ENG 292/WRT 292 Fall 2013

Creative Writing

Syllabus

Olivia Archibald (Creative Nonfiction)

Office: O’Grady Library U3

438-4357

E-mail: oarchibald

@stmartin.edu

 

Office Hours:

Mondays: 1-4 pm

Fridays: 11-noon; 1-2 pm

Other hours by appointment.

Jamie Olson (Poetry)

Office: OM 352

438-4302

E-mail: jolson@stmartin.edu

 

Office Hours:

MWF: 10-11 am

Thursdays 9-11 am

Other hours by appointment.

Course Description

ENG 292/WRT 292 CREATIVE WRITING offers the opportunity to study and create original work in two distinct, yet related, forms: creative nonfiction and lyric poetry. Readings and writing assignments address the fundamentals of the art of the narrative (such as plot, setting, dialogue, character, voice, and style), and the art of verse (such as metaphor, rhythm, assonance, consonance, rhyme, and meter). Assignments are designed to foster habits and practices common to experienced writers.

 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS/READINGS

Also:

 

 

 

COURSE GOALS & OUTCOMES

 

During this course, students will:

Further develop and practice creative writing skills in the two specific genres of the course: creative nonfiction and poetry (major writing assignments, weekly drafts, daily writing practice).

Deepen understanding of typical conventions of and possible strategies employed in the two specific genres of the course through activities that position students as both reader and writing practitioner of these genres (reading assignments, major writing assignments, weekly drafts, class discussion and other activities, daily writing practice).

Further develop skills of collaboration and leadership (peer writing group work and other group projects).

Practice a writing process of multiple drafts, peer editing groups, and revision (weekly drafts, weekly writing group meetings, projects 1-2). 

Further develop skills in appropriate writing responses to a variety of situations and assignments calling for creativity and product while honoring the demands of a deadline (projects, workshops, reflective writing exercises and other class activities, daily writing practice).

Hone skills in oral presentation (presentation of writing at two "coffeehouse" sessions during the semester).

Hone skills in assessing one’s writing as well as developing a critical awareness of oneself as a writer (editing activities). 

 

 

REQUIREMENTS

ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION: We don’t have many classes, so much of the success of this course will depend on the quality and quantity of your preparation for and participation in class. Please arrive at class focused, ready to work on your own writing and prepared to help your peers with theirs. We start on the minute (and we’ll also end on time). You are responsible for all material covered in class. If you must be late or absent, be sure to find out what was covered and what has been assigned.

30% of your final grade will be based on your participation in the class and your weekly writings which are due at the beginning of class (no late papers accepted).

Please reserve absences for genuine emergencies. You may miss two classes for any reason without penalty. Your attendance/participation grade will be calculated according to the following formula: if you attend and participate in all the classes, or you only miss one or two, you’ll get an A in participation if you are turning in the weekly writing assignment (3 copies total) each night of class. If you miss three or more classes, you will not pass the course.

Warning: If you miss more than two classes, you will fail the course. So, please check your schedule now.

    1. WRITING PORTFOLIOS: The major work of the class consists of two portfolios, one for each of the two genres. You will turn in your portfolios once at midterm and once at the end of the semester. By the second deadline, you will have produced final drafts of two creative nonfiction pieces and eight poems. See syllabus for due dates.
    2. WEEKLY WRITING: Due each week at the beginning of class is a draft of the writing pieces you are working on in each genre. Three copies due: two for us, and one for your writing group.
    3. CAUTION: No late work accepted. No handwritten work. You should bring 3 copies of each piece every week: one for Archibald, one for Olson, and one for your group writing colleagues, meant to share.

      .

    4. WRITING PRACTICE: We expect that you will develop a regular "writing and reading practice": a daily time that you commit to reading as well as writing a quota of words per day. What you generate in your writing practice is for your eyes only. We will not ask to see it, though we may ask you how your practice is going from time to time. Your writing practice will allow you to produce the raw material you subsequently turn into the drafts – and eventually the finished pieces – you submit to us. Having a regular writing practice not only ensures that you will produce writing on a regular basis (and not just at the last minute under deadline); it means that the writing you share with your peers and turn in to us is always (at minimum) your second draft. You’ll turn in better work, and we’ll all save a lot of time...

REVISIONS

Good writing does not happen without revision. We expect that everything we see from you will have been revised at least once before you come to class.

It is your responsibility to seek feedback—from your professors, your colleagues, the Writing Center, etc.—on your writing and to use that feedback to improve the quality of further drafts.

 

YOUR FINAL GRADE WILL BE DETERMINED USING THESE PERCENTAGES:

Participation, weekly writings, & oral readings 30%

Creative Nonfiction Portfolio 35%

Poetry Portfolio 35%

______________________________________________

100%

Cautionary Tales:

 

GRADING CRITERIA FOR WRITING PORTFOLIOS

We will use the following criteria in grading your creative nonfiction and poetry portfolios:

A Your final pieces are of impressive quality and demonstrate your grasp of the conventions of the forms. It’s clear from your final pieces that you have actively sought editing help from others and are the work of much revision. You have met all due dates for all assignments.

B Your final pieces are good, though perhaps flawed in some significant way. Your writing evidences a strong understanding of the forms, but still needs work. They provide evidence of effort, progress, and some attention to comments from peers and/or the instructors. You have met all due dates for all assignments.

C Your final pieces are reasonably coherent and show a basic understanding of the forms. You have met, for the most part, due dates of papers and weekly writings.

D/F Work is incomplete or inadequate.

PLAGIARISM

We expect all written assignments to be the product of your own work, unless you clearly state otherwise.

We encourage you to work together, collaborate on projects, and help each other to complete written and other assignments. However, if you use extensive passages or major ideas developed by a classmate – or incorporate the published words or major ideas of authors outside our class – you are expected to credit your sources. You don’t have to footnote everything, but, please, err on the side of caution, graciousness and generosity.

Representing the words and/or ideas of others as your own is plagiarism. This class abides with the policy on plagiarism as detailed in the University’s Student Handbook. If you plagiarize, you will receive an F on the assignment, you may receive an F for the course, and the University may take disciplinary action against you.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have medical and/or safety concerns to share with one of us, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please let one of us know as soon as possible.

 

SYLLABUS, Creative Writing, Fall 2013

Thursday, Aug. 29

  • Introductions
  • Creative nonfiction and lyric poetry
  • Portfolio assignments

    Groups: Rituals and Writing

     

    Thursday, Sept. 5

    DEFINING CREATIVE NONFICTION AND OPEN FORM POETRY

    (with a little "writers’ habits" tossed in)

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Finding Focus" and "Reading to Write" (11-65)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Starkey, "Writing Short Creative Nonfiction" (170-182)
  • Strand & Boland, "Open Forms" (259-88)
  • HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • First three pages of creative nonfiction piece
  • Ode, elegy, or pastoral poem
  •  

    Thursday, Sept. 12

    NARRATIVES AND BLANK VERSE

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Parts of Narrative" and "Parts of Poems" (67-91)
  • Strand & Boland, "Blank Verse" (101-20)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Scott Russell Sanders’ "Grub"
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: N. Scott Momaday’s "The Way to Rainy Mountain"
  •  

    HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • First five pages of creative nonfiction piece –underline new material/revisions
  • Poem in free verse
  •  

    Thursday, Sept. 19

    IMAGES AND SESTINAS

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Images" (117-71)
  • Strand & Boland, "The Sestina" (21-42)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: E.B. White’s "Once More to the Lake"
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: George Orwell’s "A Hanging"
  • HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • Seven pages of creative nonfiction piece –underline new material/revisions from last draft turned in.
  • Poem in blank verse
  • Thursday, Sept. 26

     

    Lambert Lodge Writing Workshop

    5 pm Thursday through 5 pm Friday

    HAVE READ:

  • First half of Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones
  • 24-hour workshop with some sleep

    • 6-9 pm : Potluck, guest speaker, and quiet individual writing
    • Other hours – what fits your schedule

    Thursday, Oct.3

     

     

    CREATIVE NONFICTION: PERSONAS, PEOPLE, POETICS, AND PROBLEMS

    HAVE READ:

  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Starkey, "Writing Short Creative Nonfiction" (182-207…finish it)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Alice Walker’s "Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self"
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Annie Dillard’s "Death of a Moth" (Moodle post)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Joan Didion’s "On the Road" (Moodle post)
  • HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • Complete draft of 2nd creative nonfiction piece and a pair of scissors
  • Sestina
  • Thursday, Oct. 10

    NO CLASS

  • Individual conferences with instructors
  • Have read: Sellers, "Revision" (359-85)
  • Look over: Two more definitions of creative nonfiction given by Phillip Lopate (POSTED IN MOODLE) and Philip Gerard (POSTED IN MOODLE)
  •  

    Thursday, Oct. 17

     

    ENERGIES AND VILLANELLES

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Energy" (172-204)
  • Strand & Boland, "The Villanelle" (5-20)
  •  

    HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • Revised draft of one poem
  • (ode, elegy, pastoral, free verse, blank verse, or sestina)

    Thursday, Oct. 24

     

     

    Monk’s Bean Café

  • Five-minute reading from portfolio(s)
  • DUE:
    • Creative Nonfiction Portfolio in folder (final draft of first creative nonfiction piece with all earlier drafts)
    • Poetry Portfolio in folder (four poems with all earlier drafts)

    Assignment: SECOND CREATIVE NONFICTION ESSAY

    Thursday, Oct. 31

     

     

    PATTERNS AND STANZAS

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Pattern" (264-303)
  • Strand & Boland, "The Stanza" (136-55)
  • HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • Villanelle
  •  

    Thursday, Nov. 7

     

     

    TENSIONS AND SONNETS

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Tension" (205-63)
  • Strand & Boland, "The Sonnet" (55-72)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Loren Eiseley, "The Bird and the Machine"
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Barry Lopez, "Madre de Dios"
  •  

    HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • First four-to-five pages of second creative nonfiction piece
  • Poem in stanzas
  • Thursday, Nov. 14

     

     

     

    Lambert Lodge Writing Workshop

    5 pm Thursday through 5 pm Friday

    HAVE READ:

  • Finish Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones
  • 24-hour workshop with some sleep

    • 6-9 pm : Potluck, guest speaker, and quiet individual writing
    • Other hours – what fits your schedule

    Thursday, Nov. 21

     

    INSIGHTS AND FORM

    HAVE READ:

  • Sellers, "Insight" (304-58)
  • Strand & Boland, "Shaping Forms" (163-255)
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Alice Walker’s "Am I Blue?"
  • POSTED IN MOODLE: Scott Russell Sanders’ "Inheritance of Tools
  • HAVE WRITTEN (with three copies in hand):

  • Complete draft of second creative nonfiction piece
  • Sonnet
  • Thursday, Nov. 28

     

    Thanksgiving Recess- No Class

     

    Thursday, Dec. 5

    Saint Thomas Aquinas Study Day- No Class

     

  • Individual conferences with instructors throughout the week
    • Bring new elegy, ode, or pastoral poem to conference with Jamie.
    • Bring first complete draft of second creative nonfiction piece to conference with Olivia.
    •  

    Thursday, Dec. 12

    Monk’s Bean Café

    In lieu of scheduled course final:

  • Five-minute reading from portfolio(s)
  • Conclusions
  •  

  • DUE:
    • Creative Nonfiction Portfolio in folder (your two final drafts of these two essays with all earlier drafts)
    • Poetry Portfolio (eight poems with all earlier drafts)
    •