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ENGL 284 B: Beginning Short Story Writing

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
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Photo of Rasheena Fountain standing at a microphone
Rasheena Fountain

Syllabus Description:

Engl 284 B: Beginning Short Story Writing

Meeting Time:

MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm



Office Hours: T/Th 1-2pm  Zoom Link 

My Email:


Making Sense with Place

In this course, you will develop a writing practice driven by inquiry, imagination, collaboration, taking risks, feedforward, and revision. One of the ways you will develop inquiry-driven writing is by reading and analyzing published short stories, creative nonfiction, and essays about creative writing conventions. You will read a range of writing as inspiration for deciding how to construct your own stories. In addition to writing, you will collaborate with classmates through peer feedforward exercises.     

We will focus on creative writing that attempts to make sense with place. For the purposes of this class, place will be defined as physical spaces, realities, groundings, and geographical constructions. These senses of place can be in the now, markers in memory, or be in the aspirational. We will look at various works to discover how making sense with place informs author craft, content, and narrative form. These observations are in hopes of inspiring you to develop your own inquiry into place for generating creative writing. 

The course involves a healthy balance of reading, observation, and writing. I ask for an open mind, as this mindset is needed to achieve the goals of taking risks in this course. While my normal teaching practice is to engage the world beyond the classroom by moving around the campus, I have constructed writing prompts and class exercises that allow us to look beyond the Zoom box. I believe that the best writing inspiration happens in inquiry stages while experiencing the world, and I hope you will learn to utilize this philosophy when constructing your own writing.  

You will respond to each other’s work through writing workshop in the later sessions of the course. You will utilize the process of feedforward in lieu of feedback. Feedforward shifts commenting practice away from negative and offers encouragement toward an author’s goals. We want to get away from “this is bad writing” or “this is great writing.” Before we enter the workshop, we will agree to classroom norms around providing comments on classmates’ writing, and each author will provide the class with workshop goals when their piece is being workshopped.      

I hope this course can be a supportive and generative dive into new ways to view your own writing practice. Honing your creative writing practice is a life-long process, and this course can be a foundation toward numerous avenues for your future writing.  Full Syllabus  


Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the theory and practice of writing the short story.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
February 19, 2021 - 10:50pm