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Course Components

Kidd Tutorial sections meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 – 3:50 p.m. (all three terms).

  • Workshops: Students are encouraged and challenged in their writing all year long. Although the Kidd Tutorial is not solely a workshop course, workshops are a component throughout the program. Students generate new work in all three genres (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction)—both assigned and self-directed—and, of course, respond to their peers’ writing.
  • Reading: Reading critically as a writer is an essential life-long skill for all writers. Just as a musician studies other musicians and visual artists study other visual artists, writers examine how authors have put together a story, poem, or essay; what craft choices they have made; and why they made those choices and to what effect. Students in the Kidd Tutorial Program read widely and deeply throughout the year from core texts (as well as from texts their tutor may assign) and respond, both through reading logs and class discussion, with a rigorous and analytical mind.
  • Inquiry and Research: The process of inquiry—a close examination of a matter in a search for information and truth—is a cornerstone of the Kidd Tutorial. Asking questions, analyzing, probing, digging deeper into texts both published and self-generated is how writers identify and clarify issues (both thematic and craft-driven) at stake in their own work; this is what Kidd Tutorial students do throughout the year. Students submit a proposal in the fall that describes their concerns, creative preoccupations, and the readings they will study to extend and investigate those concerns. Winter term focuses on reading and research for an extensive annotated bibliography. In the Spring, students present their findings to their peers and write a 15–20 page “Summary of Findings” paper that is both scholarly and craft-driven.
  • Student Anthology: In spring term, all Kidd Tutorial students contribute a selection of their work to the Kidd Anthology, which they also help to edit.
  • Final Creative Project: Completion of the Kidd Tutorial culminates in a significant body of work, the equivalent of an undergraduate thesis, consisting of 15–20 poems, 3–4 short stories, a novella, or, on occasion, essays in creative nonfiction. Many Kidd Tutorial students go on to take Advanced Workshops in their genre with Creative Writing faculty, often in preparation to apply for graduate study.
  • Kidd Talks and Visiting Writers: Kidd Tutorial students attend all the evening readings, and are encouraged to have books signed, by our visiting writers who come to campus as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series. In addition, visiting writers, writers from the University of Oregon, and Willamette Valley area writers are invited to give 50-minute talks to all the Kidd students in an intimate setting. The Kidd Talks vary from lectures about craft elements, to discussions about the authors’ work (students are assigned work by authors prior to the talks), and Q & A. Previous Kidd Tutorial students have frequently named the Kidd Talks as one of the highlights of their time in our Program.
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