Writing for Writing's Sake: Ireland
Travel Dates: April 26 - May 11
Instructors: Martha Gehringer and Meg Upchurch
Number of Students Enrolled: 22
Location: Ireland

A residency at the Burren College of Art will provide students with the space and time for reflection and for writing. Students will have a month to commit to a preconceived writing project or simply to explore a range of writing possibilities

Description | Course Requirements | The Burren | The Journal

Course Requirements

What follows are the specific requirements for completion of the course. Please take note of the point value allotted to each component of the course.

READINGS: There is one text for the class, an anthology of writings by Irish writers, An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama (First Edition), Syracuse University Press. You will be assigned material to read and to respond to both in writing and in discussion. Beginning on the flight to Ireland, you will be given reading assignments. Expect to engage with them as writers, learning from observation and using what you read as models for your own work.

WRITING: (60%) You will be writing alone and in community. Expect to spend the two hours of organized class time (exceptions, of course, for travel days) writing from prompts, sharing what you write, and discussing issues raised by the authors whose work you are assigned to read. In addition to the time spent together in class, expect to devote an additional hour or two each day, following through on material generated earlier in the day or pursuing an independent line of writing.

The final portfolio: At the end of the term, you will hand in the following:

  • A short essay on writing for writing’s sake (10/60%)
  • Approximately 10 pages of revised and polished work which originated in the group writing sessions or from an independent line of writing (30/60%)
  • A brief critical response to the work of an Irish writer (your choice) in whom you became interested during your stay in Ireland. Included in this review should be a descriptive summary of the writer’s work and a response to at least a small excerpt of that work. Your review should include consideration of the ways in which your travel experience illuminated the work and vice versa. Prepare to share information about the writer’s life and work in a brief oral presentation. (20/60%)

Format for submission of written work: double-spaced, typewritten, original, thoughtful, and carefully presented.

PARTICIPATION: (40%) Citizenship is an important component of the course. A portion of the participation grade will be awarded for active involvement and for good faith and good attitude in meeting all course obligations. This, of course, includes observing behavior guidelines discussed at the outset of the course, attending all required excursions, maintaining a constructive outlook, cooperating with other students and faculty, and being flexible and helpful. Note: For serious behavioral transgressions, you will receive one warning; thereafter, you will be asked to arrange for transportation home.

ATTENDANCE AND DUE DATES: Attendance is mandatory. Absences are excused only in case of serious illness and documentation from a physician is required. Penalty for absence from class is 5 points each, to be subtracted from the Participation grade. We do not accept late assignments--no exceptions.