The class is an amalgam of vocal publishing, round-table evaluation, in-class writing prompts, and author/industry visits.The emphasis is on generating and discussing student writing, but the semester will also be punctuated by a series of projected digital visits and in-class appearances by award-winning writers and industry professionals. The visits will provide students with candid access to working novelists, editors, poets, screenwriters, and agents, and so give them an interactive opportunity to ask questions about the various traits that contribute to acclaim and success.


In The Spooky Art, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Norman Mailer talked about crisp words “clamping down…sticking.” In an interview shortly before his death, Noir author Raymond Chandler spoke of perfectly pitched sentences “walking off the page.” Despite using opposing metaphors, they are obviously describing the same thing. Good writing. A key focus of the class is this musical quality; the profound difference between how a sentence sounds and its mute presence on the page. Accordingly, a significant amount of class time will be dedicated to declaiming work.


In addition to the “skill” of writing, we will consider the practical product of your writing i.e.“ the book” (or story or poem or play) and the various concerns and questions regarding its launch into the reading (or listening or viewing) world.

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