Decision / Making: Foundations in Literary Arts & Creative Writing

Fall 2020
Winter 2021
Spring 2021
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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All writing begins with a series of decisions about genre, intention, words, tone, and structure. Writers develop by learning to critically reflect on the moves we make and how our choices affect our ability to communicate with audiences. Our decisions are also influenced by our own point of view and perspective. As critical and creative writers, one of our tasks is to learn how to reflect on, become aware of, and convey our perspectives. The program centers on authorial choices and artistic decisions. Our wager is that as we become more reflective and aware decision-makers as writers, we will become more reflective and aware decision-makers in other areas of our lives.

Decision/Making:   Foundations in Literary Arts & Creative Writing  offers three quarters of immersive instruction in literary studies, creative writing, and composition to create a learning community of highly engaged literary practitioners: creative writers, literary scholars, and passionate readers. It is designed to guide students as they develop a strong independent writing and reading practices and a network of support. The program provides both synchronous and asynchronous course content (asynchronous means that students can engage with the material on their own time). It includes virtual one-on-one consultation with faculty, written asynchronous discussions via Canvas, and live remote seminars, lectures, and workshops with faculty and peers. Together we will develop inventive ways to curate and share our original work in the culminating weeks of the program, depending on conditions. To successfully participate in this program, students should have access to a computer and internet access.  

In winter quarter,   Decision/Making: The Essay  will be facilitated by Miranda Mellis. The program will emphasize developing student projects in a range of prose genres, with a focus on reading and studying an array of nonfictional forms. We will deepen the study and practice of creative nonfiction, workshopping drafts and revisions. We will also continue to read published works, including essays that represent a diverse range of time periods, regions, and experiences. All required books will be available at the bookstore.  To successfully participate in this program, students should have access to a computer and internet access. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous (in person or remote) participation if conditions require. Our approach will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.

In the spring, students will have the option of continuing with Kris Coffey in  Decision/Making: Immersed in Story,   which will concentrate exclusively on the art of fiction. This quarter will be divided into a four-week intensive writing unit, followed by a five-week studio project unit, and culminate in a public reading of original work created in the program. 

Alternatively, students with a capstone proposal in any prose genre may opt to join the Literary Arts Capstone program facilitated by Miranda Mellis in spring. The capstone designed to support the completion of a manuscript. It is especially recommended for students intending to go on to graduate school in literary studies and/or creative writing and will be tailored around student's projects and research interests. 


Fall 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10011
Winter 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 20003
Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30002

Academic details

Fields of Study
Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
Remote (F)
Remote (W)
Remote (S)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting



Date Revision
2020-12-29 Winter required fee removed