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CW 75 — Lift Off! Draft a Short Story or Essay in Just Four Weeks

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 weeks
Date(s): May 14—Jun 4
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: May 16
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $300
Instructor(s): Ammi Keller
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
May 14—Jun 4
4 weeks
Refund Date
May 16
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Ammi Keller
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Maybe you’ve taken a generative prompt class and now wish to embark on a more extended creative writing project than that course allowed. Or maybe you’ve been writing independently and feel ready for a structured learning environment that encourages creativity in a fun and supportive setting. This course will teach the fundamentals of narrative structure without judgment, allowing you to conceive and craft a short story or essay of up to 3,000 words, written sequentially over four weeks.

You will write approximately 400-750 words per week, progressing from initial ideas to unfolding action, creating immersive scenes leading up to an impactful conclusion. By the end of this course, through guided sessions and prompts tailored to teach the elements of narrative craft, students will have created a "zero draft," the initial, unedited version preceding the first draft. For inspiration, we'll explore works by authors like Grace Paley and Justin Torres. Although this course will primarily focus on generating content rather than workshop critique, students may optionally share their writing with a small group for constructive peer feedback as their stories take shape. The instructor will also provide brief, encouraging comments on 400-750 words of new student writing weekly.

Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Ammi Keller’s teaching focuses on the intersection of mindfulness and creative writing. Her short stories appear in American Short Fiction, The Common, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She has edited fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for Soft Skull Press and has received residencies from the Lambda Literary Writer's Retreat and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Textbooks for this course:

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