972-883-6352 ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING: SHORT STORIES EMAIL: SPRING 2006 OFFICE HOURS: Tues. TUESDAY 12:30 to 3:15 3:30 to 4:30 Meets in CBW 1.206 And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to aery nothing A local habitation and a name.
William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students who sign up for this advanced creative writing course should have already acquired some basic storytelling skills. In this course they will refine and develop those skills. Members of this class will analyze stories by well-known short story writers and will participate in weekly writing exercises. Students will write three original short stories, and rewrite 2 of the 3. Each student will also produce written critiques of a classmate’s story on three occasions and will participate in workshop sessions that focus upon student stories. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: During the course of the semester, each student will produce 3 original pieces of fiction, will rewrite two of the three stories, and will choose one of these stories to submit to a literary journal for publication. At least once during the course, each student will give a brief report on the work of a well-known short story writer to be selected from a list supplied by the professor. PLEASE NOTE: Students will be asked to provide photocopies of at least one original piece of work to all members of the class on at least one occasion for workshop. This means that students should be prepared to incur some photocopying expense during the semester. Duplicates of critiques—one for the student and one for the professor—will also be required. All written assignments, including weekly exercises, must be typed, double spaced, and legible. No handwritten work will be accepted, and no assignments will be accepted by email. Stories written prior to this class and stories written to satisfy the requirements of previous classes may not be submitted to fulfill the requirements of this class. GRADES WILL BE BASED UPON: Class participation—10%, critiques—30%, Original work and final submission of work for publication—40%, Oral presentation—20%. Students receive grades only on final drafts of stories, but failure to turn in a first draft will result in the grade of the final draft being lowered one full letter grade. Failure to perform assigned exercises or to attend class regularly will result in the lowering of a student's grade. Students who wish to earn extra credit may attend one event sponsored by the UTD School of Arts & Humanities and write a 2 page reaction paper to the event.


Janet Burroway: WRITING FICTION (6th edition only) Mark Mills: CRAFTING THE VERY SHORT STORY Jerome Stern: MAKING SHAPELY FICTION Strunk and White: THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE PLEASE MAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING: NOTE #1: Please note that the school’s policy on the dropping of a course has changed in recent semesters. If you wish to drop a course, please consult the newly instituted drop policy on the UTD website. NOTE #2: Class attendance and participation in discussions and workshop sessions are mandatory, and students who cannot attend class regularly are strongly discouraged from signing up for this course. Attendance will be taken each week and absences as well as tardiness and leaving class early will negatively affect a student’s grade. Any student who misses more than 3 classes should not expect to receive a passing grade in the course. NOTE #3: Please be aware that university policies regarding academic dishonesty are quite specific. A student who plagiarizes all or part of another person’s work, commits an act that the professor considers to be cheating, or participates in an act of collusion must be reported to the proper university authorities and may expect to receive a failing grade in the course. See: UTD website--“Scholastic Dishonesty” for more specific details. NOTE #4: University policy regarding physically disabled students is outlined in the university catalogue and on the UTD website. Special assistance is available to students with special needs who are so identified by the university. If you qualify for and wish to request special assistance, please make your needs known to the professor and the Office of Disability (Tel. 972-883-6104) as soon as possible. NOTE #5: University policies governing incomplete grades state that a student must have completed 70% of coursework with a passing grade and must have a reasonable expectation of completing the course in the specified time period. Both the instructor and the student must sign a form to that effect for a grade of incomplete to be granted. A student who receives an incomplete grade for the semester must complete all course requirements within 8 weeks. Failure to complete the course in the specified time period will result in the automatic conversion of an I to an F. NOTE #6: As of August 1, 2004, all e-mail correspondence from the professor will be sent ONLY to the student's U.T. Dallas email address. U.T.D. provides each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with university personnel. This allows the university to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals corresponding and the security of the transmitted information. The Department of Information Resources at U.T. Dallas provides a method for students to forward email from other accounts to their U.T. Dallas address and have their U.T. Dallas mail sent on to other accounts. Students may go to the following URL to establish or maintain their official U.T. Dallas computer account:

NOTE #7: The following schedule of topics and assignments for this course is subject to change at the discretion of the professor. JANUARY 10: INTRODUCTION TO COURSE: MATERIAL AND VOICE DISCUSS: Questions suggested by Burroway on page 27. IN-CLASS: Using a photograph as inspiration, create a situation that could become a short story. READ: Stern, 1-76, 247-249; Kincaid, “Girl.” JANUARY 17: STYLE & TECHNIQUE READ: Burroway, Ch. 3; Cisneros, “Linoleum Roses”; Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”; O”Brien, “The Things They Carried.” DISCUSS: Discussion questions suggested by Burroway at the end of each of the assigned stories. ASSIGNMENT: Write a 1 to 3 page sketch using the photograph that you selected in the last class as a source of inspiration. Create a scene. Write from the perspective of one of the characters in the photograph, and focus that character’s attention upon one particular object in the photograph. Bring to class an image of your own choosing that you think you could use as the seed of a fictional short story. . JANUARY 24: DEVELOPING CHARACTERS READ: Burroway, Ch. 4 & 5; Robinson, “Yours”; Stuckey-French, “The Visible Man.” DISCUSS: Discussion questions suggested by Burroway at the end of each of the assigned stories. ASSIGNMENT: Using the photograph that you selected in our first class, expand the story that you began last week in one of the ways suggested by Burroway on page 155 under “Development/Revision.” OR begin a story based upon the photograph that you brought to class (bring photocopies of photographs to present to the professor.) JANUARY 31: STORY FORM, STRUCTURE, & PLOT READ: Burroway, Chapter 2; Hood, “How Far She Went”; Bloom, “Silver Water”; Brewer, “20/20.” DISCUSS: Discussion questions suggested by Burroway at the end of each of the assigned stories. ASSIGNMENT: Utilizing one of the Writing Exercises suggested by Burroway on pgs. 71 & 72, develop the sketch based upon one of the photographs you selected OR choose one of the exercises on page 195-196 in the Burroway book and begin another story. FEBRUARY 7: REVISION DISCUSS: What part does revision play in the creative process? How should we go about the task of revising our stories? How do we know if we have written a complete story? What techniques should we apply when we critique someone else’s creative work? READ: Burroway, Ch.11; Stern, 113-120, 127-128, 204-206; Talent, “No One’s a Mystery” ASSIGNMENT DUE: 1st draft of Story #1. Also, check your schedule and be prepared to sign up for a conference with the professor.

A large portion of this class will be devoted to personal conferences with the professor ASSIGNMENT DUE: Critique of a student’s story #1. FEBRUARY 21: WRITING THE VERY SHORT STORY DISCUSS: How does the very short story differ from other short stories? IN-CLASS: Student reports READ: Mills, “Preface” & “Introduction” & pgs 436 & 437; Carver, “Popular Mechanics” ASSIGNMENT DUE: Final draft of Story #1 FEBRUARY 28: METAPHOR, SIMILE, ALLEGORY, AND SYMBOL IN-CLASS: Workshop of Student stories; Student reports READ: Burroway, Ch. 9; Marquez, “Eyes of a Blue Dog”; Johnson, “Menagerie” ASSIGNMENT: Choose one of the exercises from Mills, pg. 438, and write the first draft of a very short story. MARCH 7: SPRING BREAK—NO CLASS MARCH 14: TIME & PLACE IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories; Student reports READ: Burroway, Ch..6 ASSIGNMENT: 1st draft of Story #2 MARCH 21: POINT OF VIEW IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories; Student reports READ: Burroway, Ch. 7 ASSIGNMENT: Critique of a student’s story #2 MARCH 28: POINT OF VIEW (Continued) IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories; Student reports READ: Burroway, Ch. 8 ASSIGNMENT: Begin Story #3—a story set in a historical or a future time period APRIL 4: THEME IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories, Student reports READ: Burroway, Ch. 10 ASSIGNMENT: 1st draft of Story #3 APRIL 11: PUBLICATION ASSIGNMENT: Critique of a student’s story #3 APRIL 18: COURSE SUMMARY AND WRAP-UP ASSIGNMENT: Final draft of Story #2 or Story #3. APRIL 25—No final exam All work for this semester must be turned in before or on this date.

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