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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CW 205"
COURSE NAME: "Creative Writing Workshop: Mixed Genre"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Alex Gregor
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 9:55-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above or permission from the instructor
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course provides an introduction to the creative practice of writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and stage/screen writing, while probing major issues of literary aesthetics. This course does not satisfy the General Distribution requirement in English Literature.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
In this 15-week workshop, we will cover the basics of creative writing in the genres of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction and drama. By engaging with model texts from canonical and non-canonical authors from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, we will identify flexible frameworks and constraints to aid in the production of innovative work that is grounded in an original and authentic literary style and voice. Our work will begin with idea generation—from keeping a journal of dreams, sketches and fragments, to developing an ongoing list of influences and inspirations—and continue with a scaffolded approach to the writing process—from brainstorming and drafting, to revising, workshopping and submitting for publication. Aspiring writers should be prepared to conduct formal and informal written studies that will inform their writing, like fleshing out characters and settings through detailed descriptions, or even emulating a particular subject's voice to produce realistic dialogue or a unique narrative style. Students will be expected to submit multiple drafts of each major assignment; the final drafts will be included in a writing portfolio.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Produce creative writing in the genres of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction & drama in forms that:

     a. Demonstrate their understanding of the creative writing process, from idea generation and drafting to revision and submission
     b. Showcase their ability to develop an original and authentic literary style and voice
     c. Exhibit their aptitude in written communication skills, specifically as they pertain to these genres & literary criticism
     d. Show their capacity to effectively incorporate literary devices into their work, as well as develop characters, settings, themes, etc.

2. Engage with and respond to creative writing in the genres of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction & drama in ways that:

     a. Demonstrate their understanding of a particular author's approach to the creative writing process, from idea generation and drafting to revision and submission
     b. Showcase their ability to identify and analyze the originality and authenticity of an author's style and voice
     c. Exhibit their aptitude for reading and processing writing composed in these genres & literary criticism
     d. Show their capacity to locate and interpret literary devices used by authors, as well as the development of characters, settings, themes, etc.

3. Participate in a writing community—on the class level (workshop), local level (university & Rome) & global level (emerging & published authors, current influences, potential mentors, prospective publishers)—that produces, reviews and discusses poetry, short fiction, nonfiction & drama in ways that:
     
     a. Demonstrate their understanding of the creative writing process, from idea generation and drafting to revision and submission, as it specifically relates to others (reviewers, editors, readers, etc.)
     b. Showcase their ability to identify, analyze, and promote work that utilizes an original and authentic style and voice
     c. Exhibit their aptitude and encouragement for reading and processing creative writing composed in these genres
     d. Show their capacity and encouragement for locating and unpacking literary devices used by authors in their work, as well as their development of characters, settings, themes, etc.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in conversation with Michael TomsMichael TomsHarper Collins9780060972950 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Birthday Party & The RoomHarold PinterGrove Press978-0802151148 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Waiting for GodotSamuel BeckettGrove Press978-0802144423 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Winesburg, OhioSherwood AndersonNorton Critical Editions978-0393967951 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Exercises in StyleRaymond QueneauNew Directions978-0811207898 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Invisible CitiesItalo CalvinoRandom UK978-0099429838 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Howl and Other PoemsAllen GinsbergCity Lights Publishers978-0872860179 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Leaves of Grass and Other WritingsWalt WhitmanNorton Critical Editions978-0393974966 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop
Complete PoemsStephen CraneLibrary of America978-1598530933 Available in the library and the Almost Corner Bookshop

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Portfolio Poetry (15%), Flash Fiction (15%), Nonfiction (15%), Drama (15%), Studies (10%)70
Participation Workshop (10%), Discussion (10%)20
FinalTBA10

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Students are required to attend all scheduled class meetings. Students are allowed 4 absences during the term (excused or unexcused). Each additional absence beyond the four allowed will result in the reduction in the final grade for the course by 5%. Students arriving to class after attendance has been taken will be counted as late. Two late arrivals will count as an absence. As a common courtesy, students are asked to notify the instructor before the scheduled class time to communicate your tardiness or absence. Please refer to the JCU catalog for the attendance and absence policies.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Note on changes: The course schedule is subject to change. Changes will be communicated orally in class and/or in writing via email or Moodle.
Note on readings: The readings listed in the schedule correspond to the texts listed in the section, "Course Materials." While these books will serve as the foundation for our course, we will engage with additional texts from a wide range of international authors and artists, based on student interest and whatever direction our course will take.
Note on assignments: All information related to assignments can be found on Moodle. To avoid any confusion, all assignment requirements, instructions, rubrics, etc. will be posted directly to the Assignment Submission Form (labeled as such) in the corresponding week block.
Week Class Written Assignment Reading
1
Poetry: Readings & Discussion Written Plan for the Semester             
Written Study: Your Writing Process
J. Campbell   
S. Crane
W. Whitman
A. Ginsberg
2 Poetry: Workshop Poetry (3-5 pp)
Peer Writing
3 Poetry: Workshop Written Study: Lines, Images, Moments, Vignettes
Peer Writing
4 Fiction: Readings & Discussion Final Draft of Poetry Due J. Campbell
P. Markus
R. Queneau
I. Calvino
5 Fiction: Workshop Flash Fiction (3-5 pp) Peer Writing
6 Fiction: Workshop Written Study: Character, Setting, Object Peer Writing
7 Drama: Readings & Discussion Final Draft of Flash Fiction Due S. Beckett
H. Pinter
T. Williams
8 Drama: Workshop Script (3-5 pp) Peer Writing
9 Drama: Workshop Written Study: Scenes, Dialogue, Action Peer Writing
10 Nonfiction: Readings & Discussion Final Draft of Script Due TBA
11 Nonfiction: Workshop Nonfiction Work (5-7 pp) Peer Writing
12 Nonfiction: Workshop Final Draft of Nonfiction Work Due
Written Study: Voice & Style
Peer Writing
13 Mixed Genre: Portfolio Workshop & Publishing Final Draft of Nonfiction Work Due TBA
14 Mixed Genre: Portfolio Workshop & Publishing Where to Submit List, Cover Letter & Bio TBA
15 Final TBA TBA