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Creative Writing

Program Description

Creative Writing at College of DuPage is a series of classes designed to help writers develop their creative range and hone their voice and technique. Creative Writing classes focus on the craft of writing, cover a diverse array of genres and explore a multitude of writing techniques. College of DuPage Creative Writing professors share decades of publishing experience and classes are grounded in the workshop model. Students are actively producing creative work and revising that work based on peer feedback. The Creative Writing program offers students the opportunity to study poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, novel writing, nature writing and screenwriting. Students also have the opportunity to work as part of the award winning literary journal, The Prairie Light Review.

Program Philosophy

We believe that the study of creative writing allows students to discover and unlock their creative potential, opening the door to authentic self expression and a deeper understanding of the world. Our student-centered approach to teaching and learning seeks to nurture talent and develop creative voice. The capacity for creative expression is key to personal, academic and professional success and fulfillment.

Program Outcomes

By studying Creative Writing at College of DuPage, students will:  

  • Use language creatively to achieve desired effects.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how your intention and audience guide creative choice.
  • Respond to the creative texts produced by classmates to both improve and support each author's work.

  • Analyze creative techniques used by published authors to improve your own creative technique.
  • Apply terminology, practices, and theoretical methods associated with creative writing.
  • Communicate your understanding complexity, nuance, and deep meaning in creative works.

  • Learn to value and express multiple perspectives and viewpoints by practicing the craft of creative writing.
  • Develop an awareness of how creative works help readers to learn about themselves and the world around them.

Program Information

Deborah Adelman

  • PhD: New York University
  • MA: New School for Social Research
  • BA: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Adelman teaches film studies, fiction writing and composition. Her publications include short stories, essays and reviews. Her current research is in the environmental humanities -- ecocinema, sustainability, environmental justice and community resilience. Dr. Adelman also has a background in linguistics, language acquisition and Spanish, and has lived and travelled in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Dr. Adelman is an advocate for interdisciplinary learning and has team-taught with a colleague in Environmental Biology for more than two decades. She is co-founder and co-director of the COD Community Farm/Food Security Initiative and also co-director of the campus Sustainability Film and Discussion Series. Her classes often include: Fiction Writing ( 2251) Introduction to Creative Writing (2250) Film as Literature (1154) Introduction to Film Art (1135) and the seminar "Seed Soil and the Soul" which combines Film as Literature with Environmental Biology (Bio 1110) with a focus on world food and agriculture practices.

Tony Bowers

  • MFA: Columbia College Chicago
  • MA: National Louis University
  • BA: Columbia College Chicago

Tony Bowers is a published author and serves as the co-chair of the creative writing committee. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College and a Masters in Teaching from National Louis University. He is the 2006 recipient of the Follett Fellowship in Creative Writing and his short story collection On the Nine, was published by Vital Narrative Press in 2015. He is hard at work on his first novel, A Dollar Short.

Tom Fate

  • MAW: University of Iowa Writing Program
  • MA: Chicago Theological Seminary
  • BA: University of Iowa

Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of five books of creative nonfiction. The most recent is Cabin Fever, a nature memoir. A regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, his essays appear in The Boston Globe, The Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Orion, and many other journals, and have often aired on NPR and PRI. He teaches Intro to Creative Writing (2250) and Creative Nonfiction Writing (2253).

Jason Snart

  • PhD: University of Florida
  • MA & BA: University of Alberta

Dr. Jason Snart is COD's English Department Chair of Literature, Creative Writing, and Film. He earned his MA in English with a specialization in creative writing from the University of Alberta and his PhD in Literature from the University of Florida. He has published a number of scholarly books, including The Torn Book (a study of the British Romantic era poet and artist William Blake), in addition to two books on blended learning (the combination of online and f2f teaching in the same course): Hybrid Learning and Making Hybrids Work. In addition to Snart's continuing research in the areas of online/blended writing instruction and course design, he regularly publishes poetry and fiction in various literary magazines. Professor Snart teaches a range of courses, including Intro to Creative Writing (Eng 2250), Poetry Writing (Eng 2252), and British Literature from 1800 through the Present (Eng 2221).

Trina Sotirakopulos (Sotira)

  • Master Online Teacher Certification: University of Illinois
  • MA: Northern Illinois University
  • BA: Columbia College Chicago

The author of In Her Skin: Growing Up Trans and co-editor of the two-time indie book award finalist Shifts: An Anthology of Women's Growth Through Change, Professor Sotirakopulos served as the advisor of COD's art and literary journal, The Prairie Light Review, for four years. She shares her knowledge of publishing and writing in both the online and face-to-face learning environments. Her courses include Introduction to Creative Writing (2250), Fiction Writing (2251), and Writing for Publication (2261), along with Honors Composition II (1102), where she uses social justice poetry to inspire academic research.

ENGLI 2210: Literary Journal: Prairie Light Review
An experiential course that applies editorial and publication techniques to produce college district literary journal. Includes acquisitions, copy editing, and marketing aspects of publishing. Repeatable for credit: Yes Up to three times for credit. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (2 lecture hours)

  • 16 week session, Jan. 23 to May 14, 2020
    • Thursday, 1 to 3:50 p.m. | Professor Fotos

ENGLI 2250: Introduction to Creative Writing
Students discover and develop their writing talent in several genres. Students create original fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and drama; experiment with various forms and styles; criticize and revise their own work; and read and examine the works of well-known writers for insight and inspiration.

  • 16 week session, Jan. 18 to May 15, 2020
    • Thursday, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. | Professor Bowers
    • Online | Professor Sotirakopulos

ENGLI 2251: Fiction Writing
A fiction writing course for students who want to develop their writing talents. Students examine elements of various forms of fiction and select and employ applicable techniques to their writing projects.

  • 16 week session, Jan. 21 to May 14, 2020
    • Thursday, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. | Professor Adelman
  • 12 week session, Feb. 17 to May 15, 2020
    • Online | Professor Sotirakopulos

ENGLI 2252: Poetry Writing
A creative writing course for students who want to explore, discover and develop their poetic talents. Students in the course will write their own poetry, experiment with various poetic forms and styles, criticize and revise their own work, receive critical feedback, and read and examine the works of well-known poets for insight and inspiration.

  • 16 week session, Jan. 21 to May 14, 2020 
    • Tuesday/Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. | Professor Snart 

The study of creative writing is fundamental to many career fields from law to marketing to video game production. Many writers work as writers whether as communication specialists or in technical fields. In addition to actively publishing their creative work, writers are in high demand in many different career fields:

  • Teaching
  • Higher Education
  • Editing
  • Multimedia/web Design
  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Business

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking Creative Writing courses. As a writer, the classes have helped enhance my writing skills and overall help me better my craft.   

Vanessa JasekCOD Alumnus

Contact Information

Jill Salas
Chair of Developmental English

Tim Henningsen
Chair of Composition

Jason Snart
Chair of Literature, Creative Writing and Film