Courses: Spring 2020
All CWL courses 4 credits unless noted otherwise. FLM courses 2-3 credits.
NB: CWL 500, Introduction to Creative Writing will be offered, Fall 2020.
Stony Brook Southampton: Chancellors Hall or Carriage House (Technology Center )
CWL 535.S01 #55758 Writing in Multiple Genres: Assembling the Narrative, Amy Hempel.
Mondays 2:20 - 5:10 pm
Assembling a story through vignettes instead of a linear narrative—this workshop will encourage writing from real experience, reportage, or imagination, using the fractured form successfully deployed in works such as Mary Robison’s novel Why Did I Ever, Abigail Thomas’s memoir Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life, and stories by Bret Anthony Johnston, Rick Moody, and Christine Schutt. Plan to write a lot, in short takes.
CWL 560.S01 #55759
The Bible Is Literature: The Old Testament
, Paul Harding. (4 cr.)
Mondays, 5:20 – 8:10 pm
The Old Testament (or, with some differences, the Jewish Tanakh) is an anthology of writings ranging in genres from prose stories to historical chronicles, poetry to legal codes, song lyrics to folktales. Its meanings cohere within individual books and across the canon as a whole according to plot, character, and narrative, forming an entire cosmology. From Adam and Eve to Abraham, from Saul and King David to Isaiah and Ezekiel, from Ruth to long suffering Job, the Old Testament overflows with incredible personalities, incredible stories that are supreme models of narrative and poetic economy and artfulness. It is, in fact, the headwater of western art and literature. We will close read the Old Testament together as artists. We will look at it in the context of other so-called near eastern literatures and religions, by which it was influenced and against which it defined itself. We will read the Old Testament “as literature” simply because from no matter what religious or secular direction it is approached, it is literature, and the ways it works, the terms according to which it generates, preserves, and releases its meanings are literary.
CWL 581.S01 #55760 Practicum in Teaching Writing, Julie Sheehan. (3 cr.)
Tuesdays, 10:00 am – 12:50 pm. Meets on Stony Brook’s Main Campus
This course, offered in combination with undergraduate sections of CWL 202, Intro to Creative Writing, provides hands-on experience and instruction in the basics of writing pedagogy, including designing writing assignments, sequencing assignments, evaluating writing, and developing syllabi for four different courses. Students will also be given a preliminary overview of the major theories driving composition pedagogy. Travel to main campus is a part of this course. Prerequisite: At least 6 program credits required.
CWL 570.S01 #53145 Advanced Writing Workshop: Structure, Voice, and Time Management
in the Contemporary Novel, Susan Scarf Merrell (4 cr.)
Tuesdays, 2:20 - 5:10 pm
We’ll examine a group of current novels, interspersing them with the novels-in-progress of the students in the class. For week one, please bring: Ian McEwan, Atonement.
Other books may include: Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward; Lily King, Writers and Lovers; Young-Ha Kim, Diary of a Murderer; Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace; Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle; Victor LaValle, The Changeling; Mona Awad, Bunny; Julia Phillips, Disappearing Earth; Emily Fridlund, History of Wolves; Sally Rooney, Normal People; Tommy Orange, There There.
CWL 565.S01 #53121 Dystopian Fiction, Kaylie Jones. (4 cr.)
Tuesdays 5:20 – 8:10 pm
World building is possibly the most complex and difficult aspect of creating a dystopian novel. We will read a variety of these novels, from their earliest incarnations to their modern counterparts, and attempt to map out how these societies are created on the page, how these worlds function, how much information is provided and how much is left to the reader’s imagination. We’ll also be looking at the protagonist’s personal quest, how tension is built, and how the authors managed to create parables for their own times. We will only read eight novels, leaving ample time for students to attempt to write the first chapter of their own dystopian novels. Since we will be reading so few books, students will have a chance to suggest their own favorite dystopian novel and why that novel stands out, and we will put these to a vote in class. The winner will be added to the list and read by the entire class for discussion.
Preliminary Book List:
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
The Parable of the Sower, or Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler (TBD)
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Iron Heel by Jack London
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
CWL 580.S01 #53124 Practicum in Arts Admin, Christian McLean. (1-4 cr.)
Wednesdays, 11 am - 12:30 pm
This course teaches important skills in arts/event management. It provides education in marketing, design and software that will boost your resume and increase your workplace skill set. We’ll examine work/volunteer opportunities in local arts organizations and you will design an MFA event from the ground up. Learn the basics in Photoshop, Mailmerge, Google Docs/Sheets, Constant Contact, plus Facebook & Twitter ads. Completion of at least 6 program credits or permission of instructor required.
CWL 582.S01 #53122 Practicum in Publishing & Editing, Emily Smith Gilbert + Faculty
Editors, (1-4 cr.)
Wednesdays, 11 am – 1:50 pm
What kind of editor do you want to be? That is the central question of this course. Students will critically engage with the current discourse on language, writing, publishing, and what it means to be an editor. Through screening submissions, students will consider why a piece of writing is or is suitable for publication in TSR. Students will learn editing on micro (proofreading) and macro (copyediting) levels. The class will explore ways (implicit) bias manifests itself in writing and editing and learn strategies for communicating feedback to writers. The semester will culminate in the launch of the Summer/Fall 2020 issue.
CWL 510.S01 #53120 Forms of Fiction, The Short Story,
Ursula Hegi. (4 cr.)
Wednesdays, 3:30 – 6:20 pm
To write from inside your character's skin, you need to feel what s/he is feeling—sorrow, bliss, rage, excitement—until you become that character, crossing lines of age and gender: a 7-year-old boy; an 80-year-old woman; a 12-year-old girl; a 29-year-old man…It's a lot like method acting.
In this workshop, you’ll take risks in your writing. You'll explore the necessary tension between the writer and her/his material. You’ll work with character and plot development, impact, compression and expansion of time, point of view, voice, authentic dialogue, significant details, point of entry, and revision.
CWL 530.S01 #53144 Screenwriting I: Find Your Story, Write Your Screenplay, Annette
Handley Chandler. (4 cr.)
7 Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, 2/1, 2/15, 2/29, [Spring break from 3/16 – 3/22], 3/28, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2
All great screenplays share a captivating, well-told story. This workshop will introduce students to the craft of screenwriting through an examination of what makes a story compelling. Students will learn screenplay fundamentals: theme, character development, character arc, structure, building conflict, scene development, scene sequence, scene juxtaposition, and dialogue.
Students will also learn how to deconstruct and analyze screenplays by reading award-winning screenplays and screening selected films. All participants will be guided through the process of developing their own screenplay ideas in a constructive environment. Each student will leave with a three-act story breakdown and a completed Act One of a viable script. Beginning and Intermediate Screenwriters.
Southampton and Manhattan Asynchronous* Course
CWL 560.S30 #55734 Special Topics: Children’s Literature Survey (4 cr.)
The Topics in Literature: Children's Literature course is a survey of the four principle forms that comprise children’s literature: picture book, chapter book, middle grade and young adult. The semester will be divided into thirds—with the first third devoted to the study of the picture book, the second to chapter books and middle grade novels, and the final third focused on young adult fiction. Coursework includes discussion and suggested readings for each form, writing assignments, and workshopping written material in class.
*What is asynchronous learning?
Asynchronous learning happens according to the individual student's schedule. The instructor will provide reading materials, lectures and related materials for viewing and assignments to be completed, but students have the ability to access and satisfy the course requirements within a flexible time frame each week. Methods of course delivery include self-guided lesson modules, streaming video content, links to web resources, lecture notes, and communication via discussion boards, all of which will be delivered via Stony Brook’s Blackboard (Bb) learning management system (LMS).
CWL 520.S01 #53129 Forms of Poetry: Powers of Poetry Julie Sheehan. (4 cr.)
Thursdays, 5:20 – 8:10 pm
In this poetry workshop, we’ll practice the great powers of poetry. Alongside your own work, written from bi-weekly prompts, a course reader supplies examples drawn from contemporary poetry, with occasional examples from earlier in the tradition, and useful essays. By semester's end, you will have revised and polished seven poems that display your working knowledge of the tools most often wielded by contemporary practitioners: metaphor-making techniques like particularity and transformation of image; collage techniques like parataxis and line; and applications of sound, such as repetition and form. This is an excellent workshop both for poets seeking to hone their craft through revision and for writers in other genres who are curious to explore the power of poetry.
GRADUATE COURSES IN MANHATTAN
CWL 500.S60 #53149 Introduction to Graduate Writing, Robert Reeves & Carla Caglioti.
Mondays, 5:20-8:10 pm
A seminar that introduces students to one another, the faculty, the program in Creative 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. Please
note: CWL 500 is a required course that should be taken in the first year.
CWL 520.S60 #55761 Forms of Poetry: Poetry, Cornelius Eady. (4 cr.)
Tuesdays, 5:20 - 8:10 pm
Poets write, poets read. These two statements will be the emphasis of this advanced poetry workshop. You will be doing three things here: 1) writing and revising your own work (including exercises), 2) Doing close reading of the books assigned (including a reading list which will be generated by the workshop) 3) Interviewing visiting poets about craft, either via SKYPE or in person. The final in this workshop will be a chapbook of 10-20 of your best poems written and revised over the semester, due the last day of class. A secondary possibility with your chapbook might explore the various ways poetry can be performed.
CWO 510. S60 Fiction: Desire in Fiction, Brit Bennett. (4 cr.)
Wednesdays, 5:20 – 8:10 pm
Kurt Vonnegut famously said, "Every character should want something, even if it's only a glass of water." At its simplest form, a story is just that: a character who wants something and faces obstacles to getting it. But many stories flag under characters whose desires are muddled or boring or weak. How do we create desires that are powerful enough to drive the story forward and reveal character? In this workshop, we will examine desire in published stories as well as student-submitted work and discover new ways to create characters whose desires are convincing, specific, and compelling.
*Hybrid Online course to be held in Southampton and remotely in Manhattan
CWL 560.S30 #55734 Special Topics: Children’s Literature Survey (4 cr.)
Thursdays, 11:20 – 2:10 pm
The Topics in Literature: Children's Literature course is a survey of the four principle forms that comprise children’s literature: picture book, chapter book, middle grade and young adult. The semester will be divided into thirds – with the first third devoted to the study of the picture book, the second to chapter books and middle grade novels, and the final third focused on young adult fiction. Coursework includes discussion and suggested readings for each form, writing assignments, and workshopping written material in class.
FLM 550.S60 (Class #55899) Teaching Practicum. Karen Offitzer. (3 cr.)
Thursdays, 2:20 - 5:10 pm
This is a weekly seminar in teaching at the University level, with special emphasis on teaching in the creative arts, specifically creative writing and filmmaking. This course plunges into the basics of pedagogy, exploring learning styles, discovering a teaching philosophy, designing syllabi for undergraduate courses, creating assignments and rubrics for grading assignments, and practicing these skills in a classroom setting. You’ll get hands-on experience and mentoring through visits to undergraduate classes and teaching opportunities, and will gain an understanding of what works best for helping undergraduate students learn. Particular focus will be on discussing issues that arise when teaching creative endeavors such as writing and filmmaking.
CWL 535.S60 #55762 Writing in Multiple Genres: Writing Everything, Roger Rosenblatt.
7 Saturdays, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, 2/1, 2/15, 2/29, [Spring break from 3/16 – 3/22], 3/28, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2
This course is a workshop in the writing of a personal essay, a short story, a one-act play, and a poem. Students will produce one of each genre, study the connections among them, and learn how the elements of each may be useful to the others.
CWL 540.S60 (Class #55931) Forms of Creative Nonfiction, Matt Klam. (4 cr.)
Four Weekends: Saturdays, 10 am – 4 pm; Sundays, 11:30 am - 4 pm
2/8 & 2/9; 2/22 & 2/23; 3/7 & 3/8; 4/11 & 4/12
Most writers need multiple drafts, and when the work succeeds it does so because the author is entangled, involved, a little obsessed. Great creative nonfiction uses all sorts of techniques and tools, uses the intimacy and intensity of great memoir, the confessional power of a first person essay, the disruptive surprise of humor. It uses lists, and stretches of pure dialogue, and plenty of straight up reportage and hard-won observation. The best writing can and should come right at us, should defy our expectations. Creative nonfiction can be structured in a classical or experimental way, or a mix of approaches to fit the subject.
We'll look at examples of the form by Alexandra Fuller, Jon Krakauer, Mary Karr, Mary Gaitskill, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Katherine Boo, and many others. We'll examine their structure in the way a carpenter might study a beautiful house. We'll look at half page essays and eye witness accounts, masterworks of longform journalism, essays, chapters of books, comics by Allison Bechdel and Adrian Tomine, sections of plays, and whatever else inspires us. How is it that some writers are able to create real character development and tension in a few lines or pages? We'll talk about that too. In this class we'll write, read, and discuss, while also workshopping your pieces-in-progress in a helpful, constructive manner.
Film and TV Courses Open to CWL Students
FLM 510.S60 (#55895) Killer Films Survey, Christine Vachon & Pamela Koffler (3 cr.)
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm
The course delves into, film by film, the resume of Killer Films. We will analyze each film from several perspectives: 1) a film as a text and a story, the filmmaking, how it approaches storytelling, what are its influences, choices the filmmaker made and why, what is its vocabulary; 2) the film as a commercial enterprise and how it fit into the marketplace of an evolving independent film landscape over 20+ years; and, 3) the story of how the film was developed/financed/produced/marketed and how any one of those efforts was impacted and in a conversation with the time it was made and the market with which it was interacting. Poison, Safe, Kids, I Shot Andy Warhol, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Boys Don't Cry, The Grey Zone, One Hour Photo, Far From Heaven, Bettie Page, Kill Your Darlings, Still Alice, Carol, Series 7, Vox Lux, Colette, Kyra, First Reformed.
FLM 650.S60 (#55889) Screenwriting I, Lenny Crooks (3 cr.)
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm
In this course students develop a feature length screenplay idea. Screenings, screenplay readings, and analysis of feature film structure accompany writing exercises and assignments designed to help students develop their idea into a compelling, original story. Students leave with a prose treatment of their story from start to finish as well as the first 30 pages. Open to FLM and CWL students (with former knowledge of Final Draft and screenwriting)
FLM 550.S60 (#55899) Teaching Practicum, Karen Offitzer (3 cr.)
Thursdays, 2:20-5:10 pm
This is a weekly seminar in teaching at the University level, with special emphasis on teaching in the creative arts, specifically creative writing and filmmaking. Open to students in our Creative Writing, Film and TV Writing programs, this course plunges into the basics of pedagogy, exploring learning styles, discovering a teaching philosophy, designing syllabi for undergraduate courses, creating assignments and rubrics for grading assignments, and practicing these skills in a classroom setting. You’ll get hands-on experience and mentoring through visits to undergraduate classes and teaching opportunities, and will gain an understanding of what works best for helping undergraduate students learn. Particular focus will be on discussing issues that arise when teaching creative endeavors such as writing and filmmaking. OPEN TO FLM, TV AND CWL STUDENTS
FLM 651.S60 (#55901) TV: Original Series – TV Pilot, Scott Burkhardt (3 cr.)
Mondays, 5:20-8:10 pm
CREATING AN ORIGINAL SERIES – PILOT. Each student creates an original series, mini bible and writes a pilot script. Meets 3 hours per week as a class. Each student creates and develops an original series concept. This requires a set of characters and a central conflict that can sustain multiple seasons of compelling stories. The successful series has both this type of story engine and a strong emotional core. From the series concept students move on to creating stories for their pilot episode, outlining and finally writing scenes. Students also have the option of writing a spec (an episode of an existing television show) with instructor’s approval. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor. For FLM and CWL students.
FLM 652.S60 (#55902) Screenwriting III Script Revision, Lenny Crooks (3 cr.)
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm
Script Revision course is for students who have completed a narrative feature film script are who are prepared to subject the script to a rigorous health check by their peers. Each class will be a forum for critique and discussion with a view to assisting the presenting writer to redraft with renewed confidence. Later classes will focus on selected sequences or passages from redrafted scripts.
Bottom line - Open to Second and Thesis Year FLM, TV, CWL students with a completed screenplay or with permission of the instructor.