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Introduction to Creative Writing

Instructor: Kwoya Fagin Maples


Textbook Required:

The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students by Heather Sellers (2008)
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to creative writing for students interested in writing within
the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Students will gain an
understanding of various effective elements in creative writing through practicing these
elements in their own writing and becoming critics of their peers work as well as their
own. As reading is a crucial stage of writing, this class also exposes students to the work
of a myriad of modern and classic writers in each genre of creative writing. Students will
also choose a writer they admire or are intrigued by and immerse themselves in the
complete works of this author throughout the course of the semester.
** Do not answer cell phones or text message in my class. Turn off your cell phones
prior to class.
Course Requirements:
The work in this class will consist mainly of readings and practices from your textbook.
Your textbook will be a close guide throughout the semester. Bring it to every class. We
will also complete group or collaborated workshops throughout the course of the
semester. Workshopping requires that you bring in copies of your work to class, as
specified on the calendar, for peer review. In addition, at the beginning of the semester
you will choose a writer to study, evaluate and marry throughout the course. You will
present your findings to the class. The final will consist of a portfolio.
Grading:
Writing Assignments: 30%
Reading Quizzes: 30%
Writer Presentation: 20%
Final Portfolio: 20%
Course Schedule: This schedule is tentative and is subject to change at my discretion. I
will be adding additional readings or assignments throughout the course of the semester.

Week 1
August 15-19
Introductions:
The Danger of a Single Story (Ted Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Finding Your Story
What is Creative Writing?

Week 2
August 22-261/17- For class: Read Chapter 2: Writing and Reading, choose and
complete a writing project on p. 49, and bring in a poem that you dont get or do not
understand. Be prepared to let me know which writer you are choosing to study in class.
In-class: Discussion of reading, Imitation and Scaffolding exercise p. 43, Writing activity

Week 3
August 29-Sept 2
Chapter 3 Strategies: Energy
For class: Read The Principles of Energy p. 67-79 and Complete both practices on p.
79.
In-class: Writing activity, practice on p. 82

Week 4
September 5-9
For class: Read Chapter 3 Manipulating Energy p. 82-90 and complete the readings on
pp. 94-99, choose a writing project (p. 91) to complete and bring to class. Also bring in
12 copies of a piece youve been working on.

Week 5
September 12-16
Chapter 4: Images
For class: Read all of chapter 4, including the readings. Choose and complete a writing
project on p. 122. Bring it to class. Workshop your peers writing according to the
questions on p. 123 for the Images Workshop.
In-class: Discussion of reading, writing activity, Images Workshop

Week 6
September 19-23
Chapter 5: Tension
For class: Read pp. 141-150 in Chapter 5, complete the practice on pg. 145, complete a
writing project on p. 163-164, and bring in 6 copies of a piece youve been working on.
In- class: Discussion of readings, practice p. 150, writing activity

Week 7
September 26-30
For class: Read the remainder of Chapter 5 starting at pg. 150, complete the practice
on p. 161, and workshop your peers writing according to the Tension Workshop on pg.
166.
In-class: Discussion of reading, practice on p 159, Tension Workshop, Writing Activity

Week 8
October 3-7
Chapter 6: Patterns
For class: Read chapter 6 and complete both practices on p. 214-215, choose and
complete a writing project on p. 216-217.
In class: Discussion of readings, Pattern Workshop with a partner (p. 217). writing
activity

Week 9
October 10-14
Chapter 7: Insight
For class: Read Chapter 7 and complete the practice on p. 234. Also, complete a writing
project on p. 241
In class: Discussion of reading, Insight Workshop with partner (p. 242)

Week 10
October 17-21
Chapter 8: Structure
For class: Read Chapter 8 p. 279-288, complete the practice on p. 287, bring in 6
copies of a piece youve been working on.

Week 11
October 24-28
For class: Read Chapter 8 contd p. 289-313, complete a writing project on p. 294, Bring
it to class. Workshop your peers writing according to the Structure Workshop on pg. 295.
In class: Discussion of reading, Structure Workshop, Writing Activity

Week 12
October 31-Nov 4
Chapter 9: Forms
For class: Read Chapter 9 p. 314-329, complete practice on p. 318, Write an
abecedarius prose piece or poem and bring it to class.
In class: Discussion of reading (visitation and journey), practice p. 323.
Week 13

Nov 7-11
Chapter 9 contd Forms for Poems
For class: Read the remainder of chapter 9 starting at p. 329. Write a ghazal, sestina, or
villanelle, and bring it to class.
In class: Discussion of reading, write a pantoum p. 332, Forms workshop with partner p.
344.

Week 14
November 14-18
Chapter 10: Revision
For Class: Read chapter 10, Revise a poem or piece weve seen in workshop, bring 6
copies of the edited version to class. Also, bring 6 copies of a new piece for workshop.
In class: Discussion of reading, project presentations, writing activity
Week 15
November 21-25
E-Days and Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 16
November 28-December 2
Handout: Voice from Imaginative Writing by Janet Burroway
For class: Bring in a new piece for workshop next week.
In class: Workshop, project presentations

Week 17
December 5-9
Study Week /Presentation Make-up Week
Week 18
December 12-15
Final Portfolio Due Uploaded to Google Classroom

Project: Love a Creative Writer


As writers, we develop by studying other writers and artists work. Reading is a
necessary tool for writing. For this project, I want you to pick a writer in the genres of
poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction. This could be a person you love, hate, or dont
understand, but by the end of the semester, you should be an authority on this persons
work. Over the course of the semester, you will completely immerse yourself with this
writers work by checking out every book and every small (attainable) piece of literature
this writer has written. You will present your findings to the class by using handouts,
visuals, and oral presentation. Your presentation will be 20 minutes. minimum. During
this time you can give us small biographical details that may influence the work, point
out and read aloud work that you like, dislike, or are confused by, you will also handout
and read a creative piece you have written in response to this persons work, and finally
you will correctly recite a piece of writing from this writer. Be as creative as possible.
What needs to be turned in to me: all handouts, and your creative response to this writers
work.