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FICT 68 W — Write a Riveting, Stylish, Singular Short Story

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 16
Drop Deadline: Jun 27
Units: 2
Tuition: $735
Instructor(s): Matt Sumell
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 24—Aug 16
8 weeks
Drop By
Jun 27
2 Units
Fees
$735
Instructor(s):
Matt Sumell
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Writing a good short story involves a steady hand at suspense, close attention to language, a near-obsessive grasp of detail, and an underlying yet palpable sense of direction. All characters want things—love, sex, money, Cheez-Its—and a particular character’s search for that thing, those things, forms the basis of plot. During this short-fiction course, we will discuss how it is that particular stories, both our own and published works, either fulfill or evade standard conventions of plot. We will also practice a process useful to fiction composition: reading, analyzing, and mining books for new insights we can apply to our work. Think of the course as a laboratory designed to encourage your own creative production. Students will write one story of approximately five to ten pages and another of a “fuller” length that we will workshop as a class. Along the way, we will study works by Leonard Michaels, Jamel Brinkley, Aimee Bender, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz, and others. By the end, you will know how to tell a story in a riveting, stylish, singular manner.

Matt Sumell, Author

Matt Sumell’s short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Electric Literature, One Story, NOON, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. His first novel, Making Nice, was reviewed by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and others. It has been translated into five languages and optioned for a comedy series by WBTV. He received an MFA from UC Irvine.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Joyce Carol Oates (Editor), Christopher R. Beha , The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (ISBN 978-0061661587)
(Required) Jamel Brinkley , A Lucky Man (ISBN 978-1555978051)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)