To earn the designation of Creative Writing Fellow and best take advantage of everything the Program has to offer, advanced students may choose to complete the two Independent Study courses below, designed to allow students to explore their own likely trajectories as writers after leaving Campbell Hall, and to hone their craft by delving deeply into the work of writers they admire.
Literary LandscapeIn this class, students with serious ambitions for their writing explore their lives as writers once they leave Campbell Hall. Beginning with an examination of the ways in which programs at their likely college choices will build on—or break radically from—their experiences here, students will go on to explore the challenges of time management, inspiration, habit, self-promotion, the changing nature of publishing, shrinking markets, the ability to simultaneously absorb and deflect criticism, and financial solvency that are likely elements of an artist’s life. Through research, readings, guest speakers, conversation, and projects, students will build toward asking themselves what will make writing worth the trouble for them, and also help them develop sustainable strategies for continuing to create.
Literary ApprenticeshipIn this class, each student, in partnership with the Director of Creative Writing, selects two to three authors whose work holds particular interest, technical fascination, and/or thematic relevance for the student’s work. The student then reads a substantial portion of the authors’ output, as well as delving into critical commentary and debates that that work has engendered, in an effort to determine which specific techniques make that writer so appealing. Students will then develop exercises to help them practice and master the techniques they have identified.
For their final projects, students will produce new creative pieces in which they employ (or respond to, or build upon, or react against) the techniques or thematic concerns they have gleaned from studying their authors.