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The Art of the Short: An Introduction to Short Fiction | 4-Week Online Fiction Seminar

Abiola Johnson Saturdays, Feb. 5-26
11a-1p ET
8a-10a PT
10a-12p CT
4 class sessions

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The Art of the Short: An Introduction to Short Fiction introduces students to a broad range of short narrative, mostly fictional pieces. You will learn how to read and analyze short narratives and understand how even within their brevity, deep messages can be conveyed in a crisp and concise way.

The foundations of the course will fall into the categories: Observe (increase familiarity with a range of writing forms and styles), Analyze (develop skills to conduct an analysis of fictional work), and Write (explore opportunities to use newly acquire skills to influence writing skills). 

Discussion and material will not be limited to the written word. We will also discuss and critically analyze short films and short oral narratives, including spoken word and rap songs. Writing prompts will be used to spark inspiration to create your own fictional pieces. Students will have an opportunity to share their work for in-class feedback if they choose to.

Open to beginning and intermediate writers.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Instructor:
Abiola Johnson

Abiola Johnson has written short stories for as long as she can remember but started publicly sharing her writing in a series of blog posts circa 2006. Following feedback from followers, she compiled a handful of her short stories into a collection called Terra Cotta Beauty which was published in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Afreada and on her self-titled blog:

Course Takeaways

  • Increase your familiarity with a diverse range of authors, writing forms, and styles
  • Learn skills to help you conduct literary analysis that can influence your writing style
  • Sharpen your writing skills

Course Expectations

  • If you choose to, you will have an opportunity to share your writing with the class in workshop style. Participants will be asked to submit their writing by 12 noon ET on Friday before class.

Course Skeleton

  • Week One: Origins and Definition of the Short Story. Plot and Structure
  • Week Two: Character Setting and Point of View
  • Week Three: Language & Style
  • Week Four: Irony and Symbol