Liberal Arts

Creative Writing


     A creative exploration of what it means to live outside the social norm


Instructor: Jeff Shapiro

Office Hours: To be agreed upon with students each semester. Dialogue is always welcome!



Course Description


  (ĭk-sĕn′trĭk, ĕk-)


1. Departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern. See Synonyms at strange.

[Middle English eccentrik, planetary orbit of which the earth is not at the center, from Medieval Latin eccentricus, not having the same center, from Greek ekkentros : ek-, out of; see ecto- + kentron, center (from kentein, to prick; see kent- in Indo-European roots).] 

Course structure:  Of the two weekly sessions, the first is devoted to group discussion of at least one issue crucial to Creative Writing. Literary passages demonstrating the issues under consideration are read aloud and discussed in class. As homework, students write original pieces pertaining to the weekly issue at hand. 

The second session each week is the workshop in which student homework assignments are read, critiqued, and discussed. Although the thought of sharing pieces with a group may initially seem daunting to participants without previous experience in writing workshops, students soon discover the pleasurable luxury of using each other as sounding boards. Writing improves once it is read by intelligent eyes.



Pen and paper, and a brain unwilling to settle for clichés.


Course Hours

The course meets   a week for a total of 3 1/2 hrs/week + 1 field trip, for a total of 45 hours.

Suggested credits: 3


Student Learning Expectations

The goal of the course is to improve writing of every sort: prose, memoirs, poetry, fiction, academic papers. Good writing is good in all its manifestations.

The course is intended for future writers and non-writers alike. Doesn’t everyone deserve a room full of eager ears?

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