Creative Writing: Introduction to Fiction (online)

ENGL 1510
Section 04
Samantha Edmonds
Course Description

Welcome to English 1510: Introduction to Fiction. This class is centered around two main beliefs: 1) to be a writer is to be a citizen of a community and 2) in order to create good writing, we need to read good writing. Towards those goals, for the first part of the semester each week we will read and discuss contemporary stories, learning a vocabulary for discussing the craft of writing and getting a sense of the literary landscape; every week will focus on a slightly different aspect of scene and story (character, dialogue, point of view, etc). Assigned readings will stimulate discussions and provide models for what creative writing is and can be; these readings will cover an array of fiction genres, from realism to speculative fiction and magical realism, in order to provide you the opportunity to breakdown and rebuild what it means for work to be “literary.”

Weekly prompts & informal writing exercises will give you a chance to implement the techniques you’re learning to observe and describe. Formal critiques—such as lit journal reviews and reading responses—will likewise help sharpen your analytical writing skills and model ways for you to participate in a literary conversation. This course will require you to read both the assigned weekly reading and the work of your peers. As we move through the semester, we will transition to peer workshop, in which you will discuss your work as a group with the instructor as facilitator and guide. My hope is that you leave this class emerging citizens of the literary community and more confident writers, capable of analyzing elements of craft in the work of others’ and applying such techniques to your own work.

In addition to lectures, discussions, and workshops, you will be required to write reading responses to the assigned readings, attend at least one reading throughout the semester (online), and submit two portfolios (midterm and final). The final “exam” will be a class reading, in which you will read an excerpt of your revised story to the class.