First creative submission and critiques.

Each member of the class will submit for critique a prose narrative--either fiction or nonfiction.  While lengths may vary according to the purpose of the piece, seven to eight double-spaced pages may be kept in mind as a guide (remember that 15 pages of finished creative writing are required for your portfolio).  The submission must be made to all members of the class by e-mail (you will receive a class e-mail list) at least two full days--that is, by 9:00 a.m.--before the scheduled workshop (see the syllabus).  The work must be clearly labeled as either fiction or nonfiction.

While all members of the class will read each submission and be responsible for discussion of each piece, each member of the class will also be responsible for providing a primary and a secondary critique of another member's work.  See the detailed assignment below:

The Critiques.   The critiques consist of detailed notes on the original manuscript plus a formal written critical evaluation of the work.  They should be written in an analytical prose style appropriate for an academic paper.  Each primary critique should evaluate and provide detailed commentary on the effectiveness of plot, characterization, setting and atmosphere, style and tone (including higher elements of language such as imagery), and, finally, the total effectiveness of the work--remarking on both strengths and weaknesses of the story and making specific suggestions for revision.  Critiques do not have to be organized in the order listed above.  Let the story itself determine the order of importance in which its elements are addressed.  The primary critique should be two typed, doubled-spaced pages in length.  The secondary critique, which can focus on a single element of the story, should be a half page.

Critiques, and all discussion of a student-author's stories, should always address the text, never the author. Critiques sharpen the thinking of the reviewer and aid the writer only when they are honest and respectful.  Students will read their prepared critiques to the class to spark further discussion of the story under consideration.  The primary critique should be about seven minutes long; the secondary critique should be two to three minutes long.  Authors must be present but may not join in the discussion of their work unless invited to do so by the instructor.

Students must provide two copies of the critique:  one for the student author and one for the instructor.  In addition, they must provide for the instructor one copy of the original story with their critical remarks on the text.  The original goes back to the author, of course.

A word here on manuscript format: All stories and critiques must be typed and double-spaced and printed in 12 point Times New Roman or Courier font.  In addition, all manuscripts should observe the standards of academic and business practice, with one inch margins all around.  All pages after the first should be numbered in the top right corner.  Stories must have a title and byline centered at the top of the first page (no cover page is required). For example:

<>Ruins
(fiction)
by

Randy Hendricks

Critiques should begin with the following information centered at the top of page one:

Critique of "title of story"
by
name of author of story
Prepared by name of reviewer

An additional word on standard English.  While in fiction the element of voice may demand some variation from the rules of grammar and diction, only writers who are masters of the rules can break those rules effectively.  In short, realistic dialogue or 1st person narration are certainly allowed in the stories written for this class, but such techniques must justify themselves.  Mechanics, grammar, sentence coherence and the larger matters of organization and coherence in a composition do count in this class (of course these latter elements take quite different forms in fiction and academic prose).

<>3200 Creative Writing  First Workshop Schedule, September 12-19
Sept 12<>

Authors                                   Primary                       Secondary

Jeffrey                                      Charles             Melissa King

Jessica                                      Melinda                        Melissa Lively

Timothy                                    Lauren                          Ify

 

Sept 14

Authors                                   Primary                       Secondary

Brandy                                     Jeffrey                          Scott   

Cassandra                                Jessica                          Melinda

Donald                                     Timothy                        Lauren

Charles                         Melissa Lively               Damaris

 

Sept 17

Authors                                   Primary                       Secondary

Ify                                            Brandy                         Timothy

Melinda                                    Damaris                        Donald

Melissa King                            Scott                            Cassandra

 

Sept 19

Authors                                   Primary                       Secondary

Lauren                                      Donald                         Charles

Melissa Lively                           Melissa King                Jessica

Damaris                                    Ify                                Brandy

Scott                                        Cassandra                    Jeffrey