This course will investigate craft elements such as characterization, voice, world-building, conflict/tension, plot and narrative structure. How do we use these craft fundamentals in our own writing? When, if ever, do we disregard them? In our examination of craft tools, we’ll read and analyze contemporary fiction written by authors such as James Baldwin, Elif Batuman, Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li, Edna O’Brien, Helen Oyeyemi and George Saunders. In addition to reading and analysis, this course will feature intensive group workshops during which we share and discuss our works-in-progress with one another. This course will encourage students to write freely and to experiment with style, structure and content; it is open to writers of all levels of experience, including beginners.