Course Descriptions

MA in Writing (Fiction and Nonfiction)

The following courses are offered onsite in Washington, DC, and Baltimore for Fiction & Nonfiction students, who receive enrollment priority by concentration.

Degree Requirements: Two Core courses, three Workshops, three electives, followed by Thesis & Publication. Course numbers for general workshops distinguish between the offerings in the three terms of an academic year and do not indicate that workshops are sequential or that students need to take workshops with a different number to meet degree requirements. Because the numbering scheme is repeated every year, it is conceivable that a student’s three completed workshops will have the same course number. Students may take only one workshop per term.

  • Core Courses

    490.652 - Contemporary American Writers

    This foundation 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.

    490.654 - Fiction Techniques

    In this foundation course, students explore the elements of fiction, including point of view, plot, character, setting 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 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. Nonfiction students may take it as an elective, although the program may limit the number of registrants from outside the fiction concentration.

    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 foundation course help students gather information and transform it into clear, creative prose – whether in literary essay and memoir or journalistic forms such as profiles, 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. Fiction students may consider this course as an elective.

  • Non-Graduate Courses

    490.010 - Graduate Writing Techniques

    This non-graduate course is designed for students in the Advanced Academic Programs or others who want to improve their general academic and workplace writing skills. The 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.

  • Thesis

    490.801 - Thesis And Publication

    This final required 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 Writing Program. A creative writing thesis must be of considerable ambition and length — portions of a novel or a nonfiction book, or a collection of 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. Thesis students submit a full thesis draft in the first week of 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 create a class literary journal, 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 should submit a Thesis Planning Form at least 30 days in advance. For more information about the thesis course and process, see the Writing Program website under Program Resources.

    490.888 - Thesis Continuation

    This course is for 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, if possible. 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. The 660-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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, if possible. 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. The 660-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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, if possible. 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. The 660-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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.

    490.667 - 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 expose Fiction elective students to the workshop experience as they earn reading course credit, while workshop students enjoy the full writing critique process as they complete helpful reading. Students must complete Fiction Techniques before enrolling in this course. Fiction students earn either workshop or elective credit for this course.

    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, while workshop students enjoy the full writing critique process as they complete helpful reading. Students must complete Nonfiction Techniques before enrolling in this course. Nonfiction students earn either workshop or elective credit from this course.

    490.669 - Combined Workshop in Nonfiction and Fiction

    This course allows students in nonfiction and fiction to earn a workshop credit in the same class. Students in both concentrations and from either Washington or Baltimore are urged to enroll. In most cases, this course will have a separate instructor in each concentration who will form smaller workshop groups. Those groups will then workshop material in innovative ways, including digital discussion, video conferencing, phone conferencing, or one-on-one discussion with the instructor. These workshops groups sometimes do not meet each week at a set day and time, making this course more flexible and convenient to students from different campuses. Students need advisor permission to enroll in this course.

    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, exercises and readings also are required. Students may take this general workshop or any specialized workshop to meet the requirement of three workshops for the MA in Writing. The 670-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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, exercises and readings also are required. Students may take this general workshop or any specialized workshop to meet the requirement of three workshops for the MA in Writing. The 670-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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, exercises and readings also are required. Students may take this general workshop or any specialized workshop to meet the requirement of three workshops for the MA in Writing. The 670-1-2 sequential numbering of workshops relates only to the three annual academic terms and does not indicate cumulative coursework.

    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, or 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 writing; 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 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. This course counts as one of the required three workshops in fiction.

    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 nonfiction 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 counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Enrollees must have completed or waived the nonfiction core courses. Fiction students may enroll only with program permission.

    490.692 - Profile and Biography Workshop

    Articles or books about people are a central component of contemporary nonfiction. 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 workshop counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Enrollees must have completed or waived the nonfiction core courses. Fiction students may enroll only with program permission.

    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 nonfiction workshop, students experiment with memoir and the personal essay as distinct forms and as explorations 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 workshop counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Enrollees must have completed or waived the nonfiction core courses. Fiction students may enroll only with program permission.

    490.695 - Viewpoint Journalism Workshop

    This specialized workshop in nonfiction 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 counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Enrollees must have completed or waived the nonfiction core courses. Fiction students may enroll only with program permission.

    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 or 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. This workshop counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Enrollees must have completed or waived the nonfiction core courses. Fiction students may enroll with program permission.

    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. 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 factual 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. Students usually should complete the nonfiction core courses before enrolling in this workshop. This workshop counts as one of the three required for a nonfiction degree. Fiction students may enroll with program permission. This course combines content from Writing the Review Workshop and Viewpoint Journalism Workshop.

  • 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 fiction or nonfiction students. 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 revisions of their own work. Authors to be studied may include Updike, Munro, and Welty in fiction, and Dillard, McPhee, or Didion in nonfiction.

    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. 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 - Global Voices: Fiction from Around the World

    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, some of its fiction content is now included in 490.702 Readings in Global Fact and Fiction.

    490.681 - The Craft of Poetry: An Introduction for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers

    This popular elective course helps fiction and factual writers apply the techniques, vision and benefits of poetry to their writing. Through reading, discussion and writing, students explore the lessons of free verse and formal poems, especially their careful attention to language, rhythm, theme, and other tenets of poetic craft. This course engages those with experience in poetry, as well as those new to the field. As part of this course, students will write and workshop poems with their classmates. This onsite course also may involve some online interactivity.

    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 writing 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

    The two separate sections of this reading course examine 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 and beyond. Either section may be taken, and neither has to be taken in order. The section being offering will be specified in the course schedule. Each section has separate course material.

    490.686 - Identity in Contemporary Writing

    This cross-concentration reading elective explores how personal identity is transformed into fiction stories or nonfiction 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.

    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. Readings 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 masterworks of factual prose 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 prominent writers such as McPhee, Baldwin, Didion, Talese, Boo and others. Extensive reading is required, and students should be prepared for significant class participation. This course is designed primarily for students in nonfiction, but fiction writers also will find it of interest. The goal of the course is to develop reading and craft-analysis skills to help writers grow throughout their careers.

    490.699 - Magazine Style and Substance

    This reading and craft elective is designed for nonfiction writers. To improve as writers and learn about markets, students 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 Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Discover, Harper’s, The New Yorker, Salon, 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 elective course features intensive readings and discussion of Creative Nonfiction in its many current 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 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 nonfiction course is not a workshop.

    490.702 - Readings in Global Fact and Fiction

    This cross-concentration 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 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 courses.

    490.703 - Principles of Journalism

    Many of today’s finest creative writers have backgrounds in journalism, with its emphasis on research, accuracy, clarity, ethics and public responsibility. This course features intensive study and exercises in these and other elements, including news writing, interviewing, journalism history, objectivity, deadlines, competition and professional standards. Students without a background in journalism are urged to consider this course as an additional foundation for broader creative writing goals. The course includes writing assignments, lectures from practitioners, and exercises in-class and off-site, with analysis of online and print newswriting ranging from broadcasts to blogs. Some program 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. (This elective course also is an optional core course.)

    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 students; others may consider it with an advisor’s permission. Only minor writing assignments or exercises are included. Students who want to submit essays and memoir in a writing workshop should consider 490.693 Writing the Memoir and Personal Essay Workshop or a general Nonfiction Workshop.

    490.705 - Crafting Nonfiction Voice

    This craft elective is for factual writers. Through reading and writing exercises, students learn 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.

    490.711 - Masterworks: Examining the Boundaries

    This cross-concentration reading course, designed for fiction or nonfiction students, focuses on a writer’s analysis of masterworks in fiction, nonfiction, nature, travel or poetry – and how those forms may be combined in various hybrids. The course involves extensive reading and discussion of technique and the changing boundaries among the genres. The format includes 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 fiction or nonfiction students 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 student’s choice. The latter assignment results in a mini-lesson taught to fellow students. This onsite course is designed for Writing Program students; a separate, online version is offered in the new Hopkins graduate program in Teaching Writing.

    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 addresses 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. Nonfiction students must have program permission to enroll.

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

    This craft elective, 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 or other forms. Readings come from travel, short fiction, memoir, science, novels, nature, poetry and creative nonfiction. Through reading, discussion and writing exercises, students learn how to enhance the sense of place in their own writing. This course counts as an elective in nonfiction or fiction.

    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. The reading will be cross-concentration, supplemented by author visits, field trips and special surprises. This course is designed for Washington, D.C., sessions of the Hopkins Conference on Craft.

    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 - Technology Tools, Multimedia and Digital Publications for Creative Writers

    This course explores the tools and theories of multimedia storytelling, with examples from cutting-edge digital media, guest lectures by communicators, and lots of hands-on practice. Students critique pieces from the real world to learn how multimedia is being used today. They become familiar with tools to create stories using photos, illustrations, audio, video, animation and data visualization, and they learn about platforms where this content can find an audience. Each student creates a multimedia package around a single story to be published in an online magazine. This onsite course in Baltimore or Washington is for Writing Program students and focuses on fiction and nonfiction. A separate online course, 490.719, is designed for Science Writing students, focusing on science, medicine or technology.

    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. Others, including those in nonfiction, need program permission to enroll. Registrants 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. This craft elective is designed primarily for fiction students who have completed Fiction Techniques; others should obtain program permission before enrolling. Registrants 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 course features extensive reading, analysis and discussion, with occasional opportunities to write. Fiction or nonfiction 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 Fiction and Nonfiction

    In this 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 their individual styles or the voices of the characters they portray. 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, for factual writers.

    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.

    490.784 - 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. Participants write creative and reflective responses to the readings and discussions. This condensed course counts as an elective for students in any concentration.

    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 or other writer or editor. The project must involve writing, reading or writing-related work equivalent to a full-semester, graduate-level course, and the project should 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 should be submitted in writing to program leadership 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. This course number is only for Writing Program students. Science Writers should consider 490.807.

    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 – usually an elective. Students may propose to participate in existing internship programs, or they may arrange a unique experience. 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 program leadership 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 academic course credit for internships, they pay tuition levels equal to one graduate course.