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ENGLISH 2251   Fiction Writing Honors --Spring  2007     MW 2:30- 3:45 IC 2019

  Textbook: Burroway, Janet.  Writing Fiction    7th ed. 
Schedule and links to readings for all class workshops

Instructor: Tammie Bob

Office: 3129b    OFFICE HOURS

Phone: 630-942-3327




isn't only for  talented geniuses.  I  teach this course with both belief and evidence that story-telling techniques  can be taught, and learned .  Learning takes  discipline and  work, and occasional frustration is normal. . I expect you to approach the writing of fiction seriously, with the goal of developing  your process, as well as an understanding of formal and stylistic options. In this class you have the freedom to experiment and sometimes fail. That is the path to successful writing. 

Writers are first readers, and each week I expect you to prepare and discuss the week's readings, to see how other writers approach the same issues facing you. All writers write because it brings them pleasure, and I assume students take this class because for the same reason. This class will help you discover your stories, and play with different ways to tell them. 

You'll have plenty of opportunity to get response to your writing; in a group setting you learn both from what others are doing, and from feedback to your work-in- process. How to give and receive useful critique will be addressed in class, often. This will be a lively, student-centered class, and ultimately what you learn here will be useful for any kind of writing project.

Course Requirements: 

Attendance is mandatory. More than four  absences will affect your  grade. 

All writing assignments MUST be completed for students to receive a grade for the course. 

All stories must be typed, double-spaced, with standard margins and in standard format (to be shown in class). Mondays will be devoted to comment and critique of student work, in smallish (4-6 member) groups which will change from time to time. Please bring in enough copies of your work for your group.


10% Attendance and Participation: You are expected to attend class regularly and to participate with intelligence and enthusiasm in all workshops and class discussions.
5%  Class Presentation: Using one of the stories/writers represented in the textbook, present information and topics for discussion focusing on author's employment of targeted writing techniques. May work with another person on this project.

80%  Writing Portfolio: at least 35 pp. of original story material and revision, including  drafts, revised work, writing exercises and practice.

You may be working on a particular story all quarter or try different stories, as long as at least one is completed and revised by the end of the quarter.  You may always use your story material in the exercises, and later decide whether or not to incorporate the experiment.  Revision means a real "re-seeing" of significant parts of your story, not just fixing a few commas and adding some adjectives!

Exercises These are given to let you stretch your writing muscles and develop a few you didn't know you had. You may incorporate material and characters already in progress into exercises, or better yet, incorporate the exercises into the stream of your story. You may also experiment with new story situations in these exercises. I expect you to give them a real push--at least two pages or so--they may turn into something usable or not. I take them seriously and so should you.

Portfolio Grading: (all portfolios contain at least 35 pages of relevant content)

A: at least two carefully revised and edited stories, serious attempts at all exercises, drafts, and a written explanation of your process revising each story.  Revisions total 15 pages or more.

B: At least one carefully edited and revised story, serious attempts at all exercises, drafts, and a written explanation of your revision process. Revisions total 9 pages or more.

C: One or two finished stories, serious attempts at all exercises, and a written explanation of your writing process and what you might revise

D: Missing any part of the C portfolio

F: Less than 35 pages, little evident effort to apply class content