The aim of the course is to challenge and assist students to write quality literary fiction. The workshop is designed to provide writers with both a supportive and critical environment and to help them develop a sound technical sense of their own work and the works of others. Students will explore and develop their original work; read published examples of literary fiction as well as critical essays; read the works of peer writers and constructively discuss them in class. In turn students will listen to others discuss their work. Revisions are emphasized.
60-65 pages of work (may include significant revisions of previously written work) is required. Ideally, the bulk of the required writing for each student should be submitted to the workshop for discussion. Copies of student stories will be distributed a week before they are to be discussed. After reading and rereading each manuscript, students will note on the manuscripts their responses, then attach a short summary to the manuscript. The group will then present its responses to the author during the period given to the manuscript’s discussion; at that time they will return critiqued manuscripts. Writers should meet in conference with me after the work goes before the group. At least two conferences are required during the course of the workshop.
There will be two required texts (short story collections). Several recommended essays and stories on e-reserve.
Please note: Although MFA students have priority in terms of the seats in the class, the instructor can screen manuscript applications from non-MFA students. The manuscripts (a short story or novel excerpt) should be no longer than 20 pages. In other words, before non-MFA students can take the class, they will need the instructor’s permission.