BA in English: Textual Practices Courses

The Hawai‘i Pacific University English Program believes that all graduates, whether their professional goals are primarily in textual production, such as writing, publishing, or writing instruction, or in textual analysis, such as interpreting or evaluating texts or teaching textual criticism, need to have completed an introduction to the practices of textual production in a variety of writing communities. In textual practices courses students participate as member of a specific writing community and come to understand the community’s professional goals and values, approaches to the writing process, genres and formal conventions for constructing texts, aesthetic standards and methods for evaluating texts, venues and lexicon for sharing and discussing texts,  mechanisms for editing texts, and processes of publication, production, or dissemination of texts.

Students must take two upper-division textual practices courses as part of the requirements for the BA degree. It is possible to use additional practices courses toward the major electives. Students may also want to consider earning a writing minor, which requires that four of the courses applied to the minor not also be counted toward the major.    

Use the course search feature to see if a course is currently scheduled.  Scroll down or click "More" after each course for some more detailed descriptions of the courses as taught by individual professors in past semesters.



Poetry Workshop More



Childhood and Poetry Workshop More

WRI 3313 The Sacred and Erotic in Lyric Poetry More



Scriptwriting  More



Fiction Writing  More



Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop More



Wanderlust: Student Literary Magazine More



Composition Studies  More 



Professions in Writing Practicum More



Non-paid Internship 



Paid Internship

WRI 3951 HPR Staff Reader   More
WRI 3953 HPR Managing Editor



Professional Writing Portfolio Seminar More  

Creative Writing Courses

New course at the 2000 level: WRI 2601 Introduction to Creative Writing as taught by Mr. Tyler McMahon  

In this course students will analyze and practice fundamental techniques of the major genres of creative writing. No previous writing experience is necessary. We will start with exercises and discussion of published writing. This course is excellent preparation for upper-division courses in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scriptwriting. For each genre covered students will be expected to produce a draft of original work to be reviewed by the rest of the class. Students will address the feedback of their peers and produce a finished manuscript in one of the genres. 

Poetry Courses

WRI 3310:  Poetry Writing Workshop as taught by Ms. Adele NeJame  

This course provides an introduction to the study and composition of poetry in a workshop setting. The only way to learn how to write poetry is to read it constantly. We will, therefore, devote a good deal of class time to reading and explicating poetry by contemporary European, American and Latin American poets, and students will read and write a review of a contemporary book of poems. Our purpose in this class is to exercise our “writing muscles,” to work hard writing a poem a week in response to poetic exercises. In addition, our goal is to realize the poem, to take it from an exercise to a work of art--one that matches our conception of the work. Poems will be drawn from students' own vision of the world, their own sensibilities, experiences and imagination. Writing assignments may include writing a poem about a family member, a poem about a piece of visual art or a performance, a poem about a certain time of day, or a poem in which you an extend an invitation to someone to join you in love, mischief, travel etc. 

One unique feature of the course is that students not only work toward creating a portfolio in which all their poems written for the course are collected, but also toward a reading of their work for an audience of classmates, family and friends.  You’ll work all semester revising poems you write for the class with the knowledge that you will choose at least two poems to read at our end of the semester poetry celebration. The reading is a great confidence builder that adds a sense of excitement and accomplishment for the students.  The course is open to beginners as well as those who are already writing poetry.  

WRI 3313 The Sacred and Erotic in Lyric Poetry as taught by Ms. Adele NeJame 

This is an upper-division poetry writing workshop that will blend creative writing with an investigation of a variety of selected sacred and erotic texts, both ancient and modern from around the world. Among the readings are Hebrew love poetry, The Song of Songs from the Bible; the Greek poet Saphho; Persian Sufi poet Rumi; a German poet, Rilke; American poets Walt Whitman, Robert Hass, Diane Ackerman; American Chinese poet Li-Young Lee; and  Romanian writers Nina Cassian and E.M. Cioran.  Students will work seminar fashion reviewing the readings and leading discussions. Also, students will write 6-8 poems for  workshop consideration. A final essay of analysis and synthesis is required and will serve as the final examination. 

WRI 3311 Childhood and Poetry as taught by Dr. Patrice Wilson  

This course is a poetry workshop in which students will develop a portfolio of about 25 poems on the subjects of childhood and identity. Students will become familiar with poetry writing techniques and how to teach them, the role of childhood in literature as a subject and theme, and a number of well-known poets. Students will keep a journal of their recollections from childhood, and other thoughts and observations, that will help them write poetry on the course subjects. Students will also read about the role of childhood in literature, from Romanticism to Postmodernism, in essays from one of our texts. Students will produce two poems a week, and a portfolio at midterm and at the end of the course. By the end of the course, students will have written a chapbook of their own poetry, possibly for publication. Students will also take with them a method for teaching poetry classes in the future.

Other Creative Writing Workshop Courses

WRI 3320 Scriptwriting as taught by Dr. Mark Tjarks

“Scriptwriting” teaches students the fundamental principles of writing drama for the stage and screen through an introduction to the basics of drama and film theory; learning proper script formats; analyzing texts and viewing scenes from plays and films; and performing a series of exercises in archetypal and Aristotelian plot formulae, scene structure, dialogue, character development, comedy, stage and film conventions, symbol and metaphor. The course culminates in the writing of a short script for the stage or screen that demonstrates a practiced understanding of these elements. Students will write five (5) scene exercises (a theatrical/cinematic scene adapted from a short story, article, or novel, a basic conflict scene, an engaging dialogue scene, a resolving hidden-conflict scene, and a proposal for a feature-length work) to explore aspects of scriptwriting, including characterization, conflict, subtext, comedy, and the conventions and potentiality of each medium. Students will also produce a script report on a script of their choice, focusing on what may be learned about writing scripts from reading the play or screenplay. For the final project, students will write both an 8-15-minute script for the stage or screen and a proposal for a feature-length work including a pitch and a detailed story description.

WRI 3330 Fiction Writing as taught by Mr. Tyler McMahon

This course will introduce students to the techniques of fiction writing and reviewing. Class time will combine discussions of published stories, writing exercises, presentations, and workshops. Students will compose their own original short stories and receive feedback on them from the instructor and fellow student writers.

WRI 3340 Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop as taught by Dr. Kathy Cassity

This course is a creative writing course using a workshop format. The heart of the course will be drafting and revising four pieces (approximately 16-20 pages) of creative nonfiction, a genre popularized by the so-called New Journalists of the 1960s-70s that has exploded in recent years. Each piece will take a different approach; for each, you will develop your own topic and conduct whatever research or fieldwork is necessary. Working in small groups you will workshop your drafts, revising them in response to feedback from peers and from me. You will also analyze the techniques of two professionally written essays and will lead class discussion on one professional essay. You will also keep a reflective writing process journal and contribute to a class “magazine” produced at the end of the semester. You will attend at least one individual conference to talk with me privately about your writing. Finally, you will prepare a portfolio of your best written work, including a reflective essay about what you have learned.

Literary Magazine Editing Courses

WRI 3991: Wanderlust: Student Literary Magazine as taught by Mr. Tyler McMahon  

This course will be a comprehensive study of literary magazines and journals. As a class, students will edit an issue of Wanderlust, the student literary magazine of Hawai’i Pacific University. We will also study the history and impact of literary journals, the role they currently play in the publishing world, and what it is their editors are looking for. Students will be expected to produce their own creative works in the three principal genres published in such journals: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. These works will be workshopped and evaluated within the context of journal submission. The course is recommended for creative writers with aspirations of literary publication.

WRI 3951: HPR Staff Reader 

This is a practicum course in which students will act as the Staff Readers for Hawai‘i Pacific Review, the national and international online literary journal of Hawai‘i Pacific University. The bulk of the work in this course will consist of reading submissions in the principal creative genres published in the journal. Students will communicate with each other, with the Managing Editors of the magazine, and with the Faculty Editor to recommend which submissions will be published in the magazine. Students will also help to solicit submissions, to edit submissions selected for publication, and to publicize the magazine. Staff Readers will be in constant communication with the Editors, and will be expected to participate in editorial meetings several times a semester.  This course is one credit and may be repeated. 

WRI 3953: HPR Managing Editor

In this practicum course two students will act as Managing Editors for Hawai‘i Pacific Review, HPU’s online literary journal. Managing Editors will be responsible for managing the magazine's Staff Readers and their workloads. They will work closely with the Faculty Editor to make final decisions regarding published content and assume administrative responsibilities associated with soliciting submissions, publicity, copy-editing, and securing rights to published work. Managing Editors should expect to meet often with the Faculty Editor and to be in constant communication with the staff; they should expect to plan and convoke several editorial meetings with the entire staff.

Enrollment is by invitation only after an interview process with the Faculty Editor. Prior experience in WRI 3951, WRI 3391 or WRI 3390 (former Literary Magazine class) is preferred. Interested students should inquire with Tyler McMahon a semester in advance.  The course is three credits and may be repeated once.

Other Textual Practices Courses

WRI 3510: Composition Studies as taught by Ms. Angela Gili 

Writing 3510 is an introduction to the theory and practice of teaching writing. In this class, students will investigate the issues of teaching writing while they gain practical experience as tutors in writing labs. Students will learn strategies for tutoring writers through the writing process--prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing--and will work with a small group of freshman writers over the course of the semester. The class gives all students the opportunity to reflect upon and improve their own writing practices and is especially productive for those who want to teach in the future. Students will also be paid for the time in the labs. Students who are interested in taking Writing 3510 or who want more information about the class can contact Angela Gili at 544-0297. Only students who have completed WRI 1200 and who qualify after being screened by Ms. Gili may enroll. The course meets Fridays from 8:35-10:45 and students work in the labs on Monday and Wednesday mornings. The course can be used to meet the service learning option for the Upper Division Citizenship requirement for general education.

WRI 3950 Professions in Writing Practicum as taught by Dr. Houston Wood  

WRI 3950 introduces students to the central though changing role that writing plays in contemporary society. Students explore real-world writing practices at assigned off-campus  professional or nonprofit sites, and also work at improving their own composing, revising, and editing skills. A useful class for students in every major, WRI 3950 is recommended for students completing HPU's writing minor. 

WRI 4990 Professional Writing Portfolio Seminar as taught by Ms. Christy Williams  

The capstone course for the Writing Minor, WRI 4990 is designed to serve students with a range of experiences in a variety of academic disciplines. Students will develop an understanding of the discourse within which their academic or professional writing is being interpreted and evaluated, and will synthesize a collection of writing into a coherent, compelling portfolio that they may successfully carry forward to their professional or graduate school careers.