SATURDAYS, OCTOBER 14—NOVEMBER 11 | Short stories start with instability—sometimes explicit, sometimes subtle—and they end with resolution, which doesn’t always (or even usually) mean happily ever after. Simple enough, but far from easy.
In this class, we’ll spend five weeks building stories from this foundation. We’ll celebrate the trouble at the heart of good short fiction. We’ll look at ways to get characters in and out of (or deeper into) hot water. We’ll look closely at short stories that achieve unity of purpose, precision of craft, and an emotional wallop. From James Joyce’s “Araby” to Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer,” we’ll examine not only how each story builds from the first word to the last but how tightly the structure depends upon – and enhances – our understanding of character.
During these five weeks, each student will craft a short story from beginning to end, starting with in-class exercises and prompts. Homework will consist of weekly reading assignments as well as your own writing. Please be prepared to share your work in class, as we will regularly do so in a supportive and constructive manner (with guidelines provided by the instructor). If you’ve written short fiction before, or are looking to start, this class will give you concrete help in developing (or tightening) your craft.
Note: this class is generative rather than revision-oriented. While you may already have a draft, please be prepared to write (and share) new material.
Lindsey Crittenden‘s stories have won awards and been published in Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Glimmer Train, Quarterly West, Santa Monica Review, and other publications. She is the author of an award-winning collection of short fiction, The View from Below, and she loves working with students in developing and shaping their stories. An Honored Instructor at U.C. Berkeley Extension, she has taught and developed curricula for creative writing classes since 1995.
Number of sessions: 5
Time: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Dates: Saturdays, October 14, 21, 28; November 4, 11
Course fee: $295