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A List of Upcoming Classes

 

April 07 - L230 Italo Calvino Short Stories
Course Length: 2 weeks

Difficulty (1-5): 3

Course Description: Students participate in selected readings and topic discussions, and have the choice of writing a review, an analysis of a specific element of fiction or a biography of the author.

Text provided: "Adventure of the Reader" and "All At One Point"  

 

 

 

April 09 - MFA350 Understanding and Writing Poetry

Course Length: 16 weeks

Course Description: The language of prose and poetry seem to be half a world apart. Yet, the craft and structures overlap. Each uses mere words to paint scenes, to craft stories and thoughts so they feel alive and reach into the reader's heart. This course is intended to help all writers—whether beginning or intermediate or advanced, fiction, nonfiction or poets—better understand the whys and hows of using words.

Required Text: A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver  

 

 

 

April 09 - MFA152 Flash Fiction from Contemporary China

Course Length: 2 Weeks

Course Description: Flash Fiction Workshop - Flash Fiction, or wei xing xiao shuo, as it is known in China today, also goes by the name of Minute Story, Pocket-Size Story, Palm-Size Story, and perhaps, in Qu's opinion, most accurately (for China at least) Smoke-Long Story, which promises to let the reader relish the sights and sounds of an entire make-believe world before he or she has time to finish one cigarette.

Required Text: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field  

 

 

 

April 09 - MFA052 Flash Nonfiction: Voice, Sound and Language

Course Length: 6 Weeks

Course Description: MFA52 is the third in a series of flash nonfiction workshops (works under 2,000 words). Each of the series will use The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction. Courses in the series may be taken in any sequence, though reading the text's Introduction is recommended for those who haven't taken MFA50 yet.

Required Text: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers  

 

 

 

April 14 - L231 Paul Yoon Short Stories

Course Length: 2 weeks

Course Description: Students participate in selected readings and topic discussions, write a short response essay and do a writing exercise.

Required Text: Provided  

 

 

 

April 16 - MFA376 Prose Poetry: On Discovery

Course Length: 2 weeks

Course Description: MFA376 is the second in a series of 8 prose poetry workshops (poems lengthwise half a page to 3–4 pages). Each of the courses in the series will use The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice. Courses in the series may be taken in any sequence, though reading the text's Introduction is recommended for those who haven't taken MFA375 yet.

Required Text: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry  

 

 

 

April 16 - MFA208 Difficult Characters

Course Length: 2 Weeks

Course Description: We must feel sympathy for a character, and here the word "sympathy" is not merely a synonym for "like," but more in terms of "understanding." If we as writers understand our characters, even the unlikable ones, if we understand their motivations, and convey this understanding to the reader, then perhaps we will come to understand something more about the mysteries of human behavior and aspiration, not the givens we already grasp, not the people and borders we know well.

Required Text: Creating Fiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs  

 

 

 

April 20 - MFA703 Maps of the Imagination

Course Length: 8 Weeks

Course Description: Writing is often discussed as two separate acts – though in practice they overlap. They differ in emphasis but are by no means merely sequential. If we do well, both result in discovery. One is the act of exploration: some combination of premeditated searching and undisciplined, perhaps only partly conscious rambling. This includes scribbling notes, considering potential scenes, lines or images, inventing characters, even writing drafts. History tells us that exploration is assertive action in the face of uncertain assumptions, often involving false starts, missteps, and surprises. If we persist, we discover our story within the world of that story. The other act of writing we might call presentation. Applying knowledge, skill, and talent, we create a document meant to communicate and to have an effect on others. The purpose of a story or poem is not to record our experience but to lead the reader on a journey. At some point, we turn from the role of Explorer to take on that of Guide.

Required Text: Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer  

 

 

 

April 21 - L211 Poe and Hawthorne Short Works

Course Length: 2 weeks

Difficulty (1-5): 3

Course Description: Students participate in selected readings and topic discussions, and write a short response essay.

Required Text: provided  

 

 

 

April 23 - MFA153 Flash Fiction - The Myth-ing Link

Course Length: 2 Weeks

Course Description: Flash fiction is difficult if not impossible to define – and should be allowed to remain so – because this type of writing is protean (able to change often and easily). It takes on various shapes and uses different strategies to achieve its goals. These shapes and strategies are two dissimilar to confine flash fiction to a too narrow or too specific definition. These short stories are endlessly metamorphosing as myths themselves. But I would tentatively define the best flash fiction as short short stories that manage to reveal the hidden, accentuate the subtle, and highlight the seemingly insignificant. The best offer insight and understanding of the human experience as they deepen and broaden reader awareness in a short space of text. These highly charged stories often go well beyond their surface details and manage to expand in the reading.

Required Text: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field  

 

 

 

April 23 - MFA403 Contemporary Writing Strategies

Course Length: 8 weeks

Course Description: Give your writing the strength to pull readers along by getting to the point and not wasting their time. Transport them to scenes using the personality and appropriate tone for the subject. Make your words dance with clear, well-written sentences readers won’t have to read twice. MFA403 is a combination course and 2-week workshop. Students work toward a completed story, article or blog post. Though the course is primarily for nonfiction writers and journalists, writers will find the strategies useful for any form. MFA403 will help you get down to the business of professional writing.

Required Text: A Writer's Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work by Jack Hart  

 

 

 

April 28 - L200 Proust & Flaubert - Short Works

Course Length: 2 weeks

Difficulty (1-5): 4

Course Description: Students participate in selected readings and topic discussions.

Students have the choice of writing a review, an analysis of a specific element of fiction or a biography of the author. Selected works from the class will be included in our library for the benefit of future students.

Required Resources (texts, etc.): Provided  

 

 

 

April 30 - MFA209 Point of View Basics

Course Length: 2 Weeks

Course Description: Point of view is one of the most basic elements in the craft of fiction. Through this medium, storytellers see, hear, feel, smell, taste, and from particular consciousnesses as well as from specific spatial and temporal perspectives. Since most contemporary fiction involves a growth of perception among characters and readers, the selection of viewpoint is crucial. Who is telling what story? Through this point of view, the narrator shapes content.

Required Text: Creating Fiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs