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Fall 2024 Course Atlas

Course Listing

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First Year Seminar: Decolonial Practice and Thought   

Yanique   Tuesday   1:00-3:45

(crosslisted with AAS 190-4, ENVS 190-3, LACS 190-1, SOCI 190-4, and ARTHIST 190-1)




This is a first year seminar with a practical focus on creative writing, using methodologies from various disciplines such as English, Art History, African American Studies, and Sociology. A central text for this course is the decolonial symposium hosted by Emory University and co-hosted by Clark-Atlanta University during the same semester, where students will dynamically engage with seminar fellows in art, literature, anthropology, philosophy and Black spiritual work. Students in this seminar will study seminal texts as well as new decolonial materials presented to them in the form of lectures, working papers, workshops and art exhibits; and as such, students will be expected to meet outside of the listed seminar schedule.  Course work will include writing poetry in response to visual art, creating anti-racist museum tags for campus galleries, writing personal essay on spiritual practice, and conducting field studies in the Emory archives.


Written Assignments:

One short story or novel excerpt in draft form, one group of poems in draft

One short story, novel excerpt or group of poems due as final project

Smaller assignments due in class, for homework, collected, not collected, etc., as the course progresses.



from unincorporated territory (amot) by Craig Santos Perez

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

Handouts from Professor: Sam Hunt, Tania James and others



Students will be assessed on the elements of the course, as listed below.  Each aspect of the class will be weighed equally. Students must perform with excellence on all elements of the course to receive an A-.  Excellence is defined by the professor.  Students performing very well will receive a grade on the B to B+ scale.  Students performing well will receive a grade on the C+ to B- scale.  Students performing mediocrely will receive a grade on the D to C scale. Students performing inadequately will be asked to leave the class or they will receive an F grade. The A grade is reserved for students who exceed the professor’s expectations.

Pre-requisite: None

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.



ENGCW 271W-1          Debevec-McKenney                   Monday 2:30-5:30

ENGCW 271W-2          Christle                                         Tuesday 2:30-5:30

ENGCW 271W-3          Christle                                         Thursday 2:30-5:30


Debevec-McKenney’s section:

Poetry is a place for your strongest feelings. Your poetry exists because you love yourself and you love language enough to write it—you believe that what you see and think and care about is important.

Your poems are yours and yours alone: They only need to sound like you. They should be full of concrete images, so we can see and feel the world you see and feel. Your poems do not need to be serious or sad. They do not need to be light and fluffy. They do not need to be “good.” They do not need to be about nature, but they can be. They do not need to be beautiful. They do not need to be hard to understand and they do not need to be easily understood. They only need to be full of feelings and images.  

We are all here to learn from each other. In a small, caring, writing community, if we feel safe enough, it is much easier to access our feelings. It is easier to try something new, or to write something “bad.” We are not here to show off. We are here to write. To improve on our own terms.

We’ll start each class by sharing work out loud. We’ll talk about poems. And then we’ll write. In the second half the semester, we’ll workshop.

Our goal over the course of the semester is to use the reading, a few lectures, in-class discussion, and the work of your peers, to learn how to make more intentional decisions as a poet. You will learn that “what is being said is always inseparable from the way it is being said.” (Hirsch) Using this new set of skills, and feeling held by the writing community here, you might write the poems you’ve always wanted to write, the poems you need to write, the poems you’ll write for the rest of your lives. You will try to look at the world more closely. You will refer to yourself as a poet—an observer of the world around you. You will report on your world in only the way you can.


Assignments and Grading:

Out of 1,000 points

Professionalism: 200 points

Prose: 300 points

Reading Responses: 200 points

Poetry Collection: 300 points



Students will be given PDFs.



Christle’s sections:

A poet's artistic practice is not confined to the page; it permeates and shapes their movement through the world. This course will explore some of the ways in which a poet's habits—including associative thought, pattern recognition/making, perception of alternate meanings, keeping a notebook, and making oneself available to astonishment—can be consciously woven into daily life. We will look to a range of published poems, including three full-length collections, to observe what happens when those practices meet the page. You will learn how to name and experiment with specific poetic tools and techniques through in-class exercises, weekly poem assignments, and written responses to course texts. Regular workshop discussions of student poems and two individual conferences will aid in the production of a portfolio of revised poems at the semester’s end. Attendance at all Creative Writing Reading Series events is required, as is attendance at the first class meeting.

This course is open and welcoming to all, whether you intend to major in Creative Writing, are a senior who finally has room in your schedule for a course outside your usual area of study, or simply find yourself curious about how poetry happens. This is not to say the course will be easy—it will place serious demands on your imagination!—but if you are game, you are likely to find joy in the work.

Important note on attendance: Because this is a discussion-driven, intimate, highly participatory class that meets only once a week, your ongoing presence in the classroom is vital. Missing more than one class will negatively affect your grade. Students who miss three classes may be asked to withdraw.


Assessment is based on the following:

20% Participation (This includes written and spoken comments on your fellow students’ poems, engagement with in-class writing exercises/activities, and discussion rooted in assigned readings)

20% Weekly poems

10% Poet’s notebook entries

10% Attendance at Creative Writing Reading Series events

15% Written responses to 3 books

25% Final portfolio (a gathering of revised poems and an introduction to the work)




Cooper     Thursday   1:00-3:45

This section of Introduction to Fiction Writing does NOT carry the Continuing Communication tag. This section is ideal for prospective Creative Writing majors.

Pre-requisite: none

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.


This is an introduction to the art of fiction writing for beginning students. The roots of storytelling will be explored, and elements of the fiction writer's craft will be introduced and practiced (desire/conflict, character development, point of view, dialogue, showing vs. telling, structure, etc.). We will also closely read and examine selected works of published short fiction, though the occasional interdisciplinary model of music, film, and other mediums will be considered—all with an eye toward identifying and generating character and story, and learning how to “read like a writer.” Students will complete writing exercises and shorter pieces of fiction, as well as one longer story that will be workshopped. Students will also be expected to analyze and discuss in-depth both the work-in-progress of fellow students and published stories; thusly, class participation is not optional. (Note: we will center character-based literary fiction, meaning this course is not one in which genres like fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, horror, romance, etc. will be read or written.) This course will prepare students for intermediate-level workshops in fiction.


No texts, but students will be expected to print a significant amount of pages throughout the semester.


Students will be assessed on their writing and class participation:

  • Writing (50%): shorter pieces of writing; one longer workshop story; significant revision of workshop story.
  • Participation (50%): oral and written responses to student and published work; presentations; class discussion/participation; shorter writing assignments; attendance; overall effort/improvement.

Pre-requisite: none

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.



ENGCW 272W-1          Skibell                 Monday 2:30-5:30

ENGCW 272W-2          staff                     Tuesday 2:30-5:30


Skibell’s section:

Course description: Our course will serve as a workshop into the form and structure of fiction writing for the beginning student. We will be working in a round-table workshop format. We will learn by doing. Topics covered will include:  

1) scene work; 2) POV; 3) plot vs. narrative; 4) beginning near the end; 5) characterization;  6) dramatic action, etc..  

Writing: Each student will write three short stories for the workshop. The first will be 7-9 pages in length; the second 8-12. As a final project, each student will write a 3- to 5-page story for the final class.   

Workshop: We will read and discuss each other’s stories. Through the process of speaking intelligently and generously about other people’s work, one hones one’s own narrative and dramatic sense. Each class member’s work will be discussed twice. Everyone is expected to participate in the roundtable discussions generously and openly.   

Reading each other’s work: One of the greatest benefits of the workshop is getting feedback from one’s peers. I encourage you all to be generous with one another on this score. Make honest and full-hearted and generous comments on the one another’s manuscripts, and be prepared to throw yourself into the class discussions. Each of you will get back what you give to your peers in this regard. 

Grading: I don’t feel it’s right to grade young writers on the quality of their work. Evaluating creative work is subjective at best. And so our class will work on a 100-point grading system. Attendance at our 13 classes is worth 2 points each for a total of 26% of your grade. (Miss a class, lose two points. Arrive 30 minutes late, lose 1/6 of a point, etc.) Your 28 peer responses, turned into on time, are worth 1 point each for a total of 28% of your grade. (These will be time-stamped and strictly counted. Do not send other correspondence to this address.) Each story is 10 points each, and your proof of attendance at a two Creative Writing Reading Series event or other literary events is worth 2.5 points each.  This totals 89 points, which equals a B.  

The other 11% of your grade is my subjective evaluation of your performance, in class and on paper. This means, in essence, that by doing 100% of the work, you are guaranteed a B. My evaluation of the final 11% will consider: manifest effort, progress made from beginning to end, attitude to the class and the work, and other such intangibles as level of engagement, intellectual inquiry, curiosity, generosity, pro-activity, consistency, a positive attitude, as well as a Bell Curve comparison to your peers. Some students take ownership of a workshop, others seem less involved. If you want an A, make sure you take ownership of the class and that you compare favorably to the most involved students.

Texts: none


staff’s section:

Description TBA

Pre-requisite: any 200-level workshop

Writing sample: 10-15 pages of literary fiction (double-spaced), no genre fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, horror, romance, etc.)

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.



ENGCW 370RW-1      Tolin                    Tuesday 2:30-5:30

ENGCW 370RW-2      Cooper               Wednesday 2:30-5:30


Tolin’s section:

Finding Your Voice

Now that you’ve completed introductory coursework in fiction, it’s time to start thinking seriously about how your voice shows up on the page. Are you drawn to short, simple sentences and a blunt narrative voice, a la Ernest Hemingway? Or do you prefer melodic prose with longer, more descriptive sentences, as in the works of Toni Morrison? Maybe you appreciate writers whose sentences seem to follow their own chaotic internal logic, like Mary Gaitskill and Yiyun Li. Perhaps you like punchy writing, sentences that bounce with humor–Lorrie Moore, ZZ Packer, Philip Roth, and Venita Blackburn, for example.

What we call voice is really a series of grammatical and stylistic choices. Looking closely at these decisions in our work and others’ can help us determine how we might commit our voices to paper in a genuine way. In this course, we will read varied works of published short fiction from contemporary writers with unique prose styles. In addition to craft elements like structure, character development, and point of view, our discussions will focus on voice and how it is achieved at the sentence level. Assigned readings will be used as launchpads for in-class prompts and exercises. Our goal is to write things we feel proud of, the sorts of pieces we might enjoy reading if we encountered them in a book or journal. Meeting this objective requires that we read widely and carefully.

Careful reading extends also to the work of your peers. Everyone will workshop two works of original short fiction, due one week prior to the workshop date. Discussions of student work will focus on guiding the writer more fully toward their vision and should be approached with real seriousness. All students will write workshop letters for their peers, as well as one short analysis paper close reading a published story assigned for class. Toward the end of the semester, you will participate in a partner exercise with a peer who you feel is a good reader for your work. Here, you will radically revise one of your workshop stories and receive feedback from that peer (and from me) on the revision. Your work from the semester will culminate into a final portfolio, which will contain a self-assessment in addition to creative materials.


PDFs, available as hard copy or online, in lieu of textbooks


Creative Writing (70%)

  • Workshop Story #1 (15%)
  • Workshop Story #2 (20%)
  • Final Portfolio (35%)
    • Two revised workshop stories (one radically revised); one short story analysis paper; one self-reflection

Participation (30%)

  • Peer critiques (15%)
    • ~300 words each; graded for completion and written in the form of a letter to your peer
  • Literary citizenship (15%)
    • Attendance of all classes except in the case of excused absence; participating at least once during every peer workshop; attendance of a creative writing departmental event; participating at least once during each in-class discussion of published work; participating in in-class exercises, prompts, activities; meeting with me in office hours after each of your workshops to debrief and discuss next steps for the piece
      •  If you are shy and have trouble speaking up in class, please talk to me in office hours or via email about ways to make participating easier for you. If you are not shy, please keep in mind that participating also means knowing when it’s time to let others have a turn.

**Please note: Creative work will receive full credit if it is turned in on time, correctly formatted, meets the page count (TBD), and shows real evidence of proofreading. That said, I can tell when you have written a story in one caffeine-fueled sitting, and because you are expected to work on your stories consistently over the course of the semester and well in advance of the workshop date, overt sloppiness is not acceptable.


Cooper’s section:

This workshop is designed to build upon the experience and skills students have acquired in previous fiction workshops. Students taking this class will be expected to push themselves consistently to develop and hone their storytelling skills, and to engage with the gamut of human emotions and experiences—through both their own writing and the work of others (including published writers and fellow students). We will plumb the roots of storytelling and practice the various elements of craft (character, point of view, dialogue, setting, scene-building, structure, etc.), with students producing two strong, original pieces of short fiction, one of which will be revised significantly and submitted at semester's end (to serve as a final exam). Also required: detailed, thoughtful written and oral feedback on fellow student writing in workshop, as well as reading of and responses to published work. Class participation is not optional. (Note: we will center character-based literary fiction, meaning this course is not one in which genres like fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, horror, romance, etc. will be read or written.)


No texts, but students will be expected to print a significant amount of pages throughout the semester.


Students will be assessed on their writing and class participation:

  • Writing (50%): two original workshop stories; one significant revision.
  • Participation (50%): oral and written responses to student and published work; class discussion/participation; shorter writing assignments; attendance; overall effort/improvement.


Pre-requisite: any 200-level workshop

Writing sample: 3-4 poems on separate pages

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.



ENGCW 371RW-1      Duong                                          Monday 2:30-5:30

ENGCW 371RW-2      Debevec-McKenney                   Tuesday 2:30-5:30


Duong’s section:

This intermediate course is a space for experienced poets to further sharpen and expand their poetry practices in an intensive workshop environment. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the poem as a kind of hybrid research endeavor—an investigation driven by language and syntax. How do poets draw subjects, language, and even formal considerations for their poems from external sources such as historical records, interview transcripts, and art objects? In each class session, we will work towards a shared set of terms and ideas with which we might complicate our understanding of poetry’s possibilities. We will read five poetry collections and a number of other poems, craft essays, and hybrid works across a range of English-language literary styles and traditions.

Assignments for this course include drafting a new poem for workshop each week, conducting collaborative in-class exercises, devising a unique research assignment, and assembling a final portfolio consisting of revised poems accompanied by an artist’s statement. You will also be expected to give and receive peer feedback on workshop submissions, which you will implement during the revision process. All students are required to attend the Creative Writing Program’s readings this semester.



  • Look by Solmaz Sharif
  • Reenactments by Hai-Dang Phan
  • The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers by Bhanu Kapil
  • Feeld by Jos Charles
  • Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Millner  

Other texts will either be available on Canvas or distributed in class.



Attendance and participation              30%

Weekly poem submissions                  20%

Poetry research assignment               10%

Research statement essay                   10%

Final portfolio                                         30%



Debevec-McKenney’s section:

This intermediate poetry workshop is an opportunity to strengthen your commitment to your poems, your practices, yourself. To connect with a group of writers who care for your work—to value how vital community is to poetry. Realize you’re capable of much more than you think you are. Gain trust in your voice and question the speaker of your poems. Recognize your patterns and work to harness them. The course will be filled with opportunities to mess with sources, engage your own obsessions, and to experiment with new forms and ways of writing: play, play, play. Students should expect to read and write poems extensively, to give and receive thoughtful feedback from peers. 



Couplets, Maggie Millner



M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, A. Van Jordan



Look, Solmaz Sharif



R E D, Chase Berggrun


Belflower    Tuesday 2:30-5:30   


Pre-requisite: none  

Writing sample: 2-5 pages in any genre, preferably dramatic writing or poetry

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.  


Throughout the semester, you will:

  • define/explore elements of craft (motion, structure, character, language, time, and world).
  • read plays with a targeted focus on each craft element (as well as other plays), and engage with them through written responses, guided analysis, and class discussion.
  • complete writing exercises that implement an understanding of each craft element. 
  • write and workshop a one-act play (25-30 pages) that synthesizes the craft we’ve learned throughout the semester. 
  • develop tools to give and receive effective constructive feedback.
  • cultivate strategies for sustainable generative practice, development, and revision.



All plays and other readings will be available via Canvas or Emory online library access.

Jones           Tuesday 2:30-5:30  


Pre-requisite: ENGCW 370RW Intermediate Fiction Writing (with a final grade of A- or A)

Writing sample: 5-10 pages of literary fiction (double-spaced) 

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.  


Description TBA



Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories since 1970, 2nd edition

ISBN: 9781416532279   

Skibell       Tuesday   2:30-5:30   

Pre-requisite: any 200-level workshop

Writing sample: 5 pages in any genre

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.  


This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of writing personal nonfiction narratives. We will explore the basic elements of storytelling -- character, plot, setting, structure, dialogue, etc. -- and how each is used in creating a story out of the events of one’s own life. Students will learn how to turn a true story into a written narrative. Editing skills will be sharpened in discussion and evaluation of one another’s works-in-progress. The course will concentrate on the creation of three short nonfiction pieces as well as considerations of technique, creation of real characters, and dramatic structure. Classes will be conducted as workshops in which the main emphasis is on the students' own work, and short lectures, with some in-class writing and improvisation.


A PDF compendium of stories


Students will be assessed on their performance based on a 100-point system. Class attendance makes up 26 points. Peer responses equal 28. Each story is worth 10 points, and proof of attendance at a Creative Writing Reading Series event or another literary event is worth 2.5 points each. The other 11 points is the professor’s evaluation of the student’s writing and critical reading skills.

Screenwriting: Short Films   Strong Mann     Thursday 2:30-5:30  

(Professor Joe Conway’s Screenwriting does not require consent. Please direct inquiries to Film & Media Studies for that section.)


Pre-requisite: any 200-level workshop or FILM 101/270

Writing sample: 2-5 pages in any genre, preferably narrative prose

Students must attend the first class to be enrolled in this workshop.   


What elements go into a successful screenplay? How is universal storytelling related to screenwriting?  Why is it valuable for beginners to write a short script before attempting a feature-length script? Students will answer these questions on their way to writing three complete short scripts of varying lengths that they can produce, use in a portfolio, or enter in contests, among other possibilities. 

This screenwriting course focuses on the craft of story, and as any effective writing course should be, is writing intensive. But students will also learn about filmmakers who preceded them, as well as current filmmakers. 


Learning Objectives

-Understand the components of storytelling.

-Establish a personal writing process that allows them to produce creative work.

-Construct a script in professional screenplay format.

-Define crucial storytelling principles, including act structure, plotting, scene construction, character arc, tone, mood and theme.

-Analyze both short and feature films in terms of those principles.

-Write the first draft of a short film. 

-Evaluate the short film as a specific art form apart from the feature.

-Be able to discuss film critically. 

-Have an understanding of the history of Film, as well as the current landscape.


Required Text:

Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters, Linda Cowgill



Recommended Text:      

The Anatomy of Story, John Truby


Klibanoff          Tuesday 2:30-5:15    

(crosslisted with AAS/AMST/HIST 387RW-1)  

Pre-requisite: none; not open to first-year students

Writing sample: minimum 3 pages of nonfiction writing – the work that best represents your research and/or writing skills and interests, can be excerpts of two or three papers


In the years between 1945 and 1968, untold numbers of American citizens were targeted for death because of their race, beliefs, or civil rights work – and in some cases merely because of what they drove, how they spoke, or the ever-shifting lines of racial etiquette they crossed. In many cases, their murders were inadequately investigated or prosecuted, their stories left untold, and the crimes against their humanity never punished. The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University is both a class and an ongoing historical and journalistic exploration of the Jim Crow South through the prism of unsolved or unpunished civil rights-era murders in Georgia. Using primary evidence – including FBI records, NAACP files, old newspaper clippings, court transcripts, and personal archives – students come to see and understand history from the inside out. Student essays, grounded in secondary readings that provide broader context, will be aimed at the project website, Students also may become engaged in helping research a new season of the podcast, Buried Truths, based on a case we’ll be examining in class.

Students should budget for photocopying.

NOTE: This course is not open to first-year students. All students, including students from African American Studies, American Studies, and History, must fill out and submit the application form in Word format and include a writing sample of at least 3 pages of nonfiction. The sample should be the work that best represents your research and/or writing skills and interests; it can be excerpts of two or three papers.



Course packet handed out in class



There will be frequent writing assignments and frequent requests to revise your work. I will read your work closely, make comments on your theme, your structure, your language, word selection, grammar, punctuation, spelling and citations, as well as your integration of primary evidence and secondary material. You may work on a team project, may be tasked to help with the podcast Buried Truths, and will write an 8- to 10-page final paper. I will build in time for peer review of your work. I will meet with you out of class to focus on both the research and the writing. You will see that I am as serious about your mastery of writing as I am of your command of the historical events we will examine. My goal is not merely for you to learn and understand the history, but to be able to convey it clearly. 

Permission required: accepted Creative Writing and Playwriting honors students only. One semester of honors counts as a workshop.