Novellas – WRIT 304

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A creative writing course focused on writing novellas.




Taking a course in creative writing is not necessary to become a successful creative writer. What is necessary is the ability to identify craft elements in good stories and then seamlessly and creatively consider how a new story might be shaped effectively. This course’s purpose, then, is to expedite the aspiring writer’s journey to successful creative writing through immersion in craft. In a single term devoted to study and critique from a community of fiction writers, one can learn quickly what might otherwise take years. In this course, we will take a specific interest in the novella. Thus, many of our craft considerations will be determined by the length that typifies the novella, which tends to be neither as short as a short story nor as long as a novel.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to:

  1. Identify the craft elements of fiction.
  2. Integrate fiction craft elements into new work-in-progress. These craft elements include, but are not limited to, characterization, setting, plot, and point of view.
  3. Evaluate the use of craft elements in their own stories and in their peers’ stories.
  4. Identify and evaluate the use of craft elements in novellas that demonstrate excellence in literariness.
  5. Articulate their own development in a final process paper.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Group Discussion Board Forum Workshop

For this collaborative discussion board, the instructor will place the student into a discussion board workshop group. The student will create an initial thread thread within the group discussion board and attach the first 4 pages of the student's latest novella draft. Group members will then reply to each other's threads/excerpts by answering a set of specific questions in a minimum of 200 words.

Novella Progress Checkpoints (8)

The student will submit drafts of their novella each week. Each week the student is expected to submit 2,500 new words. The purpose of this assignment is to incentivize the student to achieve the goal of writing a complete novella by the end of the course.

Quizzes (7)

Each quiz with cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will contain 7 or 8 questions and have a 15 minute time limit.

Annotations (3)

The student will write 3 annotation essays responding to specific questions about the assigned readings. The essays must be 1–2 pages and written in current MLA format.

Artist Statement

The student will write an informal reflection on how they have grown as a writer throughout the course. This assignment invites the student to consider how various aspects of the course have aided their development as a writer. The statement must be 1–2 double-spaced pages written in current MLA format.

Novella Excerpt Review

The student will submit a 10-page excerpt of their novella, in addition to a cover letter that provides narrative context for the excerpt. The cover letter must be a 1-page, single-spaced narrative explanation of the excerpt that helps the instructor make better sense of the excerpt in the context of the whole novella draft.