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Course Catalog

Creative Writing Elective Courses

Creative Writing elective courses.

Expand Your Creativity – Writing Inspired by Surrealist Art, Film, and Poetry


Tap into the endless flexibility of your imagination by utilizing Surrealist techniques to generate and express your wildly creative ideas. Our course first works to understand Surrealist and related philosophies – then uses readings, art, film clips, games and methodologies from the Surrealist movement (plus light workshopping of pieces) to guide writers toward a greater understanding of how to dig deeply into their imaginations to craft fresh and dynamic compositions.

Upon completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Define the Surrealist and Dadaist movements and their respective philosophies
  • Identify key historical and contemporary Surrealist and Dadaist writers, artists and filmmakers
  • Identify at least three techniques the Surrealists used to spark creativity.
  • Effectively employ at least three Surrealist techniques in their own prose or poetry writings
  • Effectively use Surrealist art, readings, and film clips as inspiration to produce poetry or prose that imaginatively expands the creative process
  • Effectively evaluate other participants’ creative writings to offer constructive critique
Section: SURREALWRITING (11APR18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Apr 11, 2018 End Date: May 16, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Alison Ross Register

Introduction to Screenwriting

Got a brilliant idea for a TV show or a movie -- but haven’t been able to work it into a finished project yet? Fully ‘fleshing out’ the story is critical -- we’ll tackle your ideas and expand them into robust stories. Join us to explore the intricacies of story development using the paradigm of 3-act mythic structure (and 6-acts for TV). Work on selecting well-defined themes, uncovering the true journey of protagonists as well as the specific steps of the intended character arc. Consider the advantages of knowing your story’s every twist and turn before you put the first word on paper.

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Section: SCRNINTRO (10FEB18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Feb 10, 2018 End Date: Mar 17, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Kevin Collins Register

Mystery Writing


Cozies. Police procedurals. Lone-wolf private eyes. The mystery genre takes on many forms -- all of which sell briskly in the marketplace and retain long shelf-lives. No mystery about that! The human race (nosy by nature) wants to know whodunit and why -- with shivers and a few laughs along the way. Class will focus on planting clues, fishing for red herrings, hanging from cliffs, the ‘reveal’ and other elements of the mystery novel. Examples from masters of the genre -- as well as exercises and assignments -- help students uncover vital secrets of writing a mystery story that will keep readers awake and turning pages all night.

After completing this program, participants should be able to:
  • Recognize the characteristics of and practice developing a sleuth character
  • Practice creating tension within stories
  • Experiment with mood and setting
  • Utilize current or historical events
  • Select and plant clues -- without spoiling the surprise
Section: MYSTERY (05FEB18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Feb 5, 2018 End Date: Mar 12, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Linda E Clopton Register

Poetry Workshop

Alexa Selph has been leading poetry workshops at Emory and elsewhere for the past twelve years. Her poems have been published in Poetry, the Connecticut Review, Smartish Pace, Modern Haiku, and in several anthologies. These workshops require no background in literature. Detailed course descriptions can be seen by clicking on the section.
Section: POETWRKSHP (19MAR18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Mar 19, 2018 End Date: Apr 30, 2018 Tuition: $375.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Alexa Selph Register

Telling Our Stories: Writing Memoir


In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says “good writing is about telling the truth…[but] telling the truth in an interesting way turns out to be as pleasurable as bathing a cat.” Join us to learn more about the art of writing (and living) by sharing stories through the literary form memoir – no cat-bathing! We’ll read and analyze various writing styles of published memoirs to determine how these individual techniques contributed to the authenticity and enjoyment of the stories. Students may begin to write their own memoirs utilizing class workshops and peer review for revision purposes.

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Throughout the course, participants will be involved in the following:
  • Reading published memoirs by an array of writers with different styles;
  • Examining the styles and form used by the writers to tell their stories;
  • Analyzing various writing styles to understand how the different techniques created the authenticity and enjoyment of those stories;
  • Conducting an analysis of how perspective can shape truth;
  • Beginning to write our own memoir;
  • Participating in class workshops and peer review to revise our memoir.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Describe the literary form memoir
  • Examine the range of writing styles used in published memoirs
  • Explore and identify possible themes for writing memoir
  • Practice writing memoir
  • Give and receive constructive feedback in a workshop setting
  • Revise writing based on constructive feedback
Section: WRITINGMEMOIR (21FEB18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Feb 21, 2018 End Date: Mar 28, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Jennifer Lentz Register

Workshopping Your Script: Fade IN, Fade OUT


Screenplays aren’t meant to be read – instead, they serve as detailed blueprints for enlivening your project with elements including actors, directors, set decorators, prop masters, casting agents and more. Each of these players requires specifics from your script to function properly. Transform your beat sheet/outline into a well-paced screenplay with all of the necessary details – including competent filmic language for the large and/or small screen. Participants will workshop script pages in the process of fine-tuning their project.

It is recommended that before taking this course, participants complete Introduction to Screenwriting or have a fully fleshed-out screenplay idea from beginning to end.

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Section: SCRIPTWKSHP (09JUN18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Jun 9, 2018 End Date: Jul 14, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Kevin Collins Register

Writing for Young Children


The genre of writing for children is both challenging and uniquely treasured – join us to discover the variety of formats ranging from novelty books for preschoolers to picture and early chapter books for new readers. We will practice writing manuscripts, experiment with various styles and then share our works with fellow classmates for constructive critiques and enhancements. Essential elements -- style, structure, audience, and content presentation – will all be covered as students supplement coursework with a dash of their own creativity in the quest to capture the attention of young page-turning readers.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Discern the various book formats for young children
  • Explain what will capture the attention of children in books
  • Identify the unique challenges of writing for young children
  • Experiment with new writing styles
  • Practice writing manuscripts/drafts
Section: WRITEFORCHILDREN (19APR18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Apr 19, 2018 End Date: May 24, 2018 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Peggy Shaw Register

Writing Freelance

Magazine and newspaper articles, ads, speeches, even greeting cards--variety is the essence and joy of freelancing. Learn writing tips that catch an editor's eye, survival techniques, and the mysteries of marketing. Classes include shake-loose exercises/assignments. Your instructor writes and edits for magazines and other clients on topics such as decorative arts, health, travel, business, and human interest.
Section: WRTGFRLNCE (09APR18) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Apr 9, 2018 End Date: May 14, 2018 Tuition: $375.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Linda E Clopton Register

Humor and Comedy Writing

Wondering why TV’s big comedy lineup doesn’t quite…line up? Think you can do better? We agree -- that’s why we created this class. Our six-week workshop covers a wide variety of comedy genres including sketch, comedy/variety and scripted series, all culminating in a class that teaches you how to pitch your show to the people who can make it happen. Taught by writers, directors, and producers who’ve been there and done that, this class will give you all the tools you need to create television’s next comedy juggernaut. (Except the jokes. You’ll need to supply those.)

After this class students will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of writing sketch
  • Generate unique comedic characters through exaggerated flaws and through action
  • Understand and practice methods of character transformation in sketch
  • Identify premise and structure a sketch around it
  • Practice how to heighten a sketch through identifying character goals and stakes
  • Become familiar with and identify the various outlets for comedy variety writing and how to access these outlets
  • Identify the differences between a monologue, desk piece, pre-tape, and presenter patter

Science Fiction Workshop: Heroes, Myths, and Monsters


Speculative fiction—encompassing fantasy, science fiction, and horror—is a realm of paradox. An idea-driven literature that’s as vast as imagination, it can also be peculiarly compartmentalized and too often dismissed as escapism. Novelist Margaret Atwood describes the category as “wonder tales,” stories that pull readers into astonishing other worlds “on the other side of the threshold that divides the known from the unknown.” This course surveys the mysterious landscape of these “what if?” narratives, exploring the mythic connections between ancient epics, supernatural beasts, and futuristic space odysseys. We’ll evaluate the craft components in works by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Karen Russell, among others. The second hour of each session will be devoted to critiquing classmate submissions and sharing strategies on how to build your own captivating worlds of wonder.

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