Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Short Story Writing

Module summary

Module code: COML1051
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Literature, Lang. and Theatre
Module Coordinator(s): Alexander Pheby

Specification

Aims

The course is designed to provide students with opportunities to build upon work undertaken in the level four course Creative Writing. It will consolidate and reinforce skills acquired at level four, and develop further students' skills required in fiction writing, with a specific focus on the short story. To facilitate this, students will explore formal techniques appropriate to the production of short stories. The course requires students to practice fiction writing in greater depth and at more length, with a deeper understanding of the techniques involved. Students will analyse and reflect on the short story as a form as well as producing short stories. Students will apply critical and analytical skills to their own writing practice and examine their process through the course journal. They are also required to undertake a project which necessitates wider reading and research.

Learning outcomes

Students will have acquired, developed and consolidated further analytical and creative skills central to the practice of writing short stories. Students will have read material by writers on the craft of fiction writing and use knowledge gained from this in the production of written work. Students will apply these skills to the production of written work in workshop exercises and consolidate these into short stories. Students will have gained a deeper understanding of the need to analyse their process and to further explore the processes involved in the development of their own work. Students will have developed their research and bibliographic skills by developing and writing a project based on their research into a short story writer or an element of short story technique lending itself to wider analysis.

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 demonstrate that they have acquired, developed and consolidated further analytical and creative skills central to the practice of writing short stories.
2 demonstrate that they have read material by writers on the craft of fiction writing and use knowledge gained from this in the production of written work
3
use knowledge gained from their reading in the production of written work
4 demonstrate a deeper understanding of the need to analyse their process

5 demonstrate a deeper understanding of the need to further explore the processes involved in the development of their own work
6 develop their research and bibliographic skills by developing and writing a project based on their research into a short story writer or an element of short story technique lending itself to wider analysis

Indicative content

Students will be expected to read and critically analyse examples of short stories. They will also read and engage with critical writings and practical advice written by professional writers. Students will produce written material in short story form to indicate a deepening of their understanding of fictional techniques. They will also be expected to begin to recognise the specific requirements and characteristics of that form. Aspects of short story writing the students will study include: plotting, narrative, voice, point of view, characterisation, description, use of landscape, realism, stream of consciousness and magical realism. Alongside commentary, analysis and production, students will be required to keep a course journal in which they are encouraged to reflect critically on re-drafting and editing work undertaken during the course.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered via a range of learning activities - seminars, visual stimulation, site-specific writing, gallery visits, and various writing exercises - but the main emphasis in the course will be on workshop activity and the production of short story writing. Workshops are designed to provide a variety of activities, such as automatic writing, reading out work that has been produced, critical debate and discussion, and practical advice, all of which allow the students to further develop skills in writing short stories. Students will present their own work to the group to be analysed and critiqued by their peers.

Assessment

Short Story Portfolio 1: 40% weighting, pass mark 40. 2,500 words. Portfolio of student's original work.

Redrafting Journal: 20% weighting, pass mark 40. 1,500 words. Critical analysis of student's original work.

Short Story Portfolio 2: 40% weighting, pass mark 40. 2,500 words. Portfolio of student's original work.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment - Seminars / Workshops.


Pre and co requisites

N/A.