English (ENGL) 387
Writing Speculative Fiction (Revision 3)
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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online
Area of Study: Humanities
Prerequisite: ENGL 381 (or equivalent) and professor approval.
ENGL 387 is not available for challenge.
ENGL 387 develops speculative fiction (SF) writing skills through a combination of strategic study and writing activity. Students learn key definitions, important history, traditions of the field, essential features of SF, and principles and standards of fiction writing in general. Strategic reading throughout the course, along with analysis of professional working methods, contributes and reinforces insights. Students will learn to perform expert critiques and write informed revisions. Above all, they will write and revise short SF with increasing skill and confidence.
- Unit 1: What Is Speculative Fiction?
- Unit 2: Preparing to Excel at Speculative Fiction
- Unit 3: Elements of Story and Special Problems of Character
- Unit 4: Worlds and Wonders
- Unit 5: Themes and Tropes of Speculative Fiction
- Unit 6: Critique
- Unit 7: Final Draft
To receive credit for ENGL 387, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on each assignment and a composite grade of at least D (50 percent). There is no final examination. The weighting of the assignments is as follows:
|Assignment for Credit||Length||Weight|
|Short Story and Reflections||2,000–2,500 words||15%|
|Short Story||2,000–2,500 words||20%|
|Markup and Critique||250–300 words plus markup||10%|
|Short Story Introduction||600–800 word||10%|
|Story Revision||250 words, plus revision||10%|
|New Short Story Final Draft||3,000 word max, and 250 words of reflection||25%|
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Delaney, Samuel R. About Writing: 7 Essays, 4 Letters & 5 Interviews. Wesleyan University Press, 2005.
Wilhelm, Kate. Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. Small Beer Press, 2005.
A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.
All other materials are available online. They include an extensive study guide, short stories, and resources on writing.
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 3, July 9, 2020.
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