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Writing Program



Why write? 

We write because we are excited by the freedom of it – our words, our voices, our selves. We write to move and be moved; we write about and through, but most importantly, we write art.  

Writing stories, novels, scripts, plays, poems, biographies, art reviews, memoirs, essays and blogs are ways to discover who we are, what truly moves us and to communicate our discoveries to others.

A complement to all art forms, writing offers many opportunities for expression – word and image share a long, rich history. Visual artists train to develop a visual language, and much of visual work is developed in dialogue with written language, through advertising and design contracts, storyboards, film and photo shoot scripts, short or extended narrative essays or your own blog and website. Writing and art are natural companions that inform each other brilliantly.

As SVA students, you have the opportunity to explore both. Our writing concentration can be a valuable addition to your art studies, expanding your creative skills in fresh, unexpected directions.

The Writing Program is designed for the student who has a passion for writing or who just wants to explore. You may begin the Program in the second semester of your first year when you choose to substitute a critical writing course (HWD-2000 through HWD-2999) for HCD-1025, Writing and Literature II.

Or, you may discover writing as an art form when a course in poetry, storytelling or writing about your own art excites you, offering an opportunity to explore the word and its interplay with the visual arts.

Our faculty, all professional writers, recognize that writing is a calling and a challenge. It is our mission to enable students to develop their talent, hone their craft and to take the plunge into exploring alternative modes of creative expression: language as a creative tool.

The Writing Program embraces both creative and critical writing and invites you to mix and match. The critical writing courses embed writing in specific topics, ranging from popular culture to digital media, from exploring Ireland to writing about art. Our creative writing courses include journal writing, storytelling, writing for multimedia performance as well as experimental courses that give you a real writing workout: process is all!  We are also pleased to share two unique courses about visuality in poetry with the Visual and Critical Studies program.

These writing courses are open to all SVA students, whether or not you wish to commit yourself to the Writing Program. All writing courses (HWD prefix) are Humanities and Sciences electives. If you decide not to pursue the concentration to the final creative statement – that of making a portfolio of your work – the courses will still help fulfill the required number of elective Humanities and Sciences credits.

The Writing Program is a 15credit non-degree concentration, nestled within the requirements of the Humanities and Sciences department. In the Writing Program, students choose critical or creative writing courses culminating in the creation of a writer’s portfolio.

After taking HCD-1020, Writing and Literature I, and passing the Proficiency Exam, second semester students may begin their course of study in the Writing Program by taking any of the critical writing courses (courses numbered HWD-2000 through HWD-2999) instead of HCD-1025, Writing and Literature II. Students may take a critical writing class in their second year as well, or at any time before they take the Portfolio, HWD-3990.

15 Credit Writing Program:

  • First year, second semester: substitute one critical writing course (courses numbered HWD-2000 through HWD-2099) for HCD-1025, Writing and Literature II. This completes your critical writing requirement.  Note: If you do not substitute a critical writing course for HCD-1025, you must still take one critical writing course before you take HWD-3990, Portfolio. [3 credits]
  • Second year: two HWD courses, critical or creative [6 credits]
  • Third year: one HWD course, critical or creative, and HWD-3990, Writing Portfolio [6 credits]

Required courses: There are two required courses in the program:  one critical writing course (HWD-2000 - HWD-2999) and HWD-3990, Portfolio.

Exemption: Upon successful completion of the Writing Program, students will have fulfilled the Humanities Distribution Requirement (HDR) in Literature.

To view student work, visit the H&S department’s e-zine, The Match Factory edited by Writing Program faculty member, Edwin Rivera and pick up a copy of WORDS, the H&S literary print magazine, edited by faculty member, Louis Phillips.

COURSES for 2016-2017

Critical Writing Courses:

HWD-2000  Writing About Art  (Thursdays, 12:00-2:50,  fall semester, instructor: E. Rivera)

HWD-2000  Writing About Art  (Fridays, 12:00-2:50, spring semester, instructor: E. Rivera)                                                     

HWD-2103  Everybody’s a Critic: Writing About Pop Culture  (Thursdays, 12:00-2:50, spring semester, instructor: B. Altman)

HWD-2254  Land of Saints and Sinners: Writing Through Ireland (Wednesdays, 9:00-11:50, spring semester, instructor: A. Armstrong)

HWD-2268 The Power and the Pity: Brutal Tales From Latin America (Tuesdays, 3:00-5:35 spring semester, instructor: E. Rivera)

HWD-2271  Images, Writing and Criticism (Tuesdays, 3:00-5:35, spring semester, instructor: R. Leslie)

HWD-2323 Why Comics Rule! (Thursdays, 9:00-11:50, spring semester, instructor: T. Hodler)

HWD-2354 The Digital Experience (Wednesdays, 6:00-8:50, spring semester, instructor: N. Schiff)


Creative Writing Courses:

HWD-3001  Experimental Writing I (Wednesdays, 12:00-2:50, fall semester, instructor: R. Weinreich) (formerly HWD-2501)

HWD-3002  Experimental Writing II (Wednesdays, 12:00-2:50, spring semester, instructor: R. Weinreich) (formerly HWD-2502)

HWD-3014  Storytelling and Narrative Art (Thursdays, 9:00-11:50, fall semester, instructor: M. Grisanti) (formerly HWD-2516)

HWD-3016  Immersive Storytelling (Thursdays, 9:00-11:50, spring semester, instructor: M. Grisanti)

HWD-3111  Creative Non-Fiction (Thursdays, 12:00-2:50, spring semester, instructor; R. Weinreich) (formerly HWD-2523)

HWD-3119  The Creative Self:  Autobiography (Tuesdays, 12:00-2:50, fall semester, instructor: G. MacKenzie) (formerly HWD-2534)

HWD-3223  Artists Write the Fantastic (Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50 fall semester, instructor: C. Stine)

HWD-3236  The Art of Words  (Tuesdays, 12:00-2:50, spring semester, instructor: G. MacKenzie) (formerly HWD-2546)

HWD-3244  Journals: Yours and Theirs (Thursdays, 3:00-5:50, fall semester, instructor: A. Rower) (formerly HWD-2567)    

HWD-3245  Art of the Journal/Journal as Art (Thursdays, 3:00-5:50, spring semester, instructor: A. Rower) (formerly HWD-2568)

HWD-3256 Scripts: Words in Action (Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50, spring semester, instructor: S. Mosakowski)

HWD-3261  Visuality in Poetry (Mondays, 6:00-8:50, fall semester, instructor: G. Donovan)

HWD-3262  Visual Poetics (Thursdays, 6:00-8:50, spring semester, instructor: T. Donovan)

HWD-3552  Writing, Multimedia and Performance (Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50 fall semester, instructor: D. Singer) (formerly HWD-2571)

HWD-3900  Writing Portfolio


If you are interested in the Writing Program or would like more information, please contact Dr. Maryhelen Hendricks [email protected]

To View Student Work

please click on the name

Nicoletti Piscitelli

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587