ENG 302

Creative Writing II: Fiction Topics

Topics in fiction writing with particular concentration on specific forms or other aspects of the genre using readings as models and inspiration. This might include the novella or the short-short story or techniques such as magical realism, meta-fiction, minimalism, etc., depending on the instructor. Prerequisite: ENG 149.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
ENG 149 1 course

Fall Semester information

Brenden Willey

302A: Tps:The Long Story

Long stories--alias long short stories--occupy a weird space: too long to sit comfortably in most magazines but too short to be their own books. Ask any reader for her favorite stories, though, and in response you'll likely hear names of long ones: Joyce's "The Dead," Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues," most anything by Alice Munro. We're talking about stories approaching ten thousand words or better, but shorter than a novella. Whereas today you'll hear that three-to-five-thousand words comprises some kind of short story "sweet spot," the history of the form and of which stories people love best tells us otherwise. Many of the greatest stories are simply much, much longer. In this class we'll study some of those long stories, and maybe a few really short ones to throw the long ones into relief. We'll do exercises to help get your stories going, and everyone will write and workshop one complete story long as all get out, but not too long. As our stories keep growing shorter--or as we keep hearing they should--it'll be good for us to stretch, to explore, to go long.


Spring Semester information

Robert Stevens

302A: Fiction Topics: Fiction, Form and Function

This class will focus on different lengths and shapes of fiction, including six-word stories, flash fiction, short fiction, the long short story, the novella, and the novel. We'll examine and try out a number of different literary techniques, especially point of view, characterization, and psychic distance. Throughout the semester, we'll share and workshop at least one story and flash piece--and, time permitting, an outline for a possible novel.