There will be three major communication areas in which you are expected to demonstrate professionalism in the field of fiction writing this semester:

  • First, you will read, study, and evaluate:
    • the course textbooks
    • other people’s work
    • print and online fiction
  • Second, you will collaborate:
    • in classroom discussion forums to share your learning perspectives
    • asking questions to promote further synthesis and application of the course content
    • responding to others’ comments to carry on the conversations resulting in enhanced learning for all
  • Third, you will write:
    • agent query letters
    • in-class and out-of-class writing exercises
    • two 15-20 page short stories
    • a final portfolio of polished, publishable fiction, including a self-evaluation written as a testament to your understanding of yourself as a fiction writer


  • All work submitted is to follow the expectations of undergraduate upper-level study.
  • Plan to complete assignments within the established time frame. The date and time posted for submission of class work and assignments is the latest date and time when that work will be accepted. All work is to be submitted prior to the posted deadline. As a student in this course, it is expected that you will complete assignments on time. Plan your schedule and your access to technology with the understanding that assignments are due no later than the assigned due date. Exceptions to this policy will require explicit permission of the instructor in writing.
  • Late work submissions will not be accepted unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor. Should extraneous circumstances result in acceptable submissions of late work, that work would incur a penalty of one or two grades. In case of a bona fide emergency, documentation will be required. In-completes will not be given except in rare cases of an extreme nature.
  • Weekly written assignments as well as formal written assignments should reflect critical thinking, understanding, and the ability to analyze and synthesize course materials read. Please use the appropriate forums for your submissions and do engage in discussions with others in the class. Ask questions and participate in discussions

Attendance Verification

In order to distribute Title IV funding (federal student aid), student attendance verification is required. Therefore, all students must attend classes beginning Week 1. Students who do not attend will be dropped from the class for nonattendance and will not receive credit or a grade for the class. It is the responsibility of students, who add classes during drop/add, to make sure that they are verified as being in attendance by contacting the course instructor and posting their self-introduction.

Submission Policies

All graded assignments must include your name, course number, title of the assignment, and date. Students must submit all work by due date or points will be taken off the final grade. All submitted papers must be double-spaced, 12-point font and in proper AP or Chicago Manual style.

Other Policies

Changes in the Course Syllabus

The instructor may make changes in the course syllabus and graded assignments as needed. Any changes to the course syllabus will be communicated to the students via an announcements in class. Students are responsible for keeping up with such changes.

Use of Student Work

All academic programs in the state of Georgia undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies and the state education department. For these purposes samples of student work are made available to those professionals conducting the review. Student confidentiality is assured under these circumstances. If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.


“Attendance” and participation are required. You will be expected to participate in classroom discussions and lesson topics and to interact with other students and your instructor regularly. It is expected that you will demonstrate a positive attitude and courtesy toward other participants in the discussion and observe good discussion etiquette. Be sure to read and observe the following procedures:

  • You are a guest in the Instructor’s classroom, so be sure to observe the class rules.
  • Practice manners and civility, and be polite and respectful of your Instructor and classmates in all your communication.
  • Respect your Instructor, and be on time in your work submissions.
  • Keep your Instructor informed of your status.
  • Address your Instructor as Professor or Doctor.
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation in all your communication (‘Dear Professor xxx, not ‘Hey’).
  • Accept your Instructor’s feedback and learn from it.
    • Weekly participation in discussions and group work is required.
    • If you miss more than three classroom discussions, you will lose 10% on your overall grade for every class missed. For example, if you have an overall grade of 92% at the end of the semester and you have four absences, you will receive an 82% final grade; f you have five absences, you will receive a 72%; and etc.
    • This is a class that depends on your participation. Written discussion responses and assignments cannot be made up without express permission from the instructor prior to assignment due date.

Related Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss major concepts related to the development of fiction writing.
  2. Discuss and apply concepts of fiction craft developed over the last 300 years related to fiction writing.

Formal Writing

Along with preparing you to be a better reader, this class will help you develop as a fiction writer. You will be responsible for writing two short “stories,” and appropriate query letters for each based on your knowledge of the field of professional creative writing. The “stories” should be  double-spaced in a common font like Times New Roman 12 pt. The heading should include your name, the date, and the title, no need for more. Use 1 inch margins. Do not use insulting page-lengthening, goofball spacing or font arrangements.

Final Portfolio

During the last two weeks of the semester, after you have received your comments from me, you will apply your new knowledge and experience to your work. In working toward this final project, you will have the chance to return once more to the writing you’ve worked on throughout the semester and revise it into a publishable product. This final portfolio, sent as an electronic file folder, zipped, will be a testament to your understanding of yourself as a writer and of your chosen genre. It will consist of:

  • a minimum of two perfectly revised writing projects
  • two-page (minimum) reflection of what you learned this semester–including material from the book and lecture, and how you will use these tools to help you succeed as a freelance writer.
  • portfolio should be submitted as a zipped electronic file folder.

Think of this portfolio as your proof of professional readiness. If you have attended all classes, participated in the discussions, and worked hard on your writing, your work should be ready for submission to a professional literary magazine, agent, or MFA  program.

Good luck–and keep writing.