FICT 68 W — Write a Riveting, Stylish, Singular Short Story
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Dec 4
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Instructor(s): Matt Sumell
Flex Online(About Formats)
Sep 21—Dec 4
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 that 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, 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, AuthorMatt Sumell’s short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Electric Literature, One Story, NOON, Zyzzyva, Freeman's, and elsewhere. His first novel, Making Nice, was reviewed in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and elsewhere. It has been translated into five languages and optioned for a comedy series. 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 0061661589)