FALL  2020

School of Arts and Sciences

Course Syllabus

Course No: ENG 108 06/


Course Title: Introduction to Creative Writing

Course Type: Seminar

Class Location:  WAX 232

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None

Semester and Year:  2017

Class Time: Tues/Thursday




Faculty: Doug Holder

Office Location: New Humanities Building

Telephone: 617-710-0163

E-Mail: dholder@endicott.edu

Office Hours: 7AM to 7:45A.M.  and 9:30 to 10:45AM PM  Tues/Thursday and by appointment.


Catalog Description:

Students are introduced to the art of creative writing through reading the creative works of a variety of authors. The course also covers essential aspects of writing fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and memoirs. Students explore the creative writing process which is the discovery of ideas for writing, and find inspiration in the things they read and in everyday life. The course also examines genres suited to the themes and images that ideas engender. Open to all students, but required of English majors concentrating in creative writing and creative writing minors. Satisfies Aesthetic Awareness and Creative Expression General Education and Writing Designated core requirements.

This course will examine the genres of short fiction, poetry and memoir. Students will read and reflect about work from established writers, and learn to write their own creative pieces. There will be workshops, and comprehensive feedback from teacher and students. Students will be expected to produce a chapbook of well-crafted poetry and a short fiction or memoir piece during the course of the class. Students will be expected to attend at least one poetry reading at the college and write a reflection paper about it.


Required Texts

Karr, Mary.   The Liar's Club.  ( 20th Anniv. edition if possible)

Gardner, Janet E. : Literature : A Portable Anthology. 2nd Edition. Boston: Bedford, 2009. Print.




Course Objectives:At the completion of this course the student should be able to:

1. Express themselves in clear and compelling poetry and prose

2. Learn to make sense of the world through creative writing

3. Read, interpret, and analyze models of creative writing that will help them reflect on their own culture and their own writing.

4. Understand and employ the tools of self-editing and peer review

5. Use the tools of brainstorming, pre-writing and re-writing

6. Reflect on their own lives in carefully crafted memoirs and short autobiographies.

7. Interpret other people’s work through the lens of the creative writer.

8. Understand the literary traditions, genres, and artistic dimensions of creative writing.

9. Explore and question the aesthetic concepts and cultural assumptions of creative writing

10. Understand the art of revising and re-seeing

11. Engage with an audience

12. Explore and undertake the necessary challenges of imaginative writing


Evaluation Methods:

Participation (Includes attendance!!) 40%

Poetry Chapbook 20%

Memoir 20%

Short Story 20%




Attendance Policy and Other Key Info.


Your participation in class is most necessary to get a good grade. Absence from class will result in the lowering of your grade. All assignments must be completed to pass the course. You cannot receive a grade of A if you have missed more than 3 classes, and more than three absences may lower your grade further.


Academic  Integrity 
Plagiarism is the appropriation of someone else’s language and/or ideas without proper citation and will not be tolerated in this class. As a college student, it’s your responsibility to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid doing it. Familiarize yourself with Endicott’s policy on academic honesty. We’ll talk a lot about how to cite sources further into the course; you can also find this information in the Diana Hacker guide, or online at: http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/

If you have any questions about the policy or how to avoid academic dishonesty, please let me know. If you attempt to plagiarize, you will receive an F for the assignment, and possibly the course, and may face further action by the college.


Course Expectations  For each credit hour, students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours on work outside of class each week. For this three credit course, this is a minimum of six hours each week. Students must review the Academic Calendar published by the Registar's Office online at:  http://www.endicott.edu/Academics/AcademicCalendar.aspx




Formatting Please use the following format for submitting written assignments unless instructed

otherwise or unless you’re following specific genre conventions:

• Provide a basic head in the upper left hand corner of Page 1:

Your Name

Course Section and Number


Assignment Title

• Double space the text

• Use one-inch margins

• STAPLE! I will not accept unstapled papers.

• Use a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman.

• Number all pages.

• Use a works cited page as needed.


Accommodations for Students with DisabilitiesStudents with disabilities are encouraged to contact me for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. Endicott College is committed to ensuring full participation of all students in its programs. If you have a documented disability, or think you may have a disability of any nature, and, as a result, need reasonable accommodation to participate in this class, complete course requirements, or benefit from the College’s programs and services, then you should speak with me directly and/or contact Student Disability Services, for a confidential discussion of your needs and creation of any appropriate academic accommodation plan. This should be done at the earliest possible time in the semester.

Please note that academic accommodations will not be provided unless appropriate documentation is submitted to the SDS office to support the need.

Students must review the Academic Calendar published by the Registrar’s Office online at: http://tinyurl.com/hbmfywj (Links to an external site.).


Class attendance is expected of all students up to and including the last day of scheduled Finals in the semester. Students must plan according

Academic Resources 
There are several peer tutors at the Writing Center who are Creative Writers themselves; feel free to use the Writing Center as an additional source for feedback, help with brainstorming, revision, reading journals, etc... The Writing Center is located in Room 126, Halle Library. To make an appointment, call or email: 978-232-2490 writingcenter@endicott.edu

Work in Progress


*** syllabus subject to change


Spring 2020   ENG 108


CLASS 1--  Sept 3, 2020 

Introduction to Creative Writing

General discussion of course and introductions.



Discussion of reading.

Read Intro and Foreward  Mary Karr

Journal entries


  Class 2 --Sept 8, 2020

  Journal readings.

General discussion of memoir/reading

Sensory Memory

Visual Sources

Memory Lane


Read Chapter 1

Journal Readings



 Class 3--Sept 10, 2020

Journal Readings

Discussion of Reading


Read in Liar's Club  chapter 2


 Class 4--Sept. 15, 2020

Journal Readings

Discussion of reading


Readers Chapters  3 to 5


 Class  5--  Sept 17, 2020

Journal Readings

Discussion of reading.


Read Chapters 6 to9



  Class-6  Sept. 22, 2020

Journal Readings

Discussion of reading


Read Chapters 10 to 12

Guest Speaker?


 Class 7--  Sept 24, 2020

Journal Readings


Read Chapters 13 to 14

Draft of Memoir Due


 Class 8--Sept. 29, 2020

Draft of your Memoir

Workshop for memoir



Read Chapter 15


 Class 9-- Oct. 6, 2020

Discussion of reading

Discussion of Short Stories


Final Draft of Memoir due

Read   Junot Diaz in the Portable anthology



CLASS 10-  Oct. 8, 2020

Discussion of reading


Read Steven King short story in New Yorker:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/11/09/premium-harmony (Links to an external site.)

Memoir due.


 Class 11-  Oct 13, 2020

Discussion of story

plotting a Story


rising action

climax resolution



 Read: "How to Become a Writer" by Lori Moore


 Class-12 --Oct. 15, 2020

Discussion of reading


Class Conference



 Class 13-- Oct. 20, 2020

Class Conference


Read " Cathedral" by Raymond Carver

Read a " Good Man is Hard to Find"


Start thinking of your short story. What conflict? How is conflict resolved? Who are the characters? Be ready to discuss in class.

Read " Cathedral" by Raymond Carver


 Class 14--Oct. 22, 2020.

Discussion of Carver



Read A and P by John Updike




 Class 15-- Oct. 27, 2020

Workshop for your draft

Discussion of Reading


Class Conferences


 Class 16--Oct. 29, 2020

Class Conferences


Read Patricia Smith's "Skin Head"

Short Story Draft Due


 Class 17-- Nov. 3,  2020

Poetry Lecture

Poetry Reading


Read Marge Piercy's " Barbie Doll'

Take a line from the poem and make it your own for poetry reading.


Class 18--Nov. 5, 2020

Journal readings.



Read:  Sylvia Plath's  "Daddy"

Take a line image, from the poem and write one of your own.


 Class 19--  Nov. 10, 2020

Discussion of Plath

Journal Readings



Read:   Billy Collins:

http://jungleinablog.blogspot.com/2009/05/rebenant.html (Links to an external site.)



 Class 23--Nov. 12, 2020

Discussion Persona Poem.


Read Anne Sexton 's "Cinderella"


 Class 24--  Nov 17, 2020

Discussion of Sexton

Journal readings.


  Class 25--  Nov. 19, 2020--  ART GALLERY VISIT.




Dec, 1, 2020


Read Robert Pinsky's " The Shirt"

Read poems about the Grolier movie.



Class 25-  Dec 3, 2020.

Discussion of Robert Pinsky's " The Shirt."

Read poems based on Grolier Movie.


Chapbook workshop



 Class--26-- Dec 8, 2020


Final Exam