English | Advanced Fiction Writing
W401 | 8942 | Alyce Miller

Alyce Miller

PREREQUISITE:  W301.  Requires permission of the instructor.

8942 - 2:30p-5:30p R (15 students) 3 cr.

Instructor permission: Interested students should submit no more
than 20 pages of their best fiction and  a letter of application (no
more than one single-spaced page) to the instructor, Professor Alyce
Miller,  in email text (no attachments, please) to
almiller@indiana.edu  Please be sure to write “Application to W401"
in the subject line.

What to include in the letter of application: your name and email
address and local phone number, names of previous courses (including
names of previous instructors and the grades earned), any pertinent
information about your background in fiction writing and workshop
experience, reasons for wanting to take the course, and anything
else you want to tell me about yourself. Applications to the fall
class should be submitted as early as possible in the preceding
spring semester. They are reviewed as they come in, and students are
notified by email on a continuous basis of acceptance.  The early
bird gets the worm. If you have not heard back within a week after
applying, please contact me again.

Authorization: Students accepted by the instructor into the class
must then obtain authorization from the creative writing secretary,
Heather Steele, in the English department. Please do this
immediately. No student can register without this authorization.

English W401 is an exciting chance to write and share your fiction
in an advanced workshop setting.  It is assumed everyone is familiar
with the traditional workshop format, and is comfortable giving and
receiving constructive criticism. Workshops are self-generating and
require the active participation and preparation of every member.
Attendance is required. There will be a fair amount of outside
reading and discussion of works by contemporary writers, in addition
to the written critiques and your own creative work.   The outside
readings are very important to your development as a writer.

Creative work will likely include something along the lines of
writing two new “stories of length” for formal workshop discussions,
and writing weekly short-shorts which we will read aloud (expect to
write around 40 pages of creative work). The short-shorts are fun
and instructive, and some of the best writing often comes out of
these assignments. Because there is limited space in the class,
please determine in advance if you have schedule conflicts or other
reasons that would prevent you from making a full commitment to the

Reading prerequisite: It is assumed all students in the course have
already closely read Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction, and are
familiar with basic craft terms and some familiarity with
contemporary fiction writers.  Please note this course is intensive
in both reading and writing, but it will be worth it!