Catalogue 2016 - 2017

ENGL 555 The Craft of Fiction


3 cr.


Formal acceptance to program.

Course Description

This course, which will begin during each of the two yearly residencies, will be taught by a different visiting instructor/author each term. It is a class for writers, taught by writers, about the craft of writing. Students will perform close reading of exemplary literary work and look at how they are made. The class will ask questions about where the story begins, how this influences the writing, the important of the first line. The class will trace how the story is put together, how time passes, how character is presented, what kinds of sentences the writer tends toward, the texture her prose evokes, her disposition toward scene and narrative, how exposition she offers, and how much resolution. This craft seminar will serve as a complement to ENGL 550, Fiction Workshop. The course will begin in person during each residency and then will be taught on-line by the instructor/mentor over the course of two consecutive 11-week graduate terms.

The curriculum will be individualized to best meet the literary aspirations of the student. A narrative evaluation of the student’s work will be given after each term along with a Pass/Fail grade.

The course can and should be repeated with each new residency and with new instructors/mentors who bring a new approach to the craft of fiction to the students.