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.)

  • Homewood Campus

    490.652.06 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2698

    William Black

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/26 - 5/4

    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.

    Connects with DC students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.654.06 - Fiction Techniques

    $2698

    Mark Farrington

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.

    Connects with DC students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.656.06 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2698

    Melissa Hendricks

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/28 - 5/6

    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.

    Connects with DC students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.662.01 - Fiction Workshop

    $2698

    Eleanor Williams

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.)

    490.668.06 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Nonfiction

    $2698

    Suzanne Fierston

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.)

    Connects with DC students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.676.01 - Sentence Power: From Craft to Art

    $2698

    Edward Perlman

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/27 - 5/5

    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

    490.718.01 - Studies in Digital, Intermedia, and Multimedia Forms

    $2698

    Danielle Bryant
    -STAFF-

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/26 - 5/4

    This new course exposes Fiction and Nonfiction students to the very latest forms and innovations arising from digital tools, new media, and collaborative arts. The course generally divides into seven weeks that focus on multimedia factual forms, including journalism, essays, and literary nonfiction, and another seven weeks that flow from creative writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Like a multimedia “reading” course, both parts provide models for student experience, discussion, and inspiration. A central theme will be how technology allows synergistic combinations such as fiction and photography, journalism and music, video and creative essays, or poetry, artwork, and music. While the course concentrates on exploring and discussing cutting-edge forms, students will be offered analytical and creative options for final projects that involve individual or cooperative expression.

    490.801.01 - Thesis And Publication

    $2698

    David Everett
    Mark Farrington

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.

    Thesis Planning Form required.

    490.888.01 - Thesis Continuation

    $500

    -STAFF-

    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.

  • Washington DC Center

    490.652.56 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2698

    William Black

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/26 - 5/4

    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.

    Connects with Baltimore students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.654.56 - Fiction Techniques

    $2698

    Mark Farrington

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.

    Connects with Baltimore students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.656.56 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2698

    Melissa Hendricks

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/28 - 5/6

    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.

    Connects with Baltimore students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.662.51 - Fiction Workshop

    $2698

    Margaret Meyers

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.)

    490.668.56 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Nonfiction

    $2698

    Suzanne Fierston

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/29 - 5/7

    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.)

    Connects with Baltimore students by video conference. Instructor alternates locations.

    490.672.51 - Nonfiction Workshop

    $2698

    Tim Wendel

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/28 - 5/6

    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.

    490.717.51 - The Novel in the 21st Century

    $2698

    Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/27 - 5/5

    This new course explores current trends in longer fiction, comparing innovative and traditional visions of the novel, as well as changing techniques of style, pace, character, structure, and language. The modern novel, in print or digital form, has expanded into interactivity, shaped text, alternative history, and graphic forms; new technologies allow broader experimentation uncurated by traditional publishers. For this course, readings might include novels with innovative forms, such as Cloud Atlas and A Visit from the Goon Squad, in which an entire chapter is delivered in PowerPoint, or novelists who experiment with language, such as Jamaica Kincaid in See Now Then, Peter Carey in The True History of the Kelly Gang, or David Foster Wallace and Mark Richard. We’ll also consider traditional novels influenced by culture, science, and history, such as McCarthy’s The Road or Ian McEwen’s The Children Act. In all, the course offers a strong and valuable context for students to understand the world of novel writing that many of them hope to enter, at the same time considering the traditions from which these innovative works have sprung. While this course is designed primarily for Fiction students, Nonfiction students will find it of value.

    490.718.51 - Studies in Digital, Intermedia, and Multimedia Forms

    $2698

    Danielle Bryant
    -STAFF-

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 1/26 - 5/4

    This new course exposes Fiction and Nonfiction students to the very latest forms and innovations arising from digital tools, new media, and collaborative arts. The course generally divides into seven weeks that focus on multimedia factual forms, including journalism, essays, and literary nonfiction, and another seven weeks that flow from creative writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Like a multimedia “reading” course, both parts provide models for student experience, discussion, and inspiration. A central theme will be how technology allows synergistic combinations such as fiction and photography, journalism and music, video and creative essays, or poetry, artwork, and music. While the course concentrates on exploring and discussing cutting-edge forms, students will be offered analytical and creative options for final projects that involve individual or cooperative expression.

    490.801.51 - Thesis And Publication

    $2698

    David Everett
    Mark Farrington

    Tuesday 6:15 - 8:45; 1/27 - 5/5

    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.

    Thesis Planning Form required.

    490.888.51 - Thesis Continuation

    $500

    -STAFF-

    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.

  • Online Courses

    490.658.81 - Techniques of Science-Medical Writing

    $2698

    -STAFF-

    Online 1/26 - 5/9

    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.

    Technology fee: $150

    490.675.81 - Science-Medical Writing Workshop

    $2698

    -STAFF-

    Online 1/26 - 5/9

    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.)

    For Science Writing students only. Technology fee: $150

    490.697.81 - The Literature of Science

    $2698

    Arthur Hirsch

    Online 1/26 - 5/9

    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.

    For Science Writing students only. MA in Writing students must have permission to enroll. Technology fee: $150

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

    $2698

    -STAFF-

    Online 1/26 - 5/9

    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.

    For Science Writing students only. Technology fee: $150