San José State University
English 71: Introduction to Creative Writing, Section 1, Spring 2010
Faculty Offices 218
Joan.McMillan@sjsu.edu (you may also contact me via the
messaging system on mysjsu)
Monday, 2:00-3:00, and by appointment
(please do feel free to make an
appointment with me at a time that’s convenient for you).
Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-1:15
Welcome to my class!
Introduction to Creative Writing involves both the reading and production of
poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.
Students will produce creative work in all three genres, and
will submit a portfolio as a final class project.
English 71 will also involve extensive reading in all
three genres, with emphasis on the personal voice.
Students will also examine the traditions of all three
genres in light of their historical and cultural contexts, with a particular focus on the response of the
human imagination and intellect in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.
Introduction to Creative Writing is a 3-unit, lower-division course designed, adopted, implemented, and
administered by the Department of English & Comparative Literature at SJSU in accordance with the
University’s General Education Program Guidelines to fulfill Core General Education requirements in
Each student is required to produce daily in-class writing in response to the readings, and extensive
writing assignments, both in and out of class.
Notebook exercises are designed to help students grow
and experiment as creative writers.
Reading responses will be collected by the instructor at the end of
each class session and returned with comments; all in-class creative writing should be kept together in a
folder, notebook, or journal of the students’ choosing.
This course will involve discussion and writing workshops. Small groups will consist of four
writers and will be used for critiquing writing in each genre.
Students are required to attend; your
grade will suffer if you do not attend these, as participation is a large part of your course grade.
Writing creatively is a courageous act which has the potential to change one’s life, subtly or overtly, in
nearly alchemical ways; this change is facilitated in large part by the writer’s openness and willingness
to be transformed by abundant reading and writing.
Think of this class as your chance to walk a unique