Creative Writing


College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Department of Creative Writing
HUM 380
415-338-1891
E-mail: cwriting@ceres.sfsu.edu
Chair: Frances Mayes

Undergraduate and Graduate Advisers: Carter, Chernoff, Conboy, Giles, Kim, Langton, Mayes, Mullins

Faculty

Professors--Langton, Mayes

Associate Professors--Carter, Chernoff, Giles, King

Assistant Professor--Conboy, Kim, Mullins

Programs

B.A. in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

M.A. in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

M.F.A. 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. Students' studies will lead them to a degree in English with a creative writing emphasis. Ample guidance of the creative writing advisers 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). A student who applies for, but is not accepted into, the M.F.A. program may be considered for admission to the M.A. program if he or she has so indicated. In no case will a student be admitted to both programs.

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. It is a smaller program than the Master of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing. The Master of Fine Arts 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

Our 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, and arts organization positions.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH: CONCENTRATION IN CREATIVE WRITING

Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).

								Units
Courses in the Writing Courses Area selected
from the following (must include CW 301):			12
CW 301	Fundamentals of Creative 
Writing (prerequisite to all writing courses)
CW 403	Short Story Writing One24
CW 404	Poetry Writing One24
CW 405	Playwriting25
CW 600	Special Problems In Writing26
CW 603	Short Story Writing Two25
CW 604	Poetry Writing Two24
CW 609	Directed Writing24

Courses in the Creative Process Area selected
from the following:						9
CW 510		Creative Process26
CW 520		Writers on Writing
CW 550		Poetry Center Workshop
CW 640		Transfer Literary Magazine

Course in the Craft Area selected from the following		3
CW 511		Craft of Poetry
CW 512		Craft of Fiction
CW 513		Craft of Playwriting
Courses in the Literature Area, one course to 
be selected from each of the following groups:			12
American Literature Sequence
ENG 525		Studies in American Literature
ENG 527		American Literature, 1860-1914
ENG 528		American Literature, 1914-1960
ENG 529		American Literature, 1960-Present
The "Age of" Sequence
ENG 501		Age of Chaucer
ENG 509		Age of Humanism
ENG 510		Age of Wit
ENG 514		Age of the Romantics
ENG 516		Age of the Victorians
ENG 526		Age of American Renaissance: 1830-1860
The Genre Sequence
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 570		Medieval and Renaissance Drama
ENG 571		The Tragedy of Blood, The Comedy of Humors
ENG 572		English Drama: Restoration and 18th Century
ENG 573		American Drama
ENG 574		Modern British Drama
WCL 450		Greek and Roman Drama
WCL 465		Modern Greek Poetry
WCL 495		Short Fiction
The Individual Authors Sequence
ENG 580		Individual Authors
ENG 581		Chaucer
ENG 583		Shakespeare: Representative Plays
ENG 584		Shakespeare: Selected Plays
ENG 586		Milton
WCL 425		Individual Authors

Course selected from Theory and Language or Writing from the American Experience 
(substitution may be made with adviser's approval)		3
Theory and Language
BLS 444		Black Oratory
ENG 424		Phonology and Morphology
ENG 600		Theory of Literature
ENG 610		History of Criticism
ENG 611		Modern Criticism
ENG 612		Studies in Theory and Criticism of Literature
ENG 613/WOMS 544 Feminist Literary Criticism
ENG 615		Imagery, Metaphor, and Symbol
Writing from the American Experience
AAS 363		Survey of Pilipino Literature
AAS 406		Asian American Workshop in Creative Writing
AIS 360		Modern American Indian Authors
BLS 411		African American Literature
BLS 420		Black Fiction
BLS 430		Black Poetry
ENG/WOMS 545 	American Radical Women Writers
ENG/JS/WOMS 546 Twentieth Century American Jewish Women Writers
ENG 614/WOMS 541 Women Writers and Social Change
ENG 618		Studies in Gay and Bisexual Literature
LARA 505	Creative Writing Workshop
LARA 560	Contemporary Literature of La Raza
WOMS 547	Contemporary Asian American Women Writers
WOMS 551	Lesbian Literature
Total for major							39

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 (twenty-five pages of fiction, fifteen to twenty poems, or a full-length stage play or two short plays) along with the Creative Writing Department application form. Submissions should be sent to the secretary, Creative Writing Office, by January 15 for the Fall semester. Students accepted into the program with an undergraduate major that is not English are accepted conditionally. Such students, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, must make up undergraduate course deficiencies (up to twelve units) in addition to the requirements.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: the writing proficiency of the student is monitored on a continuing basis as each course in the program is completed. Level Two: satisfactory completion of CW 893.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference). Selected upper division courses offered by the department may be used for the master's degree upon approval of a departmental adviser. Enrollment is not required in the semester of graduation.

Units

Program

Writing courses selected from the following:				9
CW 803		Advanced Short Story Writing27
CW 804		Advanced Poetry Writing27
CW 805		Advanced Playwriting27
CW 807		Developing the Novel27
CW 808		Novel Writing27
CW 809		Projects in Creative Writing27
CW 810		Seminar in the Creative Process28				9

Upper division or graduate literature courses in the English or World and Comparative 
Literature Departments, to be selected on advisement			9
CW 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 (twenty-five pages of fiction, fifteen to twenty poems, or a full-length stage play or two short plays), and two letters of recommendation along with the Creative Writing Department application form. Submissions should be sent to the secretary, Creative Writing Office, by January 15 for the Fall semester. Students accepted in the program with an undergraduate major that is not English are accepted conditionally, as are students with an undergraduate English major who did not achieve a 3.0 grade point average within the major. Such students, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, must make up undergraduate course deficiencies, which will be required in addition to the 54 units for the M.F.A.

Applicants from graduate programs in Creative Writing or English with Concentration in Creative Writing, or holders of M.A. degrees in these fields, may be eligible to transfer up to twenty-four units to the M.F.A. program, on review and recommendation of the Creative Writing Admissions Committee, and approval of the Graduate Division. For further clarification, contact Creative Writing Department.

Students in the Master of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing at San Francisco State who wish to transfer to the M.F.A. program are required to apply for admission and are subject to the same admission standards as are all other applicants. Those admitted into the M.F.A. program must file a Request for Advancement to Classified Graduate or Credential Standing (for use by continuing graduate students only) with the Registrar's Office.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: the writing proficiency of the student is monitored on a continuing basis as each course in the program is completed. Level Two: satisfactory completion of CW 893.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference). Selected upper division courses offered by the department may be used for the degree upon approval of a department adviser. Enrollment is not required in the semester of graduation.

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

Units

Program

Writing courses selected from the following 
and including at least six units at the M.F.A. level
 (CW 853, 854, or 855)						18
CW 803		Advanced Short Story Writing27
CW 804		Advanced Poetry Writing27
CW 805		Advanced Playwriting27
CW 807		Developing the Novel27
CW 808		Novel Writing27
CW 809		Projects in Directed Writing for Graduate Students27
CW 853		M.F.A. Workshop in Fiction27
CW 854		M.F.A. Workshop in Poetry27
CW 855		M.F.A. Workshop in Playwriting27

Creative Process courses at the M.F.A. level			6
CW 880		Craft and Process Tutorial in Fiction27
CW 881		Craft and Process Tutorial in Poetry27
CW 882		Craft and Process Tutorial in Playwriting27

Literature courses or Graduate Creative Process courses		12

Courses numbered 400 level and above may 
be chosen as follows: literature courses in the English Department, World and 
Comparative Literature, or in other departments with the consent of the 
M.F.A. adviser. Graduate process courses include CW 81027, 825, 828, 
840, 860, 865, 866, 875, 876, 88027, 88127, 88227.

Correlative courses related to the candidate's interests and planned with the 
approval of the M.F.A. adviser. Sequences and patterns are especially 
appropriate. (CW 860 is an option in this sequence. For students planning a 
culminating project in playwriting, the following courses in Theatre Arts are 
acceptable: TH A 460, 711, 740)					12
CW 893		Written M.F.A. Creative Work			6
Minimum total							54


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