English 100F - Spring, 2018

Creative Writing: Fiction

Class Information

Instructor: Williams, Naomi
Time: MW 12:10-1:30
Location: 248 Voorhies


    In this class we’ll write a lot, read great writing, and talk about writing in ways that hopefully encourage you to honor and deepen your own practice. It can be helpful to adopt a lens through which to read, write, and address craft issues; we’ll focus this quarter on the notion of “mystery” as a driving force in fiction. It won’t be our only concern, of course. Think of it more as a general organizing principle. And by “mystery” I don’t mean “mystery fiction” (although I’m open to that genre). The old adage to “write what you know” has more recently given way to the blanket permission to “write what you don’t know.” Neither of these injunctions, in isolation, is particularly helpful. What I think can be helpful is inviting writers to explore in their writing that which remains mysterious to them, whether that be in the familiar or the unfamiliar. It’s important to read contemporary fiction. Also older work that has stood the test of time. And work in translation. The reading assignments will reflect all of the foregoing concerns.


    25%: two pieces submitted for workshop
    25%: all other in-class and take-home writing assignments
    25%: class participation (including attendance)
    25%: final portfolio, including revision of one of the 2 workshop pieces


    We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson