Section menuClose menu Columbia College


Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 408
Course Title: Advanced Creative Writing
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Advanced multigenre workshop in which students develop a portfolio of original creative writing. Prerequisites: ENGL 313, ENGL 314, and ENGL 315. Offered Spring.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

 ENGL 313, ENGL 314, and ENGL 315.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Numerous options are possible, including books on the craft of creative writing such as:

In addition to a selection of 3-5 books of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poerty by multiple authors.

Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction
By Will Blythe (Little Brown & Co )
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
By Anne Lamott (Anchor)
The Writers Notebook (I or II)
By Various (Tin House Books)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe contemporary selections published in one of a student's chosen genres (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction).
  2. Apply the terminology of craft and genre in critiquing workshop submissions.
  3. Use craft choices at an advanced level in two of the three genres of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
  4. Demonstrate effective revision of works in progress.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Students in ENGL 408 should choose one or two of the three genres (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction) as their focus. They should write new works in their choses genre(s), as well as revise work written previously during their course of creative writing study. The total page count of work produced should be 40-50 pages of fiction/creative non-fiction, 15-25 pages of poetry, or some reasonable combination of these page counts, should a student choose to write both prose and poetry.
  • A major focus of the course should be revision and development of creative writing.
  • The course should also focus on anayzing, at an advanced level, the craft considerations of professional writers in all three genres.
  • Students should participate in at least three workshop sessions during the course.
  • Students should write responses to workshop pieces in preparation for workshop and should participate actively in the workshop process. Instructors should collect written workshop responses over the course of the semester and assign a grade to them. In addition, instructors may be asked to collect data on workshop responses for assessment purposes.
  • In particular, students should demonstrate knowledge of appropriate critique and revision strategies for student work in their choses genre(s).
  • Students should be able to assess how their own writing, and other students' writing, compares to professional creative writing, and to the quality of writing found in graduate creative writing programs.
  • After the midpoint of the semester, students should write a short paper requiring them to analyze a piece of professional creative writing in regard to the craft and genre elements employed. More such assignments may be required at other points during the term, if the instructor so desires. This assgnment may take the form of a book review in the student's chosen genre. Data from this literary analysis may be collected for assessment purposes.
  • The culminating assignment in the course is the production of a final portfolio of at least three revised pieces of creative writing. This portfolio should include written reflections on the revisions that the student has made, in addition to a "personal statement" that reflects on why the student has chosen to pursue a course of study in creative writing, and how the student plans to use that course of study. Data from this assignment may be collected for assessment purposes.
  • Students should present their work to the class in a manner (such as an oral presentation) appropriate to the venue in which the course is taught.
  • The course should include a unit on magazine submission policies and/or the application requirements of a graduate program.
  • Instructors may be asked to collect information from the assignments specified in the Major Topics/Skills section. This information will be provided to the English program for evaluation.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Christina Ingoglia Date: April 15, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

Office of Academic Affairs