New Directions in Poetry and Fiction
An On-Line Class Offered by
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This workshop encourages students to try something new in their writing, to push against conventional limitations. We explore unusual literary territory, such as the borderland between poetry and fiction. We look at hybrid forms that combine writing with visual art or performance. We turn to new expressive possibilities opened up by the Internet. We consider how literature can profitably take on the trappings of games, divination systems, or other “nonliterary” activities. Whatever your interests and your writing style, you may find that taking a few risks can breathe new life into your work. The focus is on student writing, but we also discuss a variety of works that can serve as models and inspiration.
This class is conducted entirely online through the New School Online University. Students can participate from nearly anywhere in the world by logging onto the New School's electronic campus via the World Wide Web. All that's required is a computer and Internet access. For an essay discussing previous online writing classes I have taught, see Minding the Frontier: Teaching Hypertext Poetry and Fiction Online. For the work of my former writing students see my Alumni Page.
During this course we will explore a variety of unconventional approaches to literature and look at examples of these approaches. The structure of the course will be fairly flexible and the specific interests of the students will largely determine what we cover. The main focus will be on your own work, so throughout the term, your classmates and I will provide you with honest, constructive criticism, and you in turn will critique the output of each classmate. The following schedule is meant only as a set of flexible guidelines.
Student Orientation: During this week, students will learn how to find their way around DIAL's on-line campus and how to interact in the on-line classroom.
Personal Introductions: We'll start by introducing ourselves to each other.
Overview: We'll look at different approaches to mixing media, crossing genres, going online, appropriating "nonliterary" elements, and otherwise expanding your horizons as a writer.
Resources: Publishers, Web sites, directories.
Getting started on your own work: How to find the right approach to suit your own individual writing style.
Drafts and Prototypes: How to plan a work so you can build it in the most efficient manner.
Project Proposals: Tell us what you plan to work on.
Weeks 4 - 8:
Guidance with Projects: Ongoing discussion of problems and possibilities that arise as you work on your projects.
Project Critiques: Feedback about your work.
Publishing opportunities: How to get your work published.
Keeping in touch: Mailing lists, conferences, Web resources.
Students will upload their writing projects to the New School classroom (or post the URLs for them) so they can be read by the instructor and other students.
Noncredit tuition $510. The course can be taken for university credit if desired, though the tuition is higher for this option. Students can register online through the New School Web site, by phone, or by mail.
To register online, go to the New School Online University Web Site and select Courses and Registration from the menu. Then in the menu bar at the left, select Course Listings. Under the heading The New School click on Writing. Scroll down the list of classes to the appropriate course and click on the registration option you want (Non-Credit or General Credit).
The New School can be contacted at:
66 W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10011
Contact Robert Kendall at