• First workshopped piece
  • 800-1,000 words
  • Posted to the class folder in Google Docs by Thursday, September 12 at noon

On Friday, we'll start working with our own writing. For now, let me add no particular formal requirements -- later, we'll play with style, point of view, narrative stance, etc. But this week you have only one prompt:

Write a story that is true.

It can be about anything, it can be personal or not personal, it can be about a big thing or a little thing. But tell us a true story.

Do pay attention to the length. It should be no shorter than 750 words (usually about 3 pages, double-spaced) and no longer than 1,000 words (usually about 4 pages).  I ask you to pay attention to length not because I wish you to be slavishly devoted to the assignment, but because (a) writers in the real world always write to a particular word-length, and (b) thinking about the size of the thing is a way of thinking about the scope of the thing. If you submit a story to a journal editor that is too long, the editor will simply return it to you unread.  The only way you, as a writer, can get published is to work within the length restrictions imposed by the publisher. Get used to thinking that way.

We will workshop four of the papers on Friday in class.  But I am also going to divide you into groups, and I expect you to write a formal review of the papers of the people in your group.  More details about that will follow. 

 For now, start thinking ahead to your story, and let's see where it takes you.

Also: have fun. Seriously.

Last modified: Monday, September 9, 2013, 4:09 PM