Creative Writing program website: https://www.hiram.edu/academics/majors-minors/creative-writing/
Live out your personal passion for creativity in the rigorous Creative Writing major. It’s one of the few in Ohio to highlight creative nonfiction in addition to fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Our workshops include graduate-level work, preparing you to enter a Master of Fine Arts program or the workforce.
Creative Writing Policy:
Creative Writing Majors cannot double major and/or minor in English
Students completing the major in creative writing may not combine it with a major or minor in English but are welcome to additional literature courses; students interested in taking the majority of their coursework in literature should consider the major in English.
Requirements for Honors in English
Program/departmental honors are a privilege conferred upon the English program’s most outstanding students each year upon completion of the honors requirements. In order to apply for Honors in English, students must meet the Hiram College Honors GPA requirements (overall GPA of 2.80, departmental GPA of 3.60, and a sum of these two GPAs of 6.80). In addition, students must also receive an A or A- in the English capstone course. At that time, students who are eligible for honors are invited to submit an honors application to the English program for further consideration.
Paul Gaffney, (2006) Associate Professor of English; Classical & Medieval Studies Advisory Committee
B.A., Western Washington University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
Willard Greenwood, (2001) Professor of English; Faculty Chair; Editor of Hiram Poetry Review
B.A., University of Maine;
M.A., Georgia State University;
Ph.D., Purdue University
Kirsten L Parkinson, (2001) John S. Kenyon Professor of English; Director of the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature; Coordinator of Gender Studies Minor
A.B., Harvard University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California;
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California
Mary Quade, (2006) Associate Professor of English
A.B., University of Chicago;
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writer's Workshop
Jeffrey Swenson, (2007) Associate Professor of English; Director Writing Across the Curiculum Program
B.A., St. John's University, MN;
M.A., University of Alaska, Fairbanks;
Ph.D., University of Iowa
BASIC EXPOSITION I~ This course is taken in coordination with First-Year Colloquium 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 FRCL course and must be willing to read their own work and comment on the work of others. Pass/No Credit Only.
Prerequisite: FRCL 10101 (may be taken concurrently)
BASIC EXPOSITION II~ This course is taken in coordination with the First-Year 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 FSEM 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 FSEM. Pass/No Credit ONLY.
Corequisite: FSEM 10201
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).
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).
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. (For PGS students only.)
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. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
WRITING ABOUT NATURE:CM~ This is an intensive creative writing course. The combination of reading and writing will inspire student insights into nature. The course may cover such topics as global warming, evolution, genetic research, and the romantic lure of the natural world. We have the daunting yet vitally important task of writing about the natural world in a manner that is accessible to a popular audience using creative techniques. Class assignments will reflect that goal. Readings will acquaint students with the natural world from historical, aesthetic, and personal perspectives. While the class concentrates on a variety of personal and political issues connected with nature, 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 nature intersects with our culture-at-large. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
BASICS OF CREATIVE WRITING:CM~ This is the required foundation course for writing majors or students wanting to explore the field. This course will focus on the basics of creative writing, including such topics as how to read as a writer; how to train a writer's eye; the recovery of metaphor; the style and craft of narrative and description; the emergence of voice; selection of detail; the battle against cliche. Although genre will be introduced through reading and discussion, 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. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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 also 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 effectively journalism serves its various constituencies. Also listed as Communication (240 or 24000).
SPORTS JOURNALISM ~ This course is an overview of sports journalism and includes the study of story development from a single idea to a published story in the field of sport. This course examines the various elements necessary to bring a sporting event from the playing field to the public through the print media. Topics include types of print media, the role of sports department personnel, coverage of the sporting event, developing contracts, gaining access to sports figures, interviewing, and story development. The course focuses on developing effective writing skills by approaching sports writing as a process. Also listed as Communication (246 or 24600).
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. Fulfills credits toward Writing Major or Minor. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement. Prerequisite: WRIT (221 or 22100) or permission
Core: Creative Methods
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. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement. Prerequisite: Writing (221 or 22100) or permission.
Core: Creative Methods
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 (221 or 22100) or permission. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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 in the Best American series. 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 a way to revise the work for publication. In addition, students will give a short oral presentation about one piece of their choosing from the Best American book. By the end of the semester, 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 This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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. Prerequiste: Writing (221 or 22100) or permission. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
TRAVEL WRITING ~ Travel writing has a long and impressive history. This course will help writers to know that history and become part of it. The genre of travel writing, beginning with writers like Herodotus and Marco Polo, appeals to a wide range of fine writers, including Mary Montagu, James Boswell, Charles Darwin, Evelyn Waugh, Jan Morris, and Paul Theroux. In addition to reading such writers, students will compose their own travel essays based on class travel experiences. Their descriptions of new experiences and sites may be heightened by irony, humor, cultural meditation, and a sense of a "mind in motion" that pushes toward larger meanings - ethical, political, and personal. Students must register for a minimum of 3 credit hours in order to receive the CM core credit. Prerequisite: WRIT (221 or 22100) or permission. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement only if taken as a 3 or 4 credit hour course.
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.
TECHNICAL WRITING~ This course helps students learn to write for an audience which wants factual information for practical use. This specialized information is usually directed to a specific audience which 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.
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. Also listed as Education (313 or 31300).
Core: Creative Methods
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. Prerequisite: WRIT 221 or 22100 or permission. Also offered as WRIT 328 or 32800 as a 4 credit hour course. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses.
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, commemorate pieces) of student work. The first time this course was run (2006), a collection of twenty-nine essays written about Hiram, Ohio, U.S.A., over the past ten years, was shepherded toward production by a group of fifteen students. 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.
LITERARY JOURNALISM:CM~ Literary journalism has its roots in the early work of Daniel Defoe, but in the last few decades has come into its own- a genre marked by distinct conventions of style, form, and sensibility. Students will read samples of work by several generations of literary journalist who have shaped (and continue to shape) the genre - work by writers like George Orwell, Stephen Crane, Norman Mailer, Lillan Ross, Tom Wolfe, Mark Singer, Lauren Slater, Annie Dillard, Mark Kramer, John McPhee, Joan Didion, Michael Pollan, Edmund Morris, Ian Frazier, as well as new voices emerging every day. They will write a long piece of immersion journalism themselves, joining the ongoing conversation nonfiction writers are having about this inventive and important form in American letters. Also offered as Writing (319 or 31900) as a 3 credit hour course. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses. This course fulfills the Creative Methods requirement.
Core: Creative Methods
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 (221 or 22100) or permission Also offered as WRIT 318 or 31800 as a 3 credit hour course. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses.
RHETORICAL CRITICISM (RHETORICAL TRACK):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 Communication (333 or 33300). Prerequisite: English (206 or 20600) or Writing (221 or 22100) or Communication (101 or 10100) or permission. This course fulfills the Interpretive Methods requirement.
Core: Interpretive Methods
ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN POETRY~ This course is a continuation of Writing (304 or 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(203 or 20300) or WRIT (304 or 30400) or permission.
Prerequisite: (WRIT 203 or WRIT 20300) or (WRIT 304 or WRIT 30400)
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: Writing (305 or 30500) or Writing (321 or 32100) or Writing (328 or 32800).
ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN FICTION~ This advanced workshop will allow writers to explore a more 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: Writing (306 or 30600) or permission.
Prerequisite: (WRIT 306 or WRIT 30600)
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 (480 or 48000). Corequisite WRIT 48010
Corequisite: WRIT 48010
SENIOR SEMINAR PART I ~ English majors must complete this course in their senior year. This revision and workshop course requires students to significantly rework a research paper from one of their 400 or 40000-level literature courses. The revision must include more elaborate research of primary and secondary sources, more extensive and complete exploration of a subject, and a more theoretical and sophisticated approach to the literary essay. This research project will help students to achieve achieve a historical and contemporary understanding of their subject. Students will write a one-page introduction that explains their interest in and relationship to the project. Students will identify journals or conferences that would be suitable arenas for publication and presentation. Students will present their work in a public forum. Also listed as ENGL 48010. Corequisite WRIT 48000.
Corequisite: WRIT 48000
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.