Proposal for a Creative Writing Concentration in the B.A. (Honours) in English

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1 Proposal for a Creative Writing Concentration in the B.A. (Honours) in English Summary The Department of English Language and Literature proposes to add a Concentration in Creative Writing to its current B.A. Honours program. The Concentration focuses on writing as an art form, promoting the creative imagination and the expression of original ideas in writing. The Department proposes to implement the Concentration in the academic year. OBJECTIVES The aim of the Creative Writing Concentration is to offer students the opportunity to make creative writing a substantive and separately identified part of their B.A. Honours programs; to expose them to a range of creative writing contexts and genres; and to cultivate and nurture originality, innovation, love of language, and artistic workmanship. Learning Objectives As a result of completing the Concentration, students will: Recognize the central role of language in the creation of meaning; Understand the contexts and conventions of genre, especially short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, from a writer s perspective; Recognize the value of creative writing as a process with a number of identifiable stages; Understand the creative process, including strategies for stimulating creativity; Develop an appropriate vocabulary for discussing creative writing and productive strategies for assessing one s own creative writing and that of others; Develop a theoretical understanding of one s principles and ambitions as a writer; Develop an awareness of publishing practices and opportunities in Canada; Recognize the role of self-discipline and a regular work regimen in artistic endeavour. Enrolment Objectives The existence of a distinct Creative Writing Concentration will attract students who are consciously looking for a University that offers such an option and can be expected to attract between 20 and 30 new additional students annually. 1

2 Program s consistency with the objectives of the degree and /or the University The Creative Writing Concentration is fully integrated within the requirements of the B.A. Honours program so that Concentration students and their writing will benefit from the program s emphasis on critical reading, critical thinking, and the written communication of complex ideas in clear, effective prose. DESCRIPTION B.A. Honours (20.0 credits) with Concentration in Creative Writing The Concentration in Creative Writing is open to students in the English B.A. Honours program. Students in the Concentration must complete a total of 11.0 English credits, of which a minimum of 3.5 must be chosen from the list of designated courses in Creative Writing. Concentration Credits (3.5 credits) The concentration credits are those in 8, 9, 10, and 11. A. Credits Included in the Major CGPA (11.0 credits): credit in FYSM 1004 [1.0] (recommended) or ENGL 1000 [1.0] credits in ENGL 2300 [1.0], ENGL 2802 [1.0] and ENGL 3502 [1.0] credit from ENGL 2700, ENGL 2701, ENGL 2908, ENGL 2926, ENGL 2927, ENGL 2936, ENGL 2937, ENGL 2956, ENGL credit from ENGL 3702, ENGL 3940, ENGL 3960, ENGL 3965, ENGL credit from ENGL 4708, ENGL 4709, ENGL 4947, ENGL 4960, ENGL 4961, ENGL 4975, ENGL credit from ENGL 2005, ENGL 3105, or ENGL credit in ENGL at the 4000-level credit from ENGL 2901 [0.5], ENGL 2903 [0.5], ENGL 2915 [0.5] credit from ENGL 3901 [0.5], ENGL 3903 [0.5], ENGL 3915 [0.5] 2

3 credit from ENGL 2006 [0.5], ENGL 2103 [0.5], ENGL 2104 [0.5], ENGL 2107 [0.5], ENGL 2608 [1.0], ENGL 3007 [0.5], ENGL 3904 [0.5], ENGL 4001 [0.5]; ENGL 4003 [0.5], ENGL 4601 [0.5] credit from ENGL 4135 [0.5], ENGL 4145 [0.5], ENGL 4909 [0.5], ENGL 4910 [0.5], ENGL 4915 [0.5] B. Credits Not Included in the Major CGPA (9.0 credits): credits in electives not in ENGL credit in free electives (may be ENGL). Admission requirements The Concentration in Creative Writing is open to students in the English B.A. Honours program. Students in the Concentration must complete a total of 11.0 English credits, of which a total of 3.5 must be chosen from the list of designated courses in Creative Writing. Students will be eligible to register for the Concentration only after the successful completion of 1.0 credit in writing workshops at the second-year level and 1.0 credit in writing workshops at the third-year level. ACADEMIC MERIT AND PROGRAM DELIVERY Admission requirements in assessing achievement and preparation, for the learning objectives of the institution and the program The Concentration is constructed as a merit-based system that will be self-selecting. Because students will be able to register in the Concentration only after they have successfully completed at least four portfolio-based creative writing workshops, the quality of the Concentration will automatically be maintained at a high level. Genre courses will ensure that students have good theoretical grounding in a range of writing forms, and fourth-year courses offer the opportunity for students to pursue particular interests in writing and publishing. Because admission to the workshops is based on portfolio submissions, only students with a genuine aptitude for creative writing will graduate with the Concentration. Basing the Concentration on merit will keep the size of the Concentration manageable in terms of resources and will also lend legitimacy and value to the designation. 3

4 Concentration structure and curriculum The Creative Writing Concentration will offer students courses on creative writing and genre from among the following: ENGL 2901 Poetry Workshop ENGL 2903 Fiction Workshop ENGL 2915 Creative Non-fiction Workshop ENGL 3901 Intermediate Poetry Workshop ENGL 3903 Intermediate Fiction Workshop ENGL 3915 Special Topics in Writing ENGL 2006 Children s Literature ENGL 2103 Introduction to the Novel ENGL 2104 Drama Workshop ENGL 2107 Science Fiction ENGL 2608 [1.0] History of World Cinema (cross-listed with FILM 2608) ENGL 3007 Reading Poetry ENGL 3904 Intermediate Drama Workshop ENGL 4001 Studies in Poetry ENGL 4003 Studies in the Novel ENGL 4135 Studies in Publishing ENGL 4145 Teaching Writing in School and the Workplace (cross-listed with ALDS 4505) ENGL 4601 Studies in Contemporary Poetry ENGL 4909 Writing and Knowledge-Making in the Disciplines (cross-listed with ALDS 4403) ENGL 4910 Independent Writing Project ENGL 4915 Advanced Writing Workshop The Concentration s mode of delivery The creative writing courses will be delivered through workshops whose enrolment will be determined by year of standing, completion of prerequisites, and a review of student portfolios by the instructor. The genre courses will be delivered as seminars or lectures. Methods of evaluating student progress Once admitted to the Creative Writing Concentration, students will be judged according to the usual Minimum CGPA Requirements for Good Standing. In the case of the Independent Creative Writing Project (ENGL 4910), students must have a Major CGPA of The Independent Creative Writing Project will involve the same criteria as the current 1.0-credit Independent Study: To qualify, a student must be B.A. Honours English student, must have the proposal approved by a faculty supervisor and the undergraduate supervisor well ahead of the start of term, and must have an English CGPA of at least Co-op option No co-op option is available. 4

5 Availability of faculty sufficient in number, quality, and expertise in the relevant areas to support the new Concentration The writing workshops currently offered are typically taught by published writers active in their respective fields. The newly created workshops will also be taught by writing practitioners. The genrebased courses are currently being taught by a combination of faculty and contract instructors. DEMAND AND IMPACT Evidence of student and faculty demand Many more students submit portfolios to the writing workshops (ENGL 2901, ENGL 2903, ENGL 3901, ENGL 3903) than are admitted. Thus the workshops are almost always full to capacity. Evidence of a potential clientele not currently at Carleton High school students who express an interest in majoring in English overwhelmingly want to take courses in Creative Writing. The Chair, the Undergraduate Supervisor, and recruiters from within and without the Department have consistently reported that by far the most frequently asked question about the English Department is whether or not it has a Creative Writing program. For some students who are undecided about their major and/or their university, the existence of a Creative Writing Concentration may well tip the balance in favour of Carleton. Although the Concentration may attract some students who are not otherwise thinking of Carleton, its real value may lie in making Carleton a first choice rather than second or third choice among self-declared English majors who are already considering Carleton, which could represent a substantial increase in enrolment. Ways in which the proposal is expected to relate to and/or affect the existing program and student mix of the department. The Creative Writing Concentration will work in tandem with the existing B.A. Honours program and will have no effect on students or faculty who are not involved in this option, beyond the opportunity offered by the increased number of Creative Writing courses. As a result of various existing department initiatives, including the production of publications that feature students writing and public readings of students work, there is already a small community of student writers in the Department. The Concentration can be expected over time to significantly increase the number of students who belong to this community, which may also increase faculty involvement in their activities. CONSULTATION Interested academic units The units responsible for the disciplines related to Film and Applied Linguistic and Discourse Studies have been advised of the intention to establish a Concentration in Creative Writing. Registrar s Office The Registrar has been advised regarding this Concentration. 5

6 Office of Admission Services Admission Services has been advised regarding this Concentration. Library The Library has been advised regarding this Concentration. RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS AND AVAILABLITY Faculty, staff, space, equipment, and supplies The Concentration will typically require the annual hiring of two creative writers who are published and respected in their fields to teach the two new 0.5-credit creative writing courses. No additional staff, equipment, or supplies are required. Implications for instructional support departments There are no implications for instructional support departments. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS Income implications The Concentration in Creative Writing will likely attract more enrolment, including students who had not thought to apply to Carleton. In addition, having an established Creative Writing Concentration may well enhance the Department s chances to secure funding related to Creative Writing, such as a Writerin-Residence grant. Ministry funding Not applicable. Costs Personnel The Creative Writing Concentration will involve hiring two additional published creative writers annually, each of whom will teach a 0.5 credit Creative Writing course in her/his area of writing. The salary cost of each will be approximately $6, It is hoped that as the Concentration gains strength and momentum over time, additional hirings may become possible. Space, equipment, and library acquisitions No new costs in these areas are anticipated. 6

7 New Courses to be added in conjunction with the Creative Writing Concentration ENGL 2915 [0.5 credit] Creative Non-Fiction Workshop A workshop involving regular assignments in reading and writing creative non-fiction and practical criticism based on this work. Permission to register in this course requires the student to submit a portfolio. Instructions can be found at carleton.ca/english. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Workshop three hours a week. Rationale: To augment the new Creative Writing Concentration. ENGL 3915 [0.5 credit] Special Topics in Writing An intermediate workshop involving regular assignments in creative writing and practical criticism based on this work. Topics will vary. Permission to register in this course requires the student to submit a portfolio. Instructions on this process and on yearly special topics can be found at carleton.ca/english. Prerequisite: Third-year Honours standing, a 2000-level creative writing workshop, or permission of the instructor. Workshop three hours a week. Rationale: To augment the new Creative Writing Concentration. ENGL 4910 [0.5 credit] Independent Creative Writing Project Independent creative writing, under the supervision of Departmental faculty, requiring the production of a poetry manuscript (10-15 poems), a one-act play, a 10,000-word novella, or two short stories. A written proposal outlining the project must be submitted to the faculty supervisor by July 31. Prerequisites: Completion of required credits for the Creative Writing Concentration, fourth-year Honours standing in English with a CGPA of 10.0 in English courses, and permission of the Undergraduate Supervisor in conjunction with the faculty supervisor. Rationale: To augment the new Creative Writing Concentration. 7

8 ENGL 4915 [0.5 credit] Advanced Writing Workshop An advanced workshop involving regular assignments in creative writing and practical criticism based on this work. Topics will vary. Permission to register in this course requires the student to submit a portfolio. Instructions on this process and on yearly special topics can be found at carleton.ca/english. Prerequisite: Fourth-year standing, a 3000-level creative writing workshop, or permission of the instructor. Workshop three hours a week. Rationale: To augment the new Creative Writing Concentration. Courses to be changed in conjunction with the Creative Writing Concentration ENGL 2006 Children s Literature, currently a 1.0-credit course, will become a 0.5-credit course. ENGL 4135 [0.5 credit], currently Culture and the Text III, will be changed to Studies in Publishing. 8

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