Summer Institute : Creative Writing : Classes

View the Summer Institute 2015 Creative Writing Journal >>

THE PROGRAM

CORE CLASSES
Creative writing students will focus on  four writing genres - one per week.

Creative Non-Fiction 
As many  acclaimed writers have demonstrated, non-fiction doesn’t have to mean “no frills.” Learn to apply flourish and expression that add credibility to actual events - starting with the events of your own life, which will morph from mere memories to esteemed pieces when you apply devices acquired in this class.

Fiction 
Conjuring up a plot is one thing.  Executing it effectively is another. Merge your great ideas with exacting delivery by developing the elements and subtleties that transform a compelling anecdote, thought  or observation into enduring prose.

Screenwriting 
Imagine your writing  leaping off the page and onto the big screen - or literally into the spotlight. Writing successfully for film, television and stage requires a strong understanding of screen-play and theatrical conventions. This course introduces you to the basic sequences and structures that shape these thriving genres. Walk away with the tools and knowledge needed to write feature-length stage and screen projects.

Poetry 
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of poetic craft and major elements of contemporary poetry. Through writing and discussing new poems, students will develop a critical vocabulary for analyzing poetry and explore poetry's connections to culture, community, and other arts.


ELECTIVE
Students in the Creative Writing program will have the opportunity to participate  in an elective of their choosing on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons with students  in the Art, Media + Design program. Students choose one elective from  the following list:

DESIGNING WITH DIGITAL TOOLS
DRAWING INTRODUCTION
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
TAXIDERMY AS WEARABLE ART
WOODWORKING STUDIO
ZINE + SMALL PRESS 


>A WEEK IN THE LIFE

 
*Classes rotate weekly

DESIGNING WITH DIGITAL TOOLS
Learn to integrate basic design principles, processes and applications using the Adobe Creative Suite in this introductory course. You'll explore the relationship between designing and output — using digital tools to create real world objects that serve as meaningful solutions to design problems. Through a series of exercises and projects, you'll experience how digital design can inform, facilitate, inspire, persuade, engage and provoke in contemporary culture. At the conclusion, you'll have a fundamental understanding and technical facility in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
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DRAWING INTRODUCTION
Drawing is the most basic, rudimentary art and design tool — and it is a fundamental component of all creative disciplines. If you have not had formal training in drawing, here's the place to start. Instruction will focus on drawing from life, including still life, models and landscape. You'll explore foundational observational drawing techniques such as light, shadow, rendering, perspective, and composition. Working in classical media such as pencil, charcoal and ink, you'll develop essential skills while learning about the various contemporary applications for drawing.
Nude figure models will be used in this course. 
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STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
Follow in the footsteps of pioneering street photographers such as Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson — and contemporary artists like Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore — by capturing the city’s spirit with your lens. Explore camera control along with essential photographic concepts such as “the decisive moment” and historical context. You'll put these concepts to use on walking trips to local Philadelphia parks, markets and galleries, where you’ll transform the conventional into the exceptional and hone your distinct perspective of the world around you.
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TAXIDERMY AS WEARABLE ART
Taxidermy is one of the world's oldest and most alluring crafts. In this introductory course, you'll creatively repurpose, design and fabricate animal specimens. Learn the essentials of basic taxidermy under the supervision of a seasoned instructor, ultimately completing accessories or wearable embellishments of your design. Specimens for class are sourced humanely and are safe to handle.
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WOODWORKING STUDIO
This course explores wood as material, and covers basic joinery theory and hand and power tool manipulation. Instruction and demonstrations include an overview of the fundamental properties and possibilities of wood, proper use of band saw and shaping tools including rasps, chisels, small hand planes and gouges, and contemporary applications for woodworking. Learn how to approach woodworking from a design standpoint and draft drawings to create a working plan. Open-ended, hands-on projects encourage you to explore your original design ideas while gaining useful technical skills.
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ZINE + SMALL PRESS
Explore the subversive role of zines, from their emergence in the 1970s as a feature of the concurrent punk scene, to their contemporary cultural relevance. You'll come to understand your own agency in the world by creating original printed zines using time-honored D.I.Y. methods: hand-drawing, printing, photocopying, folding and distributing — and you'll also be prompted to innovate these methods to adapt to twenty-first century media platforms. Projects will encourage a spirit of experimentation, inclusion, collaboration and community engagement. The course will include a field trip to a local zine distributor where students will be able to peruse the small press creations of Philadelphia’s local political dissidents and social peripherals.
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