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The Creative Impact of Harry Potter

ENGL 415.942
TR 4:30-8:00 pm

There’s no question that Harry Potter, an adolescent boy who began with little more than challenging relatives and an interesting scar, has changed the world of children’s literature. It can be argued that he has, in a pretty terrific (bookish!) way, changed the world. Regardless, author J.K. Rowling has made a permanent and sparkling place for herself in the pantheon of literature, all with a sharp, incredibly easy-to-read, modern fairytale series about magic and growing up and making an enormous difference to the world around you just by doing the right thing. This is a class about learning what makes a simple novel so good—and potentially so important and enduring, using Rowling’s series as a reference. There will be lots of reading and writing, lively discussion, and livelier critique. Students will work on honing their voice, creating believable and compelling  plot, characters, and language. Students will produce a series of writing exercises for critique: both themed assignments from the instructor and pieces of their choice. One session will be devoted to the Business: navigating today’s publishing world of agents and editors, submission and rejection, established house or DIY.  By the end of the term, students will have conceived their own book-length project, and completed a solid opening three chapters.