Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fall 2013 MFA Classes & Course Descriptions

Fall Quarter registration begins August 26. Email Beth to register for classes.

Fall Quarter classes begin on Sat. October 5 for the scriptwriting and poetry in-class clusters, on Tues. October 1 for the fiction in-class cluster, and on Mon. October 7 for online classes.

First assignments are available here. Textbook info is available here

IN-CLASS CLUSTERS (9 credit hours)--see below for instructor course descriptions:

Adv Fiction (IMF 519/538/559) -- Tuesdays -- David Hollingsworth

Adv Poetry (IMF 528/529/531) -- Wednesdays -- Michael Castro

Scriptwriting (IMF 575/576/577) -- Mondays -- Peter Carlos

ONLINE CLASSES (3 credit hours)--see below for instructor course descriptions:

IMF 52100.OL1 Focused Poetry Workshop -- Eve Jones

IMF 53200.OL1 Adv Focused Fiction Workshop -- Tony D'Souza

IMF 54100.OL1 Flash Fiction -- Mary Anderson

IMF 54600.OL1 Personal Essay & Memoir -- Catherine Rankovic

IMF 54700.OL1 The Lyric Essay -- Anthony Connolly

IMF 55700.OL1 The Literary Journal: Fiction -- Beth Mead

IMF 55700.OL2 The Literary Journal: Essay -- Beth Mead

IMF 55700.OL3 The Literary Journal: Poetry -- Beth Mead


Focused Poetry Workshop with Eve Jones:

This course is an intensive poetry writing workshop in which each student will produce original work and submit it to the class for analysis, close reading, line editing, discussion of theme and content, and suggestions for revision. Depending on class size, students will have the chance to submit several poems and receive critical feedback. We will use Jack Myers' Portable Poetry Workshop, a text focusing on both craft and workshop guidance/tips.

Advanced Focused Fiction Workshop with Tony D'Souza:

What part of the literary family tree do you belong to? By exploring a wide range of writers and styles from the minimalist Ray Carver to the fantastical Italo Calvino, we'll develop a stronger foundation in the canon we all spring from, while cultivating our own writing through intensive workshops. The fictional line may have the longest learning curve of all the literary arts, especially for the beginning novelist. This course will emphasize the art of writer's discipline and offer tips on creating the routine and creative workspace a writer needs to run the marathon of writing a great book. Character, tone, and gravitas will all be discussed in relation to our work and final projects will include an exploration of the contemporary publishing marketplace and just how one goes about submitting work and seeing our names in real print.  

Flash Fiction with Mary Anderson:

Writing good flash fiction has been defined as structuring words so that they “consume themselves like ice melting on a stove.” Bring truth to your storytelling by wielding the sudden twist, suggesting a lyrical nuance, and beginning in the middle of your scenes. Through a series of readings, exercises, and workshopping in this flash fiction course, you will experiment with capturing discrete moments in time, writing slice-of-life vignettes, and streaking the sky with comets!

Personal Essay & Memoir with Catherine Rankovic:

Personal essays and memoirs are the autobiographical branches of creative nonfiction. Expressing feelings and memories is only the first step in the fascinating process of re-creating for your readership an interior world or a world lost in time. In this course students practice and master literary skills such as revision, description, observation, fact-gathering, and dialogue. The goal is work of publishable quality – which means developing the writer’s distinctive “voice” and learning how to write a deeply personal work that can attract and move an audience. We will also be reading and studying published examples of the personal essay and the memoir—and the two are not the same. Along the way we consider questions about privacy and the problems of writing from memory.

The Lyric Essay with Anthony Connolly:

The lyric essay is at the forefront of innovative writing melding the best of poetry with the best of essay composition. If a stand alone essay is said to be the autobiography of a thought and poetry the sound of experience then a lyric essay is a symphony of your brain. It looks like prose, but reads like music; it's composed like painting, but dries much quicker and you don't have to wear a smock. A lyric essay is connotative rather than denotative; it raises more questions than it answers; it's associative rather definitive; and it's beautifully fragmentary. It free-falls with juxtaposition and folly. A close cousin to the prose poem, the lyric essay is a short work of prose designed to illustrate not only what the writer is thinking, but perhaps more importantly how the writer thought what they were thinking. A lyric essay reveals how you view the world.

It's actually a classic essay form, dating back to antiquity, but under a different name; today, lyric essay is one of the major reasons why creative nonfiction is tres hot. For an example, read my lyric essay "Through The Hands of Strangers": 

The Literary Journal with Beth Mead [Fiction and/or Poetry and/or Essay]:

Students enrolled in this journal editing class will read submissions to The Lindenwood Review, discuss them with the class, and vote on them for publication; students will be listed as editorial assistants in issue 4 of TLR. Additional coursework includes describing and analyzing your personal aesthetic as a reader and writer, as well as researching and presenting a literary journal to the class (students enrolled in more than one section will research a different journal for each class). In addition, the publication process will be discussed, and students will be required to submit their own original work to an approved publication by the end of the quarter. To become familiar with our journal, visit the website for TLR at and click on CurrentIssue to read excerpts from issue 3.

9-credit Fiction Cluster with David Hollingsworth:

This course focuses on the intricacies of fiction writing, from characterization, the logistics of plot and consequences to effective description and dialogue. The techniques explored in class can help writers to develop work that is complete in all areas, firm in foundation, and necessarily concise.

To be a good writer is to be a good reader. We will examine a variety of fiction, learning from the successes and failures of contemporary and classic writers.

Students will be able to workshop two stories throughout the quarter, and will be expected to provide constructive and careful feedback for others. In addition, expect writing prompts each class.

9-credit Poetry Cluster with Michael Castro:
Students will become familiar with major writers, trends and issues shaping modern poetry. Elements of poetry—syllable, line, image, sound, rhythm—will be explored through readings and writing exercises. Students will develop their own poetry in a workshop setting.

9-credit Scriptwriting Cluster with Peter Carlos:
ICM 575 Scriptwriting Workshop (3) the study of the process of feature film scriptwriting and its elements: three-act structure, scene building, character, plotting, plot points, universal themes, and professional formatting.
ICM 576-Narrative Arc in Film (3) the study of the high and low points of the dramatic developments, including key plot points, the midpoint, and moments, beats, in a film.
ICM 577 Script Analysis (3) the study of the hero and the hero’s journey, film subtext, and character behavior and dialogue in scripts.