Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Convention and Innovation: Writing Short Fiction

ENGL 415.940
instructor(s):
T 5:30-8:40
fulfills requirements:
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major
Creative Writing Seminar Requirement of the Creative Writing Track

What makes a story? Moreover, what makes a story *satisfying*? In this course, we'll dissect the craft of short works by inveterate authors Joyce, Cheever, Nabakov and Lorrie Moore, as well as formally unconventional fiction by writers such as John Barth, Tim O'Brien, Lydia Davis and Aimee Bender. The workshop-style seminar will explore the range of this multi-faceted, ever-evolving form, ultimately focusing exclusively on student work. You'll consider questions like: What type of structure and point of view and narrative style best suits the story you wish to tell? Assignments include two original short stories, one extended revision, typed critiques of each workshopped story, and a brief presentation. You'll also complete in-class writing exercises. Active participation is required and expected. Write the instructor if you have queries: zoffness@mac.com.