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

    Meghan Kenny

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/28 - 12/11

    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

    Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/31 - 12/14

    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.

    490.656.06 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2918

    John Woods

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/30 - 12/13

    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.

    490.661.01 - Fiction Workshop

    $2918

    Elise Levine

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/29 - 12/12

    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.

    490.670.06 - Nonfiction Workshop

    $2918

    Karen Houppert

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/30 - 12/13

    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.

    490.690.06 - Travel Writing Workshop

    $2918

    Alexandra Viets

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/31 - 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 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.

    Course can count as a workshop or an elective.

    490.692.01 - Profile and Biography Workshop

    $2918

    Karen Houppert

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/29 - 12/12

    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.

    Digital and film media employed in this course.

    490.801.01 - Thesis And Publication

    $2918

    Eleanor Williams

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/29 - 12/12

    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

    Meghan Kenny

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/28 - 12/11

    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

    Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/31 - 12/14

    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.

    490.656.56 - Nonfiction Techniques

    $2918

    John Woods

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/30 - 12/13

    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.

    490.661.51 - Fiction Workshop

    $2918

    Rion Scott

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/30 - 12/13

    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.

    490.670.56 - Nonfiction Workshop

    $2918

    Karen Houppert

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/30 - 12/13

    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.

    490.687.51 - The Short Story: Past & Present

    $2918

    Margaret Meyers

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/31 - 12/14

    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.

    490.690.56 - Travel Writing Workshop

    $2918

    Alexandra Viets

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/31 - 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 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.

    Course can count as a workshop or as an elective.

    490.731.51 - Film & Screenwriting

    $2918

    Brian Price

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/28 - 12/11

    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.

    Must have taken either Fiction Techniques or Nonfiction Techniques, unless receive permission from Director or Assistant Director of Writing program.

    490.801.51 - Thesis And Publication

    $2918

    Edward Perlman

    Monday 6:00 - 8:30; 8/28 - 12/11

    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.