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.)

Notice for Writing Program students: Early registration usually guarantees students get the courses they want. Certain courses combine students from two campuses using online tools and video-conferencing equipment. Click for full course descriptions. Is your desired course full? Slots are likely to open up in courses especially in the last week or two before classes begin. For real-time status, please go to SIS. Keep checking back!

  • Homewood Campus

    490.652.06 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2918

    Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/17

    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 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.

    490.654.06 - Fiction Techniques

    $2918

    Joshua Rolnick

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/6 - 12/13

    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.

    490.661.01 - Fiction Workshop

    $2918

    Rion Scott

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/17

    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.

    490.668.01 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Nonfiction

    $2918

    Karen Houppert

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/11 - 12/18

    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.

    490.702.06 - Readings in Global Fact and Fiction

    $2918

    William Black

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    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.

    490.801.01 - Thesis And Publication

    $2918

    Eleanor Williams

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/11 - 12/18

    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.

  • Washington DC Center

    490.652.56 - Contemporary American Writers

    $2918

    Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/17

    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 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.

    490.654.56 - Fiction Techniques

    $2918

    Joshua Rolnick

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/6 - 12/13

    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.

    490.661.51 - Fiction Workshop

    $2918

    Michelle Brafman

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/10 - 12/17

    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.

    490.665.51 - Combined Workshop and Readings in Memoir

    $2918

    Cathy Alter

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/11 - 12/18

    Writers have long enjoyed a major impact on contemporary thought by producing compelling essays about personal experiences, feelings, or ideas. This innovative experience allows students to earn either Nonfiction Workshop credit or a Nonfiction reading elective credit in a single, combined course. The workshop component allows students to experiment with memoir and the personal essay as distinct forms and as explorations of the self, while the reading component focuses on essay and memoir both short and long, with the goal of deeper understanding of these popular writing forms. Students may count this course as either a workshop or an elective, depending on their needs. There is no prerequisite for students in the Nonfiction concentration; students in other concentrations or programs must seek permission from their advisor and the Writing Program director.

    490.676.51 - Sentence Power: From Craft to Art

    $2918

    Edward Perlman

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    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.

    490.702.56 - Readings in Global Fact and Fiction

    $2918

    William Black

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    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.

    490.748.51 - Advanced Workshop in the Novel

    $2918

    Eleanor Williams

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/6 - 12/13

    This course is for students who have made significant progress on a novel and are looking for help in bringing the book closer to completion. “Significant progress” here might mean you’ve written a hundred pages, or it could mean you’ve finished a complete draft. This hybrid course will meet 3-5 times onsite; during the rest of the course, students will work one-on-one with the instructor on issues particularly relevant to the novels they are writing. Class discussions may focus on general concepts of novel structure, plot points and character arcs, along with advice on publishing. There may be some workshop aspects, but the bulk of the course will focus on one-on-one interaction with the instructor giving singular attention to each individual student’s novel. While students who have completed Fiction Techniques and one previous Fiction Workshop will be on firmer ground in this course, there are no prerequisites; any student who has made “significant progress” on a novel may enroll.

    490.801.51 - Thesis And Publication

    $2918

    Edward Perlman

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/17

    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.

    490.805.51 - Writing Internship

    $2918

    Mark Farrington

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:01; 9/5 - 12/18

    Advanced students in the MA in 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.