An intermediate workshop class in the writing of short fiction. Prerequisite: ENGL 207.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Offered every 3 semesters.
Most current editions of the following:
A text on the craft of writing fiction, such as:
By Burroway, Janet Recommended
The Art and Craft of Fiction
By Michael Kardos Recommended
One to four short story collections by multiple authors.
Course Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate the craft of short fiction writing.
Revise short stories using feedback from instructor and peers.
Analyze short fiction by peer and professional writers, playing special attention to elements of craft and genre.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
Students should write and workshop at least three works of short fiction.
Other non-workshopped creative writing exercises should be assigned.
Students should be instructed in, and use, the terminology of the craft of fiction writing.
Students should read and analyze multiple works by professional writers of short fiction.
Students should practice the conventions of creative writing workshops by participating in three workshop sessions.
Students should write responses to workshop pieces in preparation for workshop and should participate actively in the workshop process. Instructors should collect written workshop responses over the course of the semester and assign a grade to them. In addition, instructors may be asked to collect data on workshop responses for assessment purposes.
Traditional literary and craft instruction in the course should include and reinforce the following topics:
Significant detail and imagery - showing versus telling
Characterization: dialogue, appearance and many other components of drawing a round character
Plot: the inverted question mark short story structure
Time and Place: setting not just as backdrop but as integral to creating mood, evoking symbolism and characterization
Point of View with an emphasis on first person, third person limited omniscient and third person objective
Themes and tropes
Revision with an emphasis on development
After the midpoint of the semester, students should write a short paper requiring them to analyze a piece of professional short fiction in regard to the craft and genre elements employed. More such assignments may be required at other points during the term, if the instructor so desires. Data from this literary analysis may be collected for assessment purposes.
Students should write a total of 40-60 pages of original fiction in the course. Some of this writing should be revised for the final portfolio.
The culminating assignment in the course is the production of a final portfolio of revised short fiction. This portfolio should include a written reflection on the revisions that the student has made in response to peer and instructor feedback. Data from this assignment may be collected for assessment purposes.
Students should present their work to the class in a manner (such as an oral presentation) appropriate to the venue in which the course is taught.
Instructors may be asked to collect information from the assignments specified in the Major Topics/Skills section. This information will be provided to the English program for evaluation.
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section.
However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.