fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Creative Writing

FICT 43 WB — Getting It Down: Crafting the Short Story

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 9
Drop Deadline: Oct 4
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $850
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: There will be no class the week of Thanksgiving.

Sep 26—Dec 9
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 4
3 Units
Please Note: There will be no class the week of Thanksgiving.

Do your story ideas flee the moment you put pen to paper? Does your inspiration desert you at the sight of the blinking cursor? This course is designed to help writers of all levels learn strategies for that most basic element of writing: getting words on the page. We will explore ways to move beyond the urgency of inspiration to crafting a complete and compelling short story. For the first few weeks, we will focus on making beginnings approachable and on forming a writing habit. Then we will look at how to use perspective, setting, character, and plot as lenses through which to see your ideas anew and as sources of momentum that can push you past page one. We will read an anthology—the Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction—as well as essays by various writers on their practices and processes. During the second half of the quarter, we will develop our ideas into short stories and workshop them to learn whether our stories are achieving what we intended and how we can bring our next draft even closer to our original inspiration.

Although the time commitment for this course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to participate at a substantial level.

This course covers the same content as FICT 43 W, section A.

Lydia Fitzpatrick, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Lydia Fitzpatrick’s work has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2016, The Best American Mystery Stories, One Story, Glimmer Train, and Mid-American Review. She received the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and a 2012 Elizabeth George Foundation grant. She has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received an MFA from the University of Michigan as well as a Hopwood Award and a Colby Fellowship.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lex Williford & Michael Martone, eds., Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction (ISBN 9781416532279)
(Required) Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird (ISBN 9780385480017)