Master of Arts in Creative Writing

Courses

 CRWR 608 - CRAFT AND PRACTICE I (6 credits)

Focus on skill-building in fundamental areas of narrative fiction. Students develop skills of observation and reflection in order to access material for their writing

 CRWR 609 - GENRES I-SP FICT MYSTRY AND YA (6 credits)

Focus on providing students with experience writing in the speculative fiction genres, exploring the traditions and current trends in the market. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 619 - CRAFT AND PRACTICE II (6 credits)

A continuation and refinement of the narrative skill-building begun in CRWR 608, Craft and A continuation and refinement of the narrative skill-building begun in CRWR 606, Craft and Practice I. Students will be given exercises aimed at developing their thesis concepts into full-length works, examining the following: the structure of plot and subplot in their individual works, how to connect minor character motives to major character arcs, and inclusion of narrative elements and patterns to flesh out their current and future work. This will include practices designed to support the continuation of a literary life beyond the classroom environment, such as expansion of their ‘ideas’ file, moves to overcome potential blocks, finding your public stance as a writer, and more. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 636 - METRICAL TRADS VERSIFICATIN I (6 credits)

Focus on tracing the development of the metrical tradition in English poetry from the beginning to the present. Students read poems in all the major forms (Anglo-Saxon Strong Stress Meter, the ballad, classical imitations, blank verse, the sonnet, iambic tetrameter, etc.) along with historical and theoretical commentary. Students also model such forms and scan their own work and that of others. Students will also trace the development of theories of versification and prosody in English. Students read a wide range of works, many of them by poets, in which they describe their craft and that of others, and they compare theories of and approaches to metrical poetry. In this course students are expected to produce a wide range of short essays on various traditions of versification, along with at least one substantial research paper. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 665 - Screenwriting Genre (6 credits)

Focus on challenging students to write filmic stories in three distinct genre categories, forcing a growth and flexibility to create meaning across a spectrum of setting, time, and circumstance. Dialogue is permitted but is de-emphasized in favor of a more visual narrative. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 675 - WRITING THE TV PILOT (6 credits)

Focus on choosing and writing an original TV pilot for either a one-hour drama series, or a half-hour sitcom. In addition to the pilot script, this course requires the students to pitch the idea, come up with marketing materials – i.e. treatment for the series, outline of the pilot, a series “bible,” and loglines for at least 4-5 future episodes. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

Western’s low-residency 30-credit MA in Creative Writing focuses on both the craft of creative writing and the pedagogy for the teaching of creative writing. Students select one of three emphases: popular genres fiction/nonfiction, poetry with a focus on versecraft, or screenwriting for feature film and television.

 

 Click here to learn about the admission requirements for the Masters of Arts in Creative Writing and to apply.

On-campus residencies occur the last two weeks of July, high in the Colorado Rockies, and the program takes thirteen months to complete as a full-time student.

The low-residency component of the program involves two online semesters of coursework that use a combination of online writing submissions and critiques as well as regular real-time discussions with writer-mentors and peer students.

During each of the two required summer intensives on Western’s Colorado campus, students network within an inspiring community of peers as well as attend student and faculty readings, workshops on craft and literature, and master classes.

Each emphasis requires comprehensive examinations at the conclusion of coursework.

This additional graduate writing program is intended for four demographic audiences:

  1. Students who are already teachers and interested in obtaining a creative writing-specific graduate degree to advance their professional careers in public or private middle or high schools.
  2. Students who wish to obtain a graduate degree with the intent of entering into the arena of community college teaching.
  3. Students who wish to earn an additional graduate degree to enhance their marketability in the four-year college teaching market.
  4. Students interested in pursuing professional careers in writing but willing or able to pursue only one year of studies (and one year of tuition expenses) in creative writing.*

* For the fourth category above, those who are initially tentative about commitment to a two-year degree can elect to transfer into the second year and complete the MFA. degree. In this case, a student must request transfer prior to the second summer residency and have the written endorsement of two of our MFA writing faculty members.

Emphasis in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction

The emphasis in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction includes instruction in writing for such forms as science fiction/fantasy, the mystery, romance, narrative nonfiction, and other forms of mainstream commercial fiction. Study includes short and long written forms, as well as strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Two academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 601 – Patterns and Paradigms for Genres (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 608 – Craft and Practice I (6 credits)

CRWR 609 – Genres I – Speculative Fiction, Mystery, and YA (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the following two electives:

  • CRWR 612 – Narrative Nonfiction (6 credits)
  • CRWR 618 – Genres II – Women’s Fiction, Romance, and The Western (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams

Emphasis in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft

The emphasis in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft requires that students achieve demonstrable mastery of a wide range of poetic forms and techniques along with acquiring historical and analytical knowledge about them. Students also learn to apply strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Four academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis twice)

CRWR 631 – Scansion Immersion (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 636 – Metrical Traditions and Versification I (6 credits)

CRWR 638 – History of English Language/Studies in Translation (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the two following electives:

  • CRWR 641 – Metrical Traditions and Versification II (6 credits)
  • CRWR 643 – Historical Foundations of English Prosody (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams

Emphasis in Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television

The emphasis in Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television includes instruction in the history and analysis of classical and contemporary screenwriting texts and the resulting films. The program further includes instruction in writing the visual narrative, three- and four-act structure, character development, thematic development, conflict, genre, story arc, and dialogue. For both the feature-length screenplay and television writing. Students also learn to apply strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Screenwriting
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Two academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 661 – Film History and Analysis; the Visual Narrative (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 665 – Screenwriting Genre (6 credits)

CRWR 668 – Television Drama and Situation Comedy (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the following two electives:

  • CRWR 675 – Writing the TV Pilot (6 credits)
  • CRWR 678 – Adaptation (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams