Creative Writing

Vicki Mahaffey
208 English Building, 608 South Wright, Urbana
PH: (217) 333-2391
http://www.english.illinois.edu

The Creative Writing major, administered by the Department of English, combines small workshops (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) and a variety of literature courses.  The result is a strong but flexible program of study that develops students’ analytical and creative skills and prepares them for work of graduate study in any number of fields.

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Major in Sciences and Letters Curriculum

E-mail: english@illinois.edu

Degree title: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Minimum required core and supporting course work normally equates to 36 hours. Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus, of which at least three hours must be Creative Writing Courses (CW 404 or CW 406). All Creative Writing courses must be taken in sequence (CW 104 before CW 204, etc.).

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Literature Foundational Coursework
CW 100Intro to Creative Writing3
CW 200Reading for Writers3
Expository Writing (Advanced Composition)
CW 243Inter Expository Writing 13
Creative Writing Coursework
Students complete 12 hours of creative writing coursework, including at least one of the following 3-course (9-hour) sequences:12
Introductory Poetry Writing
and Intermediate Poetry Writing
and Advanced Poetry Writing
or
Introductory Narrative Writing
and Intermediate Narrative Writing
and Advanced Narrative Writing
The remaining three hours of writing coursework can be satisfied by a fourth CW workshop outside of the mandatory sequence or any of the following writing courses: ENGL 401, 402, 403, and 481; BTW 250, 261, and 271; CMN 310, 423, and 432; JOUR 475; and THEA 211
ENGL 418Shakespeare3
or ENGL 218 Introduction to Shakespeare
Literature Coursework:
6 hours of English or American literature coursework chosen from approved list.6
Supporting coursework
History and Culture Coursework: Choose one of the following pairs:6
Early Masterpieces of Western Culture
and Modern Masterpieces of Western Culture
Western Civ to 1660
and Western Civ Since 1660
US Hist to 1877
and US Hist Since 1877
British Isles to 1688
and Britain and World Since 1688
Total Hours36
1

Credit is not given for both RHET 233 and CW 243. Students who have taken RHET 233 prior to declaring the CW major must take CW 208 instead of CW 243 to complete this requirement.  Students who take CW 208 for their Expository Writing requirement cannot count CW 208 toward the required 12 hours of Creative Writing coursework.

CW Class Schedule

Courses

CW 100   Intro to Creative Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Acquaint students with the technical choices a writer makes in creating a story or a poem. Mondays are given to lectures on specific elements of poetry and fiction. Wednesdays are dedicated to readings by faculty and visiting writers. Fridays allow students the opportunity to work in small group discussion sections applying the week's techniques and skills to a close reading of stories and poems.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Humanities - Lit & Arts

CW 104   Introductory Narrative Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Practice in the writing of narrative prose, with primary emphasis on short fiction. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.

CW 106   Introductory Poetry Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Practice in the writing of poetry; experimentation with a number of fixed forms and free verse, but emphasis mainly on the student's freedom to develop a personal style. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.

CW 200   Reading for Writers   credit: 3 Hours.

Emphasizes the craft of short stories and poems through the study of formal elements central to the production of creative writing (e.g., plot, character, setting, point of view in short fiction and rhythm, meter, line break, imagery, simile, metaphor, formal patterns in poetry). Prerequisite: CW 104 or CW 106. For majors only.

CW 202   Topics in Creative Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Independent writing projects and examination of literature as the cultural basis of the student's specialized fields. May be repeated as topics vary.

CW 204   Intermediate Narrative Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Practice in the writing of fiction, with emphasis on the short story. Prerequisite: CW 104 or equivalent.

CW 206   Intermediate Poetry Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Builds upon the workshop format of CW 106, with an emphasis on prosody and poetic technique. Students will deepen their sense of craft by putting into practice their study and understanding of a variety of poetic forms (e.g., syllabic poetry, dramatic monologue, sonnet, bound/free verse) and technical concerns (e.g., voice, tone, line, line break, image). The workshop component of the course typically includes 8-12 completed poems and their revisions. Prerequisite: CW 106.

CW 208   Creative Nonfiction Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Types of nonfiction prose, including the personal essay, memoir, literary journalism, and historical writing. Prerequisite: RHET 233 or CW 243, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

CW 243   Inter Expository Writing   credit: 3 Hours.

Practice in expository types, with emphasis on style and critical analysis. Restricted to Creative Writing majors. Credit is not given for CW 243 and either RHET 243 or RHET 233. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

CW 404   Advanced Narrative Writing   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Continued practice in the writing of fiction, with emphasis on the longer story. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CW 204 or equivalent.

CW 406   Advanced Poetry Writing   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Practice of the writing of poetry aided by intensive study of examples. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CW 206 or equivalent.

CW 455   Creative Writing Tutorial   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Personal direction in a writing project: fiction (novel or short stories), poetry or creative nonfiction. Frequency of conference to be determined by the type of project. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: CW 208, CW 404 or CW 406, and consent of the Director of Creative Writing.

CW 460   Intro to Literary Editing   credit: 3 Hours.

Practicum in which students learn all the stages of developing and editing a literary publication. Students will solicit, read, and select poems and stories for an online supplement to the Ninth Letter literary journal. At the end of the semester, the supplement will be published on the Ninth Letter website (www.ninthletter.com). Students will gain experience in professional communications, copyediting, and marketing. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. May be repeated in separate semesters to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: CW 104 or CW 106.

CW 463   Adv Topics in Creative Writing   credit: 3 or 4 Hours.

Advanced topics course in Creative Writing. Students study selected topic through a workshop model, pursuing advanced development in one or more approaches to writing in a specialized field or genre. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated, if topics vary. Prerequisite: Junior standing required.