Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Class size limit:


Typically offered:

Every other year

Although the novella remains one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood literary genres, its structural brevity offers students the ideal form to study how to create long-form fiction. Class time will be primarily devoted to discussing the novellas we have read. Texts may include Seize the Day by Saul Bellow, The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, Neighbors by Lilia Momple, Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo, and Indian Nocturne by Antonio Tabucchi. During class, we will look at strategies of dialogue, point-of-view, plot, and setting. Students will learn how other writers develop characters with precision, fluidly integrate backstory and flashbacks into narratives, and make use of the three narrative modes: full scene, half scene, and summary narration.

To help establish a routine of writing, students will sign up for daily work periods in the writing center. Some work periods will start with a prompt to help students focus their imaginations on specific aspects of their stories, but most work periods will primarily be dedicated to individual writing. By maintaining a habit of writing and reflecting throughout the course on their progress, students will develop a process of writing that works for them. By the end of the course, each student will be expected to hand in a polished first draft ranging between 20,000 to 50,000 words. Shorter novellas will go through more extensive revision than longer novellas. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class and their ability to execute narrative strategies in their novellas.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; students will be asked to share a sample of their writing. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: None.


Permission of instructor; students will be asked to share a sample of their writing.  

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.