Creative Writing Concentration

Creative Writing at HWS

Whether students write creatively for pleasure or are interested in becoming professional writers, the Colleges offer writing workshops in many genres: from introductory writing course to its writing-intensive workshops in fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and creative non-fiction - the Colleges have created a solid and ambitious environment for student writers to hone their craft and art.

Literary Experimentation

As the birthplace of the Lyric Essay, an experimental subgenre of creative non-fiction, and the home of the Seneca Review, a national literary journal that publishes poetry and essays in creative non-fiction, the Colleges also allows its student writers to find their voices and experiment with creating new forms. Further, we offer in addition to writing workshops (listed below), independent studies and honors projects in creative writing.

The Creative Writing Concentration

Students who are or who are interested in becoming English majors can opt to complete their degree's concentration in creative writing. Choosing a Creative Writing Concentration requires an English major to complete three courses within their major that have a creative writing focus.

Our Faculty Writers

To foster the growth of student writers on campus, the Colleges' English Department includes numerous faculty writers. From poetry to fiction, screenwriting to creative non-fiction, the writers who teach at HWS are writers have all been published and often anthologized for their creative works.

The Workshops

ENG 260: Creative Writing
This course offers introductory techniques in the writing of both fiction and poetry. The workshop format emphasizes group discussion of the writings of class members. Some exercises are assigned, some individual invention is expected. Readings of modern authors supplement discussions of form and technique. This course is normally required as a prerequisite for fiction and poetry workshops. Prerequisite: ENG 101. (Parker, Conroy-Goldman, Staff, offered each semester) Typical readings: short stories and poems by a wide variety of modern writers.

ENG 305: Poetry Workshop
For students highly motivated to write poetry, this course offers the opportunity to write both independently and in response to technical issues raised in class. Class time is divided between discussions of modern poetry (using an anthology and a collection of essays by contemporary poets) and workshops on student writing. Close reading and the revision process are emphasized. There are individual conferences, one critical paper, and, as a final project, a small collection of poems. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor is required based on a writing sample. ENG 260 is generally required. (Parker, Alleyne, Staff, Spring, offered alternate years)

ENG 307: Playwriting
This course is designed to further the understanding of the craft of playwriting as it is first discovered in the playwriting process workshop. Students are encouraged to nurture the development of their skills through daily writing exercises, to develop a personal and consistent process for writing, to shake up any preconceived notions about playwriting, to explore a personal point of view or voice for their writing, to develop and sharpen their skills in analysis and critique, to test the flexibility of creative thought necessary for the crafting of dramatic literature, and to complete a short one-act play by the end of the semester. (Staff, offered alternate years)

ENG 308: Screenwriting
This course offers a workshop in the fundamentals of writing the motion picture. Weekly writing assignments move students through a process of script development- from brainstorming and the movie in a paragraph to the treatment/outline, beat sheet, the creation of a scene, and the first act. Students share work and engage in a variety of exercises designed to help each tell his or her stories. Prerequisites: ENG 230 and/or ENG 233. (Holly, offered annually) Typical readings: Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing; Fields, Screenwriting; Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade; Mamet, On Directing Film; selected screenplays.

ENG 309: Fiction Workshop
An intensive workshop devoted to the creation and critiquing of student fiction, this course is suitable for students strongly committed to fiction writing. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of polished stories. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, based on writing sample. ENG 260 is generally required. (Conroy-Goldman, Spring, offered annually)

ENG 310: Creative Nonfiction Workshop
This is a writing course in creative nonfiction designed for English majors or others seriously interested in working to develop their own voices in the medium of the personal essay. Students read and discuss essays by major contemporary American essayists. They also read and discuss each others' essays in a workshop with an eye toward revision. Participants should be prepared to write one essay a week. Prerequisite: permission of instructor, based on a writing sample. (Staff, Spring, offered annually) Typical readings: Selections from Didion, Orwell, Dillard, Lopate, McPhee, Walker, Kingston, Kincaid, Sanders and others.

ENG 450: Independent Study
In addition to many other areas related to literature, creative writing is a subject matter that many English majors and minors explore in-depth by working with faculty writers in Independent Studies, which are held on a one-on-one or a small group basis.

ENG 490: Honors
Student writers have the opportunity to spend two semesters working one-on-one with a faculty writer to complete an honors project, which usually culminates with a book-length manuscript of creative writing in a particular genre.

More Info

For more information about Creative Writing at HWS, please contact David Weiss at weiss@hws.edu or (315) 781-3644




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