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FICT 61 W — Short Story Writing with the Greats

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 9
Drop Deadline: Apr 11
Units: 3
Tuition: $850
Instructor(s): Joshua Mohr
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Apr 3—Jun 9
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 11
3 Units
Joshua Mohr
This course is premised on the firm belief that emulating great writers does not only broaden our storytelling palette and skills, but that such emulation, paradoxically, also helps us find our own voice. Reading and writing is a great conversation, after all, and we will look to converse with the best. Each week, we will focus on various aesthetic traditions—stream of consciousness, surrealism, minimalism, and magical realism, among others—offering students a unique experience to delve into many literary styles. Assigned readings will include work by writers such as James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Gabriel García Márquez, and Virginia Woolf. Imitation exercises will help us engage these readings at a deeper level, illuminating craft tactics and approaches to storytelling.

In addition to directed weekly writing exercises, the course will culminate in a workshop phase. Writers will choose one assignment to expand into a longer story, which they will then share with the group, for the opportunity to hear firsthand how a cross-section of readers responds to their work. This class, appropriate for writers of all levels, is ideal for those searching to try on new styles and make their prose soar.

Although the time commitment for an online writing course is dependent upon one’s degree of participation, students should plan on investing four to six hours per week in order to gain substantial benefit from the course.

Joshua Mohr, Author

Joshua Mohr is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beatpoet cool.” He has also written Fight Song and Some Things That Meant the World to Me, one of O, The Oprah Magazine’s 10 Terrific Reads of 2009. Mohr’s novel, Termite Parade, was an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. All This Life received the Northern California Book Award. His first book of nonfiction, a memoir called Sirens, was recently published. Mohr received an MFA from the University of San Francisco.

Textbooks for this course:

The 9th edition is listed below, but the 8th is also acceptable if it's easier for you to obtain:
(Required) Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, 9th edition (ISBN 978-1457664618)