A Message from the Writing Program Director
It has become abundantly clear to us that in order to prepare for their careers, our students require more than simply writing workshops and literature classes. To this end, we have developed the following set of courses to address the needs of our students as they head out into the 21st century literary world. CLASSES FOR WRITERS: SUPPLEMENTAL CURRICULUM
Introduction to Acting for Writers
In this introductory class we will tackle some of the basic acting challenges of living in contemporary society as a writer. The course will be run as a role-playing workshop. Situations include responding to questions like “How is the writing going?” and “Is it a fiction novel?” We will do scene work on feigning confidence, appearing to be unaffected by rejection, seeming to care about your day job.
Advanced Acting for Writers
Preparation for long-term acting challenges of living as a writer. Topics include responding to questions like “Are you still working on that?” and “When are you going to get a real job?,” conveying a positive attitude in the face of chronic rejection and abject poverty, projecting unconflicted happiness for the success of friends and enthusiasm for the success of people you don’t like but who may be potentially helpful connections.
Accounting for Writers
Extensive study of creative bookkeeping including a focus on negative cash-flow, cost-benefit analysis for “exposure” vs. actual cash payment opportunities, and complicated formulas for assessing per hour pay after working on a book for 10 years. Additional sections on tax implications for residencies, fellowships, and foodstamps.
Medicine for Writers
Designed for writers who have minimal healthcare coverage and no money for co-pays or deductibles, this course will focus on a broad range of self-assessment strategies required to answer the question, “Do I need to go to the doctor about this?” Topics covered include heart attack vs. panic attack, deadly vs. benign growths, strange rashes both contact and stress-related, and many others. Additional sections on low-cost alternatives to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.
Psychology for Writers
A survey course focusing on the fine lines between the behavior of writers and psychopathology. Using case studies, warning signs will be a primary focus. Topics include fiction writing and compulsive lying, career development and impostor syndrome, memoir and narcissism, world-building and god-complexes, book reviewing and sadism, choosing a writing career and masochism, and many more!
Information Technology for Writers
An extended examination of the central question of our writing age: Are social media platforms a valuable professional tool or an epic time suck?