Yearlong in Short Story
The short story remains arguably the best medium through which fiction writers hone their craft. In this class, that's precisely our aim. We'll read, write, discuss, and critique short fiction with equal parts rigor and vigor. Ours isn't some dry, lifeless affair—fiction is too good for that. Instead, expect lively exchanges of ideas, stimulating writing prompts, literary experiments, and occasional baked goods. Also, expect mind-blowing readings from George Saunders, Zadie Smith, Carmen Maria Machado, Ottessa Moshfegh, and many more.
Payment plans are available for this class. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a payment plan started.
Guest speaker: Heather Monley, O. Henry Award-winning short story writer
Syllabus: View sample syllabus here
No class dates: 10/31/2023, 12/19/2023, 12/26/2023, 1/2/2024, 1/9/2024, 4/2/2024, 4/9/2024
August 7: Scholarship Donation Day
August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am
August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am
August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing
CLASS FAQS WITH INSTRUCTOR RAMÓN ISAO
Who is this class best suited for? How much writing experience do I need to take this class?
All levels are welcome! In seven years of teaching the class, I've had many students who have never written a story and many students who are more seasoned. The class is structured so that everyone can get plenty out of the experience. It's part of what makes the class interesting.
What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?
Jim Krusoe says that writing has three steps: Play, Look, and Fix. In this class, we'll go over the multitude of methods and practices of writing drafts (play), noticing what could be improved (look), and coming up with a plan of how to make it better (fix)., and figuring out ways to make it even better. Along the way we'll not only study elements of crafting good fiction, but putting those elements into practice, one by one, to make sure you can use them in your own writing.
What's the balance of in-class generative writing, lecture, and workshop?
Almost every week, we'll read one or two stories from classmates for whom we'll write and deliver constructive feedback. We'll often discuss an assigned reading. In addition, we'll go over an element of writing and practice its usage through prompts, and weird literary experiments.
How much time outside of class will I need for this class each week?
I'd say anywhere from 1-4 hours
How much feedback will I receive on my work, peer, or instructor?
You will submit at least 3 full stories for feedback from myself, and your peers, in workshop. Outside of workshop, we will also be sharing work in the form of literary experiments, or "prompts."
Who will we be reading?
As we progress through the class, I'll assign readings that get us talking and that highlight some techniques we can use in our own writing. These will likely include George Saunders, Sandra Cisneros, Carmen Maria Machado, Zadie Smith, Ottessa Moshfegh, Jamaica Kincaid, Donald Barthelme, Bryan Washington, Yukiko Motoya, Percival Everett, and so many more.
Ramón Isao is a recipient of the Tim McGinness Award for Fiction, as well as fellowships from Artist Trust and Jack Straw Cultural Center. His stories appear in such journals as The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Moss, and Hobart, and his screen credits include ZMD and Dead Body. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and serves as Fiction Editor at New Orleans Review.