Introduction to the Writing of Fiction




JP Gritton Hybrid

In addition to composing their own pieces of short fiction, students will read work by masters of the short form. These stories are lenses through which we’ll be exploring the building blocks of the narrative craft— character, point of view, setting, plot, as well as voice—and they will complement chapters from Janet Burroway’s guide to narrative craft, Writing Fiction. Students who remain in the course are required to purchase this text; it will provide a kind of technical ballast as we explore fiction by the likes of Daniel Orozco, Amy Hempel, Toni Morrison, and others. This is a HYBRID class: in addition to our bi-weekly meetings, we’ll maintain a robust online presence on the class’s Sakai site. For those unable to attend in-person meetings, alternative/asynchronous assignments and readings will be available, among them: responding to discussion questions on class readings, as well as informally “workshopping” classmates’ fiction. In addition to weekly writing exercises, students will submit one fully revised short story at semester’s end, along with a final portfolio “letter” that articulates their revision process.



Amin Ahmad Online

Detectives, robots and talking frogs: Writing altered/alternate realities.

As children, we easily live in worlds that combine reality and fantasy, but as we grow older, we lose that ability. Perhaps that is why we are drawn to fiction that creates new realities. In this class, we will explore fiction that alters existing reality, or creates an alternate one: Hardboiled/ noir detective fiction, magical realism, dystopian fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Reading like writers, we will analyze each genre to understand how it creates a new but authentic world, and how it draws upon existing archetypes and story structures.

We will then apply those understandings to our own writing through in-class writing exercises and short homework writing assignments. Students will ultimately write two full short stories in different genres, and workshop them in class.

This is an intensive class- come prepared to read a lot, write a lot, and to experiment with your writing. Since this is a workshop-based class, attending Zoom sessions in real time is required.

Introductory level genre-specific workshops for students with some experience in creative writing wishing to deepen their knowledge of their chosen genre and gain increased mastery of elements of craft. Recommended for students who have taken English 110. Instructor: Staff
Books on table
Curriculum Codes
  • W
  • ALP
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring