Creative Writing  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Creative Writing

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Paul Sherwin

 

Department of Creative Writing

HUM 380
Phone: 415-338-1891
E-mail: cwriting@sfsu.edu
Website: http://creativewriting.sfsu.edu

Chair: Maxine Chernoff
Undergraduate and Graduate Advisors: Carter, Caspers, Chernoff, Conboy, Dungy, Glück, Hoover, Langton, Mirosevich, Orner

 

Faculty:

Professors: Carter, Caspers, Chernoff, Conboy, Dungy, Glück, Hoover, Langton, Mirosevich, Orner
Assistant Professor: Tigay

 

Programs

Bachelor of Arts in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

Master of Arts in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

 


 

Program Scope

The Department of Creative Writing offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The three degree programs emphasize the primary importance of the study and practice of imaginative writing in the genres of poetry, fiction, playwriting, and nonfiction. All three degree programs combine an intense workshop requirement and a variety of special topic creative process classes with requirements in the English Department. The core literature classes assure that students will continue to absorb and be trained in a study of the best literature of the past. In Creative Writing classes, students work with an active, publishing faculty. They learn by vigorous practice; by focused studies of craft; and by extensive reading, analysis, and discussion of their own work, as well as that of published authors.

 

The undergraduate major combines the academic specifications of the traditional English major with the experiential needs of the writing student. Students who enter this program should do so only under the strongly held assumption that they have abilities as writers that may be fostered and trained by such a discipline as is described here. It is hoped that this combined program of writing and literature will lead students to a cohesive study and discipline that combines breadth with intensity.

 

Accordingly, some greater latitude of choice in literature courses is allowed in the creative writing major. Studies will lead them to a degree in English with a creative writing emphasis. Ample guidance of the creative writing advisors helps insure that students will not be deprived of a sense of the history of literature. In this regard they will continue to be fully qualified as potential graduate students in English as well as prepared should they wish to continue as M.A. or M.F.A. candidates in a creative writing program.

 

The two graduate programs differ in scope. Both programs are distinguished by innovative classes. Both include seminars, opportunities for community projects, and a thesis. Students may apply for admission to either the Master of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing (30 units) or the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (54 units). In no case will a student be admitted to both programs simultaneously.

 

The Master of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing serves a double purpose: to extend and broaden the student's familiarity with literature, and to provide the help of a faculty of professional writers and critics in developing the student's own potential as a professional writer. The Creative Writing Department has a strong core faculty and invites several visiting faculty each semester.

 

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is regarded as the terminal degree in the field. The M.F.A. in Creative Writing offers extended experience in small seminars and in individual instruction with faculty. It also develops the student's understanding of the history and theory of literature and incorporates correlative patterns of study in elective areas such as other cultures, other arts, technical studies, and/or the teaching of writing.

 

Career Outlook

The career goal is to train and encourage writers of poetry, fiction, plays, and nonfiction. Many celebrated and distinguished writers are graduates of the department. In the job market, good writers are hard to find. The skills developed in creative writing translate well into corporate editing, publishing, teaching, and working for arts organizations.

 

Bachelor of Arts in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

How GWAR is satisfied in for the English major, concentration in creative writing:

C W 511 GW, C W 512 GW, or C W 513 GW. Completion of C W 301 Fundamentals of Creative Writing and second year written composition (ENG 214 or equivalent) with a grade of C- or better is a prerequisite for C W 511 GW or C W 512 GW or C W 513 GW.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Program

A. (6 units)

Fundamentals of Creative Writing and Fundamentals of Creative Reading; both are prerequisites to all other Creative Writing courses; C W 302 is prerequisite to ENG 460, ENG 461, ENG 462, and all other upper division English literature courses. C W 302 must be taken at SF State; upon completion of C W 302, courses from sections E. and F. may be taken at any time. C W 301 and C W 302 may be taken concurrently:

Course Title
C W 301 Fundamentals of Creative Writing
C W 302 Fundamentals of Creative Reading

 

B. (3 units)

Course in the Craft Area selected from the following (must be taken after C W 301 and C W 302 and BEFORE workshop course).

Course Title
C W 511 GW Craft of Poetry - GWAR
C W 512 GW Craft of Fiction - GWAR
C W 513 GW Craft of Playwriting - GWAR

 

C. (15 units)

Courses in the Creative Process Area and /or Workshop Areas selected from the following (One of these courses must be chosen from variable topic process courses C W 510 OR C W 600. Seek advising for substitution.):

Course Title
C W 506 The Business of Creative Writing (creative process)
C W 507 Writing on the Body (creative process)
C W 509 Jewish Writers in the American Poetry Archives (creative process)
C W 510 Creative Process - Variable Topic 1 (creative process)
C W 514 World Poetry (creative process)
C W 520 Writers on Writing (creative process)
C W 550 Poetry Center Workshop (creative process)
C W 600 Special Topics in Writing - Variable Topic 1 (workshop)
C W 602 Playwriting 2 (workshop)
C W 603 Short Story Writing 2 (workshop)
C W 604 Poetry Writing 2 (workshop)
C W 605 Writing and Performing Monologues 2 (workshop)
C W 609 Directed Writing 3 (workshop)
C W 640 Transfer Literary Magazine (creative process)
C W 675 Community Projects in Literature  2 (creative process)
C W 685 Projects in Teaching Creative Writing (creative process) (1-4)
C W 699 Independent Study (creative process or workshop) (1-3)
CWL 455 Translation Workshop (creative process)

 

D. (3 units)

C W 601 Work in Progress (to be taken in last year)

 

E. (9 units)

Courses in the Literature Area, one course to be selected from three of the following four groups.(Prerequisite for C W majors to take these courses is C W 302; once completed, courses from sections E. and F. maybe taken at any time.):

American Literature

Course Title
AFRS 645 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
ENG 525 Studies in American Literature 1
ENG 526 Age of the American Renaissance, 1830-1860
ENG 527 American Literature, 1860-1914
ENG 528 American Literature, 1914-1960
ENG 529 American Literature, 1960-Present

Literature in English Surveys or Age (of)

Course Title
ENG 460 Literature in English I: Beginnings to 17th Century
ENG 461 Literature in English II: 18th and 19th Centuries
ENG 462 Literature in English III: The Twentieth Century
ENG 501 Age of Chaucer
ENG 503 Medieval Rebel Writing
ENG 504 The Elizabethan Age
ENG 512 18th Century British Women Writers
ENG 509 The Age of Humanism
ENG 514 The Age of the Romantics
ENG 522 Irish Literature
ENG 630 Selected Studies 1

The Genre

Course Title
C W 465/
CWL 465/
MGS 465
Modern Greek Poetry
CWL 450 Greek and Roman Drama
CWL 495 Short Fiction
ENG 521 Studies in 20th Century English Fiction 1
ENG 550 The Rise of the Novel
ENG 551 Nineteenth Century English Novel
ENG 552 Modern British Novel
ENG 553 Classic American Novel
ENG 554 Modern American Novel
ENG 555 The Short Story
ENG 556 Modern American Poetry
ENG 557 Modern British Poetry
ENG 558 Early 20th Century U.S. Poetry
ENG 559 Middle and Late 20th Century Poetry in the U.S.
ENG 570 Medieval and Renaissance Drama
ENG 571 Shakespeare's Rivals
ENG 573 American Drama
ENG 574 Modern British Drama
ENG 612 Serial Narrative
ENG 630 Selected Studies 1

Individual Authors

Course Title
C W 426/
MGS 426
Kazantzakis
ENG 580 Individual Authors 1
ENG 581 Chaucer
ENG 583 Shakespeare: Representative Plays
ENG 584 Shakespeare: Selected Plays
ENG 586 Milton

 

F. (3 units)

Three units selected from Writing from the American Experience or Global Literatures in English (substitution may be made with advisor's approval). (Prerequisite for C W majors to take these courses is C W 302; once completed, courses from sections E. and F. maybe taken at any time.):

Global Literatures in English (More course offerings in this category will become available over time.)

Course Title
C W 465/
CWL 465
MGS 465
Modern Greek Poetry
C W 497/
MGS 497
Modern Greek Literature
CWL 420 Studies in Comparative Literature 1
CWL 423 Comparative Medieval European Literature
CWL 424 Multiucultural Middle Ages
CWL 432/
HUM 532
From Ghost Stories to Video Games: Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts
CWL 437/
ENG 533/
JS 437
Holocaust and Literature
CWL 440 Typical American: Narratives of Multiculturalism in the Americas
CWL 451/
ENG 451/
JS 451
Jewish Literature of the Americas
ENG 565 Short Story: Global Literature in English
ENG 630 Selected Studies 1
ENG 631 Post-Colonial Literature in English
ENG 632 Literature of Exile and Migration
ENG 633/
SXS 633
Gay Love in Literature
LTNS 492/
SPAN 492
Early Transatlantic Literature and Culture
LTNS 560 Contemporary Latino Literature
LTNS 679 Central American Literature: Roots to the Present

Writing from the American Experience 
(More course offerings in this category will become available over time.)

Course Title
AA S 322 Chinese American Language and Literature
AA S 332 Japanese American Art and Literature
AA S 352 Filipina/o American Literature, Art, and Culture
AA S 372 Vietnamese American Literature
AA S 512 Asian American Children’s/Adolescent Literature
AFRS 400 Black Arts and Humanities
AFRS 411 African and African American Literature
AIS 360 Modern American Indian Authors
CWL 425 Faulkner, Garcia Marquez, and Morrison
ENG 525 Studies in American Literature 1
ENG 398/
MGS 397
Greek American Literature
ENG 546/
JS 546/
WGS 546
20th Century American Jewish Women Writers
ENG 614/
WGS 541
Women Writers and Social Change
HUM 470 American Autobiography
ENG 630 Selected Studies 1
LTNS 305 Latina/o Studies Creative Writing Workshop
LTNS 455 Resistance Literature of the Americas
LTNS 560 Contemporary Latina/o Literature
WGS 541 Women Writers and Social Change
WGS 548 Literature by U.S. Women of Color
WGS 551 Queer Literatures and Media
WGS 564 Women Writers and the Politics of Decolonization

 

G. (3 units)

Three units selected from Theory and Language Studies:

Theory and Language Studies (More course offerings in this category will become available over time.)

Course Title
AFRS 646 Frantz Fanon’s Psychology of Violence, Negation and Liberation
ENG 418 Grammar for Writers
ENG 420 Introduction to the Study of Language
ENG 422 History of the English Language
ENG 429 Stylistics
ENG 475 Fundamentals of Literary Analysis
ENG 600 Theory of Literature
ENG 601 Literature and Psychology
ENG 602 Literature and Society
ENG 611 Modern Criticism
ENG 612 Studies in Theory and Criticism of Literature
ENG 615 Imagery, Metaphor, and Symbol
ENG 630 Selected Studies 1
HUM 390 Images of Eroticism
HUM 410 The Modern Revolution
HUM 415 Contemporary Culture
HUM 425 Thought and Image: Humanities
HUM 432/
PHIL 432
Nietzsche and Postmodernism

Total for major: 42

 

Master of Arts in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

Admission to the Program

Students interested in this program must submit a meaningful sample of their writing (15 to 20 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, 15 to 20 poems, or a full-length stage play or two short plays), two letters of recommendation, and transcripts, along with the Creative Writing Department application form. Submissions should be sent to the Creative Writing Office by December 15 for the fall semester. Applicants from graduate creative writing programs at other colleges or universities may transfer six units to the M.A. program, on review and recommendation of the Creative Writing Admissions Committee and approval of the Division of Graduate Studies. For further clarification, contact the Creative Writing Department. Students accepted into the program with an undergraduate major that is not English are accepted conditionally. Admission to the M.A. does not imply admission to the M.F.A. Students who wish to earn both degrees must finish the M.A. before beginning the M.F.A. degree.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: Statement of purpose and writing sample (15 to 20 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, or 15 poems, or 1 full-length play or 2 short plays) scored 8.0 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the following criteria: 1) fluency and precision of expression; 2) ability to embody and illustrate ideas creatively; and 3) appropriateness of the applicant’s interests, life experiences and goals to the program.
Level Two: Satisfactory completion of C W 893 Written M.A. Creative Project on the following criteria: thesis deemed by two faculty readers to be publishable in part or whole (book, chapbook and/or literary journals).

 

Selected upper division courses offered by the department may be used for the master's degree upon approval of a departmental advisor. Enrollment is not required in the semester of graduation.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Program

Writing courses selected from the following: (9 units)

Course Title
C W 803 Advanced Short Story Writing 3
C W 804 Advanced Poetry Writing 3
C W 807 Developing the Novel
C W 808 Novel Writing 3
C W 809 Directed Writing for Graduate Students 3
C W 899 Independent Study

Creative Process courses selected from the following: (9 units)

Course Title
C W 785 Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Creative Writing
C W 806 The Business of Creative Writing
C W 810 Seminar in the Creative Process 1
C W 814 Contemporary World Poetry
C W 820 Writers on Writing
C W 825 Playwright's Theatre Workshop
C W 840 Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine 2
C W 850 Poetry Center Workshop
C W 859 Practicum in Teaching Creative Writing
C W 860 Teaching Creative Writing
C W 866 Craft of Translation
C W 875 Community Projects in Literature 2
C W 899 Independent Study

Upper division/graduate literature courses in the English, Comparative and World Literature, or Theatre Arts Departments, to be taken on advisement. (9 units)

Course Title Units
C W 893 Written M.A. Creative Project 3

Minimum total: 30

 

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Admission to the Program

Students interested in this program must submit a meaningful sample of their writing (15 to 20 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, 15 to 20 poems, or a full-length stage play or 2 short plays), two letters of recommendation, and transcripts, along with the Creative Writing Department application form. Submissions should be sent to the Creative Writing Office by December 15 for the fall semester.

 

Applicants from creative writing programs at other colleges or universities may transfer 9 units to the M.F.A. program, on review and recommendation of the Creative Writing Admissions Committee and approval of the Division of Graduate Studies. For further clarification, contact the Creative Writing Department.

 

Students in the Master of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing at San Francisco State who wish to enter the M.F.A. program are required to apply for admission and are subject to the same admission standards as are all other applicants. For students entering with an earned M.A. in English: Creative Writing from SF State, the M.F.A. is a 30-unit degree as described below.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: Statement of purpose and writing sample (15 - 20 pages fiction, or 15 poems, or 1 full-length play or 2 short plays) scored 8.0 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the following criteria: 1) fluency and precision of expression; 2) ability to embody and illustrate ideas creatively; and 3) appropriateness of the applicant’s interests, life experiences and goals to the program.
Level Two: Satisfactory completion of C W 893 M.F.A. Written Creative Work on the following criteria: work deemed by two faculty readers to be publishable as a book and evaluated along the following criteria: 1)ability to use the craft of the art form to illustrate ideas, vision, and imagination creatively, using fresh, precise language; 2)ability to suggest, via the craft to the art form, a subtext and themes that display the writers’ complex relationship with her/his ideas, vision, imagination, and form (story, poem, dramatic monologue and/or play); and 3)mastery of at least one genre form per the above.

 

Selected upper division courses offered by the department may be used for the degree upon approval of a department advisor. Enrollment is not required in the semester of graduation.

 

Priority in M.F.A. classes is given to classified M.F.A. students accepted in the genre of the course.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Program

Writing Workshops at the M.F.A. Level
A minimum of 6 units selected from the following: (6 units)

Course Title
C W 852 M.F.A. Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 4
C W 853 M.F.A. Workshop in Fiction 4
C W 854 M.F.A. Workshop in Poetry 4
C W 855 M.F.A. Workshop in Playwriting 4
C W 856 M.F.A. Workshop in Short Plays 3

M.A./M.F.A. level Creative Process Directed Writing/Special Study/Writing Workshops
Units selected from the following: (12 units)

Course Title
C W 785 Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Creative Writing
C W 803 Advanced Short Story Writing 3
C W 804 Advanced Poetry Writing 3
C W 805 Advanced Playwriting 3
C W 806 The Business of Creative Writing
C W 807 Developing the Novel
C W 808 Novel Writing 3
C W 809 Directed Writing for Graduate Students 3
C W 810 Seminar in the Creative Process 1
C W 814 Contemporary World Poetry
C W 820 Writers on Writing
C W 825 Playwright's Theatre Workshop 3
C W 840 Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine 2
C W 850 Poetry Center Workshop
C W 853 M.F.A. Workshop in Fiction 4
C W 854 M.F.A. Workshop in Poetry 4
C W 855 M.F.A. Workshop in Playwriting 4
C W 856 M.F.A. Workshop in Short Plays 3
C W 859 Practicum in Teaching Creative Writing
C W 860 Teaching Creative Writing
C W 866 Craft of Translation
C W 875 Community Projects in Literature 2
C W 899 Independent Study

Creative Process courses at the M.F.A. level. Minimum of 6 units selected from the following: (6 units)

Course Title
C W 880 M.F.A. Craft and Process Tutorial in Fiction 1, 4
C W 881 M.F.A. Craft and Process Tutorial in Poetry 1, 4
C W 882 M.F.A. Craft and Process Tutorial in Playwriting 1, 4

Literature or Theatre Arts courses or Graduate Creative Process courses: (12 units)

 

Upper division/graduate (300 level and above) literature courses in the English or Comparative and World Literature or Theater Arts Departments, to be taken on advisement, with the consent of an M.F.A. advisor. Theater Arts courses include TH A 401, 660, 705.

 

Graduate Creative Writing process courses include C W 785, 806, 810, 814, 820, 825, 840, 850, 859, 860, 866, 875, 880, 881, 882, 899.

 

Correlative courses related to the candidate's interests and planned with the approval of the M.F.A. advisor. Sequences and patterns are especially appropriate. The English Department's course in the teaching of composition is an option in this sequence. For students planning a culminating project in playwriting, the following courses in Theatre Arts are acceptable: TH A 401, 660, 705). Other tracks include careers in Creative Writing, (C W 806, C W 840, C W 875 and C W 785), teaching Creative Writing (C W 859, C W 785, C W 860, C W 875), Book Arts (under development with the Art Department), and a different genre than the student’s own within the department. A poet, for instance, can have a fiction correlative. More specialized correlatives in other areas of study pertaining to the student’s interests as a writers can also be taken in consultation with an advisor.

 

Course Title Units
C W 893 Written M.F.A. Creative Work 6

Minimum total: 54

 

Priority in M.F.A. classes is given to classified M.F.A. students accepted in the genre of the course.

 

For students with a B.A. degree, the M.F.A. degree is 54 units as stated above.

 

For students with an earned M.A. in English: Concentration in Creative Writing from SF State, the M.F.A. degree requires an additional 30 units composed of the following elements:


Units chosen in M.F.A.-level workshops (C W 853, 854, 855, or 856)  (6 units)

 

Units chosen in M.F.A.-level Creative Processes classes (C W 880, 881, or 882) 1,4  (6 units)

 

Units selected in the Correlative area listed above (12 units)

 

Course Title Units
C W 893 Written M.F.A. Creative Work 6

 


 

Footnotes

  1. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  2. May be taken for two semesters of credit.
  3. May be taken for three semesters of credit.
  4. May be taken for six semesters of credit.

 

 

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