Loyola University Maryland

Writing Department

Course Descriptions for Fall 2023 Offerings

WR200: Intro to Creative Nonfiction

Counts as a Peace and Justice Minor Studies elective.

Instructor:  Prof. Jane Satterfield 
.01: M/W 6:30 - 7:45 PM
.02: M/W 4:30 – 5:45 PM

Creative nonfiction is true stories artfully told. Nonfiction writers hail from all disciplines and walks of life; they top bestseller charts with styles that range from the traditional to the experimental. They pay witness to and advocate for the common good. In Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, you’ll learn strategies successful writers use to protest, persuade, and entertain while drawing on the dynamic energy of great fiction.

We’ll read personal essays and profiles with a special focus on today’s cutting-edge flash nonfiction to help you explore outlets for your publishing future. Our class will offer a supportive atmosphere where you can receive feedback and cultivate creativity. By semester’s end, you’ll have a portfolio of work that showcases your unique take on stories that matter most to you.

Whether you want to preserve the people and places and things you love, share your discoveries with the world, or speak out for social justice, our class will help you harness the power of real-life stories to reach a wider audience in the classroom, in the workplace, and beyond. All majors and levels of experience welcome!

WR220D: Intro to Rhetoric

Instructor: D. Dominic Micer
M/W: 3:00-4:15pm

We know that great speakers and writers—from Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King, Jr.—are able to persuade their audiences to change their beliefs and actions. But how? To answer this question, we will mine the rich tradition of classical rhetoric, developed by Greco-Roman language theorists such as Aristotle and Cicero. As you will learn, rhetoric is more than the verbal spin of politicians, though we’ll certainly examine political discourse. Rhetoric is the art of writing and speaking to move people to change. Rhetoric is also a way of seeing how we are constantly persuading other people or being persuaded ourselves, and many students find this course alters their view of the world. As a domestic diversity-designated course, we will be especially concerned with the connections between persuasion, diversity, identity, and power in the U.S. Through the close analysis and production of non-fiction texts, you will learn and practice how to produce prose that is sensitive to diverse audiences and capable of addressing complex social issues in a variety of academic, public, civic, and professional settings.

WR230.01 Introduction to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor: Professor Karen Fish 
TTH 10:50:12:05

This is a foundational course for those with little or no experience with fiction and/or poetry. You might simply want to “try it out.” I find it impossible to teach writing without teaching close reading. This semester you will read like a writer and gradually learn how to notice the many technical choices that authors make. Reading closely can give us ideas and provide context. I am interested in inspiring you and fostering an atmosphere where it is enjoyable to experiment and practice, rewrite and revise. Writing is finally about studying good writing and finding things worth writing about. 

WR230.02: Introduction to Poetry and Fiction

Instructor: Professor Lucas Southworth
TTH 4:30-5:45

A foundational course designed for students who wish to pursue study in creative writing or those who simply wish to "try it out." Students read various examples of contemporary fiction and poetry to acquire a sense of context. They draft and revise original stories and poems in order to develop an appreciation of what it means to create literature in the modern world.

WR 244: Fundamentals of Film Studies

Instructor: Dr. Brian Murray
TTH 3:05-4:20pm

In Fundamentals of Film students watch and analyze movies that represent different eras and countries, and reflect a variety of styles and genres, including Comedy, Horror and Science Fiction, Film Noir and “New Wave.” We will also become acquainted with the language of film—with the wide variety of shots, angles and special effects that over the years have made movies highly popular and critically acclaimed. Along the way, we will also discuss and write about such related topics as violence and censorship, as well as the technological and economic factors likely to change the way movies are made and watched in the future. Course requirements include weekly written responses and a critical essay on a related film topic of the student’s choice.  Fundamentals of Film also counts toward the Film Studies minor.   

WR302: Wet Ink: Writing and Editing for Publication 

Instructor: Professor Helen Hofling
W 6:00-8:30PM

How does a piece of writing travel from notebook to magazine? Have you ever wondered how writers publish their work in literary journals, anthologies, chapbooks, and collections? Are you interested in learning more about professional editing? WR302 aims to demystify the process of getting a piece of creative writing published, and to help students develop editing, proofreading, and design skills in a collaborative environment. Expect hands-on work with publishing and editing from a writer’s perspective—from practice writing cover letters and formatting manuscripts, to discerning which publications and calls for submission are right for your work. Students will learn about how to work with editors, as well as how to edit other writers; the course culminates with students editing and producing original chapbooks of writing from work they have solicited. 

This course is designed to offer entry points to students with diverse interests and skills. No experience with editing or publication is necessary, and writers from all genres are welcome. Topics explored will be relevant to students interested in publishing, advertising, and marketing, as well as writing and editing.  

WR323: Writing Center Theory and Practice

Requires Instructor Permission

Instructor: Craig Medvecky
T/TH 9:25 – 10:40

Do your friends always ask you to “edit” their papers? Are you interested in learning more about how and why students write? Do you want a campus job that looks great on your resume? Do you want to be a part of a community of students who care about writing at Loyola and who contribute in meaningful ways to the culture of writing at Loyola?

WR 323: Writing Center Practice and Theory prepares you to tutor in the Writing Center by addressing both practical and theoretical issues of peer tutoring. The course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and practical experience to develop your skills as a tutor, as a writer, and particularly as a tutor of writing. As a group discussion and writing-focused seminar, we will work together to develop these skills through a variety of activities, including: the observation of experienced tutors; readings in writing center theory and other disciplinary areas; class discussion and guest presentations; a critical evaluation of your own writing process and philosophy of tutoring; a final project; professional development; and most importantly, a weekly commitment to tutoring Bridge students and undergraduate students in the Loyola Writing Center. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be eligible work as tutor (for pay) in the Loyola Writing Center.

WR325.01 Professional Writing

Instructor: Professor Peggy O’Neill, PhD
MW 4:30-5:45pm

Each discipline—and profession—has its own standards for writing, but one requirement they share is the ability to write clear prose that meets readers’ needs and expectations. This course is specifically designed to help students bridge the gap between academic writing and professional writing, regardless of the students’ major or career goals. To help students develop the skills they need when faced with a new or unfamiliar writing task, we will rely on the basic rhetorical framework of audience and purpose. 

The workplace documents you will complete in this class include cover letters, résumés, memos, reports, and proposals. The job search document assignment will help you apply for internships, co-ops, and positions in your field. You may also create documents for application to graduate school. The report on workplace writing will help you understand the unique requirements of writing in your discipline/field, and it will include research, including an interview of a professional in your field to discover more about the writing you will do in your career.
For the capstone assignment, you will compose a report on an ethical issue facing your
discipline. This issue could be a topic in forensic science, education, medicine, business, communication or any other field. All students will present on their capstone assignment at the end of the semester. This course counts toward the Writing major and minor as well as the Forensics major or minor, the Management Consulting minor, and the minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

WR325.02 Professional Writing

Instructor: Dr. Tiffany Curtis
M, 6:00 - 8:30 

Each discipline has its own unique requirements for writing. But one requirement they share is the ability to write clear prose that meets readers’ needs and expectations. For this section of WR325 Professional Writing, we will focus on the reader-centered approach, which allows you to compose effective workplace documents for a wide range of audiences.  

The workplace documents you will complete in this class include cover letters, résumés, memos, reports, and proposals. The job search document assignment will help you apply for internships and positions in your field. You may also create documents for application to graduate school. The report on workplace writing assignment will help you understand the unique requirements of writing in your discipline. You will conduct secondary research, and you will interview a person in your field to discover more about the writing you will do in your career.

For the capstone assignment, you and your group will compose a proposal to address an ethical issue facing your discipline. This issue could be a topic in forensic science, education, medicine, business, or in the humanities. All students will present their capstone assignment, with their group, at the end of the semester.

WR327.01 Civic Literacy

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Leary
MWF 12:00-12:50

Civic Literacy focuses literacy and social justice. We will take a look at our own literacy and its effect on our lives, while examining the opportunities it can afford us. We will think critically about the link between literacy and choice, literacy and freedom, literacy and justice. How does literacy affect our choices? Our freedom? What impact does illiteracy have on the individual? The community? What types of literacies are useful and/or necessary? We are going to have fantastic, in-depth discussions and we will work as a team to accomplish some real-world writing projects.
Frederick Douglass once said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” When he taught himself to read and write, he decided to work toward creating a more just world. Because our mission at a Jesuit university demands civic engagement, we, too, will use our literacy to serve. Our class will be working to advocate for adults seeking literacy skills in order to change their children’s lives, obtain a better job, or to seek self-fulfillment. You will have the opportunity to work with our neighbors as they move toward their own better futures. Your work will involve writing biographies of adult students and publishing a professional newsletter for them that highlights points of interest for their students. Your final proposal will allow you to tie everything you’ve learned from the semester and produce a piece that can make a difference for yourself, our service partner and Baltimore. You’ll also have the option of serving a local high school junior with SquashWise, the Writing Department’s community partner, as a writing mentor: you’ll be serving these students as they compose their Common App essay. You will leave this course with material that is published and portfolio-ready. Remember: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.” Margaret Mead. 
This class is listed in the Peace and Justice Minor.

WR333.01 Writing Fiction 

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
TTH 12:15-1:30 
This course is an introduction to writing short stories. We’ll read a variety of short stories and study how they are put together. You’ll learn to write dialogue, manipulate time and point of view, and experiment with voice and language; and, by the end of the semester, you’ll have a revised short stories of your own. This course is designed to foster your creativity and give you the technical skills needed to transform your ideas in the art. Throughout the semester, you’ll also exchange writing with your classmates and encourage each other along the way.

WR 340.01: Writing Poetry

Instructor: Karen Fish  
TTH 3:05-4:20  

 You don't have to want to be a poet to take this class—just someone interested in experimenting and playing around with language. This class is for anyone interested in writing poems and deepening and expanding their knowledge of modern poetics.  
We will look at the work of Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Ross Gay, Adrienne Rich, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tiana Clark, Charles Simic, Louise Gluck, Kevin Young and others. I find it impossible to teach writing without teaching close reading. For me, the aim is to foster a creative an environment that is supportive and conducive for you to generate new work. I am interested in creating an atmosphere where it is enjoyable to experiment and practice, rewrite and revise. Writing is finally about studying good writing and finding things worth writing about.

WR345: Screenwriting for Film and TV

Instructor: Professor Lucas Southworth
TTH 3:05-4:20pm

Means and methods of narrative screenplay writing for motion pictures and television are explored. Included are analysis of the structure and dialogue of selected screenplays, exercises in writing and evaluating screenplays, and an investigation of how screenplays are marketed in today's media. Final project: a completed screenplay.

WR354.01 Writing about the Environment

Counts as an elective for minors in Peace and Justice and Environmental Studies 

Instructor:  Prof. Jane Satterfield 
M/W 3:00 - 4:15 PM
In this course, we’ll consider how writers respond to the environment at this historical tipping point. We’ll read creative nonfiction, stories, and poems that reflect a diversity of voices and perspectives on topics such as climate change, human migration/dislocation, resource extraction, sustainability, habitat loss, as well as our relationship to animals and the larger non-human world. How can writing raise awareness of environmental fragility? Continue to celebrate nature’s beauty? Reinvent our relationship to the natural world? What assumptions do we hold about who gets to write about the Earth and why? How can our writing about our living world promote healing, stewardship, and social justice? Through reading and discussions, we’ll discuss these questions and more. 

Students can expect to examine the storytelling strategies environmental writers use in creative and investigative pieces and practice using these in short and longer pieces that reflect their own passions and professional goals. Our community of writers will offer supportive feedback to charge your environmental imagination as well as your publishing future. No scientific expertise required: all majors and levels of experience welcome!

WR355: Travel Writing

Instructor: Julie Lewis
Asynchronous Online

In this section of Travel Writing, you will use writing to enrich the experiences you have while studying abroad. You will learn about the types of travel writing being written and published today and will write short essays and blog entries about your time abroad. You will also connect online with other Loyola students who are currently studying abroad in other locations and learn about each other’s host countries by reading and responding to each other’s writing. I hope this class will encourage you to more fully immerse yourself in your study abroad program by prompting you to explore your location and to reflect upon the challenges and rewards of living in another country.

WR385.01 Reading as a Writer: Short Stories 

Instructor: Dr Marian Crotty
TTH 1:40-2:55

Writers should read differently than everyone else. They read for technical moves and artistic innovations, and they read to steal. This is a creative writing course for anyone who wants to know more about fiction writing— especially anyone who has had a great idea for a story but just didn’t know where to begin. We’ll read contemporary short stories and learn how to talk about them like writers. Then, you’ll use these stories as inspiration to write your own fiction.

WR 343.01 Writing Culture: Sports

Instructor: Dr. Brian Murray
T 6:30-9:00

"Sports” is here broadly defined to include popular spectator sports, but also other athletic endeavors, professional and amateur, as well as activities that might also be called “games” and “pastimes,” including poker, pickle ball, disc golf, etc. As such, many things related to culture, psychology, human nature, technology, etc. are considered in this class.  

Students will be asked to read essays about sports and games and pastimes of skill, as well as issues related to professional and amateur sports, including the increase of gambling and the risk of serious injury in football particularly. We will think about what makes these pieces interesting--what effective choices do the writers make in terms of structure, description, dialogue?  You will also be asked to write two longer essays of your own, as well as weekly shorter pieces responding analytically to assigned readings.  

WR400.01 Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors

Instructor: Dr. Marian Crotty
TTH 9:25-10:30

Senior Seminar is a capstone writing course required for all writing majors and minors that is designed to serve as a culmination of your writing coursework. In this section, you will read innovative contemporary creative writing from a variety of aesthetics and genres and use this writing to inspire your own work. You will also read and discuss author interviews and essays about writing that reflect on some of the artistic and ethical debates within the contemporary writing world. In the final portion of the course, you will write an artist statement and revise creative work that can be used in applications to jobs or graduate school. Students interested in taking this course from a rhetorical perspective should consider registering for Dr. O’Neill’s section of WR400.  

WR400.02: Senior Seminar

Required capstone for Writing majors and minors

Instructor: Professor Peggy O’Neil, PhD
MW 3-4:15pm

This course is designed as a culminating course for writing majors and minors who are interested in developing their rhetorical knowledge and skill in non-fiction, persuasive texts. We will read primary and secondary sources in rhetorical theory to survey perspectives and debates about persuasion. Most of the rhetorical theory we read, or read about, will be from a diversity of rhetoricians in the Western rhetorical tradition (historical and contemporary), but we will also sample and read about theories from non-Western traditions. In addition to engaging with rhetorical theory through various modes and means, students will develop original projects—involving substantial revision aimed at contributing to a professional portfolio to use for application to work or graduate school or for other professional goals. Students interested in taking this course from a creative writing perspective should consider registering for the other section, WR400.01.

WR402: Writing Internship 

Prerequisite: Restricted to junior and senior writing majors, interdisciplinary writing majors, or writing minors. Written or electronic permission of the internship coordinator or department chair.

Instructor: Dr. Andrea Leary

You have taken the classes, completed the assignments, and polished your writing.  You’ve worked hard in each writing class to hone the skills you need to make your mark in the workplace. Taking the internship class will give you that extra edge. Not only will you gain valuable work experience in this course, you will leave with a professional portfolio, a potential supervisor recommendation, and opportunities for reflection and discernment. 
WR402, the three-credit internship class, allows you polish your resume, locate a workplace that fits your future goals, and learn in that environment for 120 hours during the semester (essentially 8-10 hours per week). Because this is a class, you will be asked to do some reading and writing on your experiences, but we will not meet in a classroom in order to allow you ample time at your internship. Instead, much of our communication will occur online, as we discuss your goals, challenges, and successes. You will work with The Successful Internship:  Personal, Professional, and Civic Development in Experiential Learning as a text, which will give you advice along with the opportunity to apply that advice to your experiences in your workplace. In addition, you will have the chance to read your classmates’ reflections and offer advice there as well. 
Classroom learning builds your foundation. Combine classroom learning with an internship, and you’ll have the experience you need to help you land that first job.

Terre Ryan

Terre Ryan, Ph.D.

Dr. Ryan infuses her passion for sustainability and justice into every class to teach and inspire her students