Summer Institute : Creative Writing : Curriculum

View the Summer Institute 2014 Creative Writing Journal 

The Pre-­College Summer Institute Creative Writing Program is a month-­long series of short courses designed to help young writers explore their love of writing with rigor and fun. Come see what creative writing classes at the college level are like. You’ll be introduced to some of the best contemporary writing and work closely with published and award­winning authors. Each week, our teachers will help you develop a strong foundation in the basic aspects of creative non­fiction, fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. They will also inspire and challenge you to produce your very best work, sharing their tips for unlocking exactly what you want to say. Our workshops and seminars will help you discuss literature with critical intelligence, and you’ll learn to read like a writer. Special readings and workshops with visiting authors will also introduce you to some of the skills you’ll need in order to pursue creative writing as a career. You’ll also experience the entire writing process from inspiration to publication and performance; you’ll publish work in our summer magazine and read in a final showcase. Come deepen your ability to express yourself with flair, passion, and excellence.

Core Curriculum

  • Creative Non-Fiction: How can we write imaginatively while still maintaining a strong connection to actual events? How can we reinvigorate narration, reporting, and description to offer more engaging expressions of reality? In this course, you will be invited to begin writing from actual events and your own experiences. You’ll also develop a core set of necessary skills, such as investigative research and narrative building, that will help you write more effectively and imaginatively about the world.
  • Fiction: We’ve all heard or read great stories­­now it’s your turn to write one. You’ll learn the elements that transform an interesting anecdote or observation into fiction, such as character, setting, dialogue, and point of view. You’ll also develop the subtle tools that create style, learning to distinguish how your writing voice differs from the voices of the characters you create.
  • Screenwriting: This class will help you imagine your writing off the page and on the big screen. Writing successfully for film and television requires a strong understanding of screenplay conventions, and this course will introduce you to the basic sequences and structures that shape this genre today. You’ll develop a short script, but will also develop some of the tools and knowledge you’ll need in order to write feature length scripts.
  • Poetry: Every bird is a poem, but not every poem takes flight like a bird. This class will introduce you to contemporary work and help you develop a critical vocabulary for understanding poems better. You’ll dive into the central aspects of language and learn to express yourself in exciting new ways.

Elective

Choose one of the following:

  • Designing with Digital Tools: In this course you will have an introduction to the integration of basic design principles, processes and applications using Photoshop and Illustrator. This course will explore the relationship between the object being designed and design itself. Students will learn to use digital tools to create real world objects that are meaningful solutions to design problems. Through a series of exercises and projects, students experience how design can inform, facilitate, inspire, persuade, engage, and provoke.
  • Drawing I: Introduction: If you have not had formal training in drawing, this is the place to start. Drawing is a fundamental foundation for all fine arts, crafts, media and design areas. Course objectives include honing observation skills while working mostly from still life, models and/or landscapes. You will work with media such as pencil, charcoal and ink. Basic skills such as perspective, composition, light and shadow, and tonal variations are explored.
  • Experimental Photo: Open to both experienced photographers and beginners, this course introduces you to experimental photo processes and nontraditional ways to consider the photographic image. Using a variety of films and cameras while pushing the boundaries of how one views the world, you will explore processes such as pinhole cameras and cyanotypes.
  • Sketchbook + Zine: As the birth place of artistic ideas, the sketchbook is where artists begin to develop a unique point of view to illustrate personal ideas, experiment, take visual notes and hone skills. In this course students will gain understanding of, exposure to and experience with a variety of media, techniques, and approaches to keeping a sketchbook/journal in the spirit of experimentation. This experimentation will be the foundation of the collaborative class zine where students will collect, edit and design their works into a finished work.
  • Street Art: Screen Printing: With South Broad Street, the Avenue of the Arts, as your canvas, delve into the world of street art.  Study the craft of screen printing  by mastering the photo-emulsion process and building an edition of prints.  You will then display your prints around the city of Philadelphia on UArts' campus with methods such as wheatpasting.  Meet local, Philadelphia street artists and be inspired by your urban surroundings. 
  • Words + Pictures: Illustration: Illustration meets design in this course, where you’ll explore the relationship between text and images. By examining different visual interpretations of letter and words, you’ll discover how a design’s visual impact can contribute to, enhance or even subvert the linguistic meaning of the text. You’ll learn how to use design as a tool to bring your artwork to the next level. While some digital type will be used, this class focuses on hand-drawn type, with various approaches to hand lettering. As the letters will be treated at illustration, experience with drawing is encouraged. 
     

CREATIVE WRITING 2014 SAMPLE SCHEDULE
Course information below is for the 2014 program. Information for the 2015 program coming soon.

All students are required to attend classes Monday through Friday, with breaks for lunch and dinner. You are also expected to attend field trips and guest lectures on Saturdays. Commuters, please note that classes are required into the evenings and on Saturdays.

  

Monday 

Tuesday 

Wednesday 

Thursday 

Friday 

Saturday 

Sunday 

9am – 12pm

Poetry or
Non-Fiction or Screen Writing or Fiction*

Poetry or
Non-Fiction or Screen Writing or Fiction*

Poetry or
Non-Fiction or Screen Writing or Fiction*

Poetry or
Non-Fiction or Screen Writing or Fiction*

Poetry or
Non-Fiction or Screen Writing or Fiction*

Writing Field Trip

--

12pm

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Optional Field Trip

1pm – 2pm

Workshop

Workshop

Workshop

Workshop

Workshop

 

Optional Field Trip

2pm – 4pm

Writing Elective

Art, Media + Design Elective

Writing Elective

Art, Media + Design Elective

Writing Elective

 

Optional Field Trip

4pm – 6pm

Activities

Zine

Activities

Writing for Cartoons

Activities

   

*Classes rotate weekly