Academics

BLS 323: Contemporary Short Stories

This is a course about the interpretation and craft of short fiction. We will analyze contemporary short stories, not only focusing on the meaning of the stories, but also on the choices available to the writer as he considers how to connect to his reader. We will hear writers themselves talk about their craft and listen to them read from their own works.

Students’ written requirements will include participation in weekly discussion forums as we cover topics such as character, point of view, and conflict in fiction. The student will also experiment with creative exercises to understand and enjoy some components of fiction writing more fully. There will be a midterm and a final paper.

The contemporary short story reflects attention to the particular rather than the general, to real lives rather than stereotypes. A study of contemporary short fiction will cross over into the appreciation and practice of effective writing of any kind.

Textbooks

  • Charters, Ann, ed. The Story and Its Writer, 7th ed. (compact edition) Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2007. ISBN 9780312442712
  • Welty, Eudora. One Writer’s Beginnings. (any edition)