2014-2015 M.F.A. Courses

Courses

CRWR 600  Summer Orientation  1 credit
Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR601  Patterns and Paradigms for Mainstream Genre Writing  2 credits
Focus on student exploration of texts that set patterns for various forms of genre writing, and use those patterns as the basis for their own writing.   Reading includes contemporary texts, folktales and myths that establish the archetypal basis for narrative patterns in plot, setting and character development. Also lays the groundwork for students to articulate and work efficiently within their own writing process, and for students to establish effective writing practices for long-term use. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 602  Fiction Workshop and Translation  2 credits
Focus on workshopping student’s writing projects, with a focus on developing material for the thesis.  Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 604  Pre-and Post-Publication Promotion  2 credits
Focus on the practical aspects of dealing with current market demands for writers, with a focus on self-promotion both before and after publication.  Work includes public reading of theses,pitches, and interviews; discussion and practice in using the internet and social networking media for promoting writing; and an exploration of opportunities available from writers grants and fellowships. Session also includes a ‘mentoring’ component, where graduating students hold mentoring sessions with new students. Prerequisite: Admission to the program. 

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; strengthen research skills for their areas of interest; articulate their writing process and explore ways to make it more efficient and effective; practice craft-building exercises in a variety of areas. Participants encouraged to use class material as the basis for their future thesis work. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 609  GenresI - Speculative Fiction, Mystery, 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 612  Narrative Nonfiction 6 credits
Focus on introducing students to both long and short form of writing in narrative nonfiction, with writing practice in a variety of sub-categories.  Students also build skills in nonfiction as it applies to their interest in fiction writing. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 618  Genres II - Women’s Fiction, Romance, and The Western 6 credits
Focus on providing students with experience writing in the forms of the mystery, women’s fiction, romance and the Western, exploring 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 a public stance as a writer and more. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 621  Making Connections in the Market 6 credits
Focus on a guided exploration of taking work into the world of making connections with editors, agents, and other writers through attending writing conventions, joining on-line groups, and more, preparing students to make the most of these channels for publication. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 622 Thesis Preparation  6 credits
Focus on guiding students through the process of preparing and completing a working draft of the capstone thesis in a genre of the student’s choice. Completed working draft to be submitted to the assigned thesis advisor no later than the course’s end. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 631  Scansion Immersion  2 credits
Focus on an intensive review of prosody – how to make meter and rhythm work in the poetic line as well as how to discern that structure in the works of others. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 632  Public Performance  2 credits
Focus on the quintessence of public speaking, particularly as it applies to theperformance of poetry, delivery of lectures, and participation in panels,understanding of the craft of using their voices and their physical presence to deliver creative, critical and pedagogical work orally to the public, and howto participate in conversations with the greatest possible skill and grace.Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 633  Poetry and Music  2 credits
Focus on exploring some of the complex relations between these two arts, from theoretical discussion to the practical aspects of writing everything from song lyrics to choral odes to opera libretti. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 636  Metrical Traditions  & Versification 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 638  History of the English Language/Poetry Translation  6 credits
Focus on a two-pronged study, first of the historical development and evolution of English, and second, work to understand translating poetry, studying and comparing translations, reading theories of translation and attempting translations. Prerequisites: Proof of second-year, or its equivalent, of reading competency in a foreign language, and admission to the program.

CRWR 641 Metrical Traditions & Versification II 6 credits
Focus on emphasizing advanced topics in metrical composition, e.g. stanza forms, longer forms and sequences, narrative forms, nonce forms (including free-verse forms).  Students not only practice the forms, but read and scan them along with delving into the history, criticism and theory. The course also selects several major traditions in verse theory and explores them in depth,e.g., linguistic theories of verse; structuralist theories; relations between verse and music; attempt to imitate classical forms in modern languages; etc.Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 643  Historical Foundations of English Prosody  6 credits
Focus on an exploration of the theory and practice of rhythm and rhyme,including all variations, their sources and their traditions in consideration of aesthetic, linguistic, and anthropological theories. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 646  Narrative Poetry  6 credits
Focus on examination, analysis, study, and writing in the narrative genres and modes of poetry, from the ballad to the epic and novel in verse. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 647  Dramatic Poetry and  Satiric Verse  6 credits
Focus on examination, analysis, discussion, and writing in all the modes of comic verse, including all the modes of satire (Menippean, Horatian, parodic), to verse-based comic approaches such as light verse, doggerel, children’s verse, and more. Additionally, an exploration of dramatic techniques of versef rom ancient Greece through the Renaissance, and to modern writers such as T.S. Eliot and up to the present. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 651  Advanced Studies in Forms and Genres  6 credits
Focus on a study of significant forms, group of forms, or poetic genres,based on student and faculty mentor interest, with students reading a wide range of examples along with criticism and theory, and also composing their own work in these forms and genres. Topics include the following: The sonnet and sonnet sequences, French and Italian forms (ballade, villanelle, sestina, rondeau, terza rima, etc.), classical forms (Latin and Greek), The ode, blank verse, elegy and pastoral, non-European forms (haiku, ghazal, tanka, Welshforms, etc.), free verse forms (Whitmanian versicles, syllabics, loose iambics, nonce forms, etc.). Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 653  Poetry Book Reviewing/Poetry, Literacy, Pedagogy 6 credits
Focus on close analysis of the best reviews and criticism of the past and present, and practice writing such pieces themselves. Also a wide range of techniques and materials available to teachers of poetry to communicate much of that history. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 661  Film History and Analysis; the Visual Narrative 2 credits
Focus on examination, analysis, and discussion of classic and contemporary films from a screenwriting, story, and character development perspective as well as analyses of theme and motif. Students engage in writing activities and exercises to develop a visual narrative style.  All such writing goes towards creating material to fuel the mentoring process in upcoming semesters. The main theme here is: when possible show the story element; don’t have a character say it.  Finally the prevailing three- and four-act screenplay structures will be explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 662  Story, Conflict, Character, and Genre in Screenwriting  2 credits
Focus on workshopping of short screenplays and projects along with exploration of story arc, elements of conflict, character development and arc, with an emphasis on film genre choicesand styles. Includes proposals for upcoming mentoring semesters feature-length screenplays, plus an opportunity to practice pitches. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 663  Screenwriting Competition, Representation, the “Option”  2 credits
Focus on mock or actual “pitch” sessions of the thesis screenplay. Screenwriting contests researched and entered. Writers Guild guidelines and application explored. Agents, options to produce, and independent film potential also explored. 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.

CRWR668  Television Drama and Situation Comedy  6 credits 
Focus on a thorough proposal for both the drama and sitcom, researched andwritten. The result will be a complete “pitch” portfolio including a“spec” episode teleplay completed for (both or either) a television drama(and/or) a situation comedy. Prerequisite: Admission to the program. 

CRWR 671  Writing the First Feature-Length Screenplay  6 credits 
Focus on a thorough review of the existing works in the style and genre of the proposed piece, and a thorough treatment is written. Students generate character biographies and a complete story outline.  The production is “pitched” to fellow students along with the mentor. A first draft is written and critiqued. 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 1-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 four or five future episodes. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR  678 Adaptation  6 credits
Focus on taking preexisting source material (books, newspaper articles,videogames, graphic novels etc.) and learning how to begin adapting such into a screenplay. Students will examine various forms of adaptation, write a research paper, and write the first act of their own feature adaptation piece.Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 684 Teaching Assistantship and Pedagogy 1-3 credits
Focus on an opportunity to teach under a mentor-teacher in the classroom, including a guided discussion on pedagogy theory and practice with weekly questions on points of interest, suggested readings,and the opportunity for teaching writers to discuss challenges and insights from their own teaching practice. May be repeated for up to 6 credits. Prerequisite: Admission to the Program.

CRWR 690 Screenwriting Master’s Capstone Project I  6 credits
Focus on a feature-length screenplay, intended for Hollywood or independent production, proposed including a thorough review of the existing works, treatment, character biographies, and generation of a complete story outline. A first draft of approximately 120 pages, written and critiqued. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 691  Screenwriting Master’s Capstone Project II 6 credits
Focus on completion of the screenplay. Several drafts written and developed with the mentor.  Following industry preferences, the screenplay shouldtarget approximately 100 pages. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 692  Independent Study  1-6 credits 
Focus on working with a faculty mentor to research, develop, and structure a student’s particular areas of interest into a written work. May be repeated for up to 12 credits. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 694  Capstone  3 credits
Focus on working with a faculty mentor and responding to mentor readings and workshop suggestions in order to complete one long work suitable for thesis binding. For the Genres concentration, this shall be the final preparation of a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction suitable for seeking publication; or for the Poetry concentration, this shall be the final preparation to submit 35 pages of original poetry and a prose portfolio, including at least one review of a poetry book and one historical essay, or else one review and one work of translation, totaling 10 to 15 pages, and an analytical project, for a total of 60 to 80 pages;or for the screenwriting concentration, this shall be the final preparation of a feature-length screenplay (the defined Master's Thesis Project) revised and polished, and readied for a public reading of an excerpt performed or else a self-produced sequence from, or trailer for, the screenplay. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

CRWR 697  Special Topics  6 credits 
Focus on studies of a particular topic of interest to students in the M.F.A. program to be announced each time the course is offered. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.