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FICT 84 W — Short Story Workshop: The Beginning, the End, and Everything in Between

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Evgeniya Dame
Duration: 10 weeks
Format/Location: Flex Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Tuition: $1000
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Unit(s): 3
   
Enrollment Limit: 19
  
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Unit(s): 3
Duration: 10 weeks
 
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
 
Format/Location: Flex Online
 
Tuition: $1000
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Instructor(s): Evgeniya Dame
 
Enrollment Limit: 19
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
A great short story has an opening that pulls the reader in and an ending that is, in the words of Aristotle, surprising yet inevitable. But how to choose the best opening out of many possible ones? How to land on an ending that feels right? And how to make it past the halfway point in a story without losing energy and focus? This course will arm writers with a strong understanding of structure so they can develop short stories from idea to finished form. We will review the traditional elements of plot, pausing to examine types of openings, discuss the relationship between what Ron Carlson calls the “inner” and the “outer” story, and search for endings that bring the elements together. We will read broadly for elements of plot in the work of such writers as Aleksandar Hemon, Anton Chekhov, Ottessa Moshfegh, and others.

In the first weeks of the course, you will engage in writing prompts shared with the group. In the subsequent weeks, you will generate a new short story for instructor and small-group feedback, building it one week at a time (up to 1,000 words per week). By the end of the course, students will gain a deeper understanding of short story structure and how to vary it toward a desired effect.

EVGENIYA DAME
Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Evgeniya Dame received an MFA from the University of New Hampshire, where she was a Fulbright Fellow from Russia. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Joyland, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and received support from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and Monson Arts. She is a fiction editor at Joyland and is at work on a story collection and a novel.

Textbooks for this course:

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