2012-13 Course Descriptions
FICTION: SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Erica Schweitzer & Crystal Jarvis
Where do you find your inspiration to write? In a juicy bit of overheard conversation at a park? In an eye-catching photograph? In an addictive TV show? Or what about from an epic moment in history? You can find inspiration for made-up stories around every corner and for any fictional genre—whether it's drama, comedy, fantasy, romance or many others. This class will challenge you to become inspired by the world around you to create fabulous fiction.
Throughout the semester, you will have the opportunity to write different stories every week based on a source of inspiration, or use the semester to develop and fine-tune a longer fictional project. Through in-class writing exercises and activities, you will also hone your writing techniques and develop an expressive voice to successfully engage in writing for high school and beyond.
Save the Drama For Your ... Script: Exploring Scriptwriting Through Character
Joelle Jameson & Jamie Burke
Him: What am I doing here? Who am I? What's going to happen?
Her: I don’t know, no one’s written you yet!
We see characters portrayed on TV, in movies, onstage, and in people we meet in real life. In this class, we will explore the art of storytelling through the eyes of a dramatist, mining the world around us for elements of drama. By exploring setting, language, and character, students will ultimately create a compelling script to tell a story that hasn't yet been told.
The mad science of mashups: writing in hybrid forms
Abby Travis & Martin Hansen
Wheat, nectarines, labradoodles, ice cream cake, Spanglish, mermaids, mashups, mules: all these things are examples of hybrids created to serve a specialized purpose. But scientists, farmers, chefs, and DJs aren’t the only ones who can combine forms to meet their needs. Writers often work at blending genres, producing hybrids that help them present their ideas. The most effective writers learn how to become hybrids, too. Put them under the microscope, and you’ll find they’re actually a mashup of many different people: careful observers and advanced eavesdroppers collecting ideas, and philosophers and storytellers delivering messages to the world.
In this class, we’ll draw on our own experiences as we experiment with stories (true and fictional), poetry, scripts, and more. We will look at successful examples from several genres and hybrids and then create our own unique mashups to find the best ways to express our thoughts and build the skills essential to good, versatile writing.
Poetry: reinventing the ordinary
Amy Fant & Keena Boling
You've heard poems about the big stuff: love, life, death... But what if you could write about things, even ordinary things, in a way that makes the reader see the common in new and unfamiliar ways? By reading the works of other poets and writing from our own experiences, we will discover how poetry can help us write the world we see, or begin to re-imagine things left unwritten. This class will reach outside of classic "creativity," reinventing the ordinary and translating the world onto paper.
introduction to creative non-fiction
Susannah Clark & Lauren Jo Sypniewski
Doesn’t it change the way you look at a story when you discover it’s true? Creative nonfiction writing is more than just telling the truth, however. It takes a lot of imagination, reflection and often, a sense of humor. This course will cover genres such as memoir, personal essay, literary journalism and review writing. In the process, we will also look at examples of successful voices in literature that come to life off the page. While exploring new outlets, students will craft a confident and empowered voice that they will carry with them through college and beyond.