Special Topics in Creative Writing: The Art of Rewriting

The life of the writer is a life of rewriting. This means not merely line-editing, but freely transposing — and disposing of — drafts. Yet it’s difficult to return to old work; the idea of a new story can be more compelling because it hasn’t disappointed us yet. To that end, this course tackles revision through workshops where you will rewrite the same story. Exercises will enable you to change your original draft significantly (for instance, rewriting from a different character’s point-of-view). This course is ideal for students who want to write a fiction thesis, or for students who are serious about producing publishable work.

Sample reading list:
Charles Baxter, Burning Down The House
Flannery O’Connor, The Collected Works of Flannery O’Connor
Ursula K. LeGuin, Steering the Craft
Michael Byers, Faking Shapely Fiction

Reading/Writing assignments:
We will begin the semester with initial workshops of new stories from each student, after which point, students must continue to rewrite their submitted story for the following two workshops, as well as for their final submission. Class time will also include reading six stories of Flannery O’Connor, as well as the first draft, middle draft, and published draft of a contemporary writer’s work.

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
This course is by application via submission of work sample. Must have taken at least one Introductory Fiction Workshop.




Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:50 p.m.
New South Building, Rm. 605


Hanna Pylväinen