Courses

Pitt-Johnstown Creative Writing

ENGWRT 0050 Introduction To Creative Writing                 3 credits

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process. Class may be taken by freshmen English Writing majors. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or 0006. 

Creative Writing

ENGWRT 0053 Introduction To Professional Writing       3 credits

This course introduces students to several forms of professional writing, such as review and profile writing, public relations and marketing writing, and writing for the Web. Students will compose, revise, and edit their own texts and also read and study "real world" examples of professional writing. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 0500 Creative Nonfiction Writing         3 credits

This course introduces students to the art and practice of creative nonfiction prose, including personal essay, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. Students will explore the unique possibilities of the genre by reading and studying modern and contemporary authors, and composing and revising a variety of creative writing assignments. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 0521 Fiction Writing   3 credits

This course introduces students to aspects of prose fiction—plot, point of view, characterization, conflict, etc. Students may write exercises on these aspects of fiction, or write one or more short stories and revise frequently. Students will also read representative stories and explore their use of particular fictional techniques. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 0531 Poetry Writing    3 credits

Through writing exercises, close and extensive reading of modern and contemporary poetry, and intense revision of their own poetry, students will be introduced to the forms, elements, and techniques of poetry writing. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 0541 Playwriting           3 credits

A beginning course in writing for the stage. Starting with short scenes, students will work toward understanding the craft and art of constructing theater stories to be performed by actors. The final project will be a one-act play. Throughout there will be emphasis on the stage effectiveness of the writing and opportunity for informal performance of student scripts. Cross-listed as THEA 1765. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 0570 Digital Poetry     3 credits

Students will read, critique, and experience poems by published authors who employ innovative media and forms. Students will also craft their own digital poems. Prerequisite: Comp 0004 or 0006

ENGWRT 1000 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing    3 credits

An advanced writing course designed to hone creative nonfiction writing skills through extensive writing, workshop style peer critiques, and in-depth reading. Several of the sub genres of creative nonfiction will be studied and practiced: memoir, personal essay, nature writing, travel writing, science writing, biographical profile, and historical incident. Accurate description, scenic representation, and narrative framing will be among the technical devices considered. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050 or 0053.

ENGWRT 1011 Digital Storytelling     3 credits

A course on the nature and value of storytelling combined with the knowledge and skills needed to compose digital narratives. Prerequisites: EngCmp 0004 or 0006 and EngWrt 0050 or 0053.

ENGWRT 1021 Advanced Fiction Writing              3 credits

This course assumes students know the basics of fiction. Students work on writing short stories and read a wide range of stories. Students can expect to revise their work regularly. Class sessions will address problems in fiction writing—from plot to characterization, from point-of-view to style. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050 or ENGWRT 0053.

ENGWRT 1031 Advanced Poetry Writing              3 credits

This upper-level poetry writing course offers students who have mastered fundamental skills and who are familiar with basic issues of craft and form a workshop environment in which to compose and revise a significant group of poems. The course will include the close reading and study of some important works of modern and contemporary poetry. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050

ENGWRT 1048 Narrative Nonfiction        3 credits

This advanced writing course will provide students with an in-depth study of long-form, research-driven nonfiction writing through rigorous exercises, workshop-style peer critiques, and in-depth reading and analysis. Students will explore a variety of approaches to nonfiction subjects of their choosing for high-end magazine markets in print and online.  Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050 or 0053.

ENGWRT 1052 Writing Interactive Narratives    3 credits

A creative writing course that introduces students to the non-linear, non-hierarchical narrative models endemic to the digital environment.  After studying interactive digital works, students will practice their own interactive storytelling, including learning the basic coding required to compose hypertext narratives as well as collaborative work on game development.  Prerequisite: EngWrt 0050 or 0053.

ENGWRT 1096 Autobiography And Creative Impulse      3 credits

This course explores the relationship between the writers' lives and the material they write, with close attention paid to form, style, and the raw material transformed by the writing process. Readings can include various short stories and creative nonfiction works pertaining to writers' lives, essays written by writers about their texts, and critical studies about the genre. Students will be asked to write their own autobiographical prose, transforming raw material into creative nonfiction. Permission of instructor may replace the prerequisite. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050.

ENGWRT 1130 Grammar Review              3 credits

Reviews essential grammar and usage principles for the purpose of improving stylistic components of writing. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGWRT 1140 Digital Magazine Production    3 credits

After rigorous study of landmark print and online magazines, students will produce solo magazines and then work in an editorial team to build a single online magazine. Prerequisite: EngWrt 0050 or 0053 or 0511.

ENGWRT 1180 Translation Workshop    3 credits

This course views translation as a form of creative writing or as a technical skill.  Proficiency above the intermediate level in some foreign language is desirable.  Students are provided with literal translations to work on when necessary.  Prerequisite: Span 0212.

ENGWRT 1294 Form And Theory               3 credits

An advanced writing seminar designed to focus on matters of interest unique to the written arts. Specific topics will change from year to year, but assigned texts, class discussion, and student writing will deal with modern and contemporary issues of form and theory from the writers' point of view. Cross-listed with ENGLIT 1294. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050 or 0053.

ENGWRT 1700 Advanced Seminar In Writing      3 credits

This seminar provides a capstone experience for English writing majors and students intensely committed to writing. It is assumed that students come to the seminar having taken a fairly broad range of both English writing and literature courses. Students will complete an original manuscript in a genre of their choice (e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction). Manuscripts will be evaluated by an approved outside reader as well as the instructor. Class hours will be devoted to workshop critiques and discussing contemporary issues of form and theory related to the written arts. Prerequisite: ENGWRT 0050 or ENGWRT 0053

ENGWRT 1902 Independent Study          1–6 credits

This option permits students to design their own course with the approval of a department faculty member. Students must submit a proposal to the faculty member. Students must have earned at least 6 credits in department writing courses, and the proposed study must not duplicate the content of regularly offered courses. 

ENGWRT 1950 Professional Writing Internship 3-6 credits

This course will allow qualified students majoring in English Writing to work under an employer's supervision while developing and completing tasks relevant to their eventual professional employment. In an internship, students could write in any number of forms (memos, letters, reports, Web pages, press releases, etc.) and would devote at least 50 percent of their time to drafting, revising, and finalizing various documents for an employer. In addition, students will write a final report for the coordinator of professional writing in which they describe and assess their internship experience. Students must have junior or senior standing and a 3.0 grade point average to be eligible.