|Collecting & Scavenging, Saving and Treasuring: A Creative Writing Process Course
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
In this creative writing process course, we will search the world around and within us in order to inspire new creative writing. Alongside this practice, we will be reading and discussing stories to do with the “damaged” and symbolic objects. Scavenging / collecting assignments will be provided each week. Students will share what they find in the style of a show-and-tell and write 1-2 pages to be shared in class on a rotating basis. Considering weekly story craft lectures and writing prompts, students will write one short or short-short story by the class’s conclusion.
The instructor may base some assignments on The Pocket Scavenger by Keri Smith. All readings may be found online at Narrative Magazine.
All students of creative writing are welcome. The class focus will be on the craft of the short or short-short story.
Week by Week Outline
Week 1: Paper Things
“A Country Doctor” by Franz Kafka
Craft Lecture on Beginnings
Week 2: Broken Things
“The End of the World in Slow Motion” by Ann Pancake
Craft Lecture on Setting and Rendering Action
Week 3: Reflective Things
“The Story of a Scar” by James Alan McPherson
Craft Lecture on Character
Week 4: Made Things
“Red Dress—1946” by Alice Munro
Craft Lecture on Plot and Narrative Time
Week 5: Borrowed Things
“Oceanside” by Daniel Woodrell
Craft Lecture on Dialogue
*Possible guest speaker from Recology SF’s Artist in Residence Program.
Week 6: Into Treasure
“Mother in the Trenches” by Robert Olen Butler
Craft Lecture on Endings
Students will generate new material for future development, share their creative work and provide feedback to others, build a repository of prompts for future writing, read exemplary writers, receive feedback from the instructor, think about consumption and reuse of materials; and learn to trust in their natural abilities as writers and artists, find material to write about that suits their interests, think creatively as well as critically about written creative work, experience the world anew.
Sarah Broderick grew up in the Ohio River Valley and now resides in Northern California. Holding an MA in humanities and social thought from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University, she works as a writer, editor, and teacher, and served as Diaspora Editor for Lavil: Life, Love, and Death in Port-au-Prince published in 2017 by Verso/Voice of Witness. Her fiction and nonfiction pieces have appeared in Moon City Review, Atticus Review, Necessary Fiction, Cleaver Magazine, and elsewhere. She can be found online at perfectsentences.org, Twitter @sebroderick, and The Forge Literary Magazine.