Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Creative writing is an act of liberation and imagination that allows the writer to invent new worlds, and to say the unsayable. This Intro to Creative writing class is a gateway course to a suite of classes that allows you to become an English Writing major or minor. This semester you will write poems, fiction and nonfiction. While the three genres sometimes overlap. A poem can have dialogue or use prose. Sometimes the line between fiction and nonfiction can seem porous. Readers of fiction often wonder, “How much of this is based on the writer’s life?” Conversely readers of nonfiction wonder, “How much of this is embellished?” All prose utilizes scene, dialogue, description and narration. Poetry can do all that and more. Good writing is good writing. My approach to teaching literature is two-pronged. It’s primarily a practice-based model, by which I mean you learn by repetition and practice. You can read about riding a bicycle, but until you are sitting on a bike, you are in the world of theory. However, writing without immersive reading becomes hollow. Social media culture trains us to skim quickly and not marinate in texts.

In this class I encourage you to print out the readings, most of which are on PDFs and made available to you freely on Moodle. Circle words. Diagram. Make notes in the margins. You are what you read. When you don’t read, it shows up in your writing. You get good at what you practice. In this class I want you to shut your phone off and disappear from this world, and commune with text. Write and read and write.

Student Outcomes


• Developing a vocabulary for reading closely and offering insightful critique.

• Learning to live and work in creative community.

• Deepening appreciation for all three genres.

• Experiencing what it’s like to generate and get engaging in texts in a transcendent way.

• Creating at least one piece of writing that will be treasured for years to come