Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: We currently are not accepting applications to the online Master of Arts in Science Writing from students who reside in Alabama or Kansas. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

  • Homewood Campus

    490.652.06 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2806

    William Black

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/2 - 12/9

    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.

    This course combines Washington and Baltimore students by live video conference. The instructor will alternate locations.

    490.656.06 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2806

    Tim Wendel

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/8 - 12/8

    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.

    This course combines students from Washington and Baltimore by live video conference. The instructor will alternate locations.

    490.661.01 - Fiction Workshop

    $2806

    Jessica Blau

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/8 - 12/8

    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).

    490.683.01 - Voice in Modern Fiction

    $2806

    Eleanor Williams

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/3 - 12/10

    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.

    490.689.01 - Masters of Nonfiction

    $2806

    David Everett

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/10

    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.

    This current one-campus course may expand to a two-campus video-conference course if enrollment isn't sufficient at Homewood.

    490.690.06 - Travel Writing Workshop

    $2806

    Susan Eisenfeld

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/14 - 12/14

    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.

    While this course will hold some digital sessions, most class meetings will be onsite in Washington or Baltimore, connected by live video conference. The instructor will alternate locations and will arrange at least one class session with DC/Baltimore students together.

    490.801.01 - Thesis And Publication

    $2806

    David Everett
    Mark Farrington

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/8 - 12/8

    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.

    This final course is for MA in Writing students who have completed all required coursework, including core courses, electives, and workshops. Student should prepare a thesis draft before this course starts; the draft is due at the first class session. Registrants should submit a Thesis Planning Form at least a month before the term begins. See http://writing.jhu.edu for more Thesis information.

  • Washington DC Center

    490.652.56 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2806

    William Black

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/2 - 12/9

    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.

    This course combines Washington and Baltimore students by live video conference. The instructor alternates locations.

    490.654.51 - Fiction Techniques

    $2806

    Mark Farrington

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/3 - 12/10

    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.

    490.656.56 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2806

    Tim Wendel

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/8 - 12/8

    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.

    This course combines students from Washington and Baltimore by live video conference. The instructor will alternate locations.

    490.661.51 - Fiction Workshop

    $2806

    Joshua Rolnick

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/3 - 12/10

    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).

    490.671.51 - Nonfiction Workshop

    $2806

    Margaret Guroff

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/3 - 12/10

    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.

    490.684.51 - The Heritage Of Fiction I & II

    $2806

    Margaret Meyers

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/14 - 12/14

    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.

    This Fiction elective course covers writers and writing from before the 20th Century.

    490.689.56 - Masters of Nonfiction

    $2806

    David Everett

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/10

    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.

    490.690.56 - Travel Writing Workshop

    $2806

    Susan Eisenfeld

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/14 - 12/14

    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.

    While this course will hold some digital sessions, most class meetings will be onsite in Washington or Baltimore, connected by live video conference. The instructor will alternate locations and will arrange at least one class session with DC/Baltimore students together.

    490.699.51 - Magazine Style and Substance

    $2806

    Cathy Alter

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/2 - 12/9

    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.

    490.712.51 - Teaching Writing: Theory, Practice, & Craft

    $2806

    Mark Farrington

    Saturday 10:00 - 12:30; 9/5 - 12/12

    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.

    This course is offered on Saturdays so students from DC or Baltimore can attend.

    490.800.51 - Independent Study in Writing

    $2806

    Danielle Bryant

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/2 - 12/9

    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.

    Technology Fee: $175

    490.801.51 - Thesis And Publication

    $2806

    Edward Perlman
    David Everett

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 9/14 - 12/14

    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.

    This final course is for MA in Writing students who have completed all required coursework, including core courses, electives, and workshops. Student should prepare a thesis draft before this course starts; the draft is due at the first class session. Registrants should submit a Thesis Planning Form at least a month before the term begins. See http://writing.jhu.edu for more Thesis information.

  • Online Courses

    490.658.81 - Techniques of Science-Medical Writing

    $2806

    Melissa Hendricks

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.

    Science Writing students receive enrollment priority for this fully online course. Technology fee: $175

    490.674.81 - Science-Medical Writing Workshop

    $2806

    Nancy Lord

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.)

    Technology Fee $175

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

    $2806

    David Taylor

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.

    Science Writing students receive enrollment priority for this online course. Technology fee: $175

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

    $2806

    Brian Simpson

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.

    Science Writing students receive enrollment priority for this online course. Technology fee: $175

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

    $2806

    Melissa Hendricks

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.

    Technology Fee: $175

    490.754.81 - Specialized Science Writing Workshop

    $2806

    Ellen Ficklen

    Online 9/2 - 12/14

    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.

    Technology fee: $175 This specialized online workshop for Science Writing students focused on narrative writing in science, medicine, and technology.