JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CW 205"
COURSE NAME: "Creative Writing Workshop: Mixed Genre"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Geoghegan
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 4:30-5:45 PM
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:

 

Classes move between writing workshops and peer reviews, traditional lectures, discussions of the assigned readings, in-class writing exercises and, when possible, occasional class outings to literary events around the city. Readings will correspond to the specific genres and topics covered and will help create a foundation for the writing assignments themselves. Dedicated to the philosophy that all writing benefits from careful critique and thoughtful revision, the workshops will help students develop critical thinking and editorial skills, while fostering an aesthetic sensibility about their own writing, the writing of their peers, and ultimately a more thorough understanding of creative writing in its various forms.

NB: There is no textbook for this class; required readings will be provided via MOODLE. Students will be required to PRINT and bring assignments to class.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with the writing techniques employed to generate ideas and produce their own works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama and/or screenwriting. Students will also have had exposure to the practice of daily writing and gained writing experience, as well as the editorial skills necessary to offer critique during peer reviews, and to self-edit when taking their own work through various stages of revision. In addition, students will have gained exposure to fine examples of creative writing in its different forms and had an opportunity to develop their own unique voices as writers, gain confidence through the development of technical skills and practical hands-on writing experience.

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Weekly Writing, Reading, and Presentation AssignmentsDetailed weekly assignments will be given in class. Students will be expected to meet deadlines and produce drafts (whether fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc.) that meet the assigned word or page count. Students must provide printed copies of their work for peer reviews; drafts will be revised for the midterm and final portfolios. 60%
Participation & Conscientiousness of in-and-out of class peer reviews Participation is of the utmost importance. Students are required to participate not only in daily discussions about the readings, but to offer considered and thoughtful critique during the workshops with the aim of helping to improve each writer's unique style and capacity. 15%
Conscientiousness of self-editingStudents are required to revise their work over the course of several drafts. Final Portfolios must include a process analysis for each piece, detailing the editing choices made.15%
Homework, Quizzes & In-class WritingA section of the overall assessment will include quizzes on the readings, written homework assignments and/or reader responses to the assigned readings, as well as in-class writing prompts that will be ungraded but compulsory. 10%

-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 evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference 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:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period is mandatory and will be used for final critiques. 
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

*NB: THIS IS A SAMPLE WEEKLY OVERVIEW & SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

 

Date & Topic Covered

** A detailed schedule will be provided the first week of class

 

 

Readings & Assignments

Week One

Tues

Course Intro: Setting as Character

Fiction Writer’s Tool Box; The Short Story

Read Microfiction packet (handouts)

Thurs Microfiction

Readings TBA

 

Week Two:

Tues Narration & Voice

Readings TBA

Thurs

Workshop

Snapshot Due (See Guidelines); bring copies

Week Three:

Tues Workshop

Read & prepare critiques for the snapshots – bring to class with oral & annotated comments ready

Thurs Workshop

Read & prepare critiques for the snapshots – bring to class with oral & annotated comments ready

Week Four: 

Tues: Setting & Characterization / Setting AS Characterization

Reading TBA

 

 

Thurs: Incorporating details & gestures in your work

Read & be prepared to discuss: Short Stories TBA

Week Five: Stories Due

 Structuring your story

Tues Workshop

Short Stories Due

 

Thurs

Workshop

Read & prepare peer reviews (critiques) for workshop

Week Six: Dialogue

Tues Workshop

Read & prepare peer reviews (critiques) for workshop

Thurs Workshop

Read & prepare peer reviews for workshop

 

Week Seven:Creative Nonfiction

Tues: Being the Protagonist in your own work

Read & be prepared to discuss: Essays TBA

Thurs Details in Nonfiction; choosing which story to tell

Read & be prepared to discuss: Essays TBA

Week Eight:

Tues Workshop

Read & be prepared to discuss: Essays TBA

Thurs Workshop

Vignette due; bring copies (See Guidelines)

Week Nine:
Tues 
Workshop
Thurs Midterm Portfolios Due

Read & be prepared to discuss: Essays TBA

Week Ten:
Tues
Personal Essay Due; Workshop

Thurs Workshop

 Read & prepare critique

 

Week Eleven

Workshop

Read & prepare critiques

WedWorkshop

Read & prepare critiques

Week Twelve

Tues Intro to Poetry

Read & be prepared to discuss: Poems TBA 

Read & prepare critiques

Thurs

Read & prepare critiques

Week Thirteen

Tues Poem #1 due; Workshop

 

Read & be prepared to discuss: Poems TBA

 

Thurs Workshop

Read & prepare critiques for the poems

Week Fourteen: Poem #2 due

Tues Workshop

Poem #2 due Read & prepare critiques for the poems

WedWorkshop

Read & prepare critiques for the poems

Week Fifteen Poem #3 Due

 Workshop & Final Q&A for Portfolios

 

LAST CLASS

PORTFOLIOS DUE

 

EXAM PERIOD TBA

No exam for this class; No late portfolios will be accepted. No exception.Portfolios will be submitted electronically.

 

We will meet during final exam and do a reading and final critique session