Program Dates, Times & Details

Session Dates

Session I: July 6 – 31, 2020
Duration: 4 weeks
Live (Synchronous) Session Times: Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8 p.m. EST
Cost: $344
Course Number: 72735

Dates & Deadlines  Registration Information

Course Description:

“All day, one room: me, and the cherubim with their wet kisses. Without quarantines, who knew what was happening at home?” writes Ellen Bryant Voigt about the 1918 influenza pandemic, in her book of sonnets titled Kyrie.

Now, in 2020, as we move through another pandemic, whose accounts will be recorded as a part of our human history? This is a creative writing course intended as an introduction to the art of storytelling. Writing is the tool we use to communicate not only in the present, but also with the future. As we collectively live through this major world event, do you feel the need to record what’s happening or want to imagine what’s next? In this class, we will aim to refine our writing skills in order try and convey our experiences into a cohesive narrative form. Through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning, and in-class online workshops, we will develop our skills as writers and storytellers.

In this four-week course we will read poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction written in response to previous pandemics and other major world events, and discuss the ways in which they create their narrative. While reading, we will focus on the craft and skills needed to write effectively in each genre (e.g. narration, significant detail, lyricism, image, metaphor, simile, voice, tone, structure, dialogue, and characterization). This is a writing heavy course where we will produce creative work in each genre.

Program & Technology Requirements

Required Technology

  • Reliable internet access
  • Minimally, a laptop with webcam and audio. (Best would be a monitor connected to laptop or desktop)


Zeynep Ozakat

Zeynep Özakat was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and earned her bachelors’s degree in narrating the self and character building in fiction from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is currently earning her MFA degree in creative writing from Syracuse University where she received the Shirley Jackson Prize in fiction. Özakat’s work has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories (where she won the Fiction Open Contest), the Black Warrior Review, and Gulf Coast Online.