Graduate Admissions

Creative Writing - Fiction MFA

PLEASE NOTE: These are samples only. Course offerings are subject to change and not all courses are offered each term or each year. Be sure to check the online course catalog and the current class schedule for details about pre-requisites, terms offered, class fees, etc.).

Core Courses

Fiction Writing I

Emphasizing the dynamic relationship between individual students, the workshop director, and the class, the Story Workshop method is employed to allow students to move at their own pace in developing perceptual, technical, and imaginative abilities in fiction writing.
55-5101, 3 credits

Fiction Writing II

This course continues the development of perceptual and technical abilities begun in Fiction Writing I, concentrating on point of view, structure, and parody of form. Fiction II is not only a more advanced class--it is quite specifically a continuation of foundations laid in Fiction Writing I, with an emphasis on form and structure, and continued exploration of imagination, voice, and audience.
55-5102, 3 credits

Prose Forms

Aimed toward producing publishable works, this practical exploration uses the Story Workshop Basic Forms and Sense of Address approaches to technical, expository, and persuasive writing, thereby exposing students to the kinds of writing that are generally useful in finding employment in the arts and media fields where writing skills are essential to advancement. The course is also designed to heighten students' sense for forms and structure in preparation for Fiction Writing: Advanced. The course has strong emphasis on using the identified basic forms in fiction writing and in creative nonfiction.
55-5104, 3 credits

Advanced Fiction

Students will intensively explore new fictional possibilities as well as have the option of continuing to develop strong writing material from previous classes. The major goals of Advanced Fiction Writing are to guide students to build upon and expand the more sophisticated dimensions of their individual voices, imaginative seeing, and sense for imaginative options, always in the context of finishing and shaping short story and/or novel scene, structure, and movement. The course activities emphasize an on-going and sophisticated immersion in the interrelated connections of reading, writing, listening, oral telling, sense of personal voice, imaginative seeing, and structure as practiced by any developed writer of fiction or creative nonfiction. The workshop may have an emphasis on point-of-view and/or rewriting.
55-5106, 3 credits

Elective Courses

Fiction Seminar

This advanced class in fiction writing will begin with technical or craft matters, then proceed to the more artistic aspects of composing fiction of any length. Fiction seminar is taught by discussion and critique, rather than the Story Workshop approach.
55-5108, 3 credits

Science Fiction Writing

Taught by practicing science fiction writer Phyllis Eisenstein, this fresh approach to the conception and writing of science fiction offers an overview of the current state of the field and techniques useful to generate publishable stories. Students develop original material and present their manuscripts to the instructor for examination and class reading.
55-5311, 3 credits

Thesis Development

This course concentrates on the process and extended development necessary for the completion of a book-length thesis.
55-6110, 3 credits

Critical Reading & Writing Courses

Women Writers

This is a course researching the writing processes of women writers, including the ways in which women writers' reading and responses to reading play an influential role in the overall fiction writing process. Journals and other writings by Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, and others will be used as examples of how writers read (and write about what they read) to develop dimensions of their own fiction and to see their work in relation to that of other writers.
55-5215, 3 credits

Fiction Writers and Censorship

In this course, students read the fiction of successful authors who have been forced to confront one or more forms of censorship and marginalization. Students will respond to these works as writers in journal entries, research and discuss the writers' creative process in writing the novel, give an oral report on an author of choice, and write an essay. In addition, students undertake creative writing assignments that will encourage them to reflect upon the social context in which writers work and that will help them examine their own processes of writing, including the self censor.
55-5203, 3 credits