Short Fiction Writing IIIGUIDE TO FICTION COURSES
Short Fiction Writing III is a 10-week workshop, which includes lectures, exercises, and the critiquing of student projects. The focus is on writing short stories. The prerequisite is Short Fiction II taken twice; Level II courses work best when students know the fundamentals and have experience with the workshop process. Farther down, you can view a syllabus for this course.
Short stories are brief glimpses into lives, which can be anything from a few paragraphs to several dozen pages—contained enough to read in single outing. The best short stories drop us off somewhere, soon bringing us home, yet lingering in the mind for a long while.
A key advantage of short fiction is that you can conceive, write, and polish a story in a reasonable amount of time, and there are countless places where you can submit your work, many of which are very open to aspiring writers. This is an ideal form for the earlier stages of a writer’s career, though you may get so hooked you never leave. Here you’ll learn the specialized techniques of writing short fiction and how to market your work.
As Neil Gaiman says: Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams.
The instructor’s clarity of criticism had to open the minds of everyone in the course.
Fiction I encompasses short stories and novels. After Level I, students have a choice of Short Fiction Writing II (focusing on short stories), or Novel II Critique or Novel II First Draft (focusing on novels).
If you’re working on a YA novel, you may take a Fiction/Novel or “genre” course, or you may take a Children’s Book course, where the full spectrum of children’s books will be covered.
This course focuses on detailed workshopping of student short stories, among veterans of the workshop process. Writers often repeat Fiction III to continue their projects. Course components:
Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two or three times, depending on class size)
The course content varies each term, but is focused mostly on the workshopping of student work.