MFA Writing and Producing for Television

LIU’s acclaimed TV Writers Studio (TVWS) is a one-of-a-kind writing practicum. Pure and simple, the goal of the TVWS is to educate and to develop highly skilled, experienced professionals with strong portfolios who will be prepared to begin careers in the television industry as writer/producer/entrepreneurs.

Each year, the TVWS has two cohorts running side-by-side: one in its first year, the other in its second and final year. The students invited to participate in the TVWS become part of an intensive, two year curriculum of study during which they function collaboratively like the staff of an ongoing television series; and independently, as writer/creators of their own TV series pilot and web series.

Upon completing the 48 credit program, each student will graduate with an M.F.A in Writing and Producing for Television which. Classes are held at the state-of-the-art Steiner Studios, a 305,000-square-foot Hollywood-style production and support facility in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Visit tvwritersstudio.com for more information.

Program Curriculum

Course # Course Name Credits
Semester One
WPT 610 Writing and Development - The Television Series 6.00
WPT 611 The History of Television 3.00
Semester Two
WPT 620 Television Series & Programs - Writing And Pre-Production 6.00
WPT 622 New Media: An Introduction 3.00
WPT 698 Individual Episode Writing 3.00 
WPT 699 Internship 0.00
WPT 612 The Writers Table (Writers Intensive)  3.00
Semester Three
WPT 630 Television Series & Programs - Writing and Production  6.00 
WPT 631 Single Camera Film - Style Video Production 3.00 
Semester Four
WPT 642 Post Production 3.00
WPT 643 Intellectual Property and Cutting The Deal 3.00
WPT 621 Genre Theory and Writing the Pilot 3.00
WPT 700 Capstone Course 3.00
WPT 632 Location Production Course  3.00


Credit Requirements
Total Credits 48


Courses

Process and Technique Courses

WRI 502: POLK Professional Series (Required; 3 credits, bi-weekly throughout the year)

In this course, students will help plan, organize, promote, conduct interviews and create a podcast for a lively discussion series with Communications professionals in journalism, film and television, radio, publishing, as well as novelists, poets and nonfiction writers. Students will volunteer for and be assigned various roles in the process of creating the series. The first semester’s roster of guests will be chosen by the faculty of the MFA in Writing. The second semester’s roster will be chosen by the enrolled students.

WRI 503: Theory of Writing and Craft Criticism (Required; 3 Credits)

The Theory of Writing and Craft Criticism courses introduces MFA students to critical and literary theory, and prepare students to complete the critical portion of their MFA thesis. Through this course, students will learn how to situate their writing within a larger, global field of literary theory and intellectual thought, and will have the opportunity to produce essays on craft criticism, in which they analyze and advocate for craft techniques that further strengthen the texts they are studying as well as their own work.

WRI 504: History of Genre(s) (Required; 3 Credits)

(3 credits, repeatable up to 3 times)

This course will introduce students to the history of a particular form (narrative fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama or translation). As well as overlaps between genres, such as “autofiction.” Depending on the cohort of students in a particular semester, as well as the expertise of the instructor, students will read and discuss historical to contemporary works of literature in a particular genre or genres. The survey can be historical, thematic, or a combination, but is expected to cover at least a quarter of assigned readings that date back centuries if not millennia. Students in the major are required to take at least one history of the genre course but may repeat the course in a different genre, up to three times.

WRI 535: Literary Forms from World Literature (Required; 3 Credits)

In contemporary American creative writing, theatre, and screenwriting classes, the literary structures and forms most centered are derived from the Western literary canon. However, in Literary Forms from World Literature, students will study and learn about literary forms, structures, aesthetic theories, intellectual traditions, and storytelling techniques from a variety of world literatures and ethnic American literatures. Thus, through this class, students will diversify and strengthen their craft knowledge and technique, and will gain access to storytelling structures, forms, and aesthetic traditions far beyond the Anglo-American canon.

WRI 530: Preparing for Publication (Elective; 3 Credits)

In Preparing for Publication, students learn first-hand what the process of preparing their work for an audience will look like. Students will learn editing techniques from faculty and visiting writers and editors, and will engage in the process of submitting work to literary journals, for prizes and publication, and preparing work for new media outlets.


Writing Workshops

WRI 520, 523, 524, 525, 526: Genre-Specific Workshops (i.e. in Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Playwriting, Screenwriting)

WRI 520: Nonfiction Writing Workshop
WRI 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
WRI 524: Poetry Writing Workshop
WRI 525: Playwriting Workshop
WRI 526: Screenwriting Workshop

WRI 531: Translation Workshop (Elective; 3 Credits; Required for students pursuing a Translation Certificate)

In the Translation Workshop, MFA students will acquire the professional and practical skills necessary to access, interpret, and translate texts. The course will also examine issues informing contemporary translation practice. Students will have the opportunity to study translation theory, dialogue with professional translators, writers, and academics within the field, and practice their own translations. Classroom exercises may focus on direct translations, interpretations, and mis/translations of texts. Knowledge of a secondary language is welcome, but not necessary.

WRI 528. Crossing Genres Workshop (Required; 3 credits)

An intensive workshop devoted to different strategies for writing imaginative texts, especially those that cross genres. This workshop is open to poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, playwrights, and hybrid writers. Throughout the class, students will be learning the craft tools and structures of multiple genres by critiquing work produced by their peers in these genres. Students are also welcome to submit work in more than one genre for review. And hybrid writers, who are actively blurring the boundaries between genres, are welcome to take this course as well.

WRI 529: Publishing and Media Workshop (Required; 1-3 credits)

In the Publishing and Media Workshop, MFA students study directly with writers, editors, agents, and publishing and media industry professionals in semester-long and shorter, intensive classes. Classes will focus on publishing, media, and industry-focused coursework.

WRI 527: Revision Workshop (Required; 3 credits)

In Revision Workshop, students work closely with faculty to develop the techniques to read and revise their work from the point of view of an editor. In this course, students engage with revision exercises, learn about revision techniques from their instructor and visiting writers and editors, and have the opportunity to present their revision process and revised work in class for review and workshop.


Practica

A selection of these courses will be offered each semester, and students should take at least two Practica courses during their MFA.

WRI 705: Internship and Independent Study (Elective; 1-3 credits)

Situated in the heart of Brooklyn, the MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing program offers students a variety of opportunities to conduct internships directly within New York’s literary and publishing world. In our Internship and Independent Study course, students will have a the opportunity to explore internships in which they work directly with industry professionals, pursue work-study options within academia, and learn about teaching opportunities. And for those students seeking to do a semester’s worth of independent research on their current manuscripts and writing projects, the Independent Study portion of this class will allow students to work closely with a faculty mentor, develop reading lists, and delve deeper into independent research that will help strengthen their writing and work.

WRI 519: Literary Arts Practicum (Required; 3 credits/semester; 2 semesters required)

In the Literary Arts Practicum, students will gain hands-on experience on what it is like to run a literary magazine and/or a literary arts organization. Students will gain experience in literary arts programming, editorial experience, curricula development, teaching, student mentorship, publicity, promotion, and budget management.

WRI 521: Writing in Place (Elective; 1-3 Credits)

This course explores the terrain formerly covered by the term “travel writing,” but with the recognition that notions of travel writing have necessarily changed in the 21st century. Questions explored in this course include what are the implications of looking and visiting another place, what it means to be seen? How does privilege factor into writing about place and what are the dynamics of insiders versus outsiders. Students will regularly write place-based essays and exercises and will read model essays by contemporary and classic place-focused writers. This course may be offered as a study abroad option.

WRI 522: Food Writing (Elective; 1-3 Credits)

In Food Writing, students will gain hands-on experience on featuring writing for culinary journals and what it takes to develop collaborative cookbooks, memoirs, and hybrid texts on food writing for publication. Students will have the opportunity to collaborative with local chefs and photographers, engage in recipe testing, and develop food writing for publication. This course may be offered as a study abroad option.


Thesis

WRI 708: Thesis (Required; 3 Credits)

The thesis for the MFA will take the form of a portfolio of creative work with an additional critical component. Students work with two thesis advisers, a director and a reader. Length and word count to be determined by thesis director and student in consultation with Program director(s).

Prerequisites: At least 18 credits in graduate Polk Writing courses completed
and permission of the thesis director and the Program Director(s).
Student must be matriculated in the MFA program in order to register for this course. 3 Credits. On Demand.


Study Abroad

The study abroad option is open to MFA students, undergraduates, and other non-matriculating writers interested in studying creative writing abroad. Students may complete another concurrent course (such as Writing in Place, Food Writing, or Translation Workshop as offered) during the Overseas Writers Workshop for additional credits.

WRI 536: Overseas Writers Workshop (Elective; 1 Credit)

The Overseas Writing Workshop will take place during the Winter term or in the Summer and will bring students to locales around the world to meet and learn from international writers and publishers. Students will immerse themselves beforehand in the literature of the locale to be visited.


Additional Course Offerings

WRI 700: Pedagogy for Creative Writers (Elective; 1-3 Credits)

Students who are Teaching Assistants and/or teaching through the Literary Arts Practicum are recommended to take this course. This course prepares students to teach writing by examining theoretical and practical dimensions of the teaching of writing. The course may focus on teaching composition or creative writing at the college level. Topics include constructing course syllabi, integrating reading and writing assignments, running classroom workshops, promoting process writing, responding to student work, using multimodal instruction, considering the linguistic needs and abilities of a multicultural student population.

Remote Learning:

Students who are unable to attend in person for a semester or for the entirety of their enrollment may opt to take the program virtually via Zoom or another videoconference platform. Students will still be required to attend all required courses and events. Non-MFA students who are earning the Certificates outlined below can also opt for a remote learning option.


Certificate in Manuscript Preparation

Students who have already earned an MFA degree or who have satisfied the 36-credit requirement for the MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing are welcome to take the Certificate in Manuscript Preparation. The 15-credit coursework will be decided upon in consultation with the Directors of the MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing program. Possible classes might include the following:

WRI 527: Revision Workshop (3 credits)

In Revision Workshop, students work closely with faculty to develop the techniques to read and revise their work from the point of view of an editor. In this course, students engage with revision exercises, learn about revision techniques from their instructor and visiting writers and editors, and have the opportunity to present their revision process and revised work in class for review and workshop.

WRI 530: Preparing for Publication (3 Credits)

In Preparing for Publication, students learn first-hand what the process of preparing their work for an audience will look like. Students will learn editing techniques from faculty and visiting writers and editors, and will engage in the process of submitting work to literary journals, for prizes and publication, and preparing work for new media outlets.

WRI 529: Publishing and Media Workshop (1-3 credits; Repeatable)

In the Publishing and Media Workshop, MFA students study directly with writers, editors, agents, and publishing and media industry professionals in semester-long and shorter, intensive classes. Classes will focus on publishing, media, adaptation, audiobooks, and industry-focused coursework. Students will also have hands-on experience in book and event promotion.

WRI 705: Internship and Independent Study (1-3 credits)

Situated in the heart of Brooklyn, the MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing program offers students a variety of opportunities to conduct internships directly within New York’s literary and publishing world. In our Internship and Independent Study course, students will have a the opportunity to explore internships in which they work directly with industry professionals, pursue work-study options within academia, and learn about teaching opportunities. And for those students seeking to do a semester’s worth of independent research on their current manuscripts and writing projects, the Independent Study portion of this class will allow students to work closely with a faculty mentor, develop reading lists, and delve deeper into independent research that will help strengthen their writing and work.

WRI 519: Literary Arts Practicum (3 credits/semester; 1 semester required)

In the Literary Arts Practicum, students will gain hands-on experience on what it is like to run a literary magazine and/or a literary arts organization. Students will gain experience in literary arts programming, editorial experience, curricula development, teaching, student mentorship, publicity, promotion, and budget management.


Certificate in Translation

In order to earn a Certificate in Translation, MFA students would have to complete the following courses during their studies. Non-MFA students can also apply to earn a Certificate in Translation from LIU Brooklyn.

WRI 531: Translation Workshop (Elective; Required for students pursuing a Translation Certificate; 3 credits)

In the Translation Workshop, MFA students will acquire the professional and practical skills necessary to access, interpret, and translate texts. The course will also examine issues informing contemporary translation practice. Students will have the opportunity to study translation theory, dialogue with professional translators, writers, and academics within the field, and practice their own translations. Classroom exercises may focus on direct translations, interpretations, and mis/translations of texts. Knowledge of a secondary language is welcome, but not necessary.

WRI 532: Translation Theory and Methodology (Elective; 3 credits)

The course will provide an overview of global translation theories and methodologies from classical times to the present with an eye toward their incorporation into practice. Translation history presenting a diversity of perspectives will supply the underpinnings of “acceptable” strategies that, over centuries, have come to inform contemporary praxis.

WRI 533: Independent Study in Literary Translation (Elective; 3 credits)

The course will focus on the specific issues and techniques related to the translation of prose, poetic, and dramatic texts. Intense practice in the translation of these genres (and their hybrid forms) will emphasize the production of literary texts in accordance with target-language and -culture norms. The course may be tailored to meet student interests and/or needs.

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