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FICT 18 W — Secrets of the Short Story

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—Jun 7
Drop Deadline: Apr 4
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Valerie Brelinski
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is April 4 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is April 9 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Spring
Date(s)
Apr 1—Jun 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 4
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Valerie Brelinski
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is April 4 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is April 9 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall says, “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” People love stories. But writing a compelling, interesting story is actually very hard. Too often, we compose a couple of pages and think, “What now?” This course will reveal the skills and techniques essential to the short story. As we study the particular craft of short fiction, we will observe, analyze, and emulate the ways in which such authors as Alice Munro, Michael Chabon, and Carmen Maria Machado have rendered the world of imagination so vividly real. We will look at the short story’s compression of time and space and its supposed moment of epiphany that contains within it, as Wallace Stegner said, “the whole of the world.” Our goal is to become expert readers, ever-improving literary analysts, and emerging writers. We will try our hands at producing a polished short story of our own, and we will come to know the joys and rigors (as every writer should!) of the writing workshop.

This course is appropriate for writers of all experience levels.

Valerie Brelinski, Former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer, Stanford

Valerie Brelinski is the author of the novel The Girl Who Slept with God. Her writing has been published in Vogue, MORE, Salon, The Rumpus, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has taught creative writing at Stanford and the University of Virginia, from which she received an MFA in fiction writing, and where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She is at work on a memoir.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, 9th Edition (ISBN SBN-13: 978-0321923165)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)