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FICT 72 W — Fiction Writing: From Imitation to Inspiration

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 9
Refund Deadline: Apr 6
Units: 3
Tuition: $955
Instructor(s): Angela Pneuman
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 3—Jun 9
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 6
3 Units
Angela Pneuman
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
According to Oscar Wilde (and a few others since him), “Good writers borrow, great writers steal.” In this spirit, we should all be encouraged to study and try out the approaches of authors we admire as we add to the “toolbox” of our craft. When we experiment with another author’s style, we end up with an interesting mix of their influence and our own sensibility, and this expands the ways we tackle our own fiction projects. Each week, we’ll look carefully at brief samples from one fiction writer to identify key elements of their style, including the use of language, dramatic tension, organizational structure, humor, dialogue, and more. Then, through weekly creative exercises and free writes, we’ll try out the approaches of each author up for discussion—including Samantha Harvey, Lorrie Moore, Julie Otsuka, Tommy Orange, and more. The course also includes workshopping. Each writer will be able to submit a selection of their own fiction—either a short story or part of a novel—for peer and instructor feedback. This class is suitable for any fiction writer eager to take a deep dive into studying the styles of well-known authors with an eye to enhancing their own work.

Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; MFA Instructor, Sarah Lawrence College; Executive Director, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference

Angela Pneuman is the author of the novel Lay It on My Heart and the short story collection Home Remedies. Her fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Glimmer Train, The Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, and she is a contributor to Salon, The Believer, and The Rumpus. She received a PhD in English from SUNY Albany.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.