Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course is an introductory seminar and workshop for beginning fiction
writers. Our principle goal will be to gain a clearer understanding of key
differences between “good writing” and “bad writing,” with particular
emphasis on how people and events are rendered through language.
We’ll begin by working with real-life moments—that is, any striking or
mysterious images and memories you’d be eager to illuminate on the
page. The first half of the semester, then, will focus primarily on memoir.
Gradually we’ll progress toward drafting a longer piece of short fiction.
Along the way, we’ll be reading many examples of both memoir and
short fiction, noting their prose and narrative styles,
their strategies and patterns, their forcefulness or flatness of language.
Each week, you’ll be expected to post an online response of 200-300 words
regarding at least one of these pieces; again, the course is both a workshop and seminar,
so your responses will inform much of our discussion of the reading.
Throughout the semester we’ll be experimenting with a number of writing
exercises, both in and out of class, in addition to the graded written
assignments outlined below.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: