Creative Writing program website: https://www.hiram.edu/academics/majors-minors/creative-writing/

The major in creative writing allows students an opportunity to explore their talent as writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenplays. The major emphasizes reading, craft and technique, genre study, workshops, and revision. Although the major requires exposure to multiple genres, the 40000-level advanced workshops offer students an opportunity to concentrate on forms of their choosing and to begin to specialize. The major in creative writing is carefully sequenced to ensure the progress and development of writers and designed to help writers learn about professional opportunities in the field. The major emphasizes literary writing and encourages emerging writers to locate themselves within a literary tradition. This degree is one of very few majors in creative writing in the state of Ohio, and offers an unusual highlight on creative nonfiction. Our workshops include graduate-level work, preparing students to enter a Master of Fine Arts program or the workforce as a professional writer or editor.

Creative Writing Policy:

Students completing the major in creative writing may not combine it with a major or minor in English but are welcome to take additional literature courses; students interested in taking the majority of their coursework in literature should consider the major in English and a minor in writing.

Faculty

Paul Gaffney, (2006) Associate Professor of English; Classical & Medieval Studies Advisory Committee; Director of Eclectic Scholars
B.A., Western Washington University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
gaffneypd@hiram.edu

Willard Greenwood, (2001) John S. Kenyon Professor of English; Editor of Hiram Poetry Review
B.A., University of Maine;
M.A., Georgia State University;
Ph.D., Purdue University
greenwoodwp@hiram.edu

Kirsten L Parkinson, (2001) Professor of English; Director of the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature; Coordinator of Gender Studies Minor; Co-Coordinator of Film Studies Minor
A.B., Harvard University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California;
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California
parkinsonkl@hiram.edu

Mary Quade, (2006) Professor of English
A.B., University of Chicago;
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writer's Workshop
quademr@hiram.edu

Jeffrey Swenson, (2007) Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; Professor of English; Director Writing Across the Curiculum Program
B.A., St. John's University;
M.A., University of Alaska, Fairbanks;
Ph.D., University of Iowa
swensonjc@hiram.edu

Course Descriptions

WRIT 10400:  BASIC EXPOSITION I:  2 Hour(s)  

BASIC EXPOSITION I ~ This course is taken in coordination with First-Year Enduring Questions Seminar and concentrates on helping students become more effective prose writers. Attention is given to clear thinking and wording, effective organization, insightful analysis, strong detail, and grammatical precision. Students will work on written assignments from their FYEN course and must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. Pass/No Credit Only. Corequisite: FYEN 10101 or INTD 19901 (should be taken concurrently)

Prerequisite: FYEN 10101 (may be taken concurrently)

WRIT 10500:  BASIC EXPOSITION II:  2 Hour(s)  

BASIC EXPOSITION II ~ This course is taken in coordination with the First-Year Urgent Questions Seminar and concentrates on helping students become more effective prose writers. Attention is given to clear thinking and wording, effective organization, insightful analysis, strong detail, and grammatical precision. Students will work on written assignments from their FYUR course, and must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. First time students only. Can only be taken for credit once. Must concurrently register for an FYUR. Pass/No Credit ONLY.

Prerequisite: FYUR 10201 (may be taken concurrently)

WRIT 10510:  BASIC EXPOSITION II:  1 Hour(s)  
WRIT 15100:  COMPOSITION IN THE LIB ARTS I:  4 Hour(s)  

COMPOSITION IN THE LIBERAL ARTS I ~ Course Description: Composition in the Liberal Arts I is an introductory course designed to provide an exposure to college-level intellectual inquiry through critical reading, in-depth discussion, oral presentations, and informal and formal writing. Each course is centered on an enduring question, theme, or topic fundamental to understanding and living. Through the careful and considerate examination of the course topic, students will develop their ability to do the following: • Write, including understanding purpose, audience, and the importance of the writing process. • Read, interpret, and connect relevant information, texts, and experiences. • Think critically • Communicate orally: students will speak, participate in discussion, and present ideas • Identify, evaluate, and use information appropriate for scholarly research. Students will be required to complete and be prepared to discuss thoughtfully all course readings, to give at least one oral presentation, and to write at least three written projects—with at least one including research--totaling at least 5,000 words formal and revised written work. This course is designed to satisfy the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) requirements for English Composition: First Writing Course (TME 001).

WRIT 15200:  COMPOSITION IN THE LIB ARTS II:  4 Hour(s)  

COMPOSITION IN THE LIBERAL ARTS II ~ Composition in the Liberal Arts II is a course designed to further develop the critical thinking, reading, writing, oral presentation, and discussion skills developed in Composition in the Liberal Arts I. Additionally, this course will focus more extensively on research methods, use of sources, and documentation skills. Each section will consider an urgent question, asking students to examine an important issue by analyzing and discussing important literature, executing critical thinking and analysis, practicing formal and informal writing with an eye to audience and purpose, and developing and performing research skills that permit investigation into important questions and hypotheses. Students will be required to complete and be prepared to discuss thoughtfully all course readings, to give at least two oral presentations, and to compose three to four written projects, each incorporating some sort of research or supporting evidence, thus introducing students to a variety of sources and research methods. Written work should total at least 7,500 words of formal and revised written work. Prerequisite: WRIT 15100 or equivalent. This course is designed to satisfy the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) requirements for English Composition: Second Writing Course (TME 002).

WRIT 18000:  WKSP::  1 Hour(s)  

WORKSHOP ~ This workshop will provide the opportunity for students to examine a special topic in Writing. Through readings, discussions and written assignments there will be opportunities to evaluate the topic at issue. Workshops may be taken Pass/No Credit only. Students may take no more than nine workshops for credit toward graduation. Workshops can be used as elective credit only.

WRIT 20500:  STYLE/GRAMMAR FOR WRITERS:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

STYLE AND GRAMMAR FOR WRITERS:CM ~ This course will address matters of style and grammar closely and meticulously. It is not a course in developmental grammar but one designed for serious writers interested in polishing error from their prose and experimenting with their writing styles. The class will be devoted to providing high polish to the individual line and expose students to stylistic patterns and options they may not have seen or noticed before. It will encourage writers to take risks with language, to consider the nuance of punctuation, to think about effect, to make language exact and precise, to develop voice, to distinguish between local advice and general principles in the understanding of "rules," and to gain fuller knowledge and control of individual style.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 21400:  WRITING ABOUT NATURE:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

WRITING ABOUT NATURE:CM ~ This is an intensive creative writing course that uses writing to examine nature. Drawing insight from observation, students will think about what constructs our ideas of nature and wilderness and how these concepts are significant to our lives, culture, and society. Students will be asked to write about the complexities of nature for a general audience, using language that is evocative, precise, compelling, and lyrical. Students will interpret published examples and discuss how writers use craft to shape their stories and arguments. The goal of this course is for students to acquire habits conducive to good writing, including the practice of wandering with intention. Interaction with the outdoors plays a significant role in all writing for this course.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 21500:  WRITING ABOUT:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

WRITING ABOUT:(Various Course Topics): CM ~ This is an intensive creative nonfiction writing course that closely examines a particular topic of in writing and reading. The combination of reading and writing will inspire student insights into the course topic. Students will work to write about the topic in a manner that is accessible to a popular audience using creative nonfiction techniques. Class assignments will reflect that goal. Readings will acquaint students with the topic from historical, aesthetic, and personal perspectives. While the class concentrates on a variety of personal and political issues connected with the topic, it will be crucial to speculate on what these issues mean for our society. Therefore, students will deepen their understanding of how the understanding of the topic intersects with our culture-at-large.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 22100:  BASICS OF CREATIVE WRITING:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

BASICS OF CREATIVE WRITING:CM ~ This is the required foundation course for creative writing majors and writing minors and for students wanting to explore the discipline of creative writing. The course introduces students to the central elements of the craft of creative writing: image, character, setting, point of view/voice, and narrative. We will read fiction, nonfiction essays, and poetry by contemporary authors. Using these examples, students will study the techniques authors use to create effective and surprising experiences for their readers. Through much writing of shorter exercises, students will develop their own skills as writers and begin to work toward more finished pieces. Although genre will be introduced through reading and discussions, emphasis will be on writing matters that are common to all genres, not just one. The course will feature frequent short writing exercises and reading.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 24000:  SURVEY OF JOURNALISM:  4 Hour(s)  

SURVEY OF JOURNALISM ~ This course examines the contemporary professional journalistic field, particularly the areas of writing for media, design, layout, public relations and advertising. It provides students with practical experience and an understanding of ethical and legal problems facing contemporary journalism. By examining the way First Amendment principles have translated in different political and social arenas, it also addresses how effective journalism serves its various constituencies. Also listed as COMM 24000.

WRIT 24600:  SPORTS JOURNALISM:  4 Hour(s)  

SPORTS JOURNALISM ~ This course is a hands-on look at the field of sports journalism. This course examines the various elements necessary to bring a sporting event or story to the public through online storytelling and reporting, video, and social media. Topics include the evolution of media and coverage of sports, the role of sports department personnel, coverage of the sporting event, developing contacts, gaining access to sports figures, and interviewing. The course focuses on developing effective writing skills by approaching sports writing and coverage as a multi-media enterprise. Also listed as COMM 24600.

WRIT 25000:  WRITERS IN RESIDENCE:  1 Hour(s)  

WRITERS IN RESIDENCE ~ This course offers students participating in Hiram College’s Writers in Residence cohort the opportunity to learn more about the juvenile justice system, to evaluate their experiences as leaders of creative writing workshops for residents in juvenile detention, and to create plans for weekly lessons at the juvenile detention center. Students in this course must participate in the Hiram Writers in Residence cohort, which makes weekly visits to Portage-Geauga County Juvenile Detention during the 12-week semester. This course is an optional support class for students in Writers in Residence.

WRIT 28000:  SEM::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR ~

WRIT 28100:  INDEPENDENT STUDY:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT STUDY ~

WRIT 29800:  FIELD EXPERIENCE:  1-4 Hour(s)  

FIELD EXPERIENCE ~

WRIT 30300:  YOUNG ADULT FICTION:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

YOUNG ADULT FICTION:CM ~ This course introduces the central elements of writing fiction—voice, character, conflict, setting, plot, subplot and style—with a special emphasis on writing for young adults. Students will read and analyze examples of published literary portrayals of teens, produce scene and character studies, read and discuss each other’s work, and submit a final revised portfolio of their creative projects.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 30400:  CRAFT & TECH: POETRY:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

CRAFT AND TECHNIQUE OF POETRY:CM ~ Students will write and revise poems through extensive practice and revision, as well as exposure to traditions, theory, prosody and esthetics, and method and craft. The course will focus on both practice and process - the tools needed to complete a successful poem, as well as the lifelong process that writers hone to tap into emotional experience and articulate it honestly. Workshops will be central, and students must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or permission

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 30500:  CRAFT&TECH:CREATIVE NONFIC:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

CRAFT AND TECHNIQUE: CREATIVE NONFICTION:CM ~ Students learn and practice a wide variety of nonfiction forms, with emphasis on personal essays and literary journalism. The course will be coupled with readings by contemporary nonfiction writers from the "New Journalism" school of the mid-60's to the present. Students will be responsible for writing and rewriting several essays. Workshops will be central, and students must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or WRIT 31300 or permission.

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or WRIT 31300

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 30600:  CRAFT & TECH: FICTION:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

CRAFT AND TECHNIQUE: FICTION:CM ~ Students learn how to write and perfect short fiction through the study and practice of techniques employed in both traditional and very contemporary fiction. The course will include the reading of short fiction by both established and new writers. Students will be responsible for writing and rewriting several original short stories. Workshops will be central, and students must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or permission.

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 30800:  CREA WRIT@NTHWOODS:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

CREATIVE WRITING AT NORTHWOODS:CM ~ As an advanced creative writing course taking place at a remote and rustic field station in the Hiawatha National Forest, this course gives students a chance to write poetry, fiction, or essays that invoke a personal, insightful style influenced by an “off the grid” lifestyle. Students will learn skills and techniques by reading and discussing contemporary examples. Each student will then spend at least two hours each day writing, and each student will workshop at least two pieces (or more, depending on enrollment). These workshops serve as a way to learn more about the needs of the audience as well as to revise the work for publication. By the end of the course, students can expect to have at least one piece of publishable writing, and every student will contribute a handwritten piece to the “Northwoods Anthology” which will be kept in the lodge for future students to read. Prerequisites: 20000-level WRIT course or faculty recommendation as a strong writer

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 30900:  CRAFT & TECH: SCREENWRITING:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

CRAFT & TECHNIQUE SCREENWRITING:CM ~ An introduction to the practice of writing for film. Students will learn the vocabulary and format of creating screenplays, study screenplays that have been produced as films, examine films with an eye toward the interpretation of the screenplay, and write and workshop their own work. We will look both at original screenplays and at screenplays that adapt literature to film.

Prerequisite: (WRIT 221 or WRIT 22100)

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 31100:  WRITING FOR BUSINESS:  4 Hour(s)  

WRITING FOR BUSINESS ~ This course will ask students to apply writing and thinking skills to the specific demands of business, from the varieties of business correspondence to the preparation of proposals and reports. Students will practice the modes of business writing and develop the rhetorical and stylistic skills necessary for effective business communication.

WRIT 31200:  TECHNICAL WRITING:  4 Hour(s)  

TECHNICAL WRITING ~ This course helps students learn to write for an audience that wants factual information for practical use. This specialized information is usually directed to a specific audience that already has familiarity with the field. Professional technical journals provide the primary sources for this writing, as do technical reports written for business and government use.

WRIT 31300:  TEACHING/SUPERVISING WRIT:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

TEACHING AND SUPERVISING WRITING:CM ~ This course is designed to prepare students in all disciplines to teach, tutor, and supervise the writing of high school students and college undergraduates. The course will offer an introduction to the major trends in composition theory and research. It will also develop the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for effective instruction. Students will closely examine their own writing process and style. To fulfill the required laboratory element of this course, students will spend time each week working with a mentor in the Writing Center. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement. Prerequisite: PERMISSION THROUGH RECOMMENDATION ONLY.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 31800:  MEMOIR:  3 Hour(s)  

MEMOIR ~ Memoir, with its roots in the personal essay, uses the techniques of fiction and other literary genres to allow writers to remember and discover their lives through a specific theme or lens. Students will be asked to read and review several contemporary memoirs and to write a twenty- to thirty-page segment from a book-length memoir they design. Workshops will be central, and students must be willing to read their own work as well as comment on the work of others. Also offered as WRIT 32800 as a 4 credit hour course. Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or permission. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses.

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100

WRIT 32000:  PROFESSIONAL EDITING:  3 Hour(s)  

PROFESSIONAL EDITING ~ This course is designed to teach students to be professional copyeditors as well as to explore other editorial positions in a publishing house. In order to make the experience of editing real, there will always be a project associated with this class: often a collection (essays, stories, poems, commemorative pieces) of student work. Students will learn not only how to line edit, but also how to assemble a book, making important aesthetic decisions about use of photographs, front and back matter, cover design, layout, etc. The vocabulary, technique, and art of publishing and editing will all be addressed and employed.

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100

WRIT 32100:  LITERARY JOURNALISM:CM:  4 Hour(s)  

LITERARY JOURNALISM:CM ~ Literary journalism covers a broad range of creative nonfiction writing that uses immersion, interviews, and research to explore diverse topics - from social, scientific, and historical issues to broad abstract ideas like power or compassion. Unlike standard journalistic writing or reports, which can be sterile and anonymous, literary journalism relies on voice and other creating writing techniques to shape the writer's examination of a particular subject. Writing in the form is kind of journey, that cousin word of journalism, and demands openness and attention to the writer's world. Although the subject matter of literary journalism often overlaps with the sort of material found in then news, the writing in literary journalism makes these subjects relevant to any reader in any age. Students will read contemporary examples of the form and engage in writing and research. While some topics will be assigned, the goal of the course is to create a final longer piece focusing on a subject of the student's choosing. Much of class time will be spent practicing specific writing skills and discussing one another's works-in-progress.

Core: Creative Methods

WRIT 32800:  MEMOIR:  4 Hour(s)  

MEMOIR ~ Memoir, with its roots in the personal essay, uses the techniques of fiction and other literary genres to allow writers to remember and discover their lives through a specific theme or lens. Students will be asked to read and review several contemporary memoirs and to write a short memoir of their own. Workshops will be central, and students must be willing to read their own work as well as comment on the work of others. Prerequisite: WRIT 22100 or permission. Also offered as WRIT 31800 as a 3 credit hour course. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses.

Prerequisite: WRIT 22100

WRIT 33300:  RHETORICAL CRITICISM:IM:  4 Hour(s)  

RHETORICAL CRITICISM:IM~ An examination of the nature and practice of rhetorical criticism as theory and methodology for understanding and critiquing contemporary discourse. The tools of rhetorical criticism, different methodological approaches, and the values of analyzing human discourse are explored. Students will do critiques from a broad variety of contemporary discourse such as speeches, essays, letters, editorials, theater, television, film, and other symbolic contexts of their choosing. Also listed as COMM 33300. Prerequisites: ENGL 20600 or WRIT 22100 or COMM 10100 or permission.

Prerequisite: COMM 10100 or WRIT 22100 or ENGL 20600

Core: Interpretive Methods

WRIT 38000:  SEM::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR:~

WRIT 38100:  SPC TPC::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SPECIAL TOPICS~

WRIT 40400:  ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN POETRY:  4 Hour(s)  

ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN POETRY~ This course is a continuation of Writing 30400. Students will write poetry at an advanced level and complete a chapbook of poems that reflect the student's developing style and thematic preoccupations. Prerequisite: WRIT 30400 or permission.

Prerequisite: WRIT 30400

WRIT 40500:  ADVANCED CREATIVE NONFICTION:  4 Hour(s)  

ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN CREATIVE NONFICTION~ This advanced workshop will allow writers to experiment with stylistic and organizational nuance in creative nonfiction, as well as move toward longer forms in the genre (books of literary journalism, book-length memoirs, collections of thematically linked essays, etc.). Students will have considerable freedom in the selection of their projects and receive workshop support on a regular basis.

Prerequisite: WRIT 30500 or WRIT 32000 or WRIT 32800

WRIT 40600:  ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN FICTION:  4 Hour(s)  

ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN FICTION~ This advanced workshop will allow writers to explore a full range of techniques and craft in short-story writing, as well as move toward longer forms in the genre (story collections, novellas, and novels). Students will have considerable freedom in the selection of their projects and will receive workshop support on a regular basis. Prerequisite: WRIT 30600 or permission.

Prerequisite: WRIT 30600

WRIT 48000:  SENIOR SEMINAR:  1-3 Hour(s)  

SENIOR SEMINAR~ Students must complete this course in their senior year. This course requires students to significantly revise work in one or two genres: an essay, a short story, a screenplay, or a group of poems. The work should come from 300 or 30000- or 400 or 40000-level writing course, pending departmental approval. The revision must include more elaborate research (if necessary and desirable), more vigorous experimentation with form and technique, more elaborate and complete exploration of a subject and/or an emotional response, and more artful use of language. Students will gain awareness of the process of writing for publication. Students will also 1) write a one-page essay explaining their interest in and relationship to the project (statement of purpose); 2) present a public reading of their finished work. Also offered as ENGL 48000.

Corequisite: WRIT 48010

WRIT 48010:  SENIOR SEMINAR PART I:  1 Hour(s)  

SENIOR SEMINAR PART I ~ English and creative writing majors must complete this course in their senior year. In Part I of the course, students define their project, develop a project proposal, and research and write an extensive annotated bibliography of resources that will help them in the writing and revision process. Also listed as ENGL 48010.

Corequisite: WRIT 48000

WRIT 48100:  INDEPENDENT RESEARCH:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH~

WRIT 49800:  INTERNSHIP:  4 Hour(s)  

INTERNSHIP~ Developed in consultation with the student’s major faculty advisor(s), the internship will be tailored to the interests and needs of the student and can be served in a wide variety of private and public organizations. Hiram College’s internship program permits students to bridge the distance between the theory they learn in the classroom and the application of their knowledge. The academic department establishes prerequisites for the application procedure. Students should check with individual departments for specific requirements and guidelines for the experience as they may vary by discipline. Prospective interns work with the faculty advisor who will monitor the experience and grade the academic component of the internship.