Creative Writing

Code Course Description
CRWR 1101

Introduction to Writing Poetry

This course concentrates on the process of writing poetry. Students will draw from their individual experiences to create poems that are clear, arresting and well-crafted. Students will develop an ear for the musicality and resonance of language, a clear sense of image, and a consideration of audience. Poems written by students will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop.

CRWR 1102

Introduction to Playwriting

This course concentrates on the process of writing stage plays. It includes instruction in play mechanics, dramatic structure, character development, speech patterns, movement, action, and dialogue in the writing of drama. Students are introduced to a range of stage play formats and styles through the study of traditional and modern plays. Student work is presented and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop environment.

CRWR 1103

Introduction to Writing Fiction

This course concentrates exclusively on the process of writing fiction. It includes instruction in character development, structure, and craft. A range of narrative styles will be discussed through a study of various fiction texts. Fiction produced by the students will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop environment.

CRWR 1104

Intro to Writing Children’s Literature

This course concentrates on writing for children and young adults. It includes instruction in writing fiction and non-fiction in a variety of forms, with emphasis on appropriate structures and styles for various age groups, and on how to create convincing and appealing characters. While students will read published works of children’s literature, the emphasis is on student work, which is discussed in a workshop.

CRWR 1202

Personal Narrative

This course concentrates on writing based on personal experience. Students develop an awareness of both self and the creative process by shaping biographical material into readable narratives. Instruction in a workshop format will focus on techniques needed to produce such creative forms as creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.

CRWR 1234

Writing Song Lyrics

This course concentrates on the process of writing song lyrics. Students learn key aspects of the craft, including song structure, rhyme, and various literary devices, plus the integration of lyrics with musical elements such as melody and meter. Students develop an appreciation for a range of genres through analysis of published works. Songs written by students are critiqued by the instructor and students in a supportive workshop environment. Some musical ability is an asset in this course, as simple recorded or performed versions of the students’ songs are required. However, students are not required to be virtuoso musicians.

CRWR 2200

Writing for Film

Screenwriting, more than any other form of creative writing, is both artistic and technical. It requires a flair for dialogue, a familiarity with the film media, and an ability to work with life experience in a visual way. In this course, students will study the art of writing dialogue as well as the technique of structuring film scripts. The course will focus on the writing of concepts, outlines, treatments and scenes. The goal of this course is to write scripts with literary integrity. The emphasis in the course will be on student work which will be discussed in a workshop.

CRWR 2201

Advanced Poetry Writing

This course concentrates on writing poems, on developing an individual’s voice and craft in these poems, and on deepening the understanding of prosody. It includes instruction in writing poetry and developing one’s own style, while exposing students to a variety of poetic forms and devices. The student is expected to master certain forms; these forms and other poems will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop format. It is recommended, but not required, that students enrol in English 1114 (Studies in Poetry) before or while taking CRWR 2201.

CRWR 2202

Memoir Writing

This advanced workshop-based course concentrates on the process of writing memoirs. It is a second-level course designed primarily for students who have taken CRWR 1202 (Personal Narrative) and wish to further explore their creative writing in this genre. Students will craft and shape an extended narrative built on significant episodes and themes from their personal experience. Each student will be required to write several chapters of a memoir during the course. By reading and discussing contemporary texts, students will also be introduced to a wide array of narrative approaches and techniques used in memoir writing, particularly those related to form and structure.

CRWR 2203

Writing Speculative Fiction

This course focuses on the process of writing in the genre of speculative fiction (including science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and a range of sub-genres). It includes instruction in the use of compositional elements such as imagery, point-of-view, characterization, dialogue, setting and structure as they specifically relate to speculative fiction. Students will learn to utilize allegory, symbolism, extended metaphor and other literary devices frequently found in speculative fiction to further their creative intentions. The course will introduce students to a range of published speculative fiction, but the emphasis will be on student work, discussed in a workshop.

CRWR 2350

Writing Short Fiction

This course concentrates solely on the process of writing short fiction. It includes instruction in the methods of beginning, sustaining, closing, revising and evaluating a short story. The student is introduced to a wide range of narrative approaches and techniques through the study of both traditional and contemporary texts.

CRWR 3102

Advanced Playwriting

Advanced Playwriting builds on the dialogue and scene development skills taught in the Introduction to Playwriting course. Students will learn to structure their plays in scenes and acts, and develop strong character arcs and plot twists. They will write a small-cast, full-length play (approximately 60 minutes). Although the emphasis will be on student work, in-depth analysis of various theatrical styles (solo shows, realism, absurdist, cabaret, etc.) will inform the workshop process. Students will explore the elements of theatre (set, lighting, costume and use of mixed media), attend the production of at least one play, and learn about the process of submitting work to theatre companies. Plays will be workshopped in class.