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Ali Shapiro - Introduction to Creative Writing lyrics

In this introductory creative writing course, we'll read and write short stories, microfictions, poems, prose poems, how-to manuals, letters, diary entries, monologues, comic strips, six-word memoirs, PowerPoint presentations, legal briefs, dictionaries, Tweets, online profiles, recipes, and more. We'll ditch traditional notions of “genre” in favor of evolving our own dynamic, holistic understanding of the relationship between form and content. We'll also watch at least one video about deranged penguins.


To hone writing craft, style, and mechanics in at least two of the following genres: fiction, poetry, and/or drama.
To develop a shared critical vocabulary for creative writing.
To participate actively in a community of writers, both in the cla**room and beyond.
To hone the critical sk** of reading and evaluating published work from a writer's perspective.
To develop flexible strategies for creating, revising, and editing writing in different creative genres.
To hone sk**s at critical self-a**essment and reflection on the process of writing.



Online Readings

Daily Life

Tuesday, Month 6th • Cla** Theme
• Author, Reading Title
• Author, Reading Title
• Assignment
• Task
• Task
Thursday, Month 8th • Cla** Theme
• Author, Reading Title
• Author, Reading Title
• Author, Reading Title
• Assignment
• Comments on Assignment
***Sunday, May 10th • Assignment due via CTools by 5PM***

Preparedness + Participation

You must bring the readings to cla** each day, with notes in the margins and/or on a separate piece of paper (for online readings). Come prepared to discuss the readings listed on the schedule. And be prepared for the occasional reading quiz, too.
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Bring hardcopies of your take-home writing a**ignments as instructed in the a**ignment prompts. Collate your work before cla**. Late writing a**ignments are not accepted without permission.

Bring paper and a writing implement for in-cla** writing exercises, which will be often geared towards generating ideas for your take-home writing a**ignments. You will not be forced to read in-cla** writing aloud, though you will be invited to do so.

We will make good use of technology at various points during this cla**. Your default setting, however, should be “off:” unless specifically instructed otherwise, please turn off and put away all laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices before cla** starts.


Before you are being workshopped, you are responsible for distributing your piece(s) by the a**igned deadline. On days when you are not being workshopped, you are responsible for preparing detailed, thoughtful comments on the work of your peers. Instructions for preparing comments will be specified in the a**ignment prompt.


In your chapbook, you will present 15-20 pages of at least three different types of writing from this semester.

To accompany your chapbook, you will write a 2-3 page reflection in the form of your choosing.


Preparedness + Participation: 20%
Take-Home Writing Assignments: 20%
• Workshop Letters: 5%
Final Portfolio: 60%
• Reflection: 5%


Spring semester is short, so every cla** counts! Absences are by default unexcused and will affect your final grade. If you must miss cla**, contact me in advance; to increase the likelihood that I will excuse your absence, be convincing!

Unexcused absences will typically lower your final grade by one-third of a letter (e.g., from a B+ to a B). If you accumulate more than 3 unexcused absences, you will probably fail this course.


You're required to meet with me at least once during the course of the semester. I'm also available during my office hours, and by appointment. Missed conferences count as unexcused absences.


Stealing, borrowing, or failing to cite someone else's words or ideas is the quickest and most efficient way to fail this cla** and be reported for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.

Learning Differences/Disabilities

If you have a documented Learning Difference/Disability, please see me so we may discuss any potential accommodations you might require for this course.

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