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What If It All Ends Tonight: Nontraditional Writing for Young Adults

ENGL 3253.401
also offered as: AFRC 3253.401
Thursday 5:15-8:15pm

This workshop-style course explores how to write outside of traditional norms for young adults. We will play with choices we can make, as people or artists, to create tension, heighten emotional stakes, and shift perspective in moments of self-actualization. Through weekly engagement with literature that disrupts so-called classical literary form, we will traverse coming-of-age storytelling that centers curiosity and intention. In this course, we will ask what possibilities lie ahead when we allow a story to lose composure and take an unexpected turn in narrative, thought, or even visual presentation. In addition to practical exercises that build the essential tools of fiction (such as dialogue, characterization, and exposition), we will use pivotal scenes, paragraphs, and sentences from a diversity of authors to discuss writing that elicits an evocative, immersive reader experience. Together, we will learn from provocative, award-winning authors such as Akwaeke Emezi, Tiffany Jackson, Kacen Callendar, Safia Elhillo, Malindo Lo, Jason Reynolds, Sara Farizan, and Elisabet Velasquez. We will close-read others’ work and give each other feedback, working with the narratives that you’ve already created, as well as wish to bring into the room. At the end of the semester, class will culminate with a 2,500-word final project that has been taken through the workshop process. All students will have the opportunity to meet one acclaimed published author and a senior editor from Penguin Random House.

English Major Requirements
English Concentration Attributes
  • Creative Writing Workshop Course Minor (AECW)
College Attributes
Additional Attributes