English 231-80, Moss

Hello and welcome to Introduction to Creative Writing, ENG 231-80 (2012040), meeting on-line in the fall semester, 2010.  My name is Professor West Moss, and I wanted to reach out to you briefly to introduce myself and to let you know of a few things you might want to do before class starts.

Some of you may have taken on-line classes before, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, please know that you will not be granted access to our Blackboard site until the first day of classes, on Wednesday, September 1st.  Still there a few steps you can take now to be prepared. 

1)      I would like you all to purchase our text book, available in our bookstore and probably online.  It is called, Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief by David Starkey, published by Bedford/St. Martin’s. 


The ISBN number is ISBN-13: 978-0-312-46866-8.  It is important that you get the right edition of the text book, so use the above ISBN # when making your purchase.  It is a required text, and it’s unlikely you can pass the course without it. 


2)     We will begin the semester reading and writing poetry.  You may want to read “Nostalgia” by Billy Collins (page 74) and “Praise the Tortilla, Praise the Menudo, Praise the Chorizo” by Ray Gonzalez (page 77) before September 1st.  Take notes as you read about what you like, what you don’t like, and what confuses you. 


3)     You will be asked to introduce yourselves to one another during our 1st week by writing a 100-word introduction and posting it on our discussion board.  You should do your best to introduce yourselves in a way that is memorable.  This is harder than it sounds, and means you probably don’t want to waste any of your precious 100 words with boring details like, “I am a sophomore.”  Really consider what it is that makes you different from everyone else!  Are you 87 years old?  Do you have a tattoo of a mushroom cloud on your neck?  Are you a tarantula collector who sells comic books?  Are you a priest?  Think of yourself as a character in a story and attempt to captivate us, your readers.


4)     I highly recommend (but do not require) that you read a book called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.  He has written books such as Carrie and the Shining, but has also written screenplays such as The Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption (based on one of his stories).  He is an accomplished, disciplined, down to earth writer.  You can learn a lot about writing from this memoir.


5)     Please be prepared to check into our Blackboard page at least 3 times a week.


My e-mail address is Mossn@wpunj.edu.  If you have questions or worries let me know.  Otherwise, I will “see” you online on September 1st.

I look forward to working together in a few weeks.


Professor Moss