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FICT 128 — Short Story Writing: Working with Your Best Material

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jun 27—Aug 15
Time: 6:30—9:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 17
Units: 2
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Angela Pneuman
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on July 4 and July 25
On-campus course
6:30—9:30 pm
Jun 27—Aug 15
6 weeks
Drop By
Jul 17
2 Units
Angela Pneuman
Please Note: No class on July 4 and July 25
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 like 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) Tom Perotta, Best American Short Stories 2012 (ISBN 9780547242101)
(Required) Ben Marcus, The Anchor Book of Contemporary American Short Stories (ISBN 9781400034826)