2015-2016 Course Descriptions

emersonWRITES offers creative writing courses in 4 different genres. Courses are designed and taught by MFA graduate students at Emerson College who are trained in teaching. All emersonWRITES courses follow a collaborative writing-workshop structure. Students will exercise their creative voices and work to become versatile writers. All students will have an opportunity to share their work at the year-end showcase and have their writing published in the emersonWRITES anthology. The skills they learn in the program translate to high school courses and beyond—to the college classroom. 

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Fiction: "For sale: fiction, never worn"

Faculty: Kayleigh Shoen and Cassie Title

What do you think of when you hear the word "fiction?" A short story you read in English class? A novel by your favorite author? But what about a short phrase? Ernest Hemingway supposedly wrote the world's shortest story in just six words: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." In this class, we'll look at uncommon short stories like this one (as well as more traditional ones) as we investigate what makes fiction fiction. Along the way, we'll explore different fictional forms: linked stories, prose poems, flash fiction, found fiction, stories told through letters, and more. Students will get lots of writing time in class, guidance in providing supportive and thought-provoking feedback on each other's work, and will end the class with an individual portfolio of fiction writing that can be used for college applications or publication submissions.

Multi-Genre (Poetry and Fiction): Art and Resistance

Faculty: Sally Burnette and Oscar Mancinas

This course is a workshop in poetry, fiction, and the space between. Essentially, you may write whatever you like, what you would want to read. The aims of this course are to explore the uses (and limitations) of genre, to foster awareness of various styles and forms, and to examine how writing can be both an art and a tool of resistance. This course will study fiction and poetry both past and contemporary including works by James Baldwin, Flannery O'Connor, Harryette Mullen, May Swenson, Michael Robbins, and, most importantly, your own!

Nonfiction: Life as Inspiration

Faculty: Elena Cabrera and Samantha Facciolo

In this course, we’ll look to our own true stories and experiences for inspiration, and consider how to write these stories so they can leave our private journals and blogs, and enter the world in ways that effectively captivate and relate to an audience. This course is unique because it is also a multilingual course, one in which you will be encouraged to consider the importance of language in your writing. Whether or not you speak one, two, or three languages, you will discover different ways to express yourself using more than standard, written English. Incorporating slang, foreign languages, and your own way of speaking into your writing will allow you to convey your personal style in your work in a deeper and more meaningful way.

By combining fiction and nonfiction, we will gain a better understanding of how to effectively express our thoughts and ideas with clarity and precision. By the end of the course, you will complete a final project that can combine elements of nonfiction with fictional techniques.

Poetry: Workshop Without Walls

Faculty: Jenn Keogh and Breauna Roach

Using both physical and figurative movement, we will explore the many ways that poetry takes shape. Classroom exploration and activities could include and are not limited to: the differences between poetic forms and formats, incorporating yoga principles and how they relate composition as a process of composing, and experimentation with music. The class will investigate how poetry lives outside of the classroom and how it is constantly evolving in our ever-changing world.