|MENG 6710 Fiction Workshop
Dr Vicki Ramirez
EHall 235 626-6669
OBJECTIVES: This workshop is intended to explore aspects of short story and novel writing, providing practical writing techniques, concrete examples, and exercises. The class will encourage writers to develop stories and work proficiently through each step of the writing process. Through examining the components of fiction and doing exercises designed to spur writing and creativity, students will generate, and/or further develop, short stories or novel chapters. To prepare for writing, students will read several model stories and a novel in order to build a vocabulary for conceiving, plotting, and developing stories. Students will work towards producing two short stories of publishable quality, or two polished chapters of a novel.
FORMAT: Weekly attendance at this workshop is mandatory. Students will read and annotate all stories and secondary materials that pertain to the craft of fiction writing. Two short responses to primary reading (stories or novel), focusing on a narrow component of the work, will be due at the beginning and latter part of the semester. The final class will be a public reading of a piece of fiction produced in the workshop on Thurs., Dec 8 from 6-8 in the Stewart Library Special Collections. Students will get credit for this reading, so please mark your calendar and make sure you're free. Speak with me if there's a problem. NB: Students with more than 3 unexcused absences may be in jeopardy of course failure. If you have an illness or a family crisis, etc., please contact me asap.
Students will present to the class in a 10 minute presentation on a book, in their genre, they read for class. Their book should be from the genre they enjoy reading, focusing on authors they like. Students will create an annotated bibliography, using MLA formatting, of ten well known or acclaimed novels in their genre. Toward the end of publishing, students will write a query letter for a an original story.
As this is a workshop class, students will be responsible for regularly downloading stories or novel chapters, reading, annotating, and critiquing them. All marked mss. and critique forms are due at the start of each class. Late papers can be submitted for a grade, but late homework cannot be submitted. To avoid lateness, please email me a copy, then submit a hard copy when next in class.
Writing Fiction, 8th Edition by Janet Burroway
The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
OTHER READINGS (handed out or on e-reserve)
From Crafting Fiction by Marvin Diogenes and Clyde
* "Notes on Writing a Novel" by Elizabeth Bowen
* "Scene and Summary" by Leon Surmelian
* "Revision" by Jesse Lee Kercheval
* "A Workshop for Writers: Invention and Revision" Guided Writing Exercises
Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
Writing Great Short Stories by Margaret Lucke
The Portable MFA by The New York Writers Workshop. Ch One: Fiction
* Class work
–writing assignments=5 pts
–short responses on assigned reading @10pts each=20
* Two revised stories or chapters @ 20 pts each=40 pts. (maximum for each story=15 pages)
* Marked student mss. & critique forms=10 pts
* Query letter for sending out a story or novel=5 pts
* Presentation on a short story collection or novel of choice=10 pts
* Annotated Bibliography of Then Novels/Short Story Collections in your Favorite Genre=5 pts
* Public reading=5 pts
As specified in PPM 6-22 IV D, cheating and plagiarism violate the
Student Code. Plagiarism is "the
unacknowledged (uncited) use of any other person’s or group’s ideas or
work." Students found guilty of cheating or plagiarism are subject to
failure of a specific assignment, or, in more serious cases, failure of
the entire course.
CORE BELIEFS According to PPM 6-22 IV, students are to "[d]etermine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, when course requirements conflict with a student's core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department head. The student's request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student's beliefs."
DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION: PPM 3-34 notes: "When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities before the beginning of the quarter [semester] in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation."
EMERGENCY CLOSURE: If for any reason the university is forced to close for an extended period of time, we will conduct our class as a hybrid, meaning we will complete core components online using our course website, Weber email, and possibly Blackboard.