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FICT 02 — The Art and Craft of the Short Story: A Writing Workshop

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 15—Mar 19
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $665
Instructor(s): Tom Kealey
Limit: 22
Status: Closed
6:30—9:20 pm
Jan 15—Mar 19
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 28
3 Units
Tom Kealey
Stephen Vincent Benét wrote that the best short stories are read in less than an hour, yet are remembered for a lifetime. The aim of this course is for each student to write a story that meets this criterion. Along the way we will study the craft of scene-building, writing effective dialogue, creating three-dimensional characters, and evoking the most important element of any narrative—its voice. We will examine master works including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “My Father Addresses Me on the Facts of Old Age” by Grace Paley, “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen, “Powder” by Tobias Wolff, and a few others. We will brainstorm story ideas, complete short craft exercises, write emulations of our favorite authors, and discuss the history and evolution of the short story form. Each student will complete an eight- to fifteen-page story, and we will workshop each story as a class in a supportive, insightful, and rigorous environment. We will aim toward a revised, polished draft that each writer (and reader) can be proud of. This course is open to writers of all experiences and backgrounds.

Tom Kealey, On-Campus Creative Writing Curriculum Coordinator; Former Stegner Fellow; Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing, Stanford

Tom Kealey is the author of Thieves I’ve Known, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award and named a Best Book by NPR. He is also the author of the Creative Writing MFA Handbook, and his stories have been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Glimmer Train, StoryQuarterly, and Stanford magazine. Kealey received an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Textbooks for this course:

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