LITR 3731: Creative Writing
Lecture Notes

graduation plants

summer & fall courses

fiction submissions

return of final grade report

what next?



discuss final exams


Emphases, options


Thursday, 17 April:

Fiction final submissions & revision accounts due within 36 hours of class

Roundtable discussion of final exams; students will describe emphases, ask questions regarding assignments.

28 February-17 April: The following students are required to do Draft Exchanges for their required fiction manuscripts: Amber Buitron, Susan Butaud, Kimberly Davis, Miranda Allen, Christina Holmes, Kristin Howard, Bethany Roachell, Heather Thompson

Thursday, 24 April: final exam period

Thursday, 1 May: Instructor office hours, final exams and grade reports returned


graduation plants

The following students in our class applied for graduation

Amber Buitron

Susan Butaud

Valerie Gordon

Amanda Hanna

Tanya Stanley





summer & fall courses

summer 2008: LITR 4533 Tragedy, 1st 5-wks, M, T, Th 9am-noon


fall 2008

LITR 4232 American Renaissance T & Th 10-11:20am

LITR 4332 American Minority Literature T 7-9:50pm




fiction submissions

2 posted

due: by Sunday late (or be in touch)


+ final exam due by email by next Thursday 11pm (or take it here, 7-10)

(If you need another day or two, just communicate to arrange)





return of final grade report

Students have two final submissions, but . . .

instructor sends one more email to individual students

with reactions to

  • fiction submission

  • final exam

  • class participation / quizzes / overall semester

I'll try to be brief since it's the end of the semester and many students aren't looking back

Welcome to reply with any comments, questions, or requests for further evaluation







What's next?

Thanks for dependability, participation, originality--every night, some surprise that started with a blank page

What can you do with what you've learned or written in this course?

Except for this summer’s Poetics Workshop, only undergrad course of its nature


Not everyone signed up for class b/c inspired but b/c convenient

a course where you can follow directions, complete assignments, earn credit, proceed with academic and professional career


But potentially special to anyone—"it was real"

As previewed, some workshops better than others, but each one an adventure for someone

+ good test or exercise for everyone in group dynamics

Potentially sensitive situations: subject matter, author’s moment in spotlight

Frequently left class or went to break feeling lucky to have witnessed students’ consideration, resolution, grace

Teacher can’t take credit for students’ goodness and virtue, but arrange classes and workshops for positive self-expression while limiting downside

Opening of class: no slash-and-burn critiques

Frustrating to a few participants, but long-term upside: workshop can continue functioning with minimal damage or injury, plus chance for hope, cultivation of talent



demand student leadership, but build in structure and responsibility

Model good behavior (essential for instructor, but more modeling happens among peers)

Teacher has to be efficient, then shut up

My lectures were brief--they only seemed long b/c peer work more interesting

My personal standard (with occasional exceptions):

when I contribute to workshop, speak only one sentence at a time.

—limits teacher’s dominance, distortion, or derailing of workshop


Classroom experience never perfect, always compromise between ideal and reality


What can you do with what you've learned or written in this course?

"writing groups"—formal or informal—see in action at Barnes & Noble, coffee shops, picnic benches

or draft-exchanges without meeting

recall Minot on poetry: don’t wait for big chunks of time, but carry manuscript with you and steal 15-30 minutes at lunch or break

for all writing: revise, revise, revise

let other people review before sending writing to final destination


What can you do with what you've written in this course?

UHCL Student Conference for Research & Creative Arts


lots of online journals for publication--see links page

looks good on resume--not just "flighty" any more

combination of technical skills and creative edge


Farewell to our class!

Always wish for more—I should have mentioned this or that, but coverage of this or that possibility less important than overall experience


Always more going on than teacher can see—exams may reveal


No perfect way to be creative

set up workshop and use whatever leverage to make it happen, then observe . . .

Don't expect perfection, but enjoy surprises that result from everyone's imperfection + creation.









return of final grade report

Because you're submitting two final assignments in last two weeks, I'll probably reply to both of them at once in a "final grade report"

Compare "midterm grade report"

You should receive sometime around our exam day, 4 December.

As before, welcome to continue discussion by email, phone, or in person.