Course Syllabus Course Information CRWT 3307.501 Fall 2011 Creating Short Stories Wednesday 1:00 to 3:45 JO 4.

708 _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________ Professor Contact Information Betty Wiesepape Office: JO 5.205 972-883--6352 Office hours: Wednesday 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions CRWT 2301 Course Description This course is a creative workshop in which students both investigate the creative processes involved in writing short stories and experiment with a variety of traditional and experimental forms. Students will perform written exercises, they will engage in oral readings and they will participate in class discussions and workshop sessions. In the course of the semester, each member of the class will create 2 original short stories, will rewrite these stories and will submit one story to a journal for possible publication. In addition, students will produce 2 critiques of student generated short stories. Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes Students will demonstrate their understanding of basic creative writing techniques. Students will demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills. Students will demonstrate their ability to critique and evaluate the effectiveness of short stories. Required Textbooks and Materials R. S. Gwynn, Literature: A Pocket Anthology,6th edition. (ISBN-10:0-205-65513-0, cost about $45.00). Jerome Stern: Making Shapely Fiction, any edition, (cost about $10). William Strunk & E.B. White: The Elements of Style, any edition, (cost under $10). Suggested Course Materials During the semester, each student will be expected to provide photocopies of one original story to each member of the class for workshop. Students also will turn in 2 copies of each original story and 2 copies of each written critique. This means that students enrolling in this class should be prepared to incur some photocopying expenses. Assignments & Academic Calendar AUGUST 24: INTRODUCTION TO THE SHORT STORY Discuss: What should we write about? How do we start? AUGUST 31: PAINTING PICTURES, MAKING MUSIC READ: Stern: ―Imagination,‖ ―Narrative,‖ ―Short Story,‖ ―Realism,‖ ―Trust Your Material,‖ ―Didacticism,‖ ―Write What You Know,‖ ―Style,‖ ―Subtlety,‖ ―Texture,‖ ―Showing & Telling‖; Flannery O’Connor, ―Everything That Rises Must Converge; Tim O’Brien, ―The Things They Carried.‖ ASSIGNMENT DUE: Expand an exercise introduced in class last week into a 2 page narrative sketch. SEPTEMBER 7: CREATING CHARACTERS

READ: Stern: ―Character,‖ ―Names,‖ ―Negative Positive Knowledge,‖ ―Position,‖ ―Stereotype,‖ ―Psychic Distance,‖ ―Suspense,‖ ―Tension,‖ ―Science Fiction,‖ ―Fretag’s Pyramid; Eudora Welty, ―A Worn Path‖; Ernest Hemingway, ―Up in Michigan.‖ ASSIGNMENT DUE: Produce a 3 to 4 page character sketch that grows out of your observation of a figure in a photograph supplied by the professor. SEPTEMBER 14: BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES AND ENDINGS READ: Stern: ―Don’t Do This,‖ ―Beginnings,‖ ―Premise,‖ ―Resolution,‖ ―Endings,‖ ‖Sentimentality‖; Charlotte Perkins Gilmore, ―The Yellow Wallpaper‖; Bobbie Ann Mason, ―Shiloh.‖ ASSIGNMENT DUE: Choose a beginning sentence from a list supplied by the professor, and write 3 to 5 pages of a short story, employing the sentence by sentence technique introduced in the previous class. SEPTEMBER 21: SCENE AND SUMMARY--A MATTER OF TIMING READ: Stern: ―Scene,‖ ―Exposition,‖ ―Motif,‖ ―Irony‖; Hisaye Yamamoto, ―Seventeen Syllables.‖ ASSIGNMENT DUE: First draft of Story #1. Bring two copies to class, one for the professor and one to trade with a classmate. SEPTEMBER 28: REVISION READ: Munro, ―The Bear Came Over the Mountain.‖ IN-CLASS: Be prepared to sign up for a conference with the professor. ASSIGNMENT DUE: 2 copies of a critique of a student story. OCTOBER 5: STUDENT CONFERENCES—NO FORMAL CLASS OCTOBER 12: DIALOGUE READ: Stern: ―Dialect,‖ ―Dialogue,‖ ―Diction,‖ ―Profanity/Obscenity,‖ ―Interior Monologue,‖ ―Workshops‖; Gish Jen, ―In American Society.‖ IN-CLASS ACTIVITY: Practice Workshop of a published story. ASSIGNMENT DUE: Final draft of Story #1. OCTOBER 19: FORM, PLOT & STRUCTURE READ: ―Plot,‖ Edith Wharton, ―The Story of an Hour‖; Raymond Carver, ―Cathedral.‖ IN-CLASS ACTIVITY: Workshop of student stories. ASSIGNMENT DUE: Develop an exercise assigned on October 12th into a 2 page story sketch. OCTOBER 26: PLACE & SETTING READ: Stern: ―Places & Place Names,‖ ―Suspension of Disbelief,‖ ―Accuracy,‖ ―Atmosphere‖; Daniel Orozco, ―Orientation‖; Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ―A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.‖ IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories. ASSIGNMENT DUE: Begin Story #2. Attend reading by author Ann Weisgarber on evening of October 27. NOVEMBER 2: POINT OF VIEW READ: Stern: ―Point of View‖; Faulkner, ―A Rose for Emily‖; Jamaica Kincaid, ―Girl.‖ IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories. ASSIGNMENT DUE: 2 copies of Story #2. NOVEMBER 9: EXPERIMENTAL FICTION READ: Stern: ―Avant-garde,‖ ―Genre‖; Grace Paley, ―Wants‖; Lorrie Moore,―How to Become a Writer‖; Margaret Attwood, ―Happy Endings.‖ IN-CLASS: Workshop student stories. ASSIGNMENT DUE: 2 copies of a critique of a student story. NOVEMBER 16: EPIPHANIES & DISCOVERIES READ: Stern: ―Epiphany,‖ ―Catharsis,‖ ―Poetic Justice,‖ ―Batho‖; Jackson, ―The Lottery.‖ IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories. .

ASSIGNMENT DUE: Write a short short story or an experimental story (750 words or less). NOVEMBER 23: WORKSHOP SESSION IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories. ASSIGNMENT DUE: Final Draft of Story #2. NOVEMBER 30: WORKSHOP SESSION IN-CLASS: Workshop of student stories. ASSIGNMENT: NOTE: All late assignments must be completed and turned in to the professor by this date. DECEMBER 7: No final will be given in this class, but students must present proof that they submitted one story written in this class for possible publication on the date reserved for the final exam. ____________________________________________________________________________ Grading Policy Grades will be based upon: attendance, classroom citizenship, completion of assignments and participation in workshop sessions–20%; Written Critiques--30%; Original short stories–40%; Reaction Paper to an Arts & Humanities sponsored event—10% Students receive grades only on the final drafts of stories, but failure to perform exercises or to turn in first drafts will result in the grade of the final draft being lowered one full letter grade. The professor will assign grades of plus and minus. Course & Instructor Policies Students will be expected to read and be prepared to discuss all assigned readings and to complete all assigned writing exercises. Failure to perform these assignments will have a negative effect upon the student’s class participation grade (See above). Proficiency in the English language and a knowledge of English grammar are necessary to the achievement of the goals of this course. During the course of the semester, each student will write 3 and revise 2 of these stories. Students will also write a 2 to 3 page critique of another student's story on 2 separate occasions. NOTE: Stories written prior to this class may not be submitted to fulfill the requirements of this course. All written assignments including exercises must be typed, double spaced, and legible. Work submitted after the due date will be accepted, but the grade on the assignment will be lowered one full letter grade, and the professor will not make editorial comments on late work. In addition, the professor will not accept handwritten work or work submitted by email. Class attendance and participation in discussions and workshop sessions are mandatory. Attendance will be checked each week, and a student who misses more than 3 classes should not expect to receive a passing grade. (3 absences in this class are equivalent to 9 classes in as course that meets for one hour 3 times a week.) NOTE: No make-up work will be assigned; no extra credit projects will be offered, and no absences will be excused except those mandated by the administration of this university. No exams will be given in this workshop class. In lieu of a final exam, each student will select one original story to submit to a journal for possible publication and submit proof of submission in the form of a mailing receipt to the professor on or before the final exam date. The use of cell phones, recorders, laptop computer and other communication devices will not be permitted in this class. Please turn off these devices before entering the classroom. NOTE: Descriptions and timelines in this syllabus are subject to change at the discretion of the professor.

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