This online creative writing class can be viewed as either an Intermediate or pre-AP level English class. This course could even be taken concurrently with AP English Language or Literature.
This course is intended to be an intense series of readings and writing exercises that explore many aspects of the writing craft. All of the genres and forms included are categories featured in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (CLICK HERE to find out more about Scholastic!). By the end of the course, students will have worked towards building a vibrant and varied writing portfolio they can submit to Scholastic and/or other contests. Submitting work to Scholastic is optional, but highly suggested; I will guide students closely in this process!
This class will also give students the opportunity to develop textual analysis and reading comprehension skills that will help them succeed in both AP English Language and AP English Literature.
The first section of the class will focus on the five most fundamental elements of storytelling: plot, characterization, conflict, narrative perspective, and dialogue. Reading assignments will focus on specific elements which the students will explore in the accompanying writing assignments. Students will complete a short story for each module that focuses on the specific element highlighted in each module.
Students will have the opportunity to work through at least 2 drafts of each major project. They will receive teacher critiques and peer feedback for each draft. I typically post student work “anonymously” to make peer critiques as stress-free and helpful as possible! Receiving and giving peer critiques is one of the most valuable ways to grow as a writer.
In addition to these major assignments, students will be able to complete short exercises that practice such skills as: employing imagery and figurative language, using correct dialogue punctuation, controlling tone, practicing grammar skills, etc.
The second section of the class will focus on genre and form. Reading assignments will focus on specific genres and/or forms of writing, such as realism, fantasy, poetry, and drama. Written assignments will help students develop versatility as well as a portfolio with a wide breadth. Special attention will be paid to the reasons why an author may choose to write in a specific genre AND the tools and formatting skills necessary for each form.
Each week may include:
- A reading assignment (short fiction, poetry, or drama).
- A writing assignment (or a section of a larger project).
- In-depth website discussion questions.
- Active live discussion OR a prerecorded lecture.
- Conceptual handouts with important information about the elements of fiction and course terminology.
Live Class Meetings: Live meetings are held EVERY OTHER THURSDAY at 3:00PM EST beginning WEEK 1 of class. I will provide a pre-recorded lecture on weeks we do not feature live meetings. All lectures will be recorded for your listening convenience. Flexibility is the goal of this course! Attending live course meetings is always optional; listening to the recordings will be mandatory. Typically about 70% of students attend live meetings and 30% of students choose to listen asynchronously.
Course Length: 32 weeks (not including Thanksgiving and Holiday Break). Class work begins Tuesday, August 28, 2018. This means that the first week’s homework is posted that day; in this course homework is always posted Tuesday mornings and due the following Monday evening. Live meetings occur every other THURSDAY afternoon at 3PM EST beginning Week 1.
Authors studied include:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edgar Allan Poe
Ursula K. LeGuin
William Butler Yeats
Technical needs: High speed Internet and an e-mail account that accepts large files. The student MUST be able to submit work in Word Document format OR PDF format (your choice). All homework will be submitted and critiqued through the course website. Student must be able to check their email and the course website several times a week. Student must be able to read Word Documents and PDFs. Microphone or headset are highly suggested but not required.
Time Commitment: Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours per week on this class.