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Courses: Spring 2016



CWL 510.S01 Forms of Fiction: The Novel, Ursula Hegi
Wednesdays 4:00-6:50P (Class #49467) 
We'll explore the connections that arise in the process of writing and revising a novel. We'll work with character and plot development, voice, point of view, dialogue that distinguishes between characters, significant details, authenticity, and risk.
CWL 510.S03 Forms of Fiction: Short Story, Megan McAndrew
Wednesdays 10:00A-12:50P (Class #51448) 
This course will focus on reading and writing short fiction. Each class will be divided into two parts: craft (analysis of published works, prompts, discussion) and workshop. There will be particular emphasis on revision. 
CWL 520.S01 Forms of Poetry: Writing from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Star Black  
Tuesdays 5:20-8:10P (Class #51316)
Ovid's  Metamorphoses is an essential compendium of the classic myths that has influenced Western art and literature since the Middle Ages. Through in-class and take-home writing assignments, students are encouraged to re-interpret the whims and follies and nobilities of ancient gods and distinguished mortals, as have painters and poets from the Renaissance through the 20th Century. Each week we will read one book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, then write contemporary pieces derived from the text. A mid-term writing project and final writing project will be also assigned. Both projects will contain the student's original poetry or short fiction inspired by Ovid's mythological stories. We will visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the second half of the course to see Ovid's stories made visual in oil paintings by the Old Masters. This trip will be scheduled at a time that all students can attend.
535.S01 Writing in Multiple Genres: Writing Everything, Roger Rosenblatt
Mondays 2:20-5:10P (Class #57158)
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.S01 Forms of Nonfiction: Memoir, Lou Ann Walker
Thursdays 5:20-8:10P (Class #49806)
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.
CWL 560.S01 Forms of Literature: Experimental Literature, Susan Scarf Merrell
Tuesdays 2:20-5:10P (Class #50853)
Not for the faint of reading heart. We will tackle a selection of the original “experimenters," including Melville’s Moby Dick, Woolf’s The Waves, and Borges’ Labyrinths, looking at the way word, sentence, paragraphing and chapter choices are used in these masterworks. Students must read or reread Moby Dick before the first class, with Melville’s writing choices in mind. Written work will include annotations on craft as well as short fiction. This is a course for students eager to bring deeper understanding to their own desires to experiment with form. 
CWL 565.S01 Special Topics in Writing: The Art and Craft of the Young Adult Novel, Patricia McCormick
Mondays 5:20-8:10P (Class #49468) 
We will look at what makes these books so important to young readers, why it's such an exciting genre - and workshop submissions using the Liz Lehman critique model.
CWL 580.S01 Practicum in Arts Admin, Christian McLean
Thursdays 11:00A-12:50P & TBA (Class #49471)  
The essentials of arts administration, to include assisting in the coordination of reading and lecture series, planning and administering conferences, or other writing and arts administration activities. Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.
CWL 581.S01 Practicum in Teaching Writing, Megan McAndrew, Julie Sheehan
Wednesdays, 1:00-3:50P (Class #57362) 
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, motivating writing, writing skill development and evaluating writing. Students will also be given a preliminary overview of the major theories driving composition pedagogy. Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.
CWL 582.S01 Practicum in Publishing & Editing, Lou Ann Walker
Tuesdays 11:20A-2:10P (Class #49469) 
Under the guidance of the faculty advisor, students will be exposed to the hands-on process of editing and publishing The Southampton Review. Permission of instructor and completion of at least 6 program credits required.

- All Southampton classes are held in Chancellors Hall

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


Stony Brook Manhattan
101-113 East 27th St. (midway between Park Avenue South and Lexington), 3rd Floor

CWL 500.S60 Intro to Graduate Writing, Robert Reeves & Carla Caglioti
Mondays, 5:20-8:10P (Class #50852)
Please note : CWL 500 is a required course that should be taken in the first year. A seminar that introduces students to one another, the faculty, the program in Writing and Literature, and to issues in contemporary writing. Offered in conjunction with the Manhattan “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.
CWL 510.S60 Forms of Fiction: Susan Minot
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10P (Class #51315)
As our 2013 Nobel Laureate Alice Munro recently said, the short story is “an important art, not just something you played around with until you got a novel.” Focus in this workshop will be on the building blocks of the short story: style, structure and content.  In class discussions of student fiction, we will focus on refinement of that style, on varieties of structure, with an eye to finding the subject best suited to each writer.  Strong editorial feedback will assist the students in both practicing editing on their fellow students, as well as learning the value of doing draft after draft in order to strengthen and focus the material of his or her concern. Mastery of one’s craft is our goal.  
Suggested outside reading will direct students to the masters, choosing from among: Anton Chekhov, Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, Franz Kafka, Flannery O'Conner, John Cheever, Katherine Mansfield, Ernest Hemingway, Lorrie Moore, and James Salter.
CWL 520.S60 Forms of Poetry: Flash Fiction/Prose Poem, Terese Svoboda
Thursdays 5:20-8:10P (Class #52123)
Is it a bird or a plane? You decide which flies. This course will focus on short prose in which language is looked at, not through, and on poetry that toes prose's line. Words and their arrangement can be the most compelling and interesting part of very short stories, not plot (there are only two) or character (often just the author’s)--but what happens when there's poetry? You bring the words, and we’ll talk. Participants will also show and tell a piece of prose poetry history.
CWL 530.S60 Forms of Scriptwriting: The Advance Party Screenwriting Class, Lenny Crooks
Thursdays, 8:20-11:10P (Class #52080)
The Advance Party challenges all you know about screenwriting as you progress from a blank page to a short form screenplay. We start with a character - each student creates a single character and learns how to describe his or her character in an authentic way. If the class size is 10 then there will emerge 10 characters and you will choose which of these characters will interact with your own. We then focus on the natural story as an essential element in this organic approach to screenwriting. As we progress each of your stories will evolve, not out of traditional plot driven characterization, but out of the characters' actions and reactions to situations created by you. The Original Advance Party was based upon a challenge to selected first time filmmakers by Lars Von Trier. He charged his collaborators Lone Sherfig and Anders Thomas Jensen to create six characters which were given to the filmmakers around which to create feature scripts. You will be given the original character descriptions as a guide to bringing your own character to life. Andrea Arnold's Cannes Jury prizewinning film "Red Road" (2006) was created in this way. We will screen and discuss Red Road in our second class.
CWL 535.S60 Writing in Multiple Genres, Patricia Marx
Three-weekend Intensive, Saturdays and Sundays 10:30A - 6:30P (with break for lunch ): February 13-14, March 5-6, April 9-10 (Class #57361)
“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.”   James Thurber
“Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end.”  Sid Caesar
“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks
 “...An amateur thinks it's really funny if you dress a man up as an old lady, put him in a wheelchair, and give the wheelchair a push that sends it spinning down a slope towards a stone wall. For a pro, it's got to be a real old lady.”  Groucho Marx
 “What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.”  Steve Martin
“You know, crankiness is the essence of all comedy.”   Jerry Seinfeld
“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”  E.B. White
“Patty Marx is the best teacher in the Creative Writing Program.”  Patricia Marx
One of the above quotations is false.  Find out which one in this humor-writing workshop, where you will read, listen to, and watch comedic samples from well-known and lesser-known humorists, and complete weekly writing assignments. Students already working on projects are welcome to develop them. 
CWL 565.S60 Special Topics in Writing: Live Sentences, Daniel Menaker
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10P (Class #49886)
Sentences. That was one. So was that, and so is this. Sentences are to writing what phrases are to music--basic units crucial to the quality of the entire work, infinitely variable, expressive of sensibility, vehicles for implicit feeling.  In this course we will look at the art of making sentences, from the serviceable--"My dog has fleas"--to the majestic: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."  And we will study, from classic texts and from student writing, the technique of assembling sentences into larger constructs--paragraphs, passages, essays, and even short fiction. There will be brief reading and writing assignments (probably, for the semester, two for each participant).  

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





CWL 202D-S01 (ARTS) Introduction to Creative Writing:
            Wednesdays, 5:20P - 8:10P (Class #57129), William Ste. Marie  CHANCLR HALL 237
Creative writing workshop in multiple genres, from fiction to poetry to scriptwriting, intended to introduce students to the basic tools and terminology of the fine art of creative writing. Participants also read contemporary works, give a public reading, and attend Writers Speak, the Wednesday reading series. This course, offered on the Southampton campus, is required for the minor in creative writing. The SBU shuttle runs regularly to and from SAC at SBU to Chancellors Hall on Southampton campus. Visit for the schedule.
Prerequisite: None
3 credits




CWL190 Introduction to Contemporary Literature
S01 Tues/Thur, 10:00A-11:20A (Class #57128), Michael Narkunski  EARTH&SPACE 069
Seminar surveying recent works in a genre or topic, to introduce students to poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction or a combination of selections focusing on a particular theme. Participants will develop skills of interpretation and analysis through reading and writing about contemporary literature.  Required for the minor.
Prerequisite: WRT 102
DEC:     B
SBC:     HUM
3 credits
CWL 202 Introduction to Creative Writing
S02 Mon/Wed, 8:30-9:50A (Class #57130), Brooke Kolcow SOCBEHAV SCI N115
S03 Mon/Fri, 1:00-2:20P (Class #57131), Alison Fairbrother SOCBEHAV SCI N115
S04 Tues/Thur, 8:30-9:50A (Class #57132), Shannon Mowdy SOCBEHAV SCI N104
S05 Tues/Thur, 10:00-11:20A (Class #57133), Nora Decter SOCBEHAV SCI N115
S06 Tues/Thur, 11:30A-12:50P (Class #57134), Nora Decter SOCBEHAV SCI N115
S07 Tues/Thur, 1:00-2:20P (Class #57135), Taylor Hicks  SOCBEHAV SCI N115
S08 Tues/Thur, 2:30-3:50P (Class #57136 ), Devin DeMarco  SOCBEHAV SCI N115
            S09 Mon/Wed/Fri, 10:00-10:53A (Class #57137 ), John Stintzi SOCBEHAV SCI N115
Creative writing workshop in multiple genres, from fiction to poetry to scriptwriting, intended to introduce students to the basic tools and terminology of the fine art of creative writing. Participants also read contemporary works, give a public reading, and attend readings by others. Required for the minor.
Prerequisite: None
DEC:     D
3 credits
CWL 305 Forms of Fiction
Study of the genre through readings, discussion and regular submission of original work. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through fiction, with examples from the tradition that illustrate point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, setting, theme, motif, and other elements. Areas of study include Short Story, Novella, The Popular Novel, Graphic Novels and Writing Funny. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
             S01 Tues/Thur, 1:00-2:20P (Class #57138), Ikwo Ntekim  SOCBEHAV SCI N106
Topic: Dark Fiction: Writing on the Unusual, Bizarre, & Dark. What is it about the dark that draws us in? In this course, we’ll explore and discuss dark fiction in some of its most terrifying forms, from the madness of the Other to the horror exclusive to our humanity. Each week we’ll examine fairy tales, short stories, novellas, and/or films with the goal of learning from authors who came before, and producing our own dark fiction, birthed from personal experiences, but existing only in the realm of the bizarre.  
            S02 Thursdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #57139), Jennifer Nissley SOCBEHAV SCI N115
Topic: The Art of Rewriting. Students in this class will work closely with the instructor and their peers to rewrite multiple drafts of a single piece over the course of the semester, with the goal of developing a toolbox of craft decisions that writers can use to demystify the revision process.
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC :     G
SBC :     HFA+, WRTD
3 credits
CWL 310.S01 Forms of Poetry
            Tuesdays, 4:00-6:50P (Class #57140), Jennifer Lobaugh SOCBEHAV SCI N115
Study of the genre through readings, discussion and regular submission of original work. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through poetry, with examples from the tradition of such tools as metaphor and image, sound, line, form, and juxtaposition. Areas of study include Powers of Poetry, Bright Containers: Form & Meter, and Methods & Madness, a study of the philosophical vs. visionary strains in poetry. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Topic: Wild Imagination: Experiments in Particularity and Persona. If you were ever scolded as a child for your overactive imagination, I’m here to encourage that bad habit. In this class, we’ll be letting our poems run wild, experimenting with image and perspective to boldly go where no poet has gone before. Each week, we will write something strange and new, trying on different skins and creating unfamiliar worlds to inhabit. To guide us on this mission, we’ll be reading works by a diverse sampling of daring contemporary poets, keeping a weekly journal of our thoughts and examining the nitty-gritty in class discussions. Together, we’ll be distillers of language. We’ll be conjurers of dark magic, intergalactic explorers, Strangers on a Train. We’ll be Peter Pan and the Lost Boys; we’ll never grow up.
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC :     G
SBC :     HFA+, WRTD
3 credits
CWL 315 Forms of Scriptwriting: Screenwriting
Wednesdays 4:00-6:50 (Class #), Annette Handley Chandler
Study of the genre through readings, screenings, discussion and regular submission of original writing for film or theater. Course explores methods for expressing the human condition made available through these collaborative media. Areas of study include Fundamentals of Dramatic Action, Visual Storytelling, Message Movies, Writing the One Act, and Extreme Events. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Prerequisite: CWL 202
DEC :     G
SBC :     HFA+, WRTD
3 credits
CWL 325 Forms of Science Writing: What Makes Up a Mind: Reading Science and Writing Self
Tuesdays 4-6:50P (Class #), Kaitlin Williams
Regular submission, discussion and analysis of students' work in one or more areas of science writing in order to examine the impact of science and literature on one another. Areas of study include Introduction to Science Writing, Environmental Writing and the Media, and Elegance & Complexity: Researched Writing and Writing the Interview. Course may be repeated as the topic changes.
Topic: What Makes Up a Mind: Reading Science and Writing Self. Where do our psyches and our stories meet? Our minds are constantly creating narratives about ourselves and the outside world, and this course explores the intersection of science and narrative. The self is a subconscious story, and by understanding the mechanisms within the brain at their most basic and biological levels, we can come to a newfound understanding of the analogous mechanisms within storytelling. We will read about how neuroscience can make us better writers, how neurological disorders complicate the self, and how writers cope with disabilities.
We will write about ourselves and make informed judgments about the reciprocal relationship between science and the arts.
Prerequisite: 1 D.E.C. E and 1 D.E.C F or 1 SNW and 1 SBS; CWL 202
DEC:      H
3 credits
CWL 335-K-S01 Topics in American Literature for Writers: War Memoir
            Tues/Thurs, 11:30A-12:50P (Class #57141), Adrian Bonenberger HARRIMAN HLL 116
A seminar for writers concentrating on one area of American literature, to be announced in the course schedule. The course may examine a contemporary or historical trend in American literature, the rise of a specific genre, a social issue expressed in literature, an issue in literary theory, or any other exploration of American pluralism as, for example, Ethics and the Crime Novel; Varieties of American Humor; Southern Renaissance; and Contemporary Poetry Wars. The emphasis will be on scholarly analysis, but with engagement of student writers. Students may repeat this course as the topic changes.
Topic: The Contemporary War Memoir is a course designed to examine current war memoirs, and understand how the experience of war is changing for the US as roles once closed to women and gay soldiers are being opened. The "War on Terror" has coincided with the rise of memoir as a storytelling mechanism available to everyone, and the opening of society to receive such stories as valid and important. We'll read memoirs from different voices, and attempt to understand what the trend means for American society, as well as the military's understanding of itself in the 21st century.
Prerequisite: one D.E.C. B or HUM course
Advisory Prerequisite: CWL 190
DEC:      K
SBC:     HFA+, USA
3 credits
CWL 340: Topics in World Literature for Writers
            Mondays 4:00-6:50P, (Class #57335), Alison Fairbrother HUM 3018  
A literature course for writers concentrating on one area, to be announced in the course schedule, of non-Western culture. Topics could include a contemporary or historical trend, a social issue, or any other topic of expression that illuminates national, regional or cultural difference, as, for example, Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond; Contemporary World Fiction for Writers; Reading Nature in Japanese Poetry; Varieties of the Short Story; and Asian Theatre and Drama. The emphasis will be on scholarly analysis, but with engagement of student writers. Students may repeat this course as topic changes.
Topic: Literature of Immigration. This course focuses on the experiences of immigrants, exiles, and sojourners in world literature. Films, visual art, and music will supplement our readings and discussions of identity, culture, adaptation, and resistance. Students will respond analytically and creatively to each text, adapting techniques and ideas as inspiration for their own writing.   
Prerequisite: one D.E.C. B or HUM course
Advisory Prerequisite: CWL 190
DEC:     J
SBC:     GLO, HFA+
3 credits