video, and social networks, with a special emphasis on adapting to changing technologies. To better understand websites, literary journals, magazines, and other digital publications, students will create their own digital sites or publications. This course also showcases various digital publications and sites that might offer publishing opportunities. This course may cover general writing topics and fields, or, as announced, it might focus on a specific field such as science writing, nonfiction, technology writing, or fiction.

    490.720 - Literary Journals & The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review

    This elective course focuses on the editing and production of the national literary and arts journal, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, which is housed at the Writing Program, and provides a general introduction to the world of print literary journals. Students work with Editor-in-Chief Rae Bryant to explore today's print and digital publishing markets through both writer and editor lenses. Student will read, discuss, and present prominent journals such as The Missouri Review, The Paris Review, The Hopkins Review, and Tin House; learn Content Management Systems (CMS) as necessary tools for today's writers and editors; read regular submissions to Eckleburg for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; curate artwork; and read entries in the Eckleburg award contest. Students may submit staff reviews for possible Eckleburg publication. This course counts as an elective for students from any program concentration, and students can enroll from either campus. The course will be at least half online but also will include in-person editorial meetings and opportunities for students to attend local events.

    490.721 - Drama & Playwriting

    This fiction craft elective involves intensive writing and reading to introduce students to basic elements of drama studies and playwriting. Students write part or all of a short play for class critique and may be asked to attend one or more local productions. The course is designed primarily for fiction students who have completed Fiction Techniques. Fiction students who have not completed that course or other students interested in this course must first get their advisor's permission and then contact the program fiction advisor for permission to enroll. Enrollees should recognize the extensive writing requirements of this course if they decide to pair it with a workshop.

    490.731 - Film & Screenwriting

    In this intensive writing course, students are introduced to the basics of film studies and screenwriting by reading scripts, examining films from a writer's perspective, and writing one or more short screenplays. Topics include dialogue, characterization, plot, subtext, and visual storytelling. The craft elective is designed primarily for fiction students who have completed Fiction Techniques. Fiction students who have not completed that course or other students interested in this course must first get their advisor's permission and then contact the fiction advisor for permission to enroll. Enrollees should recognize the extensive writing requirements of this course if they decide to pair it with a workshop.

    490.741 - Advanced Poetry Form & Meter

    This course offers an intense investigation of meter and form. Students read, write, and critique blank verse, ballad stanzas, sonnets, villanelles, and other forms, and investigate the ways in which contemporary poets work within the critical and historical traditions of formal verse.

    490.742 - Readings in Poetry

    This reading elective invites students to read closely and discuss the work of recent English-language poets and others who will be experienced in translation. The class will focus on extensive reading, analysis, and discussion, with occasional opportunities to write. Poets and prose writers are equally welcome to enroll.

    490.743 - Trends in Narrative Poetry

    For much of the past century, lyric poetic forms were favored so much that readers nearly forgot that narrative poems existed. But a closer look at Frost, Robinson, and Jeffers reveals the beginnings of modernist narrative that endures into the 21st Century. In this reading course, students focus on a broad selection of styles, forms, and subjects to explore narrative arc, character and scene development, dialogue, imagery, metaphor, and other elements. Fiction and poetry students are encouraged to enroll; this course will offer creative and critical writing opportunities.

    490.744 - International Poetry in Translation

    This elective reading course, offered to students in poetry and any other program concentration, features prominent international poetry and poetic forms from a variety of countries, cultures, and centuries. Featured poets may include Nobel winners Czeslaw Milosz, Wole Soyinka, or Derek Walcott. This course also will explore the theories and practices employed by contemporary writers such as Richard Wilbur, Charles Martin, and Rachel Haddas to translate poetry into English. The goal is to provide students inspiring, challenging exposure to new forms, styles, and approaches to verse.

    490.745 - Voice in Modern Fiction and Nonfiction

    In this new cross-concentration craft elective, students examine aspects of voice in fiction and factual writing, considering how style, point of view, tone, structure, and culture all contribute to an author's or narrator's individual writing personality. Students use exercises to strengthen the voices of the characters they portray or of their own work. Readings include novels, short stories, essays, articles and nonfiction books, as well as articles on craft. Class assignments may include response writings and original fiction or nonfiction as well as oral presentations. This course is the dual-concentration version of 490.683 Voice in Modern Fiction, which covers only fictional works, and 490.705 Crafting a Nonfiction Voice, which is for factual writing.

    490.747 - Advanced Revision Techniques in Fiction

    This elective course is designed to hone skills in the elements of fiction through an intensive revision process. The course is intended for fiction students who have a significant body of writing. All enrolling students must have completed at least one, and preferably two, fiction workshops.. The course explores in depth such techniques as expanding/slowing down/”exploding” a scene, defining and refining character and plot arcs, and using syntax and word choice to strengthen sentences. Students improve the use of these and other techniques by reviewing and revising their own writing. While some workshop methods will be employed, this course will focus more on specific techniques and exercises than a workshop-style evaluation of student writing.

    490.752 - Advanced Reporting & Writing in Science

    This course continues to build skills in writing and reporting about science, medicine, or technology. This elective course expands into more advanced techniques and also expands knowledge of longer or more sophisticated forms such as magazine essays, narrative nonfiction, and investigative reporting. Students will engage in reporting and writing exercises, which may be discussed in group workshops.

    490.784 - Reading and Writing New England

    From Emerson, Frost, Melville and Wharton, through such contemporary writers as John Updike, Marilynne Robinson, Tracy Kidder, and Elizabeth Strout, New England is rich in literary heritage. This cross-concentration reading and craft course for the Hopkins Conference on Craft in Bar Harbor, Maine, focuses on a writer's analysis of essays, poems, stories, or books set in or written by writers from this region. We'll cast a particular eye toward a sense of place, and we'll look at how works grow out of the New England literary tradition and how they connect to any literature from a particular region or culture. Participants write creative and reflective responses to the readings and discussions. This condensed course counts as an elective for students in any concentration.

    490.805 - Writing Internship

    "Advanced students in the Writing Program may propose an internship to receive on-the-job experience in writing or a writing-related profession. An approved internship receives one full course credit toward the MA in Writing degree. Students may propose to participate in existing internship programs, or they may arrange an individual internship. In most cases, students should have completed four or more courses toward their degree before seeking an internship, and proposals must be submitted in writing to the program’s internship coordinator at least 60 days before the start of the target term. Proposals are evaluated on a competitive basis. Only a limited number will be approved, and priority will be given to students who have completed the most degree-level courses and who submit proposals that demonstrate the best internship experience. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Because students receive course credit for internships, they pay tuition levels equal to one graduate course. "