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FICT 70 W — Fiction Workshop: Writing Electric Short Stories

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 23—Dec 6
Drop Deadline: Sep 26
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Ron Nyren
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 23—Dec 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 26
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Ron Nyren
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
About her writing, Alice Munro said, “I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way—what happens to somebody—but I want that ‘what happens’ to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, and strangeness. I want the reader to feel something is astonishing—not the ‘what happens’ but the way everything happens.” In this course, we will discuss strategies for writing short stories that compel readers and transform “what happens” into something electric. We will explore how plot can pressure characters to reveal who they really are and how interruptions, obstacles, and reversals can raise the stakes. Writing exercises will help with creating active, complex characters; choosing the most intriguing point of view for the story; and rendering vivid scenes for readers to inhabit. For guidance, we will study strategies of such short story writers as Alice Munro, Lauren Groff, Jamaica Kincaid, Julie Otsuka, and Grace Paley, among others. Each student will have the opportunity to receive feedback from everyone on a story or novel excerpt up to 5,000 words, opening up a sense of the work’s possibilities for transformation. Students will come away with a toolbox of craft strategies for developing and energizing their stories.

Ron Nyren, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Ron Nyren’s novel The Book of Lost Light is forthcoming in 2020. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Mississippi Review, 100 Word Stories, and elsewhere. He is co-author, with Sarah Stone, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Nyren received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lorrie Moore, Editor, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories (ISBN 978-0547485850)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)