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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Creative Writing Classes: The Short Story (Why??)

Writing short stories isn't an exercise just for grade school children. There is a lot to be learned in a short story writing course at the high school or college level.

Writing good short stories is an intellectual exercise that results in better writing overall. It forces the author to be a concise writer who makes every sentence, every word have meaning and deliver a punch.

A novel can meander and take it's time setting a scene. It will likely give you backstory, build suspense slowly, and stretch out the climax. A short story, on the other hand, needs to begin as close to the climax as is possible. Backstory is nothing but distraction so is left to the reader's imagination. A good short story typically drives readers toward sudden, unexpected revelations. It enlivens the reader's emotions and yet it does it with few words.

Learning to write good short stories trains the mind not only in writing, but in other forms of communication. It teaches students how to grab the attention of their audience and make a strong point in a short amount of time.

If you would like your homeschooled student to learn these important skills, Homeschool Connections is offering a 4-week course starting April 14th that will provide just what you need: Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story. To register, visit HSC Registration (click on Summer 2016 Semester and Search).

Here are the course details:

Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story *New
This course only accepts 15 students.
Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story will be offered again in the Spring 2017 semester.
Series description: There are eight courses in the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. Students can jump into the series at any time. Students can also take The Hero’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers and Screenwriting at the same time as the series courses.
Total Classes: 4
Class dates:
Thursday's, April 14 to May 5, 2016 
Starting time: 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central; 8:30 Mountain; 7:30 Pacific)
Duration 50 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/3 semester Creative Writing or English. Add other writing or literature courses for a full semester credit.
Fee:  $99 for all 4 classes. ($119 after April 6)
Erin Brown Conroy, MA, MFA
Course description: Have you ever wanted to write (and publish) a short story? This course will cover just that -- how to write a dynamic, publishable short story -- including fleshing out ideas for your short stories, the similarities and differences between short stories and full-length book writing, and marketing your short stories to publications.
Course outline:
Class 1: Defining short stories: micro fiction, flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, and novellas
Class 2: Characteristics of dynamic, saleable short stories
Class 3: Brainstorming, outlining, and forming your short story
Class 4: Short story markets and sales

Course materials: All course materials will be provided.

Homework: Estimated one to three hours of homework outside of class time per class, depending on the student’s ability. 

NOTES: Registration closes April 6th. It can be reopened upon request (if the course is not full) for a $20 late-registration fee.
This course will be available as a recorded, independent-learning course in July through our Unlimited Access program.

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