The Art of Genre in Short Fiction

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 6:00pm to Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 8:00pm

*General registration at this link is closed.

Class Meetings: Ten Thursday evenings, 6-8pm, from June 8 to August 17 (no class June 29), in the Poetry Center Conference Room 207.

Contemporary short stories in the 21st century have tended toward the character-driven narratives of the New Yorker-school of fiction, stories where characters reach epiphanies but not much happens, what Michael Chabon calls the "quotidian, moment-of-truth" story. But not long ago the most popular stories were genre pieces published in magazines with names like Amazing Tales! It's difficult to write genre pieces in short fiction, because there's often not enough page space to build whole new worlds with new rules surrounding characters.

Not anymore! In this class, we'll place a heavy emphasis on short fiction craft, but discuss how the conventions of short fiction are ever-present in genre pieces. We'll be reviewing a different short fiction piece in a different genre each week: the ghost story, the detective story, the love story, the fairy tale, and many more. Each week, we'll discuss how to tell tightly-plotted, quickly-moving stories no matter what genre. Students will have the opportunity to workshop their own genre pieces each week, and will be amply assisted by their instructor.