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Writing Linked Short Stories

ENGL 415.630
instructor(s):
T 5:30-8:10
fulfills requirements:
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major
Creative Writing Seminar Requirement of the Creative Writing Track

The stories of linked collections are supposed to be both self-sufficient and interrelated; according to Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Chabon, the interest of linked narratives lies in what happens “in the interstices.” How do we understand threads of character or setting or structure or theme? How do such promises shape our expectations as readers? What challenges do they pose for writers? In this writing workshop, students will create their own interrelated stories, focusing as much on making them work independently as making them work together. Assignments include two original narratives, one extended revision, typed critiques of each workshopped story, and a brief presentation. While the primary focus will be student work, we’ll also dissect the craft choices of related texts, which will likely include work by: Denis Johnson, Tim O’Brien, Alice Munro, Sandra Cisneros and Russell Banks, as well as Hemingway and Updike and Robert Olen Butler.