Creative Writing At Wake Forest
The English Department offers two fiction writing courses: “Short Story Workshop” and “Advanced Fiction Writing.” Both courses incorporate the workshop method, where the entire class will read and discuss their peers’ short stories. A good deal of time is spent on the protocol of giving and receiving criticism so that the discussions can be both critical and constructive.
“Short Story Workshop” (English 286) introduces students to the elements of narrative writing: point-of-view, characterization, plot, tone/style, etc. The student will read a number of contemporary short stories; read and discuss what published writers say about the craft of writing; write short exercises to strengthen their understanding of craft; write two longer short stories (12-15 pages each on average) to present to the entire class; read and respond to the student stories in large group workshops; and revise one short story for the end of the semester. (Prerequisite for this course is Writing 111. Please note: Students must take this course before taking the Advanced Fiction Writing course.)
“Advanced Fiction Writing” (English 398/698) continues our discussion of craft through the reading of contemporary fiction. Additionally, a special topic (such as “First Novels” or “Forms of Fiction”) will be explored in depth in this course. The primary focus of this course, however, will be on reading and discussing students’ short stories. (Prerequisite for this course is English 286.)
If a student is interested in taking more fiction writing courses, he or she may repeat “Advanced Fiction Writing” once.
For more information, email Dr. John McNally or call 758-3366.
There are two poetry writing courses offered by the English Department. “Introduction to Poetry” (ENG 285) is open to all students and is designed to give a basic understanding of the meters and forms of English poetry, as well as an understanding of how those meters and forms have evolved over the last five hundred years. “Poetry Theory and Practice” (ENG 383) is open to all students who have completed the introductory level course and is designed to create a strong knowledge of contemporary world poetry. We consider how poets have both adapted arcane forms (villanelle, sestina etc) and created new forms (prose poem, found poem, etc.) to mediate contemporary experience. Both courses are writing intensive, and classes take the workshop model whereby students are required to complete a weekly creative exercise to a prescribed form/theme. We also have in-class sessions with visiting poets, a joint-class end-of-semester student reading and occasional field trips. Poetry students frequently publish in the campus literary journal Three to Four Ounces, and some have gone on to MFA programs.