Courses: Fall 2013


Introduction to Graduate Writing - CWL 500.S01
Robert Reeves and Carla Caglioti
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, Class #89359
A seminar that introduces students to one another, to the faculty, to the program in Writing and Literature, and to issues in contemporary writing. Offered in conjunction with the “Writers Speak” lecture series. Students will attend the regular series of readings sponsored by the Writing program and meet at weekly intervals under the direction of a faculty advisor to discuss and write about topics raised in the lecture series, as well as issues generated from seminar discussions and assigned readings.

Forms of Fiction: Investigating the Short Story - CWL 510.01
Susan Merrell
Thursdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, Class #89358
The class will examine the short story from structural, historical and psychological angles. Reading widely across the genre while producing their own stories, students will develop a conscious set of rules for story craftsmanship.

Forms of Poetry: Metaphor (Poem as Object) - CWL 520.S01
Julie Sheehan
Eight Saturdays, 10:00A-4:00P, Class #89360
9/7, 9/21, 10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/16, 11/23, Exhibit at last Writers Speak (12/4)
Writing workshop focused on the material properties of a metaphor. Write at a furious pace, then get out your glue sticks and fashion poem-like objects. By semester's end, participants will have a case of curiosities, a basic knowledge of what book artists do, and a sense of how the kinetic labor of working with tangible media interacts with the imaginative process. 

Forms of Nonfiction: Memoir - CWL 540.S01
Melissa Bank
Mondays, 5:20-8:10, Class #90830
In this workshop on the memoir, we will be figuring out how you can make your autobiographical stories as powerful as they can be, through discussing each other's work and looking at the masters of the genre.

Forms of Professional Writing: Memoir - CWL 550.S01
Neal Gabler
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10, Class #95913
A workshop from a seasoned pro in writing anything that pays—reviews and film criticism, political essays and cultural commentary, books and blogging, with regular practice and a lot of reading in the mix. Students will learn just about everything that a working writer needs to know—from finding an agent to coming up with ideas to pitching those ideas to editors to setting a price to working with editors to selling yourself. In other words, soup to nuts, your likely diet if you get into this profession.

Topics in Writing about Place: I’ll Take You There - CWL 565.S01
Megan McAndrew
Wednesdays, 4:00-6:50, Class #89361
How do we render the taste, smells, and textures of places that may be unfamiliar to the reader? A Paris café, Barcelona’s Ramblas, a Buenos Aires tango hall, the Corsican Maquis? How do we make a physician’s assistant in Bayonne, New Jersey feel that she’s been transported to Bayonne, France? How do we, like the old Calgon ad, take them away? This workshop will explore the mechanisms through which both fiction and nonfiction authors evoke foreign settings. Megan McAndrew, the author of two novels, has been widely acclaimedfor her “immense talent for calling up vastly different settings in precise detail.”

Advanced Writing Workshop: Novel - CWL 570.S01
Ursula Hegi
Weekend Intensives (Dorms available for Manhattan students), Class #89167 
Online Orientation Sat. 9/7, 5-7;
1) Fri, Nov 8, 5-7 PM; Nov. 9 & 10, 10-4 PM;  
2) Fri, Dec 6, 5-7 PM; Dec 7 & 8, 10-4 PM 
A workshop in the long form for those who have novels written, as well as those in the middle of the work, and those who have yet to start. The course will focus on how novels begin and end, how they are shaped, their themes and ideas, and on the most effective language of fiction. Classes will consist of writing and reading assignments, and spirited discussions. Please bring your spirits. NOTE: No Drops. This class begins AFTER the withdrawal period.

Practicum in Arts Administration - CWL 580.V01
Christian McLean
Days and Times TBA, Class #89804 
Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will learn the essentials of arts administration. This may include assisting in the coordination of reading and lecture series, planning and administering conferences, or other writing and arts administration activities. Prerequisite: Completion of six credits and permission of instructor.

Thesis - CWL 599.V01
Class #89362
Must have thesis planning form on file and approval of thesis advisor to register.

- All Southampton classes are held in Chancellors Hall



Forms of Fiction: Advancing the Novel - CWL 510.S60
Kaylie Jones 
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10, Class #90077
This workshop will focus on the fundamental tools of story and scene. You will learn how to
  • Start at the right point in the narrative
  • Choose the right point of view/voice for your novel
  • Build tension and comprehend the dramatic arc of your story
  • Best use dialogue and descriptive devices to advance your story
  • Recognize the most common mistakes in fiction writing

Writing prompts will be offered to help you focus on these aspects of technique. Your work will then be discussed in class. By the end of the term, you will have a solid foundation on which to build the rest of your book.
Forms of Creative Nonfiction: Memoir - CWL 540.S60 
Lou Ann Walker
Thursdays, 5:20-8:10, Class #90076
Students will focus on telling their own stories, using a variety of techniques gleaned from masters of the form. We'll discuss the handling of secrets, the nature of the memoir versus the personal essay, the infusion of fiction into memoir, and the nature of privacy.

Special Topics in Writing about People: The Uses of Affliction: Reading & Writing Illness -CWL 565.S60 
Daniel Menaker & Magdalene Brandeis
Monday, 5:20-8:10, Class #95914
Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed (...) – when we think of this (…) it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature. 
Virginia Woolf, “On Being Ill.”
In this course, in order to address the meaning and validity of Woolf’s question, we will read and write about the place that mental and physical illness holds in literature, both fiction and nonfiction, and both in the work of others and our own. What can we learn from John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris? Why did David Rakoff turn to Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry during his MRIs? How does culture, explored in Audre Lorde’s Cancer Journals or Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You You Fall Down, affect the way we think about and write about illness, our own and others? Our reading into the emerging field of narrative medicine leads us to the possibility that the story we tell about an illness can in itself be good medicine. Possible guest lecturers: Siddhartha Mukherjee, Andrew Solomon, Sanjay Gupta, Jane Brody, Abigail Zucker, Jenny Allen, Dana Jennings, Susan Gubar, Suleika Jaouad, Robin Henig, Rafael Iglesias, Lionel Shriver, Katherine Bouton, Tom Page, Roger Rosenblatt, Rita Charon, Colm Toibin, Fenton Johnson. Course begins on August 26. Held at the Manhattan Facility, in conjunction with the Manhattan Writers Speak on the same themes.

Thesis - CWL 599.V01
Class #89362
Must have thesis planning form on file and approval of thesis advisor to register.   

- All Manhattan classes are held at 101-113 East 27 Street, 3 floor




These courses offered as a package in “Semester by the Sea” intensive format

CWL190-B Introduction to Contemporary Literature, Julie Sheehan (3 credits)
Get familiar with recent works by contemporary playwrights, poets, essayists and short story writers.
CWL 320-G Poetry/Fiction/Script I, Star Black (3 credits)
You'll begin drafting your manuscript in this workshop, where you'll learn the methods and strategies of writing fiction, poetry or scripts.

CWL 320-G Poetry/Fiction/Script II, Team (3 credits)
Here's where you'll specialize in advanced workshops. From time to time, everyone will come together for readings, giving voice to the works in progress.

CWL 335-K Topics in American Literature for Writers, Robert Emmett Ginna (3 credits)
Topics for this upper-level literature course will be customized to inform, inspire and challenge.

CWL 450 Final Project, Team (3 credits)
In this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get your work done, from casting to Final Cut Pro, from acting to directing, from book art to publishing – in other words, the nuts and bolts of producing a film, putting on a play, or publishing a manuscript. Everyone takes turns in various roles in filmmaking, theater and publishing, so that each of you walks away not only with your own completed project, but a hands-on understanding of the overall process of creative work.