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FICT 128 W — Short Story Writing: Discovering the Material to Write Compelling Stories

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 25—Dec 8
Drop Deadline: Sep 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $880
Instructor(s): Angela Pneuman
Limit: 17
Status: Registration opens on 08/21/2017
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 25—Dec 8
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 28
3 Units
Fees
$880
Instructor(s):
Angela Pneuman
Limit
17
Registration opens on 08/21/2017
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Flannery O’Connor said, “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” Learning how to identify this material—ideas, memories, events real and imagined, unforgettable characters, and much more—is both satisfying and challenging. And turning ideas into compelling stories means figuring out what makes stories work, including how to manage the elements of fiction such as point of view, dialogue, setting, and plot. We will read work from masterful short story writers like O’Connor, Stuart Dybek, Tobias Wolff, Kelly Link, ZZ Packer, Mary Gaitskill, and George Saunders. We will look at how these writers’ stories work, and we will read selected essays and interviews to find out what they have to say about where their stories come from. Short (one- to two-page) writing assignments will help you dive into your own discovery process and practice working with the elements of storytelling. Writing assignments, class discussion, and instructor feedback are all designed to help you as you develop a full-length story for a class workshop that includes helpful peer and instructor feedback. This course is suitable for beginning and intermediate writers interested in short stories.

Angela Pneuman, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

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, The Iowa Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and the Los Angeles Review, and she is a contributor to Salon, The Believer, and The Rumpus. She received an MFA in writing from Indiana University and a PhD in English from SUNY Albany.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stephen Koch, The Modern Library Writer's Workshop (ISBN 0375755586)
(Required) Tom Perotta, Best American Short Stories 2012 (ISBN 0547242107)
(Required) Ben Marcus, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (ISBN 1400034825)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)