English in a Flash: Creative Writing of Short-Short Texts

Course content

This course is for those who want to expand their repertoire of writing techniques and strategies in English. You will compose creative texts week by week to strengthen your habits of writing. You will focus on a connection between good writing and good reading. Inspired by masters of such literary genres as flash nonfiction, flash fiction and prose poetry, you will enrich your English vocabulary and experiment with a variety of writing styles.

 

Thanks to this course, you will:

  • become a more informed and nuanced reader of contemporary English texts,
  • learn how to incorporate the lessons of reading into your own writing,
  • improve and diversify your writing skills in English.

 

This course combines literary studies, creative writing and advanced English language practice. We will read selected examples of the short-short, one of the most popular contemporary literary genres, to observe how such very short texts (from 6 to 750 words) use language to suggest larger narratives. We will read as writers, that is, we will treat short-shorts as our master texts in order to understand better how we can build scenes, create voice, use images in our own writing. Our readings include work by such outstanding authors as Lydia Davis, Dave Eggers, Lia Purpura, Barry Lopez, Rosmarie Waldrop and Charles Simic. We will also read essays by practitioners who discuss their craft: chapters from The Rose Metal Press Field Guides to Writing: Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, Flash Nonfiction as well as ‘Craft Essays’ published on the websites of such magazines as Brevity and Creative Nonfiction.

Workshops that incorporate class discussions and small group discussions in response to readings; presentations, writing and peer review; independent reading (reading like a writer) and writing (writing tasks inspired by read texts); assembling a portfolio, which documents the student’s progress throughout the course.

Our readings include work by such outstanding authors as Lydia Davis, Dave Eggers, Lia Purpura, Barry Lopez, Rosmarie Waldrop and Charles Simic. We will also read essays by practitioners who discuss their craft: chapters from The Rose Metal Press Field Guides to Writing: Flash Fiction, Prose Poetry, Flash Nonfiction as well as ‘Craft Essays’ published on the websites of such magazines as Brevity and Creative Nonfiction.

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
(drafts of) 9-10 written assignments before a set deadline, which may include:
• 3 reviews (max. 2 pages) which discuss one literary or linguistic point of interest in 3 texts (one from each genre) selected from the reading list
• 3 journal entries (max. 2 pages) written as response to the craft essays read during the course
• 3 texts (max. 2 pages each; with all their drafts) which represent the most publishable material from the student’s creative writing
• 1 journal entry (max. 4 pages) discussing the re-writing process (goals, composition strategies, response to relevant feedback from peers and tutor)
• 3 peer reviews of written material

Single subject courses (evening/weekend)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • English
  • 409,5