6950 Creative Writing Workshop

ENG6950YY L0101

Creative Writing Workshop

F-Term:  Williams, I. / S-Term:  Greene, R.

Course Description:
A creative writing workshop in multiple genres for students registered in the Creative Writing Program. Students will submit their work on a regular basis for group discussion and workshopping.

F-Term Course Description

A sustainable creative writing practice operates in a cycle of writing, reading, revising, and sharing. In addition to workshopping, we focus on developing necessary capacities or traits that are essential to your success as a writer in the program and beyond. These capacities include self-disciplinecuriosityrisk, vulnerabilityempathycourage, etc.

Professor Williams's Course Description
This graduate course aims to simulate life. Over the course of the semester, we endeavor to live the full creative arc, beginning with nothing; attending to our motivation, moods, ambition, frustration; finding our materials; refining our materials; crafting our work and our feedback to each other; considering the business; and finding our place within a community. Our guiding question is, What might a possible writing life look like if we had only a couple of hours each day?

Here’s an answer. A premise of this Creative Writing Workshop is that a sustainable creative writing practice operates in a cycle of writing, reading, revising, and sharing. Over the semester, we will write to learn about our craft, ourselves, and our world; revise our initial drafts for precision and various effects; read texts from diverse styles; and share our work for feedback or as an offering to our collective experience. The course asks you to generate and workshop poetry or prose; to build literary community; and it culminates in a final project, a portfolio of your work.

The second premise is writers require more than technical skills. Because this course is preparation for the challenges that face us writers in the real world, it seeks to cultivate a set of necessary traits that are essential to a sustainable writing practice. These capacities include self-discipline, curiosity, risk, vulnerability, empathy, courage, voice, perception, failure, humility, generosity, and authenticity. To develop these capacities, a number of artistic and personal interventions—or various disruptions of our intellectual and aesthetic patterns—will occasionally be necessary. Our exercises may be demanding in ways that are unfamiliar to academic settings, and while you can always opt out, I encourage you to engage with difficulty while the opportunity is present in the safety of our community. Your work is a record of those engagements.

We won’t workshop artificially, with the writer relegated to silence, because it is important for writers to know how to talk about their work, what questions to ask, what sort of feedback is useful to them, and to accept all sorts of feedback without minimizing the positive and magnifying the negative. Thus, part of the ideal workshop experience is apportioning your involvement between speaking and listening. In addition, there will be opportunities to have a one-on-one consultation with me.

S-Term Course Description

As we workshop your writing this term, you’ll also have the chance to revise material and to develop your skills of authorial self-presentation. Meanwhile, we’ll consider contemporary literary culture and the publishing industry by way of readings, discussion, and guest speakers.

F-Term Reading List
Required: 

  • All texts for this course are available electronically and ethically on Quercus.

Recommended beyond this course:

  • A subscription to a literary journal such as FiddleheadCapilano ReviewGrainDescantArc, or jubilat. You can also read campus literary journals like EcholocationHart House Review, and Acta Victoriana.
  • A subscription to Poets & Writers. See www.pw.org.
  • Browse bookstores regularly!

S-Term Course Description

As we workshop your writing this term, you’ll also have the chance to revise material and to develop your skills of authorial self-presentation. Meanwhile, we’ll consider contemporary literary culture and the publishing industry by way of readings, discussion, and guest speakers.

F-Term Reading List
TBA

S-Term Reading List

TBA

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements

F-Term Components (50% of your course grade) (September 2024 to December 2024)

TBA

S-Term Components (50% of your course grade) (January 2025 to April 2025)

TBA

Scheduling

Term: F-TERM (September 2024 to December 2024)
Date/Time: Tuesday / 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Location:
 TBA
Delivery: In-Person

Term: S-TERM (January 2025 to April 2025)
Date/Time: Wednesday / 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location:
 TBA
Delivery: In-Person