Rebecca S. Brown
Intensive study of the modes and means of composing creative, non-fictional prose.
This is a writing and reading course that explores recent forms of innovative prose writing. We will read published texts and write our own original narratives, stories, memoirs, lyric essays, prose poems, hybrid texts, cross genre things and other weird formally inspired by what we read and talk about. We will also become familiar with literary terms and ideas such as plot, setting, character, point of view, narrative arc, imagery, simile, metaphor, allegory, etc. Class meetings will include discussion of assigned literary texts, writing exercises, reading aloud, critiquing of student work, small group sessions and group presentations. Students are expected to come to class fully prepared (i.e., having completed all assigned reading and writing before the start of the class period) and to participate actively in class discussion.
Student learning goals
write in a variety of prose fiction forms (tale, monologue, dialogue, short short, collage narrative, memoir, etc.)
revise a piece of writing
describe their own aesthetic
constructively critique another writer's work
make a chapbook
General method of instruction
During most classes we will discuss readings and do writing experiments related to our assigned readings. Some classes will emphasize workshopping or group critique of students’ original work. Students will also work collaboratively in small critique groups and to give oral presentations on assigned readings.
No course prerequisites. Come with a very open mind and a desire to read lots, write lots, work hard and be creative and surprised.
Class assignments and grading
Specific writing assignments will be given orally in class by instructor. Students will write several short creative assignments, two longer ones and an “artist’s statement.” Students will produce a chapbook consisting of revised work as a final project. Each student will also participate in an oral presentation with three or four other students on one of our assigned books.
Grading will be based on class participation and writing assignments.