Home : Coed Graduate Programs : Creative Writing : Courses

Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)


ENG 501, 502: Graduate Creative Writing Tutorial I, II (4,4) Brown, Cockrell, Dillard, Larsen, Moeckel, Poliner
Graduate tutorial seminars in the form and theory of contemporary writing practice, with attention to the writing of the students in the class. The exact contents of any given seminar will be determined by the needs and interests of its members. Limited to graduate students in the creative writing program.

ENG 506: How Writing is Written (4) Hankla
An exploration of the creative process of poetry and fiction writing. The course will include readings of literature and works by writers on their art and craft, writing assignments, and discussion of student work. Not offered 2014-15.

ENG 507, 508: Advanced Creative Writing (4,4) Brown, Dillard, Poliner
A workshop course in the writing of prose and poetry. Selected works by students will be read and discussed. Frequent conferences.

ENG 511, 512: Graduate Creative Writing Tutorial III, IV (4,4) Brown, Dillard, Hankla, Larsen, Moeckel, Poliner
Graduate tutorial seminars in the form and theory of contemporary writing practice, with attention to the writing of the students in the class. The exact contents of any given seminar will be determined by the needs and interests of its members. Limited to second-year graduate students in the creative writing program.

ENG 521: Screenwriting (4) Marshall
An intensive hands-on course in the art of writing for the screen, for beginners and for writers experienced in other genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Screenings, writing exercises, and workshop-style critiques comprise the course.

ENG 522: Screenwriting II (4) Marshall
An intensive course in screenwriting in which students go through the various stages of developing and writing a feature-length film script, from outline to treatment to presentation and group critiques to finished screenplay, including the analysis of previously produced screenplays and films.

ENG 523: Cinematic Adaptation (4) Dillard
Students go through the entire process (from analysis of the story to outline to treatment to screenplay) of adapting a work of fiction for the screen. The course also includes close study of works of fiction that have previously been adapted for the cinema, as well as the resulting screenplays and films. Not offered 2014-15.

ENG 550: Advanced Seminar in Fiction Technique (4) Poliner
This seminar is designed to improve the skills of fiction writers and to provide a solid and sophisticated foundation in fiction technique. Emphasis will be on the use of writing exercises to focus on elements of fiction technique, including narration, dialogue, scene, description, word choice, and setting. Students will also analyze published fiction, and critique their own work in progress.

ENG 550: Keep It Moving: Literary Gear Shifts, Key Changes, Spinning Plates (4) McClanahan
This multi-genre course focuses on examining and creating dynamic texts that engage both writer and reader through the use of structural, rhetorical, and linguistic shifts. The format for the course is a mix of brief lectures, oral and written critical responses to readings, and creation of original work in the student’s genre of choice. Students will identify and discuss gear-shift techniques used in brief selections of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including varying discourse modes, syntactic structures, sounds and rhythms, pacing, narrative stance, and point of view. Then, they will write and revise original works that incorporate similar techniques. Assigned texts: Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories.

ENG 553: Film as a Narrative Art (4) Dillard
Films of Stanley Kubrick as moral, aesthetic, and psychological narratives, with particular attention to the development of cinematic style in relationship to his concerns throughout his career. Such films as Fear and Desire, Killer’s Kiss, The Killing, Paths of Glory, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut.

ENG 554: Film as a Narrative Art (4) Dillard
Films of Alfred Hitchcock as moral, aesthetic, and psychological narratives with particular attention to the development of his cinematic style in relation to his concerns throughout his cinematic career. Such films as The 39 Steps, Sabotage, Shadow of a Doubt, Notorious Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Frenzy, Family Plot.

ENG 567: Cross-Genre and Experimental Writing (4) Hankla
An examination of and practice in forms of writing that straddle the worlds of fiction/poetry, image/word, fiction/nonfiction, including graphic memoir and fictional (auto)biography. Students will write prose poems, flash fiction, and other experimental forms, while considering selected works by Gertrude Stein, Lydia Davis, Jamaica Kincaid, James Tate, Michael Ondaatje, Alison Bechdel, and many others. Not offered 2014-15.

ENG 569: Pedagogy and Practice of Creative Writing (2) Moeckel
The pedagogical background and practical application of creative writing for the college classroom. Students will research pedagogical materials and texts, build syllabi, work one-on-one with peer mentors, engage in practice teaching, and learn institutional practices pursuant to college level teaching. Limited to MFA-CW program Teaching Fellows and Graduate Assistants by permission.

ENG 584: Advanced Studies in Poetry (4) Larsen
An intensive exploration of poetry, focusing on contemporary writers from the United States. Can poetry, really, matter? How does it mean now? Is craft dead, murderous, of the essence? How do past poets speak through/ against/around writers of our time? Is aesthetic progress possible? What are the orthodoxies, transgressions, blunders of the age? Not offered 2014-15.

ENG 585: Advanced Studies in the Novel (4) Dillard
Studies in the form of the novel, ranging throughout the history of the novel. Close readings of a variety of novels with an effort to determine the demands of the form and ways in which it has been and can be developed. Not offered 2014-15.

ENG 586: Advanced Studies in Creative Nonfiction (4) Varner
This is a course on the literary form that has come to be known as "Creative Nonfiction." We’ll read and discuss various modes of writing about personal experience and the aesthetic and ethical issues raised by such writing. Written assignments include discursive prose as well as students’ original creative nonfiction.

ENG 587: Advanced Studies in Short Fiction (4) Poliner
Close readings of representative stories past and present that define or defy our expectations for the form. Attention to building a vocabulary for discussion and to the analysis of technique and structure. Includes focused study of several contemporary masters of the form.

ENG 599: Thesis (8) Department
A collection of original work: poetry, fiction (short fiction or a novel), screenplay, play, or an appropriate grouping of more than one genre.

Other Courses Open to Creative Writing

Students in the Hollins M.F.A. program in creative writing may also draw from a variety of courses across the curriculum. Most choose their elective courses from upper-level courses offered by the English department, which may be taken at the graduate level for graduate credit. During the 2014-15 academic year, the courses include:

  • ENG 303: Literary History and Theory I
  • ENG 313: Literature Of The Renaissance
  • ENG 314: Seminar in Jane Austen
  • ENG 315: Dante
  • ENG 325: Romantic Poetry
  • ENG 330: 17th- and 18th-Century Literature
  • ENG 332: Shakespeare and the Theatre
  • ENG 333: Shakespeare’s Women
  • ENG 342: Advanced Studies in Children's Literature – American Girls' Fiction
  • ENG 346: Arab American Literature
  • ENG 350: Wit and Wisdom in 18th-Century British Literature
  • ENG 356: Contemporary U.S. Poetry
  • ENG 375: Writing Out of the Multicultural Experience
  • ENG 519: The Jazz Aesthetic in Literature
  • THEA 364: Playwriting