Course Overview

How much does place play a role in what we write and how we write? This creative writing class will not only touch on some of the key concepts of creative writing, but will also take a look at the creative process more closely. We’ll discuss the work of some seminal New York writers to see how they’ve used place as inspiration. We’ll read fiction, poetry and non-fiction from Langston Hughes, Joan Didion, Patti Smith and more.

Taking New York City as a base, we’ll explore the city and work on our observational skills. We’ll talk about whether we can use the things we see every day as inspiration through in-class writing prompts and get to create a writing community of our own by sharing our work with our peers.

“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world,” writes F. Scott Fitzgerald about New York City in The Great Gatbsy. Let this class be a place where we too get to see the city with new eyes again, almost like the first time, as we try to write about it.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn to read like a writer through the practice of in-class readings and discussions.
  • Students will develop a keener editorial eye for their own work that will help them better draft their writing.
  • Students will practice the art of editing through giving feedback to their peers work.
  • Students will be able to look at the world like a writer, observing the minute details of their surroundings, through the class field trips we will take.
  • Students will be able to practice forming a creative community by sharing their work with their peers.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 175

Format: On Location: Fisher Center, NYC (commuter, only)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior or senior status. Students must be able to commute to and from the Fisher Center location for class. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Commuter, only: $1,895

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Location: Experience what college is really like in one of Syracuse University’s homes on the west or east coasts! 

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesLocationClass Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Location2-Week Session:
Monday, July 22 – Friday, Aug. 2, 2024
Fisher Center, New YorkMTWThF;
1 – 4:40 p.m.

Course Requirements


There are no required supplies for this course.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Classes are 3.5 hours plus a 10 minute break in between.

  • 1:00 – 3:00: Go over homework/reading materials with group activities and class discussion
  • 3:00 – 3:10: Break
  • 3:10 – 4:40-ish: in-class writing activities and sharing of writing

Faculty Bios

Zeynep Özakat

Zeynop Özakat was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, where she won the Fiction Open Contest, in Black Warrior Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Gulf Coast Online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, where she received The Shirley Jackson Prize in Fiction, The Leonard Brown Prize in Poetry, and a Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work. She has received scholarships and support from The Disquiet Conference in Lisbon, The Bread Loaf Environmental Writing Conference, The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was a 2021-2022 Writing Fellow. She has taught creative writing at Syracuse University, Catapult, Writing Workshops and The Center for Fiction in New York.

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