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COURSE NAME: "Creative Writing Workshop: Writing the Eternal City"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session I 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Daniel Connelly
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 3:40 PM 5:30 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 103 or 105 with grade of C or above

This interdisciplinary writing workshop employs the city of Rome as its muse and offers instruction in several genres of creative writing. By examining a variety of works inspired by the Eternal City, students will learn how to evaluate literature in light of an aesthetic and historic precedent, as well as participate in the long tradition of international writers who have recreated Rome on the page. The course will also problematize Rome, exploring the ancient city’s contemporary contradictions and complexities and the way writers both perpetuate and dismantle certain myths, such as the illusory La Dolce Vita. Writing workshops will acquaint students with the techniques and tools used to critique and incorporate critical feedback into their own revision process. Through studied writing practice and the examination of the Roman setting as a vital literary component, students will generate a final portfolio of textual interpretations in response to the Eternal City.
Students will engage in studied writing practice and keep a journal in which they will document the city of Rome, so they may later shape entries into more substantive, polished work, regardless of genre. The course will move between writing workshops, traditional lectures, discussions of the assigned readings, student presentations of journal assignments, and in-class writing. The meetings will also incorporate field trips and site visits; some assignments will require outings within the city of Rome to be made during the student’s own time. Readings will correspond to the specific genres and the assignments connected to them. The final portfolio will include a combination of the following forms: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction such as diary, memoir, personal essays, and travel writing.  Born of the philosophy that all writing benefits from careful critique and thoughtful revision, the workshops will aid students in the development of critical thinking and editorial skills, helping to foster an aesthetic sensibility about their own writing, the writing of others, and ultimately a more thorough understanding of several genres encompassed by the term “creative writing.”

Students completing this workshop will have explored in five weeks the rich literary tradition inspired by the city of Rome and have featured Rome in their own writing, whether fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. They will be familiar with the writing techniques employed when producing works within various genres of creative writing and they will have gained experience through generating a portfolio of their own work.  Lastly, they will have acquired the editorial skills necessary to offer critique and to self-edit, and taken their own work through various stages of revision.


Conscientiousness of in-and-out of class peer reviews (workshop critiques)Students will provide copies for their colleagues and be required to give both written and oral feedback to their peers during the workshops.15%
Conscientiousness of self-editingStudents are required to revise their work over the course of several drafts and to include a process analysis for each piece, detailing the editing process.15%
Written Assignments Assigments will take the form of written responses to readings & assigned outings and other homework to be done in the journal (or sketchbook). Writing assignments will include a combination of microfiction, short stories, creative nonfiction sketches, longer reflective essays or memoir-styled pieces, and two or more poems.30%
Final PortfolioThe Final Portfolio is the sum total of the student's work produced over the semester. The portfolios should contain polished revisions of each of the works along with a process analysis. Detailed portfolio guidelines will be provided in class. 40%

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:  students are required to attend all scheduled class meetings and to participate in all classroom activities. In addition to this weighting of attendance, students are allowed only two absences (no questions asked, no excuses needed).  However, each additional absence beyond the two allowed will result in the significant reduction in the final grade for the course.  Students with more than five absences will fail the course. Student arriving at class after the class attendance has been taken will be counted as absent.   Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.
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.
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.


Week One 
Course Intro; The Roman Landscape in Fiction; Voice & Point of View; Reflective Essay; Introduction to Poetry
Week Two
Fiction; Writing Microfiction; Be prepared to offer critique in workshop; Working with POV; Outing/Sketchbook Assignment; Reflective Roman Essays Due
Week Three
Microfiction #1 Due; Characterization & Voice; Begin Roman Story; Intro to Short Stories; Outing/Sketchbook Assignment; Rome in Poetry
Week Four
Short Stories Due; Outing/Sketchbook Assignment; Microfiction 2/Postcards Due; Presentations; Two Roman Poems Due
Week Five 
Short Nonfiction Pieces Due; Outing/Sketchbook Assignment TBA; Presentation of Sketchbooks; Portfolio Workshop/Triage; Final Exam Period - Portfolios Due