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FICT 03 — Writing Stories with Your Signature Style

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 4—Jun 6
Time: 6:30 – 9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 17
Units: 3
Tuition: $660
Instructor(s): Kate Petersen
Limit: 21
Status: Open
6:30 – 9:20 pm
Apr 4—Jun 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 17
3 Units
Kate Petersen
What do we mean when we talk about a fiction writer’s style? Style is like a story’s signature—the way we can tell a Woolf story from one by Hemingway. But what is style made of, and how can you discover and hone your own? In this course, we will explore these questions through a series of in-class and take-home writing exercises, workshopping a longer story, and reading widely in the genre, including stories by Lucia Berlin, Junot Díaz, Stuart Dybek, Amy Hempel, Edward P. Jones, Carmen Maria Machado, Grace Paley, James Salter, Virginia Woolf, Charles Yu, and others. Students will be encouraged to read as writers, approaching these stories and those of our classmates to investigate what craft choices are being made, and how these choices help distinguish an author’s voice on the page. During the course, students will complete small-group work and receive group and instructor feedback on a short story or novel chapter. Whether you’re interested in writing your first story or have a draft of a novel in your desk, this course will help you to shape your style, and to find and strengthen your voice on the page.

Kate Petersen, Former Stegner Fellow; Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing, Stanford

Kate Petersen’s fiction has appeared in Pushcart Prize XL (2016), New England Review, Kenyon Review, Zyzzyva, EPOCH, Paris Review Daily, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. She is a former biosciences and health policy writer, and she received an MFA from the University of Minnesota.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Charles Baxter , The Art of Subtext (ISBN 978-1-55597-473-2)
(Required) Junot Díaz and Heidi Pitlor, Best American Short Stories 2016 (ISBN 978-0544582897)