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 Classroom 2014 with Kanani San Nicolas

Creative Writing courses at MPC may be taken to complete The MPC Creative Writing Certificate Program, to pursue an interest in exploring, strengthening, and expanding one's own creative writing interests without pursuing the certificate, to augment and complement the critical/historical study of literature in pursuit of a degree in English, or to complement study in other disciplines.

Whatever your reason for enrolling, our creative writing classes will engage you in the study and practice of literary arts from poetry to novels, short stories to memoir -- and more.

Classes may be offered on campus or online. Please consult the Schedule of Classes each semester for details.



Each of the courses described below satisfies a requirement for the MPC Creative Writing Certificate.

Pursuit of the Certificate is not a requirement for enrolling in a Creative Writing class.

Each of these courses can be taken for a letter grade or on the Pass/No Pass basis. Please specify your preference when completing your registration.

ENGL 31: Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGL 31 introduces the essential tools and techniques of poets and fiction writers, providing examples and exercises to stimulate your creativity and strengthen your writing skills. You will read works by writers in various genres and write your own poetry and prose throughout the semester. Like all Creative Writing classes at MPC, ENGL 31 makes use of the Writing Workshop approach, in which writers read and discuss the original work of their classmates in a respectful and supportive environment. Workshops are guided by principles found in "How to Give and Receive Critiques," an essay by Dawn Copeland. ENGL 31 is offered in the Fall semester annually.


ENGL 32: Creative Writing II

An introductory course in the writing of fiction, poetry and other genres (as time and class size permit), Creative Writing II provides opportunities to expand your writing skills, sharpen your eye and ear for significant detail, strengthen your powers of description, and recognize the best form -- poem? short story? novel? memoir? -- for capturing and communicating the observations, feelings, insights, and mysteries that move you to write. You will read works by writers in various genres and write your own poetry and prose throughout the semester. Offered in the Spring semester.


ENGL 51: Fiction Writing

Study and employ the elements and techniques of fiction writing in this semester-long writing workshop suitable for those with an interest in writing short stories or long-form fiction. Reading and discussing the narrative craft at work in stories and chapters written by writers of imaginative prose both classic and contemporary, you will also complete writing exercises in the creation of characters; dialogue; scene building; narrative point of view; and more, before completing your own original short story or chapter(s) from a longer work-in-progress.Offered in the Spring semester.


ENGL 52: Creative Nonfiction Writing

Creative Nonfiction (also called Narrative Nonfiction) is the most popular literary genre in the United States. Best Seller lists and magazine pages are heavy with Memoir, Personality Profiles, Events Features, and Immersive/Participatory Journalism (which includes, among other forms, Travel Writing, Food Writing, and Nature Writing) -- ample evidence that readers can't get enough. This class will immerse you in the work of Creative Nonfiction's top writers, and in writing your own original, polished works of narrative nonfiction prose. Prepare to tell real-world stories -- suitable for publication. Offered in the Spring semester.


ENGL 53: Poetry Writing

Offered in the fall semester annually, ENGL 53 offers an intensive and inspiring immersion in poetic forms, techniques, and habits of mind. Regular writing exercises, reading assignments, and work in various forms will sharpen your imagination, deepen your sensory awareness, and enliven your love of language and the effects to be achieved with sound, image, and attention to detail. Recognizing that poetry is, as Poe argued, the first and essential literary art, ENGL 53 is strongly recommended for all who pursue the MPC Creative Writing Certificate. Offered in the Fall semester.


ENGL 54: Novel Writing

Suitable for writers who have a novel in progress, an idea for a novel, or simply a desire to give novel writing a try, this course examines what makes a novel a novel, how novels are structured, the function of chapters, and other essential elements -- all within a learn-by-doing, writing workshop environment. It is not expected that you will complete a novel while taking this class -- but you will certainly get one started (or work farther into the novel you have underway). Offered in the Fall semester.


ENGL 55: Novel Writing II

Intended for writers who already have a novel in progress, Novel Writing II engages the challenges of structure, consistency, and development that accrue as the story continues, while not neglecting the basics that matter from beginning to end. ENGL 54: Novel Writing, is recommended but not required for enrollment, and as in that class it is not expected that you will complete a novel while taking Novel Writing II -- though if you get there, that's fine with us. Offered in the Spring semester, beginning in 2021.

Please explore related pages on this web site for more information about the Creative Writing Program and direct any questions regarding the program, its courses, and other features to Program Coordinator Henry Marchand:

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