Short Fiction: Genre and Practice

Course Outline:

The aims of this course are to provide an opportunity for second year students to develop a knowledge of the short story form, and to develop their experience of writing the form. They will gain experience in reading, writing, workshopping and reflecting on short fiction, and will develop a knowledge of the history and development of the form, current theoretical approaches to reading and practice in this form, and an awareness of their own literary context. The course will offer students the opportunity to develop their oral and written communication skills, enhance awareness of their approach to the creative process, and enhance their skills in the critical analysis of texts. This course is then developed by the third year specialization in short fiction.

This module will explore the writing of short stories in a workshop environment through the development of the student’s own work, combined with the directed reading of selected texts. Over the course of ten weeks, you are expected to read and discuss each key text, and to submit your own work for workshopping on a regular basis. Students are also expected to explore some of the books and essays listed as ‘supplementary’ reading: the books are selected to offer different perspectives on the key issues raised. The course should be considered as having a cumulative effect, in that books discussed early on may be drawn upon in later weeks to illustrate different aspects of writing. During the course, you are also expected to keep a journal, in which you reflect upon your writing and reading. The journal will form the basis of the reflective element of your final portfolio.