English 351: Creative Writing: Prose
Instructor: Bryan Fry
Office: Avery 371
Office Hours: TTh 12:00-1:00 p.m.


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                                                                       Course Syllabus


Course Overview:

This is a course in creative writing focusing on short fiction. Ideally, you have taken English 251 or a similar introductory course in creative writing where you learned about characterization, plot, dialogue, image, and setting. This course will give you opportunities to hone those concepts as well as develop a deeper understanding of style. Learning to write requires close, critical reading so this course involves reading the work of professionals to learn the "tricks of the trade." You will also read the writing of your peers in preparation for whole-class workshops. Obviously, you will also write a great deal, both individually and as a group. To get the most from this course you are required to attend class consistently and be prepared to participate honestly and fully.

 
Required Material:
  • Alice LaPante, Method and Madness
  • A writing journal
  • A three-ring binder
   
Major Requirements:
 

Participation (20%):  Each week I will assign you a participation grade that reflects how involved you are in the class. This includes being prepared (bringing your books, journals, and a three ringed binder with class readings) as well as participating in discussion. Your participation grade will be the average of these grades. Please note: I pay attention to those who come to class prepared and those who do not.

Homework (20%): Sometimes I will ask you to complete a writing prompt; other times you will have to prepare work for a writing workshop. Please make sure to read our schedule carefully and turn in work when it is due. Please note: All homework must be typed, unless others specified. I will not accept late work.

Workshop (30%):  Each student will prepare a short piece of fiction (8-12 pages) for a class workshop. We will discuss these pieces as a class in order to help one another see our work more clearly. About half of your workshop grade depends on signing up for a workshop and having your work prepared when it is due; this includes making enough copies of your story for the entire class. The other half depends on your workshop attendance and participation; you are required to read all of the workshop pieces and prepare for all workshop discussions. I will hand out a sign-up sheet for this workshop early on in the semester. Please note: You must type your story for workshop and hand it in on time to complete credit for this assignment.

Portfolio (30%): Revising (or rewriting) is a major part of the writing process; creative writing is no exception. Therefore, I expect to see you progress as a fiction writer in this class. The best way to show me this progression is through your portfolio which you will hand in at the end of the semester. In order for me to see your transformation, you will provide a sample of work along with any rough drafts and a reflection letter. This letter is perhaps the most important part of the portfolio; you will have to explain your revision process, your knowledge of craft, and your vision as a fiction writer in 4-6 pages. Please note: the portfolio is considered the final for our class. In order to receive credit, you will need to turn it in during our exam time when it is due (see schedule for details). 

Regular Attendance: Because of the amount of group collaboration, attendance for this class is crucial. Students are allowed three unexcused absences without penalty. For each of the next three unexcused absences, I will deduct 5% of the final grade. After six absences, students will receive an F in the course. Every three tardies equals an absence. I will assume that every absence has a good reason; please to not email to let me know the reason for your absence.

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC). All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Washington Building, Room 217). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.

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