Course Highlight: Online Fiction Writing

Stanford Summer Session is offering English 90v : Fiction Writing (online) for the first time in Summer 2015. Course instructor Shannon Pufahl tells us more about the course.

A note from the instructor

I am excited to offer the first online fiction writing class this summer. The online format highlights some of the most exciting parts of a writing workshop, namely the opportunity to have one’s work critiqued thoughtfully by others, and to develop a vocabulary of craft through that critique. By writing about others’ work, we begin to illumine our own. The kind of concentrated effort required to write well about craft will provide the fuel for our course. The online format is especially well-suited to this, as students can share their thoughts when inspired, and maintain connections with their classmates across geography and time zone, on a well-designed, multi-function course site.

Though the course will be taught entirely online, it will retain the feel of a traditional classroom.  Optional synchronous elements such as discussion and virtual office hours provide the student direct interaction with both the instructor and his/her classmates; the curriculum will also include recorded lectures and online exercises designed to practice technique and to produce sketches and stories. We hope the course will appeal to students who are interested in creative writing but may have limited time in their busy schedules, or those who want to return to campus in Autumn prepared to take on intermediate courses or study other genres in the Creative Writing Program.

About the Instructor

Shannon Pufahl is a PhD candidate in American Literature and Culture at the University of California, Davis.  Her dissertation traces the animal welfare movement in the U.S. from its origins in the 19th-century through the Nature Fakers debate and the young adult animal novels of the early 20th-century.  She was a Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford, where she received a Centennial award, the University’s highest honor for teaching assistants. Shannon is a now a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program, where she teaches fiction and creative nonfiction.  She is at work on a novel set in the American West about three generations of gamblers, and on a memoir about the UC protests, the Occupy Movement, and her own religious education.

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