Summer Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed”

Writing Exercise: “Nothing Amiss, Nothing Missed” Your first writing exercise asks you to draw upon the concepts of concrete language, significant details, and mood-inducing setting from Chapters 2: Image and 5: Setting. The exercise is multi-part, so make sure not to miss a step. Take a pen and paper (or laptop, if you’re more comfortable […]

Text & Context: A Poetry Workshop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Last night I taught Text & Context, a poetry workshop sponsored by the Philadelphia Poetry Collaboration, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s Final Fridays: Rebel, Rebel night. I prepared a handout with four poetry exercises inspired by pieces in the modern art wing of the museum for registered and drop-in participants. We had a total […]

Writing Exercise “Step 1” for Craft of Prose

In “Step 1,” I’m asking students to develop their skills in the imperative and descriptive moods so that a character and/or narrator can demonstrate or walk through an concept or action. They will base their preliminary discussion on “The Unforgivable Curses” chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the semester’s icebreaker text, as well […]

Guess Who Reading Discussion Prompt for Craft of Prose

In this reading discussion prompt, students are asked to consider what elements contribute to our understanding of character in this “Guess Who” game in which students draw a character who appears in chapters 3–12 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and then describe them by answering a series of questions. They will use […]

“Babylon: A Place You’ve Only Heard Of” Exercise

Class: Introduction to Creative Writing (The College of William & Mary) Genre: Nonfiction Purpose: To examine how place becomes setting and to cultivate an “outsider’s” point of view Readings: “Goodbye to All That,” “Babylon,” and “No Man’s Land” from Eula Biss’s Notes from No Man’s Land and “Goodbye to All That” by Joan Didion   Think […]

Archaeology Exercise

Class: Writing Out of the Ordinary Genre: Poetry/Nonfiction Readings: Maggie Nelson’s Bluets and Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Time: 40 minutes I place many objects in the table or assign them at random to students. All of the objects are old: postcards, advertisements, mugshots, taxidermy instructions, a dried beaver face, etc. 1. Select […]

Literally I wrote

Why are things happening literally in student creative writing?  If “literally” is not present, does that mean things are happening metaphorically? If “literally” is emphasis to ensure us that something is happening exactly as it’s said, does that mean other sentences embellish the details? Or does “literally” work like a double negative with the meaning of the […]