EN 311 Creative Writing
SP 2011 HO
B.A. English, University of KansasM.F.A. Creative Writing, University of Iowa
MW 11-12 and 3-4; T/Th 10-12
10:00 - 10:50 AM
Textbook: Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, by Janet Burroway
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Educational Philosophy: “Creative Writing” is not a very specific name for a course; after all, most classes in the English department can be said to deal with writing that is creative. Essays you write in a composition or technical writing class can involve just as much imagination and creativity as a novel or poem, and when we study works in a literature class all we're doing is looking at someone else’s creative writing.
But in an academic sense, the phrase “creative writing” has come to mean the study of how to create imaginative works of literature such as poems, short stories, and plays, and that’s certainly the project we’ll engage in throughout the semester. To do this, we’ll have to reject the insidious myth of the writer as a romantic genius, inspired only by the muse, and instead look at all the hard work that separates true artists from dilettantes. We’ll spend some time in peer-review workshops, but we’ll also write a lot of exercises, analyze a number of published works, and have complex discussions about the nature of art. It’s a truly engaging subject that offers a multitude of rewards, and to fully exploit its potential, everyone in the class will have to work very hard.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment: Your work will be evaluated based on the following seven components:
Participation: Every student will be expected to attend class regularly, participate in discussion, offer concrete and constructive advice during workshops, bring the required books and materials to class, write and share in-class exercises, and in general exhibit a respect for classmates, the instructor, and the material.
Short Story Draft: You will turn in a draft of a short story that is no longer than ten pages and no shorter than four. This is not a rough draft, but one that you believe is ready to be shared with the class (because it will be).
Dramatic Scene/Presentation: You will write a dramatic scene that will eventually be performed and discussed in class.
Poetry Drafts: You will write and revise a small portfolio of five poems that will be discussed in class.
Evaluations: You will write a critical evaluation of every story, poetry portfolio, and dramatic presentation that are presented to class.
Critical Essay: You will turn in one critical essay that examines a particular element of the craft of writing. The assignment will be discussed extensively in class.
Final Portfolio: Throughout the semester you will be receiving feedback from your peers and your classmates about the work you present. Your portfolio will include the final versions of these creative works, versions that will presumably incorporate some of the critiques and suggestions you’ve heard. The portfolio will also include all previous drafts of the work for comparative purposes, although the final version is the one that will be graded more specifically. You will also include in the portfolio an essay that explains your composition and revision processes, and that evaluates your progress as a writer throughout the semester. This should be an ongoing process throughout the semester—you should be working on the revision of your work as soon as you get feedback on it, and perhaps even earlier.
Late Submission of Course Materials: The policy for late work is pretty straightforward: if you don’t turn in an assignment at the exact deadline, you may turn it in late for half credit (an assignment graded as a 94, for example, would get a 47). After one week has passed from the moment of the deadline, however, you may no longer turn in the work.
The late work policy does NOT apply to work that is completed in class. If you are absent from a class period in which we do an in-class exercise, dramatic presentation, etc., you can't make up that work. If you miss a class in which the work you turned in was scheduled to be discussed in a workshop, you will lose half the points for the work.
Classroom Rules of Conduct: Creative writing classes require students to exhibit a good deal of respect and open-mindedness. Every student will be expected to offer serious, considered opinions, and to do so in a way that is constructive and generous.
Any electronic device that is brought into the classroom must be turned off before class begins (class begins when I walk into the room, not when I ask you to turn off your phones). If you need to have a device on for the reasons of disability or health, or if you need to have your phone available because you’re expecting an urgent call, please discuss it with me before class begins.
Course Topic/Dates/Assignments: This is a rough outline of what we’ll be doing throughout the semester. It is very likely to change, depending on the pace we establish, so don’t refer to it as the ultimately authority regarding what to read or bring to class.
1/10: Introduction to the subject, Burroway reading
1/12: Opening discussions and readings
1/14: Begin poetry section—overview
1/17: NO CLASS—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
1/19: Poetry—forms and prosody
1/21: Poetry—forms and prosody continued
1/26: Poetry—metaphor continued
1/28: Poetry—free verse and technique
1/31: Poetry—free verse and technique continued
2/2: Poetry—development and cohesion
2/18: Make-Up Day
2/21: NO CLASS—Presidents’ Day
2/23: Begin fiction Section--overview
2/25: Fiction—point of view
3/4: Fiction—plot and story
3/7-3/11: NO CLASS—Spring Break
3/14: Fiction—the three cardinal sins
3/16: Fiction—language and revision
3/18: Fiction—theme and meaning
4/4: Begin drama section—overview
4/6: Drama—possibilities and limitations
4/8: Drama—conventions and techniques
4/11: Drama—conventions and techniques continued
4/13: Drama—revision and staging
4/15: Drama—revision and staging
4/18: Dramatic presentations
4/20: Dramatic presentations
4/22: NO CLASS—Good Friday
4/25: Dramatic presentations
4/27: Portfolio discussion
4/29: Final things, portfolios due
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96Some additional points about absences and tardiness:
You can miss three class periods without having your participation grade affected. After that, each absence will take ten points off your total participation grade (out of a possible one hundred points). After your tenth absence, you are no longer eligible to pass, regardless of your point totals in other areas. Students who are chronically late to class will also lose participation points.
You are marked absent if you are not in class when I take attendance, which usually happens about a minute or two after the hour begins. If you arrive after attendance has been taken, it is your responsibility to come up to me after class and ask me to mark you as tardy, rather than absent. If you do not do this, you will be counted as absent.
Excused absences will be determined on a case-by-case basis. They are rare, however, and usually involve things like hospital stays, funerals, et cetera, and they require documentation and advanced notice when possible.
When you miss a class, you have to find out how you should prepare for the next class (don't rely on the course outline--it will probably change). Ideally, you'll be able to contact a class member who can fill you in. If you need to contact me to ask, please make your questions very specific (“Could you tell me what book to bring, and what story I should read for Wednesday's class?” rather than “So what did I miss?”). Also, keep in mind that I may not answer right away—I generally will respond to e-mails within 18 hours.
Disability Guidelines:Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
-There are certain matters that I feel are better handled in person. These include matters pertaining to absence, personal troubles, issues with another student, grade disputes, etc.
-Please do not e-mail me to ask what we did in class. If you ask me specifically what materials or homework you should bring for the next class, I can tell you. However, I simply don’t have time to give you a run-down on what originally took fifty minutes to explain to everyone else.
-Please do not e-mail me assignments unless you’ve received permission to do it ahead of time. Everyone already has permission to e-mail me their stories, poems, and dramatic presentations, and to e-mail me assignments that you will not be able to turn in because of absence (assuming you’re e-mailing them to me BEFORE the due date). No other work should be e-mailed to me unless you’ve discussed it with me already.
-Please keep the tone and style of your e-mails appropriate for an academic environment. This means beginning with a proper salutation (not “Hey there Prof,” but “Hello Professor,”), using grammatical English, and avoiding the abbreviations and emoticons of text-messaging.
Last Updated:12/10/2010 9:42:29 AM