Creative Writing

The KPU Creative Writing Department welcomes students into a rigorous and inspiring engagement with the craft of creative writing. Offering small class sizes and dedicated mentorship with award winning instructors, Creative Writing at KPU nurtures creativity while honing the critical faculties necessary to communicate ideas and succeed in the field of writing.

Courses are offered in fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and new media as well as specific genres such as young adult literature, spoken word, and speculative fiction. The department provides a creative community for students developing their writing voice, and through engagement and volunteer opportunities with industry partners, encourages an active literary life both on campus and off.

Who Studies Creative Writing?

Students from many walks of life are drawn to study Creative Writing. In a Creative Writing classroom, students improve their skills at story-telling, poetry, screenwriting, and non-fiction. Those who are interested in the digital world will find courses which explore the craft through web based media, video and sound. Skills learned in Creative Writing include excellence in writing, creative self-expression, participation in a community of peers, and the development of critical thinking skills. We welcome everyone who's ever been captivated by a story, a song, or a poem and yearns to be the one holding the pen.

Department's website: kpu.ca/arts/creative-writing

Creative Writing provides an excellent foundation in communication skills as well as the development of divergent and creative thinking abilities. Graduates with these skills are highly sought in today's dynamic workplace. Creative writing can lead to a variety of careers ranging from those traditionally associated with writing such as literary creation, publishing, editing, and communications to new media, marketing, publicity, advocacy and education. Creative writing also allows students who develop interests in other fields, or who go on to study in other disciplines, to apply their communication skills and innovative thinking to any area they choose - whether in the humanities, arts, trades, social sciences, or sciences.

Visit the BC Transfer Guide - bctransferguide.ca - for information about course transfer in B.C.

CRWR 1100  3 credits  
Introduction to Creative Writing I  

In this course, student study and apply the fundamental techniques of writing fiction and poetry. The course emphasizes basic elements of fiction and poetry, such as character development, narrative techniques, figurative language and imagery. Students read and critique written works, including published work and peer-written pieces.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): One of: (a) English Studies 12 (B), (b) ENGL 1100, ENGQ 1099, ABEE 0091, PSPE 1091 or ENGP 1091, (c) Kwantlen English Placement Test placement, or (d) LPI Essay score of 26.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS, PW_3

CRWR 1110  3 credits  
Introduction to Creative Writing II  

Students will study and apply the fundamental techniques of writing drama (stage plays, radio plays, or screenwriting), and will continue developing their skills in the writing of fiction and poetry.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 1100 (C+)

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 1200  3 credits  
Introduction to Craft and Process in Creative Writing  

Students will study the relationship between the creative process and the craft of creative writing. They will examine and explore diverse methods of encouraging and enhancing literary creativity, developing and sustaining the craft of writing, and constructing narratives from their own creative processes. Students will focus on topics such as sourcing material, creative discipline and habits, and tools of the writer’s life.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): One of: (a) English 12 (B), (b) ENGQ 1099, (c) Kwantlen English Placement Test placement, or (d) LPI Essay score of 26.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 1240  3 credits  
New Forms and Media: Networked Narratives  

Students will learn and practice new forms of creative writing such as collaborative composition, writing for new and social media, blogging, and writing for digital publications. They will study emerging uses of online technologies and will learn writing skills through individual composition, group work, and the development of electronic portfolios. Note: Students may earn credit for only one of CRWR 1240 or IDEA 1240, as they are identical courses.

Level: UG

Cross-listing: IDEA 1240

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 2140  3 credits  
Writing and Creativity on the Web  

Students will study current and emergent online creative modalities with particular emphasis on writing, design, promotion, and publishing. They will learn how to create an engaging online presence for their creative work and will explore approaches to developing an online identity as an author. They will develop these skills through individual designs and compositions, group work, and the creation of digital portfolios.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 1100, 1200 or 1240

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 2300  3 credits  
Fiction and Poetry  

Students will develop their skills in poetry and fiction in a workshop setting. In consultation with the instructor, they will undertake individualized programs of study which include writing, reading, revision of their own work, and critiquing of their peers' work.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 6 credits from courses in CRWR, including CRWR 1100 (C+)

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 2310  3 credits  
Drama, Fiction and Poetry II  

Students will continue to develop their writing skills in the genre of their choice in an open-workshop setting. In consultation with the instructor, they will undertake individualized programs of study which include writing, reading, revision of their own work, and critiquing of their peers' work.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 2300 (C+)

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 2900  3 credits  
Special Topics  

Students will learn and practice creative writing and workshop skills as they create and revise a writing project based on the course theme. In this workshop-based course, students will learn about established and developing themes and ideas in literary work while studying relevant aspects of craft chosen by the instructor such as intention, process, technique and response. Students will also practice close reading, critical analysis, and discussion through the critique of thematic literary texts and the analysis and critique of their peers' work. Note: Special Topics in Creative Writing focuses on a different genre, theme or aspect of literary writing each time it is offered. Please check with the department for proposed offerings. Students may take this course no more than two times (for 6 total credits), each time on a different topic.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 1100 (C+) and 3 Credits of either (a) CRWR at the 1100 level or higher or (b) ENGL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3100  3 credits  
Techniques in Short Fiction  

Students will study, develop, and practice the various techniques of the short fiction. They will apply that genre knowledge through a critical examination of short fiction by established authors.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 3 credits from courses in CRWR at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3110  3 credits  
Techniques in Poetry  

Students will learn advanced poetic techniques through lectures and the study of the poetic traditions. They will also develop and practice techniques through the writing and workshopping of their poems.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 3 credits from courses in CRWR at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3120  3 credits  
Screenwriting and Drama: Character and Dialogue  

Students will develop and practice screenwriting and playwriting techniques through the writing of their own work and through the critique of their peers' work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. Students will learn screen and playwriting techniques for writing character, dialogue and conflict at the scene level. Students will analyze screen and stage plays from a writer’s perspective through close reading, viewing and informed discussion. Students will learn the differences between writing for stage and for screen and be introduced to professional writing practices for both mediums.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3130  3 credits  
Creative Nonfiction: Writing from the Self  

Students will develop and practice writing, reading, and revision of creative nonfiction (personal essay, memoir and literary travelogue) through the writing of their own work, and through the critique of their peers' work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. Students will also analyze published creative nonfiction from a writer's perspective through close reading, informed discussion, and writing.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3140  3 credits  
New Forms and Media: Sites and Platforms  

Students will develop their creative writing through fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and experimental writing. They will express their writing through a variety of alternative forms and new media including site-specific sound and installation. Students will critically analyze theory and criticism of new media and the history of creative writing in alternative forms and new media, as well as conduct research into contemporary writers working in these forms. CRWR 2140 is recommended before taking this course.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3200  3 credits  
Short Fiction  

Students will practice writing, reading, and revision of short fiction through the writing of their own work, and through the critique of their peers' work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. They will also analyze published short fiction from a writer's perspective through close reading, informed discussion, and writing. CRWR 3100 is recommended before taking this course.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3210  3 credits  
Poetic Forms  

Students will learn the function of form in poetry through lectures and the study of poetic traditions. They will also develop and practice form through writing and analyzing their poems. CRWR 3110 is recommended before taking this course.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3220  3 credits  
Screenwriting and Drama: Structure and Plot  

Students will learn screen and playwriting techniques for writing plot, building dramatic structure and sustaining story tension for narrative projects. Students will develop dramatic writing techniques and revision skills through the writing of their own work and through the critique of their peers’ work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. Students will learn to analyze screen and stage plays from a writer’s perspective through close reading, viewing and informed discussion. Students will define the differences between writing for stage and for screen and be introduced to professional writing practices for both mediums. CRWR 3120 is recommended before taking this course.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3230  3 credits  
Creative Nonfiction: Writing Beyond the Self  

Students will continue to develop and practice writing, reading, and revision of creative nonfiction through the writing of their own work, and through the critique of their peers' work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. Students will also analyze published creative nonfiction from a writer's perspective through close reading, informed discussion, and writing. CRWR 3130 is recommended before taking this course.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3240  3 credits  
New Forms and Media: Web Series  

In this course students will collaborate to create an original web series pilot. Taking a DIY approach, students will write, storyboard, shoot and edit short narrative comedic or dramatic videos using personal devices and equipment at hand. Emphasis will be on the writing of character driven narratives, how to tell a story visually, how to craft comedic and dramatic moments and the conceptualizing of an episodic series. Students will examine narrative video made specifically for dissemination on the internet; how writers are using this low cost and accessible form to create and distribute their work, as well the effect that the internet has had on the democratization of film, video and television production. Recommended to be taken following CRWR 3140 and in conjunction with either CRWR 3120 or 3220.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, JRNL, or ENGL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 3302  3 credits  
Themes in Literary Writing  

Students will learn about established and developing themes and ideas in literary work while studying relevant aspects of craft chosen by the instructor such as intention, process, technique and response. They will also develop and practice relevant creative writing techniques and strategies in relation to their own writing. Note: Themes in Literary Writing is a creative writing course that focuses on a different genre, theme or aspect of literary writing each time it is offered.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 3303  3 credits  
The Business of Writing  

Students will study business, marketing and professional skills that will help prepare them, as writers, to better navigate the publishing industry. They will learn about traditional and nontraditional literary markets, granting bodies, standard contracts, fair compensation, interviewing techniques, professional writing organizations and issues significant to working writers.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 9 credits, including (a) CRWR 1100 and (b) 6 credits from courses in CRWR, ENGL or JRNL at the 2000 level or higher.

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 3400  3 credits  
Advanced Special Topics  

Students will learn and practice creative writing and workshop skills as they create and revise a writing project based on the course theme. In this workshop-based course, students will learn about established and developing themes and ideas in literary work while studying relevant aspects of craft chosen by the instructor such as intention, process, technique and response. Students will also practice close reading, critical analysis, and discussion through the critique of thematic literary texts and the analysis and critique of their peers' work. Note: Advanced Special Topics in Creative Writing focuses on a different genre, theme or aspect of literary writing each time it is offered. Please check with the department for proposed offerings. Students may take this course no more than two times (for 6 total credits) on different topics.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 30 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including 3 credits from courses in ENGL or CRWR.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4100  3 credits  
Advanced Fiction Workshop  

Students will develop and practice the writing, reading, and revision of short or long form fiction on a sustained project, or series of projects, of their choice. They will critique their peers' work, in a workshop setting. Students will also analyse published short stories, novellas and/or novels from a writer's perspective through close reading, informed discussion, and writing.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: CRWR 3100, 3200, 3130, 3230 or 3400.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4110  3 credits  
Advanced Poetry Workshop  

Students will develop and apply advanced poetic techniques and forms, and reading and revision skills through the writing of their own work in an individual project, and they will also discuss and analyze assigned readings of poetry and poetics. Primarily, they will create a project proposal, and then work toward a substantial poetry portfolio which will be extensively revised.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: CRWR 3110, 3210 or 3400.

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 4120  3 credits  
Screenwriting and Drama: Advanced Workshop  

Students will continue to develop and deepen stage and screen writing techniques and revision skills through the writing of their own work, and through the critique of their peers’ work, in a combination lecture/workshop setting. In this course students will work on a sustained dramatic narrative project for either stage or screen. Students will continue to develop effective techniques for criticism and revision of their writing through analysis and discussion.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: CRWR 3120, 3220 or 3400.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4130  3 credits  
Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop  

Students will develop and practice writing, reading, and revision of creative nonfiction on a sustained project, or series of projects, of their choice. They will critique their peers' work in a workshop setting and analyze published creative nonfiction from a writer's perspective through close reading, informed discussion, and writing.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: CRWR 3100, 3200, 3130, 3230 or 3400.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4140  3 credits  
Advanced New Forms and Media II  

Students will study multi-genre, interdisciplinary, and web-based creativity grounded in the craft of writing. They will examine and explore diverse methods of developing and implementing literary projects that utilize modalities such as movement, multi-sensory experience, digital platforms and interaction, theatre and community performance, and other media forms. Students will focus on topics such as the creative process, interdisciplinarity, performance and theatre, web development, social media, and the transgression of genre boundaries.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: CRWR 3140, 3240 or 3400

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4150  3 credits  
Writers' Studio  

Students will develop a substantial body of work based on personal research, with the goal of articulating their practice in relation to contemporary literary production. They are required to identify an area of practice to be developed, which could include experimentation and innovation in different creative writing forms. Students will create a culminating body of work accompanied by a written thesis in which the intentions of the work are articulated and theorized.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 21 credits from courses in CRWR, including (a) 6 credits from courses at the 3000 level or higher, and (b) one of CRWR 4100, 4110, 4120, 4130 or 4140.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4200  3 credits  
Advanced Short Fiction ll  

Students will learn about and practice advanced techniques in writing, reading, and revision of short fiction. They will develop professional quality work on a sustained project, or series of projects, of their choice.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 4100

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

CRWR 4210  3 credits  
Advanced Poetry Workshop ll  

Students will apply advanced poetic techniques, reading and revision skills through the writing of their own work in an individual project. They will primarily work toward a substantial poetry portfolio which will be revised intensively with the goal of publication. Students will research literary avenues of publication for their work.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 4110

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 4220  3 credits  
Advanced Screenwriting or Drama II  

Students will continue to develop mastery of screenwriting and playwriting techniques through the writing of their own work and the reading and viewing of peer, as well as professional scripts. Students will develop skills in effective criticism and revision of their scriptwriting through workshop, analysis and discussion. Students will research market opportunities for their work and complete and revise a substantial work ready for submission or production.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 4120

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 4230  3 credits  
Advanced Creative Nonfiction ll  

Students will apply advanced creative nonfiction techniques, reading and revision skills through the writing of their own work in an individual project with instructor approval. They will prioritize work toward a substantial portfolio of creative nonfiction which will be revised intensively with the goal of publication.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 4130

Attribute: ARTS

CRWR 4250  3 credits  
The Writers' Studio II  

Building on skills acquired in CRWR 4150, students will develop a substantial body of work based on personal research, with the goal of articulating their practice in relation to contemporary literary production. They will be required to identify an area of practice to be developed, which could include experimentation and innovation in different creative writing forms. Students will create a culminating body of work accompanied by a written thesis in which the intentions of the work are articulated and theorized.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): CRWR 4150

Attribute: ARTS

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