Course Strands

As a capstone for the Professional and Creative Writing major, this course aims to prepare you for professional writing work while drawing on the range of capacities and strengths you have developed throughout your classes. Our course strands (which mirror the course goals) thus focus on three areas related to this transition beyond the classroom. Our attention to these goals will foreground ethical considerations as well, emphasizing what it means to be an ethical problem-solver, collaborator, and professional.

Framing writing as problem-solving helps us attend to the various challenges that arise while working on a writing project. These challenges multiply and intensify when writing involves working with others, seeking out access to people or technologies or funding, or adapting your work to the necessary and available means of publication. This class aims to make you a better problem-solver by putting you in situations that require problem-solving and helping you navigate them.

Even if your future work does not involve working on a writing team or answering to a boss or team leader, writing in the professional world is inherently collaborative. Some writers work with agents, editors, publishers, and graphic designers. Some writers work with coauthors and interview subjects. Working as a writer will necessarily involve collaborating with others in some way. This class aims to make you a better collaborator by grounding our work in collaborative projects that require cooperation and effective communication.

For our purposes, professionalization involves working to prepare your writing for professional audiences and situations. This includes concerns related to formality and polish but extends to the challenge of establishing a portfolio of writing work. This class aims to help you develop a professional portfolio through a series of supplemental writing assignments that ask you to reflect on your work and frame it in terms of your broader development, goals, and identity.