Creative Writing

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

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

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

Faculty

Professors--Chernoff, Giles, Langton, Mayes

Associate Professors--Carter, Conboy, King

Assistant Professor--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 One
CW 404	Poetry Writing One1
CW 405	Playwriting
CW 600	Special Problems In Writing
CW 603	Short Story Writing Two2
CW 604	Poetry Writing Two2
CW 609	Directed Writing2
Courses in the Creative Process Area selected 
from the following: 9
CW 510	Creative Process3
CW 520	Writers on Writing
CW 550	Poetry Center Workshop
CW 640	TransferLiterary 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 420	Introduction to the Study of 
Language
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
WOMS547	Contemporary Asian American 
Women Writers

WOMS551	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 (fifteen to twenty 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 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 Writing1
CW 804	Advanced Poetry Writing1
CW 805	Advanced Playwriting1
CW 807	Developing the Novel1
CW 808	Novel Writing1
CW 809	Directed Writing for Graduate 
Students
CW 824	Advanced Novel Workshop
CW 810	Seminar in the Creative Process		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 (fifteen to twenty 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 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 Writing1
CW 804	Advanced Poetry Writing1
CW 805	Advanced Playwriting1
CW 807	Developing the Novel1
CW 808	Novel Writing1
CW 809	Directed Writing for Graduate 
Students1
CW 824	Advanced Novel Workshop
CW 853	M.F.A. Workshop in Fiction1
CW 854	M.F.A. Workshop in Poetry1
CW 855	M.F.A. Workshop in Playwriting1
Creative Process courses at the M.F.A. level		6
CW 880	Craft and Process Tutorial in 
Fiction1
CW 881	Craft and Process Tutorial in 
Poetry1
CW 882	Craft and Process Tutorial in 
Playwriting1
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 depart-
ments with the consent of the M.F.A.
adviser. Graduate process courses include
CW 810, 825, 828, 840, 860, 865, 866,
875, 876, 8801, 8811, 8821.
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, along with the English Department's
course in the teaching of composition, is
an option in this sequence. For students
planning a culminating project in play-
writing, 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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