Main content

Creative Writing Elective Courses

Creative Writing elective courses.

Crafting the Memoir

Our class will help you write your memoir with confidence through drafting, reading models and peer-evaluation. We’ll also identify potential strengths and weaknesses in your composition and then optimize your work through revisions and editing.

Sharing your collection of life’s memories can both illuminate and entertain your readers – our class will help you write your memoir with confidence. Through drafting, reading models and learning to peer-evaluate, you will maximize our class activities on (re)creating characters, deploying causality, and choosing your point of view, diction and theme for a specific audience. We’ll also identify potential strengths and weaknesses in your composition and then optimize your work through revisions and editing.

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

Tap into the endless flexibility of your imagination by utilizing Surrealist techniques, methodologies and philosophies to generate and express wildly creative ideas. Readings and film clips help guide writers into crafting fresh and dynamic compositions.


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

Introduction to Screenwriting

We'll combine professional screenwriting formatting lessons and story structure to create entertaining and engaging screenplays. Successful students can develop dimensional characters and dynamic scenes while building the confidence to write a script.

Academy Award-winning films and blockbuster action movies all start with one critical core element: the script. Do you think you have a great idea? Join our class as we combine professional screenwriting formatting lessons and story structure in order to create entertaining and engaging screenplays. Successful students will be able to develop a strong premise, dimensional characters and dynamic scenes while building the confidence necessary to write a feature-length script. Our creative writing exercises will help you write short scenes for constructive peer/instructor evaluation in class.

CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

CLICK HERE FOR SUGGESTED READING

CLICK HERE FOR SUGGESTED READING

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Create strong premise for your screenplay
  • Analyze film scenes from script to screen
  • Present strong pitches
  • Demonstrate basic skills to write a professionally formatted screenplay
  • Prepare up to the first ten pages of feature length screenplay
  • Define important screenwriting competitions, fellowships, and representation

Poetry Workshop

Alexa Selph has been leading poetry workshops at Emory University and elsewhere for 13 years, and has been published in Poetry, the Connecticut Review, Smartish Pace, and Modern Haiku, as well as in several anthologies. No literature background required.

Where do poems come from? Join us as we explore how contemporary poets have taken everyday experience and timeless themes (myth, loss, the world of nature) and shaped them into poems that speak to their readers. We’ll talk about strategies for revision, the secret weapon of any successful poet. Our class will have a dual focus on both reading and writing poetry, using as example and inspiration poems by the leading poets writing today. There will be writing assignments every week, with opportunities to share your work with the class. Limited to 12 students.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the elements of craft (rhythm, rhyme scheme, sound effects, imagery) in poems by established poets, a skill that will enhance your own writing
  • Recognize possibilities for poetry in everyday experience and observation, as well as in their own memories and imagination
  • Approach revision more systematically

CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

Sitcom Writing

Using a collaborative approach, we will conceive, develop, and outline an original sitcom pilot script for television. Included will be concept, story, and character creation, as well as analysis of existing TV scripts to better understand sitcom elements.

Making people laugh can often be a difficult but rewarding writing challenge. Using a collaborative approach, we will conceive, develop, and outline an original sitcom pilot script for television. Early classes will focus on developing overall concepts, story elements, and characters as writers work up to drafting an outline. We will also analyze pilots of existing network shows by reading scripts in order to gain a better understanding of world-building, character development, and story beats. Table reads during class will help determine what is working as well as any potential opportunities for improvement.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the story beats in a sitcom
  • Describe the creative process entailed in conceiving and plotting
  • Develop characters and concepts for a TV show

Documentary Filmmaking for the Writer

Combine your fantastic ideas with creative writing skills as you identify the roles and talents required to succeed as an independent documentary filmmaker. Build experience with the elements of proposal writing: synopsis, treatment, pitch, and budget. Tuition: $425.

Inquire

Interested in producing your own documentary? Combine your fantastic ideas with creative writing skills as you identify the roles and talents required to succeed as an independent filmmaker. Build hands-on experience with the critical elements of developing and writing a proposal, including the synopsis, treatment, pitch, and top budget sheet. Students will also explore various film types, analyze funding sources, and create a plan to begin shooting sample documentary-style interviews.


CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
  • Distinguish between documentary and narrative films
  • Create strong ideas for your documentary film
  • Develop plan to produce your documentary film
  • Apply creative writing skills for documentary synopsis, treatment, and grant proposals
  • Analyze documentary films and funding
  • Present strong verbal and written pitches

Freelance Writing

Prepare for the creative and publishing processes in order to produce accurate and engaging stories. We will cover the basics of a successful pitch, working with editors, understanding the nature of assignments, and the many rewards of publishing. Tuition: $425.

Inquire

You have a fantastic idea for a news story – but how do you carry that thought from proposal to published (and paid)? Media outlets need your content, and our Freelance Writing course prepares authors for the creative and publishing processes that result in accurate and engaging stories. We will cover the basics of a successful pitch, working with editors, understanding the fluid nature of editorial assignments, and the many rewards of publishing.

CLICK HERE FOR REQUIRED BOOK

After completing this course, writers will be able to:
  • Develop an original story to pitch to the media outlet of their choice
  • Write a pitch letter that resonates with editors and gatekeepers
  • Assemble the facts and media that tell the story
  • Write a compelling and accurate draft that fulfills the original pitch
  • Respond productively to edits—in structure, grammar, and style
  • Develop their own management tools to sustain freelance writing (rates, contracts, etc.)

Humor and Comedy Writing

Taught by writers, directors, and producers who've been there and done that, we'll give you all the tools you need to create television's next comedy juggernaut—including how to pitch your show to the people who can actually make your dream happen. Tuition: $425.

Inquire


Wondering why TVs 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 who’ve been there and done that, this class will give you all the tools you need to create televisions next comedy juggernaut. (Except the jokes. You’ll need to supply those.)

After this class students will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamentals of writing sketch
  • Experiment with creating unique comedic characters through exaggerated flaws and through action
  • 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
  • Identify the various outlets for comedy variety writing and how to access these outlets
  • Summarize the differences between a monologue, desk piece, pre-tape, and presenter patter
  • Explain the structure of joke writing
  • Explore tips and techniques of writing for comedy and variety television which are employed by successful writers