ENGL 2051 Introductory Fiction Workshop

Instructor Contact:

Mackenzie Suess, GPTI

mackenzie.suess@colorado.edu

About the Course:

In this course, students will investigate the craft of fiction by producing their own short stories and novel chapters, and by examining a selection of flash and short stories, along with a novel or novella. While producing creative work is central to this course, we will spend a lot of time unpacking texts by established writers in order to consider what strategies are at play and what tools we may wish to use in our own work. Our focus here is on technique and structure more than simply reading for theme.

In addition to reading and discussing published works, we’ll also read and critique each other’s story submissions. The workshop is a required component of this class, so make sure you’re unwilling to have your peers read your work and provide feedback.

Readings will focus primarily on contemporary writers, and may include (but are not limited to) work by: Sofia Samatar, Helen Oyeyemi, Joy Williams, Carmen Maria Machado, Roxane Gay, and others.

Don’t be shy about asking questions and trying new things. Courteous and respectful discussion between all classroom participants is critical to everyone’s growth as a writer and reader, and I expect all students to uphold an encouraging atmosphere for your peers.

Course Prerequisites:

Requires prerequisite course of ENGL 1191 (mimimum grade B).

Objectives:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Explain the core elements of craft for writing fiction
  • Explain 2-4 different approaches to structuring a work of fiction
  • Identify different structures and craft elements in contemporary writing
  • Draft your own creative works with attention to the elements of craft
  • Reflect on your choices as a writer and the impact of those choices on your audience
  • Reflect on your development as a writer

Required Texts:

Readings will focus primarily on contemporary writers, and may include (but are not limited to):

  • Select PDFs and weblinks which may include
    • Sofia Samatar, Helen Oyeyemi, Joy Williams, Carmen Maria Machado, Roxane Gay, and others.
  • One novel or novella (TBD)
  • Ron Carlson Writes a Story, Ron Carlson

Grading (out of n points):

  • Short Prose Free-Writes or Writing Exercises—10 total, 2 points each, 25% of grade
  • Short Story Workshop Submissions—2 total, 5 points each, 25% of grade
  • Peer Critiques—approx. 20 total, 2 points each, 20% of grade
  • Presentation on Contemporary Writer—1 total, 5 points, 10% of grade
  • Presentation on Contemporary Literary Journal—1 total, 5 points, 10% of grade
  • Portfolio—1 total, 5 points, 10% of grade
  • Writer’s Statement—1 total, 5 points, 10% of grade

 

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Hours

Monday – Friday
9:00am to 4:00pm

Location

We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.

Map

1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado
80309-0178