Fall 2015 Creative Writing Courses

English 016.301 Freshman Seminar: Writing About Art Susan Bee W 2:00-5:00
English 010.301 Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry Deborah Burnham TR 10:30-12:00
English 010.302 Creative Writing: Journalism and Memoir Jamie-Lee Josselyn M 2:00-5:00
English 010.303 Creative Writing: Poetry/Memoir Julia Bloch M 2:00-5:00
English 010.601 Creative Writing: Poetry/Fiction Julia Bloch T 4:30-7:30
English 111.301 Poetry and Poetics Ron Silliman W 2:00-5:00
English 111.401 Experimental Writing Charles Bernstein M 2:00-5:00
English 112.301 Fiction Writing Workshop Max Apple T 1:30-4:30
English 113.301 Poetry Writing Workshop Laynie Browne T 1:30-4:30
English 115.301 Advanced Fiction Writing Karen Rile M 2:00-5:00
English 116.401 Screenwriting Bryan Delaney M 2:00-5:00
English 116.402 Screenwriting Scott Burkhardt T 4:30-7:30
English 116.403 Screenwriting Scott Burkhardt R 4:30-7:30
English 117.301 The Arts and Popular Culture Anthony DeCurtis R 1:30-4:30
English 121.601 Writing for Children Melissa Jensen W 5:30-8:30
English 130.401 Advanced Screenwriting Kathleen Van Cleve W 2:00-5:00
English 130.402 Advanced Screenwriting Kathleen Van Cleve M 2:00-5:00
English 135.301 Creative Nonfiction Writing Max Apple R 1:30-4:30
English 135.302 Narrative Nonfiction: The Art of Experience Jay Kirk T 1:30-4:30
English 135.303 Creative Nonfiction: Writing Your Travels Marion Kant M 2:00-5:00
English 135.401 Peer Tutoring Valerie Ross TR 10:30-12:00
English 135.402 Essay, Blog, Tweet, Nonfiction now! Lorene Cary W 2:00-5:00
English 145.301 Advanced Nonfiction Writing Buzz Bissinger F 2:00-5:00
English 145.302 Advanced Nonfiction Writing Avery Rome T 1:30-4:30
English 145.601 The Art of the Personal Essay Kathryn Watterson T 5:30-8:30
English 157.301 Introduction to Journalistic Writing Gwyneth Shaw R 1:30-4:30
English 157.302 Introduction to Journalistic Writing: Writing About Food Rick Nichols T 1:30-4:30
English 157.303 Entrepreneurial Journalism Sam Apple T 1:30-4:30
English 158.301 Journalistic Story-Telling Dick Polman M 2:00-5:00
English 158.302 Medical Narratives Mike Vitez TR 9:00-10:30
English 159.301 Political Writing in the Digital Age Dick Polman W 2:00-5:00
English 165.301 Writing through Culture and Art Kenneth Goldsmith R 1:30-4:30
English 410.640 Embodied Writing: A Writing Workshop Rebekah Zhuraw W 5:30-8:10
English 435.640 Writing and Remembering: A Memoir Workshop Kathryn Watterson R 5:30-8:10

Descriptions

English 016.301
Writing about Art
Bee
W 2:00-5:00

This freshmen seminar will engage in critical issues related to the visual arts, with a focus on writing about contemporary exhibitions. Most weeks there will be both a writing assignment and suggested reading. Members of the seminar will visit and review Philadelphia area exhibitions, including shows at the ICA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Barnes Collection. In addition, we will take one weekend trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. We will also have a guest art critic speak to the group and we will visit a local artist’s studio.

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English 010.301
Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry
Burnham
TR 10:30-12:00

In this class, we’ll read personal essays, mostly contemporary American, and poems from all over. The readings are structured to emphasize the contrasts among various structures. We’ll read some essays that are built along traditional lines (chronological, logical, etc.) and some that are segmented and less linear. You’ll write several short essays and one longer piece, drawing from your experience in idiosyncratic and unpredictable ways. You’ll also write very short responses to the readings that will form the core of a writer’s notebook, useful in generating more writing.

We’ll read some very contemporary and some very old poetry structured like lists, without the familiar organizing principles of rhyme and closed endings. We’ll also read and write poems in what are accurately called “obsessive forms”, poems that contain, magnify and alter their subjects. We’ll read, and write, prose poems and perhaps some forms of your own design.

The class is structured along familiar discussion/workshop designs. You’ll be responsible for presenting your work periodically, and for responding to the work of others in writing and in class. If you have questions, please feel free to write me: dburnham@english.upenn.edu

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English 010.302
Journalism and Memoir
Josselyn
M 2:00-5:00

This interactive workshop will focus on the way a writer constructs characters in journalistic profiles, memoirs and personal essays. Students will examine – through their own work and others’ – how nonfiction writers must shape information to render people on the page in a way that is accurate, honest, and engaging.

Much of this workshop will be spent on the “I” character. How do we portray ourselves, both when we’re at the center of our stories and when we’re on the edges looking in? How do we decide what to include and how do we justify what we exclude? We will look to the writers Joan Didion, Phillip Lopate and others for help when we need it.

The majority of class time will be spent discussing student work. Revision will be essential. An email listserv will be used to discuss readings and other topics. In addition to writing assignments throughout the semester, students will complete a final portfolio of approximately fifteen pages of revised work.

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English 010.303
Creative Writing: Poetry/Memoir
Bloch
M 2:00-5:00

This workshop-style course will serve as an introduction to writing poetry and memoir, with special attention paid to the ways writers can blur the lines between the two genres. Students will craft their own original pieces in this community-based classroom, where we will read and comment on each other’s work as well as on outside readings and the work of visiting writers. Course requirements include thoughtful and committed class participation, regular writing assignments, and a final portfolio.

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English 010.601
Creative Writing: Poetry/Fiction
Bloch
T 4:30-7:30

This workshop-style course will serve as an introduction to writing short fiction and poetry, with special attention paid to the ways writers can blur the lines between the two genres. Students will craft their own original pieces in this community-based classroom, where we will read and comment on each other’s work as well as on outside readings and the work of visiting writers. We will focus on some of the main strategies used in fiction, such as characterization, dialogue, imagery, and language, as well as the forms of poetry, including sound, rhythm, syntax, and repetition. In addition to regular weekly workshops of student work, we will be using in-class exercises and experiments to push the boundaries of our own writing, exploring such hybrid forms as the prose poem and sudden fiction that question the lines we draw between verse and prose. Course requirements include thoughtful and committed class participation, regular writing assignments, and a final portfolio of fiction and poetry.

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English 111.301
Poetry and Poetics
Silliman
W 2:00-5:00

Wordsworth first used the term “experiment” to describe poetry in the “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” and in the 215 years since then the metaphor of science has served as an important index of poetry’s changing relation to capitalism, urbanization, technical “progress,” innovation and the Anthropocene.

All arts change constantly. Some do so much more rapidly than others. If we think of a scale ranging from commerce-induced hyper-fashion in pop music or the visual arts to the more glacial transformations one finds in architecture, quilt-making or the blues, poetry traditionally has fallen into a contested middle, torn between one extreme that thinks it flirts with the latest thing shamelessly and another that it perpetually is given to sclerotic reiterations of the past dragged on as habit.

Because the best way to learn is to teach it yourself, much of what occurs in class will center around student-led discussions.

This is a class in writing poetry than seeks to address the nature of change going forward, but it is not a workshop in the usual sense. We will examine how change itself takes place in the sciences and what this can tell us about poetry. And we will examine what the metaphor of experimentation has meant primarily for US poetry since the age of Whitman. Much of what we produce in class will NOT feel like our own writing – this is a good thing. Our goal is not to make ourselves over as the flavor of the week but to gain insight into the relationship between changes in poetry and those in the world that we might make a difference in both realms over the course of our lives.

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English 111.401
Experimental Writing
Bernstein
M 2:00-5:00

This is a nontraditional "poetry immersion" workshop. The workshop will be useful for those wanting to explore new possibilities for writing and art, whether or not they have a commitment to writing poetry. The workshop will be structured around a series of writing experiments, intensive readings, art gallery visits, and the production of individual chapbooks or web sites for each participant, and performance of participants' works. There will also be some visits from visiting poets. The emphasis in the workshop will be on new and innovative approaches to composition and form, including digital, sound, and performance, rather than on works emphasizing narrative or story telling. Each week, participants will discuss the writing they have done as well as the assigned reading. Before registering, please review the syllabus at http:// writing.upenn.edu/ bernstein/syllabi/111-intro.html

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English 112.301
Fiction Writing Workshop
Apple
T 1:30-4:30

The class will be conducted as a seminar. Every student will write three stories during the semester; each story will be discussed by the group. The instructor will, from time to time, suggest works of fiction that he hopes will be illustrative and inspirational but there will be no required books. Attendance and participation are essential.

Students who have completed and taken pleasure in a fiction writing course need not submit writing samples. Others please submit brief samples to: maxapple1@verizon.net. Permit from the instructor is required.

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English 113.301
Poetry Workshop
Browne
T 1:30-4:30

This is a course for students who are interested in exploring a variety of approaches to poetry. Students will encounter a diverse series of readings, in-class writing activities, weekly writing assignments and creative methods for heightening your abilities as a reader. Writing prompts will include ideas generated in class, along with procedural experiments, appropriation, and investigations of poetic form. Students will be encouraged to discover new territory, to collaborate, and to unhinge conventional assumptions regarding what is possible in poetry. Permission of the instructor is required. Please send three of your poems via email to lanynie.browne@gmail.com

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English 115.301
Advanced Fiction Writing
Rile
M 2:00-5:00

English 115 a workshop for advanced writers who have already completed at least one semester of English 112 or its equivalent. Participants should be familiar with technical topics in fiction writing, such as point of view and narrative distance.

In this class you will have at least two opportunities to present a story or novel excerpt to the workshop. You are also encouraged to present revisions of your work. We will do some exercises designed to illuminate technical, ethical, and aesthetic issues in fiction, but the emphasis throughout the semester will be workshopping student-initiated projects. Admission to this class requires an instructor permit. Send a sample of your fiction directly to me at krile@writing.upenn.edu.

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English 116.401
Screenwriting
Delaney
M 2:00-5:00

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course. Permit from the instructor is required: bryandelaney1@gmail.com.

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English 116.402
Screenwriting
Burkhardt
T 4:30-7:30

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to the instructor.

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English 116.403
Screenwriting
Burkhardt
R 4:30-7:30

This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to the instructor.

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English 117.301
The Arts and Popular Culture
DeCurtis
R 1:30-4:30

This is a workshop-oriented course that will concentrate on all aspects of writing about artistic endeavor, including criticism, reviews, profiles, interviews and essays. For the purposes of this class, the arts will be interpreted broadly, and students will be able -- and, in fact, encouraged -- to write about both the fine arts and popular culture. Students will be doing a great deal of writing throughout the course, but the main focus will be a 3000-word piece about an artist or arts organization in Philadelphia (or another location approved by the instructor) that will involve extensive reporting, interviews and research. Potential subjects can range from a local band to a museum, from a theater group to a comedian.

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English 121.601
Writing for Children
Jensen
W 5:30-8:30

Maybe it was the tricky pigeon, or the boy wizard, or the girl on fire, but however it started, something big has happened with young people and books. While many other genres are lagging-- or disappearing altogether--Kid Lit grows. Is it that more children are reading? Or that more adults are reading things ostensibly written for children? Are readers looking for the adventure or love or magic that seem so integral to children's books? What we do know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that these books are important. They are also a pleasure to read. And to write, even if the writing isn't easy. In this course, we will examine the genre for what makes it work. Students will read across time and sub-genre, from picture books to teen novels. They will develop their own projects: honing their voice, creating believable story, characters, and language, all directed at younger readers. We will discuss these pieces as a group in class. This course is based around lots of reading and writing, some lively debate, and livelier critique. If all little girls and boys are well behaved, there might even be a nice cinematic twist or two. If not, there will be wolves.

Selections from the reading list (some required, some suggested):
The Lorax. Dr. Seuss
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Mo Willems
This Is Not My Hat. Jon Klassen
Jumanji. Chris van Allsburg
Charlotte's Web. E.B. White
Flora and Ulysses. Kate DiCamillo
Ella Enchanted. Gail Carson Levine
Coraline. Neil Gaiman

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. Sherman Alexie
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. J.K. Rowling
Eleanor and Park. Rainbow Rowell

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English 130.401
Advanced Screenwriting
DeMarco Van Cleve
W 2:00-5:00

This is a workshop-style course for students who have completed a screenwriting class, or have a draft of a screenplay they wish to improve. Classes will consist of discussing student's work, as well as discussing relevant themes of the movie business and examining classic films and why they work as well as they do.

Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class in addition to some potentially useful texts like What Makes Sammy Run? Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email.

Please send a writing sample (in screenplay form), a brief description of your interest in the course and your goals for your screenplay, and any relevant background or experience. Applications should be sent to kathydemarco@writing.upenn. edu Permission from instructor is required.

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English 130.402
Advanced Screenwriting
DeMarco Van Cleve
M 2:00-5:00

This is a workshop-style course for students who have completed a screenwriting class, or have a draft of a screenplay they wish to improve. Classes will consist of discussing student's work, as well as discussing relevant themes of the movie business and examining classic films and why they work as well as they do.

Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class in addition to some potentially useful texts like What Makes Sammy Run? Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email.

Please send a writing sample (in screenplay form), a brief description of your interest in the course and your goals for your screenplay, and any relevant background or experience. Applications should be sent to kathydemarco@writing.upenn. edu Permission from instructor is required.

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English 135.301
Creative Nonfiction Writing
Apple
R 1:30-4:30

Each student will write three essays and the class will offer criticism and appreciation of each. There will be some discussion of and instruction in the form, but the course will be based on the student writing. Attendance and participation required.

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English 135.302
Narrative Nonfiction: The Art of Experience
Kirk
T 1:30-4:30

Every work of nonfiction is a writer’s attempt to reconstruct experience. But experience can be an elusive thing to capture: a strange hybrid of the highly subjective and the more tangible zone of perceptible fact. How do we strike a balance in narrative nonfiction? For one, we employ the same devices that we already use to navigate our way through the world—that of our senses. The more vivid the details of sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound, the more immersed the reader will become in the author’s re-created world of words. But what of the more abstract, less concrete sixth sense of thought? After all, it is our mind that perceives and finds the subjective meaning in experience. In this narrative nonfiction writing workshop, we will look at craft, literary technique, the mechanics of building vivid and powerful scenes, discuss the role of story-logic, and the importance of hard fact-checking. Yet, the student is also urged to pay close attention to their own internal narrator, and to be mindful of the intuitive (and unconscious) powers at play in their writing. Each week we will review classics in the genre, do in-class writing exercises, go on periodic “experiential” assignments, and explore how the art of playing around with the raw material of everyday life (i.e., “reality”) can make for great and unexpected stories.

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English 135.303
Creative Nonfiction: Writing Your Travels
Kant
M 2:00-5:00

In this course students will learn to observe and record what they see when they travel. They will explore a popular form of writing and practice it in their own daily activities. The familiar will become strange and new as they return home, walk through the campus, visit Center City or explore an ethnic community in order to write accounts of what they see. They will, in the process, learn about themselves but without that preoccupation with the self alone that marks much student writing. They will see themselves in the mirror of "the other". The course will explore famous works by travelers who visited the USA as a means to see the familiar through foreign eyes, such works as Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" (1835), Charles Dickens' "On America and the Americans" (ed. Michael Slater), G.K. Chesterton's "What I Saw in America" (1922). Jonathan Raban's "Old Glory: An American Voyage" (1981) and the expatriate who returns like Bill Bryson's "I am a Stranger here myself: Notes on returning to America after twenty years" (1999).

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English 135.401
Peer Turoring
Ross
TR 10:30-12:00

This course is intended for capable writers who possess the maturity and temperament to work successfully as peer tutors at Penn. The course emphasizes the development of tutors' own writing through the process of collaborative peer-criticism, individual conferences, and intensive sessions on writing, from mechanics to style. The class meets twice weekly; tutors also work two hours weekly in the Writing Center or elsewhere, and confer regularly in small groups or one-on-one meetings with the instructor. Tutors are required to write five short papers, eight one-page peer reviews, and two responses to readings. Additionally, students keep a journal and give two class presentations. CWIC-affiliated course.

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English 135.402
Essay, Blog, Tweet, Nonfiction now!
Cary
W 2:00-5:00

This class is designed to advance students’ writing practice, discipline, and workshop and critiquing skills. Student writers will create non-fiction narrative in several forms: blogs, memoir, interviews, Q&As, essays. We will play with promotion, video, and social marketing, even grant proposals, advertisements, public service announcements, queries, and photo captions—all the forms that writers actually use throughout careers of deep reflection followed by hustle-and-pitch.

The class will act as an editorial group for SafeKidsStories.org, a site to be launched in the fall of 2015. The idea is to depict safety with the specificity and drama that we usually reserve for conflict. Your writing will explore Big Questions about the social, emotional, relational and physical structures that affect our children and youth; your research, interviews, reporting, and experience will discover and share solutions.

If we do the job right, we will shine a light on people in our midst creating structures of safety for kids in an era of fear. If we make it fun to read, look at, and listen to, too, then, like a few historic college courses that participate substantively in their communities, we’ll be on our way to stealth culture change.

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English 145.301
Advanced Non-fiction Writing
Bissinger
F 2:00-5:00

Great non-fiction writing is about passion. Passion for an idea both wonderful and practical. Passion for reportage. Passion for storytelling thru plot and rhythm and pace. Passion for writing without compromise of the facts. All easy to say but elusive to execute. We will look at the work of authors such as Truman Capote, Tommy Thompson, Michael Lewis, Nat Philbrick, David Halberstam, Primo Levi, and John Updike in the pursuit of that goal. We will examine some of my own books such as Friday Night Lights and A Prayer for the City and Father’s Day, as well as magazine pieces from Vanity Fair, for candid discussions on what the author was precisely trying to do and whether it was achieved. We will also extensively examine the work of students. Up to a thousand words will be required for each class in addition to reading assignments. A more comprehensive piece will be required at the end of the semester (the length is up to students since if you learn anything, it is that long is not necessarily better).

This is a course for students who are seriously considering a career in non-fiction writing. The course will meet Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. on the following days: August 27 and 28, September 10 and 11, September 24 and 25, October 1 and 2, October 15 and 16, October 29 and 30, November 12 and 13, November 24, December 9 and 10 (please note these final sessions are during reading days, and will be individual meetings scheduled in advance) so students should plan accordingly. For two week-long periods during the semester, I will be available at any time for one-on-one discussions. I will also be available by Skype. A writing sample for acceptance (fiction or non-fiction) into the class is required. So is passion. Please send your writing samples to Mingo Reynolds mingo@writing.upenn.edu.

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English 145.302
Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Rome
T 1:30-4:30

Once you have some comfort with the basics of fact-gathering, the world of storytelling and interpretation awaits you. You can write essays and profiles and news features and narratives and memoirs. If you become proficient in the form, you can draw vivid portraits, dramatize an injustice, shape the culture, and explain the choices people make. You can become an artist or a cinematographer with words, capture the conversation of our time, show the reader the way we're living now.

This class offers an immersive discussion in and practice of the ways you can write true things. Come with an open mind and a willingness to try something new.

Drawing on the university and the city we live in, you will write four longer stories (1,200-1,500 words) and shorter in-class riffs. You will read and meet wonderful writers who will challenge you to follow in their paths. Together we'll workshop your stories and those we read for class. Because writing is a process, you'll rewrite and improve what you've created. You are measured by the final version only.

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English 145.601
The Art of the Personal Essay
Watterson
T 5:30-8:30

Our voices as writers take shape as we begin to identify the complexities of our inner landscapes, perceptions, dreams, and fears. Memory is a dynamic force, and as we grow through our lives, our relationships with the past often change. This seminar will help you tap into and write about experiences that have helped shape who you are. We will use the personal essay, a form the Handbook of Literature defines as “a kind of informal essay, with an intimate style, some autobiographical content or interest and a…. conversational manner.” Class work will include meditation, freewriting, and visualization exercises; revision, peer review and class discussions. Readings will include works by Maxine Hong Kingston, Kaye Gibbons, Jorge Luis Borges, Toni Morrison, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion and Walt Whitman. In addition to in-class writing, students will maintain a daily practice of free-writing; write reading responses to assigned books, essays, and stories; conduct interviews, do research and write and revise two to three personal essays during the semester.

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English 157.301
Introduction to Journalistic Writing
Gwyneth Shaw
R 1:30-4:30

This class will focus on the meat and potatoes of journalism - how to identify, report and write clear and effective news stories. How do you decide what the story is? How do you structure it? How do you frame questions? How do you know what to leave out? How do you know what's fair? We will cover the building blocks, then write profiles and features, as well as columns, commentary and opinion pieces. This is a newswriting exercise at heart. But its lessons are not limited to old-school newspapering: They can be applied to journalism whatever its form, and in fields far beyond - anywhere, in fact, where keen observation, concise expression and vivid language are of the essence

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English 157.302
Introduction to Journalistic Writing: Writing about Food
Nichols
T 1:30-4:30

Some of the worst writing in the world is passed off as "food writing." And some of the finest, most moving, most joyful prose, as well. This course aims to push the needle -- your needle -- closer to the latter. We'll move smartly through various forms -- profiles (of guest chefs, farmers, turnips), reviews (of the likes of Han Dynasty, local tacquerias, Penn's food trucks), columns (on why avocados once cost less in Canada than Philadelphia, how the Amish may be killing blue crabs in the Chesapeake, the downsides of eating local). Finally, we'll tackle a longer piece that will serve as a final exam. The possibilities are as endless as the cornfields of Iowa (or the snack shelves at Acme). But in the end, the object is to write engagingly, be the subject feast or famine. To write with meaning. That means learning to report well, live and in person. To test conventional wisdom and to dish up what you have to say fresh and tasty. That's not an easy job. We'll look to Dickens for guidance, and the masters, M.F.K. Fisher, Joseph Mitchell, A. J. Liebling, Upton Sinclair and, maybe, Swift and Malthus. And newer voices -- Gopnik, Pollan, Trillin, Reichl, Bittman, Kurlansky. There will be field trips. There will be discussions of how immigration and war and technology (the stove! GMOs!) and transportation have shaped what's on our plate; or short-changed whole populations. Talking about this is a piece of cake. Writing about it -- and in a way that grabs, and holds the reader (of a website, newspaper, magazine, pitch for a best-selling book) -- is a different matter. It is what this course is all about. And, yes, there will be light refreshments!

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English 157.303
Enterpreneurial Journalism
Sam Apple
T 1:30-4:30

This class is designed to help students develop their own digital journalism models. Working alone or in small groups, students will conceive of a unique site or app and then spend the semester fine-tuning the concept and developing a basic business plan. Along the way, we'll explore some of the key challenges facing the industry, from how to build a reliable revenue stream at a moment when few people are willing to pay for content, to how to best engage an audience across multiple social media platforms. At the end of the semester, students will prepare brief presentations for their projects and present them before a panel of outside judges who will distribute $7,500 in seed funding. A team of developers will also help build the winning projects at an end of semester "hackathon." (No technical expertise is necessary for the class.)

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English 158.301
Journalistic Story-Telling
Polman
M 2:00-5:00

This is a how-to course for talented aspiring writers--how to write well in the real world; how to hook the reader and sustain interest; how to develop the journalistic skills that enable a writer to gather, sift and report information. The instructor will share his own real-world experience, as a full-time working journalist for the past three decades. He will be joined on occasion by eminent journalists- including several star journalists from the New York Times--who will address the class and appear at mandatory forums to be held at the Kelly Writers House.

Even though students will read and critique some famous practitioners of non-fiction writing-among them, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, Michael Herr, Truman Capote and Richard Ben Cramer--along with contemporary newspaper storytellers that include the instructor (a national correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer), the emphasis will be on the students' own writing.

The goal is to inspire students to tap their own potential, gain fresh insights, and feel comfortable enough to share their assigned work-both short and long pieces-with others in the class over the span of the semester. Students will write all kinds of non-fiction pieces, from personal memoirs to long-form features about anything from the Philadelphia scene to campus issues and events. The topics are less important than the craftsmanship; anything can be a great read if it's written and reported well.,P. Journalistic issues, both practical and ethical, will also be addressed--among them: how to decide who to interview, and how to handle an interviewee; how to use (and not use) the Internet; when to use (or not use) anonymous sources.

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English 158.302
Medical Narratives
Vitez
TR 9:00-10:30

Healthcare in America is changing dramatically. And so is where and how the public gets its information. It is my theory that in the future doctors, nurses and a wide variety of medical professionals will want and need to write more. They will need to explain to the public what is happening within medicine. They will need to advocate for their patients and profession. And in a field that is increasingly more science than art, they will want to nourish their own souls by writing, a way to process the intense emotions that they experience. So in this class, students who are interested in medicine will read and write about medicine. The goal is to read good medical writing by physicians, nurses and journalists alike, and to write our own stories. We will try a few different forms – a personal story, an advocacy piece, and a classic piece of narrative journalism. This class is taught by a journalist, not a physician. The goal is to improve your own storytelling and your understanding of medical writing.

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English 159.301
Political Writing in the Digital Age
Polman
W 2:00-5:00

A primer on writing about U.S. politics, in an era of major technological upheaval and serious voter polarization. Today's 24/7, wi-fi'd, blogging environment--along with the rise of new conservative media--are changing the ways that writers cover politics and deliver the information. The course will put all these trends in a historical context, tracing the changes that have occurred during the four decades since Theodore H. White wrote The Making of the President 1960. Students will write in different formats, including: the traditional straight story, commentary, and blogs. Outstanding and controversial work, from writers such as author Richard Ben Cramer and Hunter S. Thompson, will be studied. The course, taught by a veteran reporter of five presidential campaigns, is also valuable for followers of politics who want to become more discerning readers.

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English 165.301
Writing through Culture and Art
Goldsmith
R 1:30-4:30

Beginning in the 70s, the artist Christopher Knowles — an artist with autism — has explored various analog media to create compelling poetry, opera, performances, and visual art. Knowles’s initial introduction to the general public was in 1976, when as a 13-year-old boy, his poems were used as the basis for the libretto for the avant-garde minimalist production of “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson. Since then, he has created a broad spectrum of compelling works which will be the subject of his mid-career retrospective at the ICA in the Fall of 2015.

Taking our inspiration from Knowles’s powerful and prodigious output, we will be constructing literary works on analog media: letterpress, chapbooks, broadsides, Xeroxing, typings, scribbling, scratchings & scrawlings. Analog media is also encouraged: reel-to-reel tape recordings, cassettes, reel-to-reels, and LPs.

This year-long seminar will give us an extraordinary opportunity to investigate the ways in which disability studies and neurodiversity help us understand visual art, literature, and music. We’ll explore the deep history of outsider art, folk art, traditional forms of music, writings of the insane, as well as those artists working within the mainstream who have been influenced by artists with disabilities.

The class will culminate in a paper-bound publication to be co-published by The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and the ICA.

Note: This is a two-semester course. Students will enroll in 165 in the fall and then re-enroll in 165 in the spring.

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English 410.640
Embodied Writing: A Writing Workshop
Zhuraw
W 5:30-8:10

There is no mind without a body, no words without a mouth to form them, an ear to catch them, a body to play out the tremor of suggested emotion or try on an idea. Unlocking the meaning of words, the mind taps the physical, re-membering the body. To write is to put keys in the ignition of this virtual reality, and if we want our readers to feel anything—to see it our way—we must pave the way. This workshop will explore the intersection of writing and the body. We will examine the issue of embodiment theoretically—philosophically, culturally, politically; we will investigate the body as a subject in the arts; and we will experiment with a variety of embodiment practices to ground us in our senses and see what they might unlock in our creative expression. But mostly we will write. Students may focus on one genre or experiment with many. We will have weekly peer review. Revision is expected. This is a workshop that will teach all writers to write persuasively and evocatively.

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English 435.640
Writing and Remembering: A Memoir Workshop
Watterson
R 5:30-8:10

Whether you’re a new or experienced writer, this seminar will help you explore the elements that go into creating an effective memoir—the storytelling that creates for your readers events/people/places that have helped shape your inner life and sense of self. Memory is a dynamic force, and as we move and grow through our lives, our perspectives shift and change our relationships with the past. Through exercises and assignments, you will tap into your imagination and learn not only how to explore the mysteries that have helped to shape your own life and others' lives, but how to write vividly about them. We will focus on details, pace, and tone, as well as on research and revision and the ethics of how to write “truths” that may effect other people’s lives. We also will mine a deeper understanding of the art and craft by writing from a wide range of authors, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Kaye Gibbons, Jorge Luis Borges, Toni Morrison, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston. In addition to in-class writing, students are asked to a maintain a daily practice of free-writing; write reading responses (2-3 pages weekly) to assigned books, essays, and stories; participate in workshop discussions and peer review, and write and revise three stories or personal essays (4-5 pages) during the semester.

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