Genre Fiction Course Sequence

This page outlines the sequence of courses each student must take to fulfill the requirements for the degree. To see the catalogue description of each course, go to "Genre Fiction HOME" and click on the tab titled "Courses," or click directly here.

The Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western uses a low-residency format that requires:

1) on-campus intensive seminars and workshops for two weeks during three consecutive summers;

2) a plan of non-residency study requiring four academic semesters, during each of which students work both with peers and one-to-one with writing faculty mentors.

The graduate program insists on a high degree of commitment and excellence from degree candidates, all of whom must maintain a 3.0 GPA to complete the program. A minimum grade of B- in each course applied to a degree program is also required. Summer residency courses are front-loaded -- that is, these courses require students to prepare for the intensive by completing pre-assigned reading lists as well as preparing some assignments to enable everyone to focus on discussion and analysis during study on campus.

In the first and second summer residencies, candidates also complete one credit each summer of CRWR 600, learning or updating online tools mastery, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors. Third-summer candidates earn one credit attending and participating in critiques and readings for cohorts attending their first and second summers. All students also attend and participate in Writing the Rockies, a summer creative writing conference hosted on campus during each residency.

MFA candidates may elect to study two concentrations by increasing the duration of their program to six semesters and a fourth summer residency. MA candidates may continue into the MFA program at the discretion of the admissions committee.

The non-residency component of each concentration involves both intensive coursework online, including reading and writing assignments and interactive work on discussion boards, along with faculty advising. Students spend a minimum of 25-30 hours per week on writing assignments. Students also participate weekly in threaded synchronous and asynchronous online voice and discussion boards during each term with other students and mentors. Students earn 12 credits each semester for this work (six credits for each mentored course topic).

The Genre Fiction Concentration

The Genre Fiction Concentration includes work in speculative fiction, the mystery, romance, the western, young adult and other forms of mainstream commercial fiction. Study includes short and long written forms, as well as exploration of forms for alternative media such as public performance, audio, and internet media.

Students may also elect to study two of these concentrations by increasing the duration of their program to six semesters and a fourth summer residency.

The MFA Genre Fiction Concentration requires the following 60 credits:

Summer Intensives

CRWR 600 Summer Orientation (taken three times)  1 credit

CRWR 601 Patterns and Paradigms for Popular Genre Writing  2 credits

CRWR 602 Fiction Workshop and Translation  2 credits

CRWR 604 Pre- and Post-Publication Promotion  2 credits

CRWR 608 Craft and Practice I  6 credits

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

CRWR 612 Narrative Nonfiction 6 credits

CRWR 618 Genres II – Women’s Fiction, Romance, and The Western  6 credits

CRWR 619 Craft and Practice II 6 credits

CRWR 621 Making Connections  in the Market 6 credits

CRWR 622 Thesis Preparation 6 credits

One of the following two during the second Fall term:

CRWR 646 Narrative Poetry  6 credits

CRWR 665 Screenwriting Genre  6 credits

And:

CRWR 694 Capstone 3 credits

Genre Fiction as a Second Area of Emphasis

Students pursuing this concentration as a second area of emphasis must earn an additional 30 credits in the concentration as follows:

CRWR 600 Summer Orientation 1 credit

CRWR 608 Craft and Practice I  6 credits

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

CRWR 694 Capstone  3 credits

Other supporting courses in consultation with advisor 12 credits

One of the following:

CRWR 601 Patterns and Paradigms for Popular Genre Writing  2 credits

CRWR 602 Fiction Workshop and Translation 2 credits

CRWR 604 Pre-and Post-Publication Promotion 2 credits

The MA Genre Fiction Concentration requires the following 30 credits:

Total Credits for the MA 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

CRWR 684 Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

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)

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

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information