Tyler Francis Scowcroft
Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story.
ENGL 284 will offer an incredibly rigorous interrogation of the craft behind the creation short fiction. This section, in particular, is centered on the notion of brevity. Repeatedly employing brevity and concision will help students practice the various techniques necessary to understand the crafting of successful fiction, while also forcing them to sharpen their prose at the sentence level. In addition, students will conduct an intense exploration of existing works of short fiction, for one cannot hope to be a good writer without being a good reader. The selection of short stories will be quite diverse, ranging from the contemporary to the canonical, from the brief to the not-so brief. Each story will serve to model the expressive power of short fiction as an artistic gesture. There is very little room to hide in works of only 500-1000 words. Mistakes are, indeed, amplified but the reward for such exposure is a more complete idea of what it means to be a fiction writer. While not for the faint of heart, the course will ultimately prepare students "to learn how to learn how to write" short fiction and hopefully prepare them to succeed in higher level creative writing courses at the college level.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Discussions Lectures Workshops
Class assignments and grading
The course assignments are as follows*:
Students will be required to: Read ~5 short stories per week and prepare to discuss them in class. Write a ~2 page (single space) reading response per week. Write a 500-1000 word writing exercise every week and prepare to have them workshopped on a rotating basis.
The Final Portfolio will consist of: 5 Best Reading Responses (revision optional) 5 Best Writing Exercises (revise 3) 1 6-10 page (double spaced) Short Story
*Subject to Change
Final Portfolio: 50% Writing: 30% Participation: 20%
*subject to change