Short Fiction: Genre and Practice

The aims of this module are to provide an opportunity for you to develop a knowledge of the short story form, and to develop your experience of writing the form. You 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 your own work’s literary context. The module will offer you the opportunity to develop your oral and written communication skills, enhance awareness of their approach to the creative process, and enhance your skills in the critical analysis of texts. This module 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 your 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. You 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 module 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 module, 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.