MASTER OF FINE ARTS

MFA570 - Creative Writing in the Social Realm (4)

This course focuses on the role that the arts (particularly creative writing) play in society, and how writing has been used throughout history and in different cultures to act as an agent of social observation, commentary, criticism and change. The writer and the writer's role in the social realm will be considered. Regardless of the genre that one writes in, the writer exists in a social context and that context, as well as the writer's experience both of present and past culture, will be considered as part of the writer's tool kit.

MFA580 - Writing Shared with Others (4)

This course focuses on the pedagogy and andragogy of the craft, assisting students in honing the craft of teaching writing and sharing writing with others. Students will explore how to create workshops, courses, writing groups, online seminars, and other forms of teaching and mentoring others.

MFA590 - Entrepreneurship and Creative Writing (4)

This course focuses on models of entrepreneurial enterprise in creative writing. Taken near the end of the program, the topic is intended to assist students in thinking about how they can find venues for supporting and promulgating their work, including publishing, grant writing, funding, teaching, forming cooperatives, and working through social media.

MFA600 - Creative Nonfiction Writing (4)

Creative non fiction spans a huge array of material from personal narrative (essay, memoir, travel, nature) to inspirational and self help books and on into professional writing, in any and all themes. This course will visit the wide array of creative non fiction through reading, discussion, exercises and brief writing assignments, as well as writing for feedback. Writing non fiction for young audiences will also be explored. The student will explore various genres of creative non fiction and begin to articulate the personal goals for this field that he or she has.

MFA610 - Form and Theory of Creative Nonfiction Writing (4)

This course will move into the consideration of the field of nonfiction and its various genres through extensive reading in and about non fiction. The variation of nonfiction writing, including narrative, expository, persuasive, reflective and descriptive will be discussed and noted as means towards the end of creating nonfiction. Issues of ethics in the field of nonfiction will be considered, as will the overlap of fiction and nonfiction.

MFA620 - The Craft of Creative Nonfiction (4)

This course advances theory and practice with an emphasis on "workshopping", presenting work for feedback. This course will focus more deeply on the specific craft required for different genres. The student will have chosen the nonfiction orientation that best suits personal goals and the craft required for each genre will be considered by the student though reading in that genre, writing about that genre and writing in that genre.

MFA630 - Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing: Exploring Genres (4)

The course will explore a variety of non fiction mediums, to advance student writing skills across genres, to create an authorial identification and to take ownership of writing as a professional path. Working with techniques that evoke the work of fiction: imagination, theme, character and plot, the student will learn to work from within the authority of their knowledge base and research, to create non-fiction that inspires, informs and educates the reader.

MFA640 - Writing the Truth: Becoming a Nonfiction Author (4)

This course will involve the student in creating a longer nonfiction piece or compilation of pieces that will be presented, edited and revised and represented. The essential aspect of revision will be a strong focus of this course, as the student builds a professional orientation as a writer. The role of the nonfiction author, as one with a strong and credible voice, will be considered and practiced. The course will lead directly into the final thesis and portfolio work.

MFA650 - Writing Fiction:From Short Stories to Novels (4)

This course considers the forms of creative fiction and focuses on the experience of reading and writing fiction. Exercises and assignments will invite the student to explore the genre of adult fiction and enter into the world of writing fiction. Focusing on techniques in writing and analysis of published fiction will deepen an understanding of the field of fiction and the writer's place within it.

MFA660 - Form and Theory of Fiction Writing (4)

This course will move into the consideration of the field of fiction through extensive reading in and about fiction and the theory of fiction. Topics will include the elements of fiction and the variety and use of fiction strategies. The role of the fiction author and the purposes of writing fiction will be considered. Issues of ethics in the field of fiction will be included, as will the overlap of fiction and nonfiction.

MFA670 - The Craft of the Novel (4)

This course deepens an understanding of the basic principles of fiction writing including the elements and structure of a story, character, point of view, setting and description, dialogue and plot as they are applied to the writing of a novel. The aspects of constructing a novel from inspiration to development and writing will be explored, using both a firm grasp of the elements of craft and a strong orientation towards accessing inner creativity. This course advances theory and practice with an emphasis on "workshopping" or presenting work for feedback.

MFA680 - Advanced Fiction Writing: Exploring Genres (4)

This course will explore not only various fiction genres, from fantasy to satire to tragedy, but also the forms in which these genres exist from flash fiction (very short prose) through short stories to novels. Experimentation in writing in a variety of genres will be a key element of the course, while students begin to focus on the types of writing that they are inspired towards.

MFA690 - Becoming the Writer: Authority and Ownership (4)

This course will involve the student in creating a longer fiction piece or compilation of pieces that will be presented, edited and revised and re presented. The essential aspect of revision will be a strong focus of this course, as the student builds a professional orientation as a fiction writer. The course will lead directly into the final thesis and portfolio work.

MFA700 - Writing for Children (4)

This course will take the student into the world of children's literature, with a direct intention to learn to see through children's eyes. Basics of creative writing, as applied to children's work, will be included and the class will invite a balance between the imagination that inspires children and the professional orientation that a children's author will hold in working in the field. The practice or writing, feedback and revision will be included in a process of exercises and writing practices.

MFA710 - Form and Theory of Writing for Children (4)

This course will move into the consideration of the field of children's literature through extensive reading in and about children's literature. Topics will include the elements of children's writing, based on age group and purpose, and the variety and use of appropriate writing strategies. The role of the children's author and the desired outcomes in writing for children will be considered. Issues of ethics in the field will be included.

MFA720 - From Picture Books to Stories (4)

This course will explore the variety of books for children from picture books through beginning readers to chapter books and children's novels. The theme of compelling stories to evoke a child's interests will be held throughout. Key elements of writing, as they are applied uniquely to children's fiction will be included, including the overarching writing principles that apply to all writing, including, plot, story development, character, dialogue and setting. "Workshopping," writing for feedback within the group will be an essential element of the course.

MFA730 - Advanced Writing for Children:Exploring Genres (4)

This course will explore various children's fiction genres. The focus will be on children's writing up to young adulthood and will include consideration of genre themes such as: fantasy; fairy tales; realistic and historical fiction; child related educational (counting, alphabet, informational); and drama. Experimentation in writing in a variety of genres will be a key element of the course, while students begin to focus on the types of writing that they are inspired towards. The course work will lead directly towards the thesis/portfolio work.

MFA740 - Children's Development and Family Literacy (4)

This course addresses the key issues of children's developmental stages, needs and capacities, in the context of literature that will support their development. The role of family literacy, as a key to positive outcomes for children as readers will be considered and the student, preparing to be an author and/ or teacher, will study and create practices that are intended to promote not only reading, but family literacy. From the classroom to the specific content of any book, the issues of development and the role of family and culture in that development are of great importance to the author, who must orient the work towards a developing child.

MFA750 - Writing for Young Adults (4)

This course will take the student into the world of young adult literature, with an orientation towards assessing the needs and interests of this unique population, typically considered to be between 12 and 18 years of age, though often extended in both directions. Basics of creative writing, as applied to young adult work, will be included and the class will invite a consideration of how to "reach" the teenage reader, transitioning from childhood into adulthood.

MFA760 - Form and Theory in Young Adult Literature (4)

This course will move into the consideration of the field of young adult literature through extensive reading in and about young adult literature. Topics will include the elements of fiction and the variety and use of fiction strategies. The unique elements of pacing, developmental comprehension and young adult engagement in literature will be included. The role of the author and the purposes of writing for this audience will be considered. Issues of ethics in the field of fiction will be included, as will the overlap of fiction and nonfiction.

MFA770 - Advanced Writing for Young Adults: Genres and Craft (4)

This course will explore various young adult fiction genres. The focus will be on genre themes such as: fantasy; coming of age; realistic and historical fiction; and experimental. Experimentation in writing in a variety of genres will be a key element of the course, while students begin to focus on the types of writing that they are inspired towards. Forms of young adult writing, from short stories to the young adult novel will be included. "Workshopping" as an environment for sharing and receiving feedback will be a component of the course.

MFA780 - Pre Adolescent and Adolescent Development and Literacy (4)

This course addresses the key issues of adolescent developmental stages, needs and capacities, in the context of literature that will support their development. The role of family literacy, as a key to positive outcomes for young adults and adolescents will be considered and the student, preparing to be an author and/ or teacher, will study and create practices that are intended to promote not only reading, but family literacy. From the classroom to the specific content of any book, the issues of development and the role of family and culture in that development are of great importance to the author, who must orient the work towards a developing adult.

MFA790 - Claiming The Storyteller's Voice: Creating Access to Youth (4)

This course will involve the student in creating a longer piece or compilation of pieces that will be presented, edited and revised and represented. The essential aspect of revision will be a strong focus of this course, as the student builds a professional orientation as a young adult writer. The unique elements of finding voice for a teenage audience will be practiced. The course will lead directly into the final thesis and portfolio work.

MFA800 - Applied Field Experience (4)

The MFA in Creative Writing requires each student to participate in 4 credits of supervised field experience, spread over two trimesters. Because the MFA is often desired as a credential for faculty positions in higher education, some students may wish to do their field experience in a higher education setting. Others may wish to intern in community settings where teaching writing may be appropriate. Creating and running a writing group on a specific theme may be an appropriate placement and work with published writers in outside classes, tutorials or mentorship processes is also an option. It is possible that a student may arrange two different field experiences to fulfill the requirement. The AFE is arranged in advance and approved by both the student's Advisor. Outside support, supervision and confirmation of work will be included. This may take the form of a site supervisor, a mentor, an administrator, or class members, who will validate the work experience and give feedback for the student.

MFA810 - Final Professional Presentation (4)

Each student will make a formal presentation of the capstone project at his/her last residency. The student must have the proposal for the FPP approved prior to the final term of enrollment.

MFA820 - Creative Thesis and Portfolio I (4)

Each student will create an 8 credit creative thesis that showcases his/her creative writing completed during the program, demonstrates social relevance, and includes scholarly references. In the thesis, the student is expected to explore something new, demonstrate seriousness of purpose, convey a sense of depth, and communicate an act of discovery or insight. S/he should select work that represents his or her individual stamp, but must also accompany it with a pertinent scholarly essay. Thus, every final thesis and portfolio will combine an academic paper relevant to the creative work compiled by the student over the course of study. The final product will include, not only the scholarly essay, but the creative works that have been produced, creating a robust portfolio of scholarship and creative writing. For example, a learner preparing a thesis based on the novel would include a scholarly piece that puts his/her novel in an historical, literary, and/or theoretical context, while signifying how his/her contribution relates to relevant literature in the field.

MFA830 - Creative Thesis and Portfolio II (4)

Each student will create an 8 credit creative thesis that showcases his/her creative writing completed during the program, demonstrates social relevance, and includes scholarly references. In the thesis, the student is expected to explore something new, demonstrate seriousness of purpose, convey a sense of depth, and communicate an act of discovery or insight. S/he should select work that represents his or her individual stamp, but must also accompany it with a pertinent scholarly essay. Thus, every final thesis and portfolio will combine an academic paper relevant to the creative work compiled by the student over the course of study. The final product will include, not only the scholarly essay, but the creative works that have been produced, creating a robust portfolio of scholarship and creative writing. For example, a learner preparing a thesis based on the novel would include a scholarly piece that puts his/her novel in an historical, literary, and/or theoretical context, while signifying how his/her contribution relates to relevant literature in the field.