Foundations of Creative Writing - Course is closed

Department: Humanities

Instructors: Zachary Bushnell and Suguna Sridhar
Instructors' Emails:;
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Through writing exercises, readings, lectures and live Q&As with professional writers, this course will provide the beginning writer with a toolkit of essential skills. The contents of this toolkit: giving and receiving critical feedback, reading with a writer's eye, navigating professional and educational pathways as a writer and generating, revising and editing material that is strong, original and imaginative. Students will study literary technique within fiction, poetry and the personal essay, culminating in a revised final project of their choice. Students will leave the course with a practical understanding of the creative process and will be prepared to critique and write at a university level.

Course Goals / Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • improve their creative and academic writing skills
  • develop their individual style and tone
  • engage critically with creative texts across multiple genres
  • develop critique skills for effective in-class workshops of peer work
  • develop analytical skills for effective in-class discussion of readings
  • gain an understanding of core elements of the writer’s craft
  • develop a skillset for completing creative/open-ended assignments
  • develop a personal practice of literary citizenship
  • demonstrate the ability to produce writing that is clear and logical
  • demonstrate the ability to produce writing that is original and imaginative
  • practice performance skills to present a live reading of their work
  • generate a revised piece of original writing in genre of their choice
  • receive personal feedback and mentoring from a creative writing professional

Course Outline

Week 1 – Exposure

  • Introduction to genres
  • How to get started: inspiration, dealing with the blank page
  • Developing a personal writing practice

Week 2 – Development

  • Craft: identifying skills and techniques in writing
  • Essentials of strong writing: the line, the sentence, grammar, structure, form and character

Week 3 – Deepening

  • Advanced work in a form or genre of choice: students generate five pages of original work
  • Revision: students apply critical revision to their own work
  • Workshop: students provide critical, constructive feedback to each other


*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students.


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