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Summer 2019 section

2019 Lois Caffyn Summer Institute 
(ENGL 790 - 3 graduate credits)

Creative Writing Pedagogy
Instructor: Prof. Kij Johnson

July 16-26, 2019
M-F, 4:00-7:00

This course introduces graduate students to strategies for teaching all genres of creative writing, and for using creative writing as a tool for engagement and criticism in literature classes. We will discuss genres (in the multiple ways the word is used), learning modes, textbooks and readings, workshop and peer review options, and evaluation, among other topics. Students will discuss requirements and differences in pedagogy for teaching multi-genre classes and courses dedicated to a single genre (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, plays, screenwriting, and hybrid forms) or subgenre (the novel, mystery fiction, language poetry, television drama). Students will also explore creative criticism (i.e., using creative work to interrogate existing works and topics) and develop frameworks for evaluating such projects in the context of a lit, rhet/com, or other course. 

Some course elements:

  • Students will research and present on creative-writing textbooks designed for academic situations (such as Jane Burroway’s Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft); practical how-to books (such as Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook); and discussions of process from notable authors (such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft). A reading list will be available in spring 2019. 
  • Students will identify and present on exemplary touchstone works and how they can be used to effectively teach concepts and technique. 
  • Students will participate in test workshops: round-table and round-robin critiques, peer- and instructor-directed discussions, and others. 
  • Students will explore uses of creative writing in literature, rhetoric/composition, and other non-creative writing courses, to develop new modes of criticism and engagement. 
  • As assignments within the class session, students will present on readings and write critiques, reflections, creative exercises, and CW assignments for literature, rhetoric/composition, and other classes. As a final project, they will generate a reflection paper and one or more course plans incorporating creative writing, including rubrics and assignments. These final assignments will be due several weeks after the course sessions end.


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