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Apple iPhone orchestra here & Is it art? here

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Reading and Writing: The Rhetoric of eBay & Amazon?

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Accept credit card payments…with your iPhone

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These questions provide a chance for you to reflect on creative writing. Please answer these questions in a post on your blog. Your answers will not be graded for content, and there are no right answers. Please be honest.

  1. Finish this sentence: Creative writing is…
  2. Briefly describe your history or background in reading and writing creative texts.
  3. Are writers born, made, or both? Explain your answer.
  4. Explain how writing affects your daily life.
  5. What is the purpose of the creative writer in contemporary society?
  6. Will you continue to write creatively when this course ends? What are your plans?

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If you’re interested in writing short-short fiction, like what we’ve read in New Sudden Fiction (and even shorter works), you may be interested in ordering The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction by Tara L. Masih, Ed, from Small Press Distribution (SPD).

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Readings for 9/15

NSF: Hollowell-25, Wolff-47, Jin-189,Tubania-288

Don’t forget to bring an object for tomorrow.

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How Workshops Happen

The workshop is the driving force of a creative writing class. Other than our writing practice, it is the thing at which creative writers ought to work hardest. Workshops can be anxiety-filled situations for new writers, but it helps if we think of the work we bring to the workshop as neither as bad as we think nor as good. It is likely somewhere in the middle.

Then again, it’s often fun and thrilling to hear people analyze and argue about your work. It is surprising what other readers can find there that we would never see ourselves.

The feedback we get from workshops can be both enlightening and useful, but all of it is not. After you workshop work, however, it is important to develop a radar about which suggestions ought to be adopted, which can be discarded and why.

For the purposes of this class, we will workshop in two distinct-yet-related ways.

FULL-CLASS WORKSHOP

What to bring:

The class before you are scheduled to workshop, please bring 18 typed copies of your work with your name on it to distribute to the class. Limit what you hand out to one page of single-spaced work. Don’t forget to print a copy for yourself, too.

Workshops are the most productive if we bring work to them that needs work or that we need to see a reaction to. It is ill-advised to bring work that is too raw, meaning either it is still too emotionally connected to us to the point where we may defend it at all cost and not be open to suggestion or it is not well-wrought enough yet for readers. It is also not a great idea for newer writers to bring work that we consider done or finished or that we are not intent on revising (there is a time for this kind of workshopping, but it comes after you’ve developed writing skills and a critical sensibility about dealing with comments).

At home:

For each full-class workshop, we should study the work we receive. Studying a work means reading the text at least twice (the more the better) and marking up the page as we read. Remember, the nuances and facets of a text often do not reveal themselves at first glance. When we mark texts, it is best to look for surface-level and global characteristics we want to make mention of in workshop. Underlining, writing marginal notes, and drawing connecting lines across the page between passage can all be effective strategies, but please, please, cover the page in mark-ups.

After you’ve studied the work and marked up the text, provide a half page of typed comments. These can explain mark-up notes in detail, discuss perception of the author’s intention and their ability to achieve that intention in the text. Typed comments can attempt to parse deeper meanings, plots or offer possible revisions, expansions, connections to other authors this text reminded you of, and myriad other miscellaneous ideas.

Include your name on the typed comments and attach them to your marked-up copy of the text.

In class:

Our workshops will have a deliberate process. First, the author will read the work aloud, possibly twice if it is short. Next, the class will go around the room, alternating between praise and constructive criticism until everyone has made a comment about the work. The writers who workshopped in the class before will be make first comments for this class’s writers, and we will move around the circle from there. During this part of the workshop, the author should refrain from speaking, even if asked a question, taking note of comments and questions, and who posed them, in writing on his or her copy of the text. After this, the class can make additional comments or present questions to the author. The author may respond to questions at this time but is not required to. Finally, the author can ask questions of the group, ask for clarification about comments that are unclear, or offer explanations, if needed.

This whole process should take about 10-12 minutes per writer. We will study 3-4 writers per workshop.

SMALL-GROUP WORKSHOP

After four weeks of class featuring only full-class workshops, we will divide into six groups of three. I will assign theses groups, making my best effort to create productive environments for everyone.

The small-group workshop is meant to allow two other people to closely read your work and monitor your development as a writer during the semester. The three members of the group will be in control of how group time is used, and I will not be involved.

Small-group workshops differ from large-group workshops because the text is not taken home and studied in advance. While you should still bring printed copies for your group mates, you can read them in class and offer a “readerly” response. This is, after all, the way most literature gets read outside of the academy. Praise and critical suggestions can be made, but tangential discussions are acceptable, too, provided everyone in the group gets a turn to have their work read.

The small-group workshop offers an opportunity to re-workshop revised texts or bring new work that would not otherwise get a chance to be workshopped.

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Writer’s Inventory

WRITER’S INVENTORY

These questions provide a chance for you to reflect on what you already think and know about creative writing. Please answer these questions in a post on your blog. Your answers will not be graded for content, and there are no right answers. Please be honest.

  1. Finish this sentence: Creative writing is…
  2. Briefly describe your history or background in reading and writing literary texts leading up to taking this course.
  3. Are writers born or made? Explain your answer.
  4. What do you think the writers you admire are like as people? What do you think they do each day?
  5. What is the purpose of the writer in contemporary society?

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English 227 Class Blog

This blog serves as a communication hub for this course. It includes the syllabus, assignments, and other resources that pertain to our work together in this course.

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