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FICT 261 — Short Story Writing: Toward a Final Draft

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Time: 6:15—9:05 pm
Date(s): Mar 30—Jun 1
Duration: 10 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 12
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $605
Format: On-campus course
Limit: Limit 18
Status: Open
Successful writers know that a revision is at least as important as the first draft, and many find it intriguing and gratifying as well as productive of better work. Yet the ways to improve a story aren’t always obvious. This course is designed for students who have already taken at least one fiction-writing course and have stories ready for a close look. During the term, each student will have the opportunity to present at least two stories to be discussed in class, providing copies for each student at least a week before the scheduled discussion. The instructor will provide written comments on each submission. In addition, each week there will be a short homework assignment focused on a specific technique of fiction, such as dialogue or tone. There is no textbook, but the instructor may occasionally distribute material that illuminates various aspects of fiction writing. As a class, our goal will be to provide criticism that is perceptive, specific, useful, and generous.

Nancy Packer, Professor of English, Emerita, Stanford

Nancy Packer has published more than sixty stories and five collections. Small Moments received the Commonwealth Club of California award, and Jealous-Hearted Me received the Alabama Library Association Fiction Award. Her most recent book is Old Ladies: Stories. Her stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She is also the author of several textbooks and a mystery novel.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks