Spring 2007
Fully Enrolled

HUMS 619
Short Fiction Workshop


02/17/2007 - 03/17/2007
Saturday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Downey 100

This course is designed for students interested in creating strong fiction with well-structured narratives and dynamic characters. It stresses the fundamentals of a well-crafted story, including use of voice, viewpoint, theme, dialogue, and plot. Students will participate in numerous in-class, as well as out-of-class writing exercises, using traditional techniques, such as the Aristotlean Arc, as well as nonlinear story structure found in the Native American story wheel. Stories are discussed in a supportive atmosphere that leads to evocative, risk-taking prose, experimental as well as traditional work, and powerful revisions. There will be much discussion on the literary marketplace and the business of publishing.

Principle readings include E.M. Forester, Aspects of the Novel; Dorthea Brandt, Becoming a Writer; Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones; Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird; and Annie Dillard, The Writing Life.

Students will be required to write six short stories, at least two of which will be polished through successive drafts. Among the assignments are short-short stories, full-length stories, flash fiction, and scene work using dialogue. Students will be evaluated according to the development and growth of their individual short fiction pieces. In grading, the instructor will also consider class participation, critique, response to reading assignments and a willingness to rewrite and revise fiction.

On February 24th, this course will meet in Fisk Hall, room 412.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Jamie Callan (B.A. Bard College; M.A. Goddard College; M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles) is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in many magazines, including The Missouri Review, Buzz Magazine, American Letters & Commentary, and Best American Erotica 2002. While a film student at UCLA, her screenplay "Thrill Rides" won a Goldwyn Award, a Jack Nicholson Award and was a finalist for the Disney Fellowship and the American Academy's Screenwriting Award. Her most recent book, Hooking Up or Holding Out is forthcoming from SourceBooks in November 2006, and her writing exercises are being published as The Writer's Toolbox, forthcoming from Chronicle Books in spring 2007.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Dorothea Brande, BECOMING A WRITER (Tarcher), Paperback

Natalie Goldberg, WRITING DOWN THE BONES (Shambhala), Paperback


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