Students in this course will not only continue to hone the basic elements of their fiction, including character development, dialogue, plot and prose style, but will focus much of their effort on revision and the process of "finishing" a story. Other central themes of the course, which emphasizes workshop and discussion, will be finding a form for the story you want to write, and developing a distinctive voice. We will immerse ourselves in conventional and experimental short story collections by writers such as Lydia Davis, Jennifer Egan and Elizabeth Strout, and fiction lurking at the boundaries of novel and novella by Gwendolyn Brooks and Henry James.
The prerequisite for this class is English 293 or any creative writing workshop (with fiction content) at Swarthmore or Bryn Mawr. The writing requirements for this course are two stories and two revisions, as well as several exercises. (The class will be conducted as a combined seminar/workshop in which students will read and discuss one another’s work.) Students who shrink from class participation and/or courteous critical engagement of their writing are advised to reconsider their interest in this course. Similarly, students whose attendance from 1:30 to 4:00 P.M. on Friday may be compromised by different commitments, athletic or otherwise, are regretfully discouraged from applying.
Enrollment is limited to 15 students. If you are interested in taking the course, please submit a two to five-page sample of your best prose fiction to Professor Solomon of English, Woodside Cottage 101, by December 16th (the sample may be excerpted from a longer piece of writing). Be sure to label the sample with your name, college, year, and campus mailing address. You will receive an email regarding your standing in the course in January.