Creative Writing Fall 2022
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C W 101 Introduction to Creative Writing is a general education course, and not recommended for Creative Writing majors. Courses that will apply to the Creative Writing major requirements begin at #300.
C W 101 1 Introduction to Creative Writing Monday 12:30-3:15 p.m. TBA
C W 101 2 Introduction to Creative Writing Monday 4-6:45 p.m. TBA
C W 101 3 Introduction to Creative Writing Tuesday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Maxine Chernoff
C W 101 5 Introduction to Creative Writing ONLINE Donna De La Perriere
C W 101 6 Introduction to Creative Writing ONLINE Matthew Davison
C W 101 7 Introduction to Creative Writing ONLINE Matthew Davison
This introductory course focuses on the creative writing process of generating material through writing exercises in poetry, fiction, and playwriting. It also examines for craft selected readings of exemplary stories, poems, and plays. Open to all students. CROSS GENRE COURSE.
C W 300 1 Welcome to Creative Writing: Developing a Writing Practice in Community and Navigating the Degree Tuesday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Nona Caspers
“Everyone has the right to suck,” Michelle Carter, playwright and professor of creative writing SF State.
“One can, I think, listen someone into existence,” bell hooks
What is “the habit of art”? What is “world worlding”? What is a “creative process”? How might we befriend our subconscious, relax into darkness and mystery so they can help us discover our own truths on our own terms.
Welcome to Creative Writing is designed to support entering B.A. creative writing majors at all levels—folks transferring into SF State or fresh into the university. You will practice writing in community with your major cohort, responding to generative writing prompts and perceptual experiments that intend to activate you toward the art of language and voice—your true faces—within varying cultural contexts and perspectives, including all of our geographical and historical contexts. You will be introduced to department expectations in the classroom and meet our program’s faculty members, such as Joseph Cassara, Tonya Foster, Michelle Carter, May-lee Chai, Chanan Tigay, Andrew Joron (see website link for faculty and staff faces below). The guest faculty will talk with us about their varying writing practices and creative processes. The course also guides you in the practical use of advising materials, website information, and CW/LCA/SF State resources and opportunities as well as resources and opportunities in the Bay Area literary community. People | Department of Creative Writing (sfsu.edu)
C W 301 1 Fundamentals of Creative Writing Monday 12:30 – 3:15 p.m. TBA
Prerequisite: English 114, or equivalent. Priority enrollment given to Eng: Creative Writing; Eng: Ed w/ Creative Writing concentration; and Cinema majors. Instruction and extensive practice in writing poetry, fiction, and plays, with selected readings of exemplary stories, poems, and plays. This course is the prerequisite to Short Story Writing, Poetry Writing, and Playwriting. CROSS GENRE COURSE.
C W 302 2 Fundamentals Creative Reading Thursday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Steve Dickison
Prerequisite: English 114, or equivalent. Enrollment limited to creative writing majors; non-majors admitted with consent of instructor. Students learn to read like writers through lecture-discussion and reading assignments. Submerges the student in literature and asserts the importance of reading. We will analyze the basic craft elements intrinsic to four genres of writing: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and playwriting. Together we will apply this study to your own writing. We will explore ways to access your own individual imagination. Through practice, writing can become a way to engage with yourself and the world.
C W 506 1 Business of Creative Writing ONLINE Wednesday 12:30-2:30 p.m. Maxine Chernoff
Prerequisites for C W 506: C W 101 or C W 301 with a grade of C or better. Enrollment limited to C W majors; non-majors admitted with consent of instructor. Covers agents, corporate and small publishing houses, E-publishing, markets, publicity, theaters, and arts organizations etc. Students write letters to agents/editors, press releases for book tours, and several short papers. (This is a paired course offering. Students who complete the course at one level may not repeat the course at the other level.)
C W 510 1 Poetics of Place Wednesday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Tonya M. Foster
Prerequisite: C W 301 or C W 101 with a grade of C or better. Priority enrollment given to Eng: Creative Writing, Eng: Ed w/ Creative Writing concentration and Cinema majors. In this course, we will examine poetry, essays, film, music, and art that respond to specific geographic locations and that question how creative makers have shaped and reimagined the built environment. We will explore the ways artistic imagination and practice can be grounded in, released by, and otherwise in dialogue with the particularities of place and context. Artists and writers to be studied include Aimé Cesaire, Carrie Mae Weems, Charles Baudelaire, Harryette Mullen, Kendrick Lamar, Eleni Sikelianos, Rebecca Solnit.
C W 510 2 Investigating Voice Thursday 4-6:45 p.m. Joseph Cassara
Prerequisite: C W 301 or C W 101 with a grade of C or better. This process course will focus on the ways that writers of fiction and non-fiction utilize narrative voice on the page. What does it mean when we say that a text is voice-driven? How do writers create a consciousness on the page that feels uniquely its own? We will read short stories, novel excerpts, personal essays, reportage, and criticism with an eye towards style, syntax, and form. We will analyze both the stories being told and the manner in which they are conveyed by analyzing tone, the anatomy of the scene, modes of narration, and the ways details are rendered. Assigned authors include: Tommy Orange, Joan Didion, Eve Babitz, James Baldwin, Hilton Als, Junot Diaz, David Sedaris, Miranda July, Rivka Galchen, Annie Proulx, Alexander Chee, Marlon Riggs, Bryan Washington, among others. Emphasis will be on assigned readings, with some creative assignments.
C W 510 3 Speculative Fiction Tuesday 4-6:45 p.m. Andrew Joron
Prerequisite: C W 301 or consent of instructor.
Speculative fiction is a genre that gives priority to “cognitive estrangement,” using narrative prose to push beyond ordinary reality into a zone where the familiar becomes strange, and the strange familiar. This course will survey various modes of modern speculative fiction, including science fiction, dystopian and Gothic literature, surrealism, and magical realism. Students will utilize readings in these modes as points of departure for their own creative writing.
C W 512GW 1 Craft Of Fiction - GWAR Thursday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Chanan Tigay
Prerequisites: C W 301; ENG 114; ENG 214; B.A. majors in ENG, Creative Writing and ENG, Edu. (Creative Writing). This course will explore the contemporary short story, focusing exclusively on stories published in the last five years. Through this exploration students will become familiar with the current state of the short story, gaining an understanding of the literary landscape into which they will emerge upon completion of their degrees. Schedules permitting, a number of the writers whose work we read will visit the class to discuss their writing, their writing lives, and their paths to publication. Throughout the semester, students will complete a series of writing exercises which the class will workshop, culminating in writing their own complete short stories.
C W 513GW 1 Craft Of Playwriting - GWAR Wednesday 4-6:45 p.m. Anne Galjour
Prerequisites: C W 301; ENG 114; ENG 214; B.A. majors in ENG, Creative Writing and ENG, Edu. (Creative Writing). Craft of Playwriting GWAR is the study of the principles used in the craft of dramatic writing. Emphasis is placed on various techniques used in writing good dialogue. We also focus on action, character, subtext, conflict, crisis, climax, structure, scene, setting, plot, and story. We will look at the origins of play writing through the study of OEDIPUS by Sophocles, all the way to modern master works by August Wilson, Nilo Cruz, David Mamet, David Henry Hwang, Adam Bock and Annie Baker. We will discover for ourselves why these works continue to get produced to this day. Students will write short critical responses to these playwrights’ use of language, strategies in craft elements, themes, individual voice, and sources of inspiration for their works. Most importantly, students will write scenes, monologues and short plays generated from in class and take home writing assignments throughout the entire semester. The instructor will give critical feedback. From this, students will produce at least 2 revised scenes and/or monologues and 1 Character Analysis essay.
C W 600 1 Uses of Personal Experience ONLINE. Tuesday 12:30-2:30 p.m. Michelle Carter
Prerequisite: C W 301 or consent of instructor. Haruki Murakami was at a baseball game--rooting for his team, the Yokult Swallows-- when the lead-off batter hit a double: at that moment, he was inspired to write his first novel. "I can still recall the exact sensation," he wrote of the day. "It felt as if something had come fluttering down from the sky, and I had caught it cleanly in my hands." At times, personal experience is manifested in an artist's work quite explicitly. Other times, its workings are a mystery.
In this course, we'll explore the force and presence of personal experience in works created in a range of literary and nonliterary genres. Weekly creative writing prompts will spring from the work of a variety of writers and creative artists including: Qui Nguyen, Haruki Murakami, Eduardo Galeano, Anthony Veasna So, Donja R Love, Tongo Eisen-Martin, E.J.Koh, Chet-la Sebree, Kiese Laymon, Rem Koolhaas, Alexander Chee, Nick Cave, Carmen Maria Machado, Anne Carson, Myriam Gurba, Sarah Ruhl, Tommy Orange, Justin Torres, Grace Paley, Alison Bechdel, Allie Brosh, Marjane Satrapi, Yevgenia Belorusets, Hansol Jung, Ngozi Anyanwu, Will Eno, Danez Smith, Bruce Mau, and Juliana Delgado Lopera. Students will be encouraged to render and explore experience in different forms: literary genres, works for performance, song creation, video creation, graphic storytelling, gaming--any creative genre students might be driven to investigate.
C W 601 1 Work In Progress ONLINE Wednesday 7 – 8:30 p.m. Donna De La Perriere
Prerequisite: Senior standing in Creative Writing. Enrollment is limited to undergraduate majors in English: Creative Writing and English: Education (Creative Writing). Work In Progress is an advanced process course that offers senior creative writing majors the opportunity to delve into an extended writing project of their own design. Our work in this class will focus on the creative process as it extends past the first burst of inspiration into the longer haul. We’ll study and try out a variety of creative practices that writers can use to keep their projects alive, open, and dynamic over the long haul. These practices will also enhance the work of deepening, extending, and re-envisioning our projects. Most writers do their work under the intense pressures of earning a living and in a society that has little sympathy with the long, time-consuming, and deeply eccentric creative process. Yet it is precisely the stimulation and challenge of this rich process that can sustain us as writers over the years.
C W 602 1 Playwriting Monday 4-6:45 p.m. Anne Galjour
We will be discussing assigned plays, paying specific attention to how these selected playwrights have responded to situations and events in the world and how they have set their imaginations to what they have witnessed and experienced. We will pay close attention to how their characters and the situations they are in unfold through the journey of each play. We will also be doing writing exercises to help you tap into your own individual imagination and creative problem solving powers. For this, you will need to keep a journal and bring it to class each week. Your journal is a “What if …?” space where you can answer any question with free associations about anything that pops into your head,- ideas, circumstances, connections, solutions, images, sounds. If you are having any problem with your characters, circumstance, setting, whatever,-- your journal is a place to brainstorm it and let your mind run free. We will begin each class with a free write or prompt for your journal, followed by in-class discussion of texts, and weekly writing exercises that will focus on different aspects of craft. We will read, write, rewrite, then rewrite again and again till we have polished scenes and plays. To support the process we will listen to each others’ scenes heeding Walter Kerr’s words, “Begin with a situation and then make certain characters enter it honestly.”
C W 603 1 Short Story Writing Thursday 4-6:45 p.m. Junse Kim
Prerequisites: C W 301; C W 511GW or C W 512GW or C W 513GW. Enrollment limited to creative writing majors; non-majors admitted with consent of instructor. This course will explore different aspects of fiction writing craft by critically analyzing published short stories, as well as fellow students’ creative writing. Students will then apply and hone these craft concepts through in-class writing exercises and homework assignments, transforming conceptual knowledge of craft into “how to” applicable knowledge. Each student will then explore their creative process and consider how it can include critical thinking, consciously applying craft in three written assignments and a complete short story.
C W 606 1 Art of Revision. ONLINE Tuesday 9-10:30 a.m. Matthew Davison
Prerequisites: C W 101 or C W 301; C W 302; C W 512GW or C W 603 Examine and experiment with the artistic processes of published writers (and a variety of other artists) who've taken a project from idea to completion. Study interviews, process notes, and "middle drafts" of these artists. Include analyses of the draft process, genre across artistic and literary forms, and creation and revision of student work. CROSS GENRE COURSE
C W 609 Directed Writing B.A. By Arrangement Please Email for Instructor Permission
Permission of the instructor is required to take this course; you will be dropped without prior consent of the instructor. By the middle of the semester before you plan to enroll in Directed Writing, submit a sample of your writing in the instructor’s mailbox along with a note explaining that you want to take their Directed Writing class. Be sure you include your name, address, phone number and e-mail. If the instructor is on leave, please email your writing sample to them. Class times to be directly arranged with the instructor.
C W 609 1 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Michelle Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 609 2 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Michael David Lukas email@example.com
C W 609 3 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Maxine Chernoff firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 609 4 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Nona Caspers email@example.com
C W 609 5 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Paul Hoover firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 609 6 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR Andrew Joron email@example.com
C W 609 7 Directed Writing B.A. Students ARR May-lee Chai firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 640 1 Transfer Literary Magazine Tuesday 4-6:45 p.m. Junse Kim
Prerequisite: C W 301; C W 302; C W 511GW or C W 512GW or C W 513GW; or consent of instructor. Join the staff of Transfer, the literary magazine of the Creative Writing Department, established in 1950, and one of the longest running student literary magazines in the US. The course is designed to give you a working taste of what it takes to put out a literary magazine (including critical analysis and discussion of short-listed submissions, proofreading, solicitation and distribution) and to make you think about the world of literary magazines and your own beliefs in literature. Come prepared to analyze and discuss text and investigate your own literary aesthetics. In order to bring Transfer into the 21st Century, in addition to assisting the editors publish the print magazine, class members will create, design, and edit an accompanying webzine, where they will publish their own work and works of others. If you’re interested in being an editor of Transfer, at the end of the semester you will be given the opportunity to apply for an editor position for the next issue. This is a process course (not a lab) and can be used to fulfill 3 units of the Creative Process requirement. CROSS GENRE COURSE.
C W 675 1 Community Projects-Literature ONLINE Thursday 7-9:00 p.m. Anne Galjour
Prerequisite: C W 101 or 301 with a grade of C or better. Enrollment is limited to undergraduate majors in English: Creative Writing and English: Education (Creative Writing). Non-majors admitted with consent of instructor. Paid and unpaid internship positions designed to give CW students practical knowledge and experience are available through local literary and arts organizations, civic and community organizations, Bay Area school districts and within the Creative Writing Community at SF State. Check out our Community Projects in Literature Internship Leads on our Community Projects page. Incredible academic internships are also available for C W 675/875 credit through SF State’s Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE). Check out their list of paid and unpaid internships on their website. These working by remote and/or in person internships are robust opportunities to 'learn by doing'. If you have any questions please contact Anne Galjour at email@example.com. C W 675/875 may be taken twice for 6 units of credit.
C W 685 1 Projects in Teaching Creative Writing ARR Nona Caspers
Prerequisites: (If this is your first time as an instructional aid, please register for C W 859 Practicum in Teaching first.) Advanced undergraduate standing, grade of B+ or better in the course in which the student will be an aide, and approval of the department Chair. Students are placed with a creative writing faculty member in a supervised practicum/internship experience, in which they explore the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching creative writing. CROSS GENRE COURSE. Please contact Nona Caspers, firstname.lastname@example.org, for a permit number. This position is for course credit only.
C W 699 Independent Study By Arrangement
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and a 3.0 GPA. Upper division students may enroll in a course of Independent Study under the supervision of a member of the Creative Writing department, with whom the course is planned, developed, and completed. This course may be taken for one, two, or three units. No priority enrollment; enrollment is by petition, and a copy of your unofficial SF State transcript. Petition for Independent Study forms are available on the registrar's website. This form must be signed by the instructor you will be working with, and the department chair. Your instructor will give you the schedule and permit numbers to add the course during the first week of the semester.
Note: Preference in all Creative Writing graduate courses will be given to students admitted to either the M.A. or the M.F.A. programs in Creative Writing. Preference in M.F.A. level courses will be given to students admitted to the M.F.A. program. Priority in M.A. and M.F.A. writing workshops and creative process courses will be given to students admitted in the genre of the course. Other Creative Writing M.A./M.F.A. students may enroll in these courses only with the permission of the instructor.
C W 785 Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Creative Writing ARR Nona Caspers
Prerequisites: (If this is your first time as an instructional aid, please register for C W 859 Practicum in Teaching first.) Advanced undergraduate standing, grade of B+ or better in the course in which the student will be an aide, and approval of the department Chair. Students are placed with a creative writing faculty member in a supervised practicum/internship experience, in which they explore the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching creative writing. This is the course to sign up for if you want to be an instructional aid, (I.A.) in a specific undergraduate class for 3 units of credit. CROSS GENRE COURSE. Please contact Nona Caspers, email@example.com, for a permit number. This position is for course credit only. If you are interested in applying to the paid teaching positions, you will need to take C W 860 Teaching Creative Writing. This course does not qualify you to apply to the teaching positions.
C W 803 1 Advanced Short Story Writing ONLINE Monday 7-8:30 p.m. Donna De La Perriere
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. Priority enrollment given to graduate Creative Writing fiction students; open to Creative Writing students in other genres only on a space available basis, to be determined at the first class meeting. A graduate-level short story writing workshop the aim of which is to foster your growth as a writer by encouraging you to expand the range of possibilities for the way your stories might be made, what they might say, and how they might mean. Toward that end you’ll be creating new work, thinking about ways to deepen/extend early drafts, developing and refining work in progress, discussing issues of craft, considering how published writers of short fiction create work that is formally alive and vivid, and engaging each week with work by your fellow workshop writers.
C W 804 Advanced Poetry Writing Wednesday 4-6:45 p.m. Barbara Tomash
Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate Creative Writing students or consent of the instructor. For this course students will engage in a semester-long project of writing a poetry chapbook. Chapbooks—collections of around 15-25 pages—are the way many poets choose to present a conceptually and/or aesthetically cohesive, but shorter, body of work. Often, a chapbook is the initial book publication of an emerging poet. It is a wonderful vehicle for introducing your voice to new audiences and can take many forms—a simple stapled pamphlet, a handmade letterpress book. In this course we will discuss what the chapbook format can uniquely highlight and focus in our writing practice, and particularly, what experiments can be made that might not be available in another form. How is writing a chapbook different from writing a full length book? What artistic challenges do these two activities share? And what processes are distinctive to each form? Our workshop discussions will focus on questions such as how our chapbooks-in-progress find integrity and a sense of wholeness; what are possible approaches to ordering, grouping, sequencing, and revision—questions that are pertinent to the writing of any work of literary art. Our approach will include close readings of diverse chapbooks by contemporary poets including chapbooks by past graduates of the SF State Creative Writing Department such as Raul Ruiz, Jennifer S. Cheng, and Sarah Rosenthal, and by Rosebud Ben-Oni, Srikanth Reddy, and Terrence Hayes. The class format will include discussion of the weekly reading assignments, the presentation of work in progress, offering verbal and written feedback, and may also include in-class and at-home writing assignments. May be repeated for a total of 9 units.
C W 806 1 Business of Creative Writing ONLINE Wednesday 12:30-2:30 p.m. Maxine Chernoff
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. In this class we will explore some aspects of the “business” of creative writing—how writers find and create audiences for their work, find editors and publishers, and pay the rent—as well as how they create lives in which art and the creative process are central. This is a survey class, not a seminar, so while this class will not teach you how to become a best-selling writer in ten easy steps, it will provide you with a larger sense of the business side of creative writing, while encouraging you to develop your ability to distinguish between the business of creative writing and the art. Each class period will involve lecture & discussion by guest speakers (poets, writers, literary agents, book editors, literary journal publishers, reading series curators, book distribution managers, free-lance writers and editors, literary nonprofit managers, and the like). You will be given a writing and/or research assignment the week before each presentation to lead you into the speaker’s field.
C W 807 1 Developing the Novel ONLINE Thursday 9-11 a.m. Matthew Davison
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. Priority enrollment given to graduate Creative Writing fiction students; open to Creative Writing students in other genres only on a space available basis, to be determined at the first class meeting. Writers read. That’s the basic idea behind this course. Through reading, analyzing, and discussing a wide range of novels, we will begin to stretch and grow as our practice as writers. By studying works of long fiction and discussing the historical develop.m.ent of the novel, by asking what a novel is, where the form might be going, and how the heck you go about writing one, we will discover the forms and craft elements best suited to what we want to express in our own work.
C W 809 Directed Writing for Graduate Students By Arrangement
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. Permission of the instructor is required to take this course; you will be dropped without prior consent of the instructor. The semester before you plan to enroll in Directed Writing, submit a sample of your writing in the instructor’s mailbox along with a note explaining that you want to take their Directed Writing class. Be sure you include your name, address, phone number and email. If the instructor is on leave, please email your writing sample to her or him.
C W 809 1 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Michelle Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 809 2 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Michael David Lukas email@example.com
C W 809 3 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Maxine Chernoff firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 809 4 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Nona Caspers email@example.com
C W 809 5 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Paul Hoover firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 809 6 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR Andrew Joron email@example.com
C W 809 7 Directed Writing For Grad Students ARR May-lee Chai firstname.lastname@example.org
C W 810 1 Contemporary World Fiction Tuesday 12:30-3:15 p.m. TBA
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status in creative writing or consent of instructor. This generative process class will explore novellas, mostly in translation, from countries including Viet Nam, Senegal, Denmark, Palestine, England, Argentina, and Germany. You will write biweekly responses to exercises and a 5-7 page novella excerpt by the end of the semester.
C W 810 2 The Prose Poem Thursday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Paul Hoover
Prerequisite: Classified Creative Writing graduate status in the M.F.A. program or consent of instructor. Enrollment priority will be given to M.F.A. poetry students. This seminar in the creative process is an investigation of the history and practice of prose poems. Assigned reading will include Arthur Rimbaud (The Illuminations), Victoria Chang (OBIT), Maxine Chernoff (Evolution of the Bridge: Selected Prose Poems), Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquietude) and Brandon Shimoda (Evening Oracle).
C W 840 1 14 Hills Literary Magazine Tuesday 4-6:45 p.m. Michael David Lukas
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. Fourteen Hills is a working small press as well as a graduate course in editing, publishing, and other skills essential to thriving and leading in the contemporary literary world. Each year, we publish one issue of Fourteen Hills: the SFSU Review, a nationally recognized literary print magazine, as well as the Michael Rubin Book Award (MRBA) winner, a book-length work by an SF State student or recent graduate. Fourteen Hills is run entirely by students with support from our Faculty Advisor and the Department of Creative Writing. The course, taught primarily by the Editor-in-Chief, is designed to give students an opportunity to observe and engage in many aspects of running a literary magazine, from editorial decisions to distribution logistics, from public relations and author interviews to curating a literary prize, from aesthetic considerations to the dynamics of equity and narrative justice in the broader publishing field. Students in the class serve as staff for the journal, working closely with the editors to consider and evaluate work for publication as well as learning about the copy-editing process, visual art selection, cover design, distribution, sales, and promotion. This is a class designed to merge real-world, hands-on publishing experience with the honing of skills that can ignite, inspire, and empower us in all our literary endeavors. CROSS GENRE COURSE.
C W 852 1 Workshop in Creative Nonfiction Wednesday 4-6:45 p.m. Chanan Tigay
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the M.A. in English; Creative Writing, or the new M.A. in Creative Writing. In this graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop, you will submit 2-3 pieces of creative nonfiction—either separate shorter pieces or sections of something longer you are working on. You will hone your skills as critics, responding weekly to your classmates’ submissions, both in class and in feedback letters. The great majority of our time will be dedicated to discussing students’ work, with an eye toward drawing connections between craft principles and their own writing practice. We will workshop two writers’ submissions each week, examining such craft elements as structure, tension, dialogue, clarity, arc and character, paying particular attention to the ways in which conventions of craft are applied and understood—and oftentimes reinterpreted or subverted.
C W 853 1 Workshop in Fiction Tuesday 7-9:45 p.m. Michael David Lukas
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status in the M.F.A. in Creative Writing or consent of instructor. In this course, you will delve into your fiction, explore and hone your voice, develop craft application skills, and take large, daring leaps toward your most cherished goals as a writer. We’ll turn close attention to each student’s manuscript in an atmosphere of aesthetic rigor, mutual support, and critical analysis from a writer’s perspective. We’ll pay attention to a variety of craft at play in developing your work, including character develop.m.ent, scene detailing, plot, point of view and psychic distance, developing and sustaining internal/external narrative tension/conflict, evocation of setting, treatment of time, and subtext in dialogue, with a focus on how all of these aspects of craft work together in fulfilling your narrative's artistic and dramatic potential. Your critical analysis skills will be honed through close readings of weekly reading assignments, with the goal of incorporating these skills when reading your own work before submitting a manuscript, identifying if your narrative intent is achieved, and if not, using this insight to evolve your writing process to fulfill your intent. We will also explore the mental and emotional aspects to our writing process that stand outside of craft, noting how it affects our work, and how to develop strategies to address these issues. The end goal of this workshop is to transform what we learn of Craft and Process into sustainable skills that you can take with you through the rest of your time in the program, and beyond. May be repeated for a total of 18 units.
C W 854 1 Workshop in Poetry Tuesday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Paul Hoover
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the M.A. in English; Creative Writing, or the new M.A. in Creative Writing. Students will concentrate on the creation and revision of their poetry. The class format will include discussion of reading assignments, group discussion of student work, and in-class and at-home writing assignments.
C W 855 1 Workshop in Playwriting Monday 4-6:45 p.m. Peter Nachtrieb
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the M.A. in English; Creative Writing, or the new M.A. in Creative Writing. Maria Irene Fornes wrote: "My goal in workshops is always what will be advantageous for the growth of the individual writer, rather than for the writer to show the other people in the class what he or she has accomplished." In that spirit, we'll focus on generating new work and using craft and process triggers to explore work already under construction. We'll also spotlight craft and process challenges of interest to the group. Our methods, while diverse, will be adapted to target the needs of the group's particular members. May be repeated for a total of 18 units.
C W 859 Practicum In Teaching Monday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Nona Caspers
Students working for the first time as Graduate Instructional Aides in undergraduate Creative Writing courses are required to take this Practicum course concurrent with their GIA teaching semester. Students meet as a group once every three weeks and post teaching journals and case studies on iLearn on a weekly basis. This course provides pedagogical grounding for pragmatic classroom teaching work and offers students a structured forum in which to discuss their teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher and in collaboration with other Graduate Instructional Aides. Open to both M.A. and M.F.A. Creative Writing students. Undergraduates accepted by special permission. This position is for course credit, only. If you are a graduate student interested in applying to the paid teaching positions, you will need to take C W 860 Teaching Creative Writing to qualify.
C W 860 1 Teaching Creative Writing Thursday 4-6:45 p.m. Michelle Carter
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in Creative Writing. This course is required to apply to our paid graduate teaching associate positions. Applications for these positions are accepted at the end of each Spring semester, and you may be enrolled in this class to apply. This course engages Creative Writing graduate students in practical and theoretical exploration of the teaching of creative writing. Our methods and activities will be diverse. We'll create and deliver exegeses and lectures. We'll explore strategies for giving useful, generative feedback--oral and written--to student works-in-progress. We'll hold practice sessions in leading class discussions, setting out to use text models with creativity, adaptability, and imagination. We'll also discuss aspects of Creative Writing pedagogy as stimulated by essays and interviews. By the end of the semester, each student will have prepared a syllabus for a fifteen-week creative writing course. These activities will be not only pragmatic but also diagnostic: as the semester progresses, each student will aim to unearth their particular passions and priorities as writers, educators, and human beings--i.e. the prime movers in the discovery of each of our unique teaching voices and styles. CROSS GENRE COURSE.
C W 875 1 Community Projects-Literature Thursday 7-9 p.m. Anne Galjour
Prerequisite: C W 101 or 301 with a grade of C or better. Enrollment is limited to undergraduate majors in English: Creative Writing and English: Education (Creative Writing). Non-majors admitted with consent of instructor. Paid and unpaid internship positions designed to give CW students practical knowledge and experience are available through local literary and arts organizations, civic and community organizations, Bay Area school districts and within the Creative Writing Community at SF State. Check out our Community Projects in Literature Internship Leads. Incredible academic internships are also available for C W 675/875 credit through SF State’s Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE). Check out their list of paid and unpaid internships! These working by remote and/or in person internships are robust opportunities to 'learn by doing'. If you have any questions please contact Anne Galjour at email@example.com. C W 675/875 may be taken twice for 6 units of credit.
C W 880 1 Art of Short Fiction Thursday 12:30–3:15 p.m. Joseph Cassara
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status in M.F.A. in Creative Writing or consent of instructor. Prerequisite: Restricted to graduate M.F.A. in Creative Writing students or consent of the instructor. Examination of the creative process, emphasizing techniques, style, and structure. Topics to be specified in the Class Schedule. May be repeated for a total of 18 units when topics vary.
C W 880 3 Earning Dramatic Emotion Wednesday 4-6:45 p.m. Junse Kim
One of the most difficult narrative issues in fiction writing is how to emotionally move your readers. Often, what we writers render on the page are concepts of drama meant to profoundly affect the reader, but it does not. In this graduate process class, we will critically analyze the intricate concepts of how emotions are developed in fiction, and master how to recognize and apply narrative craft that earns and fulfills its dramatic intent. These skills will be developed through discussions of published works, in-class writing exercises, and creative writing assignments. Students will be challenged to incorporate narrative techniques in fulfilling dramatic intent into their writing, but with the understanding that the craft consciously being applied (sometimes with difficulty) eventually will become absorbed into their unconscious writing intuition.
C W 881 1 Open Work: The Long Poem Wednesday 4-6:45 p.m. Tonya Foster
Prerequisite: Classified graduate standing in M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the M.A. in English; Creative Writing, or the new M.A. in Creative Writing. Language has a role to play in the day to day, in the social, in the public, in the private, in what Langston Hughes calls “the language of the tribe.” Language has a role to play in the home, on the street, in the national and in the inter/and transnational spaces that we occupy or from which we are displaced. Language animates and circumscribes each position, perspective, condition—lived, hoped for, imagined. The long poem includes the epic and the day to day, the hymn and the choreopoem. In this course, we will write and read to explore the long poem, its form and focus. Course requirements include short reading responses and one 12+ page long poem.
Homer (928 B.C.-?) The Odyssey (c. 8th century BCE), (trans. Emily Wilson) (2018)
Aimé Cesáire (1913-2008) Return to the Native Land (1939), (trans John Berger) (1969)
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) “The Anniad” ( 1949)
Allen Ginsburg (1926-1997) “Howl” (1956)
James Schuyler (1923-1991) “Hymn to Life” (1973)
Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” (1975)
Alice Notley (1945- ) The Descent of Alette (1992)
Anne Carson (1950- ) Autobiography of Red (1998)
C W 882 1 Architectonics of the Play Monday 12:30-3:15 p.m. Anne Galjour
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status in the M.F.A. in Creative Writing or consent of instructor. In this M.F.A. Creative Process course we examine the structure of action by exploring how playwrights work with Time, Ritual, Symbols, Metaphor, Ma (negative space) Sound, and Architecture to communicate themes and ideas. How does Suzan Lori-Parks employ the famous Zapruder film of JFK being shot to explore the great hole in American History? How do Akira Kurosawa and Harold Pinter employ Ma (negative space) in creating scenes? How does Beckett use symbols and sound to create a theatrical world? How does Adam Bach use tape on the stage floor to establish real and imagined boundaries? How does Velina Hasu Houston use the ritual of serving tea to release a ghost story? These are a few examples of how we will dive into the creative process. Discussion of texts and in-class writing prompts will produce germinal seed ideas for your own plays and monologues that you will develop throughout the semester. Poets, fiction writers and creative non-fiction writers are also most welcomed to participate.
C W 893 Written M.A. Creative Project (3 units) By Arrangement
Prerequisite: advancement to M.A. candidacy in English: Creative Writing. Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience Proposal forms must be on file in the Division of Graduate Studies the semester before registration. These 3 units M.A. students sign up for while working on the culminating experience/thesis/written creative project, which may be a collection of short stories, a group of poems, a novel or a play. To enroll: contact your thesis/written creative work committee chair the first week of the semester for the schedule and permit numbers to add the class. You must enroll in this course or you will not receive credit for your thesis.
C W 893 Written M.F.A. Creative Work (6 units) By Arrangement
Prerequisite: advancement to M.F.A. candidacy in Creative Writing; Advancement To Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience Proposal forms must be on file in the Division of Graduate Studies the semester before registration. These 6 units M.F.A. students sign up for while working on the culminating experience/thesis/written creative project, which is expected to be a book length collection of short stories, or poems, or a novel or a play of publishable quality. Enrollment is by permission number during priority registration/enrollment: you will be emailed the correct class and permission numbers to enroll in your section. You must enroll in this course or you will not receive credit for your thesis.
C W 899 Independent Study By Arrangement
Prerequisite: consent of instructor and a minimum GPA of 3.25. A special study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a faculty member. This course may be taken for one, two, or three units. No priority enrollment; enrollment is by petition, and a copy of your unofficial SF State transcript. Petition For Independent Study forms are available online (699, 899). This form must be signed by the instructor you will be working with, and brought with an unofficial transcript for the department chair signature. Your instructor will give you the schedule and permit numbers to add the course during the first week of the semester.
Archived Class Schedules
- Fall 2022 Class Schedule
- Summer 2022 Class Schedule
- Spring 2022 Class Schedule
- Fall 2021 Class Schedule
- Spring 2021 Class Schedule
- Fall 2020 Class Schedule
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- Fall 2019 Class Schedule
- Summer 2019 Class Schedule
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- Winter 2019 Class Schedule
- Fall 2018 Class Schedule
- Summer 2018 Class Schedule
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- Winter 2018 Class Schedule
- Fall 2017 Class Schedule