Writing the Short Story - 2017

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Online Discussion (25%) , Portfolio 1 (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit provides you with an understanding of technical aspects of writing in various genres, styles and viewpoints in the short story form. You will explore a range of practical, critical and editorial strategies. You will examine aspects of your own writing process in critical depth and also aspects of the nature of creativity and creative skills through reading acclaimed writers' works.

You will have opportunity to develop skills and understandings related to a variety of publishing outcomes and will be provided with a supportive environment for producing a folio of original work reflecting your development during the Study Period.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. recognise and understand theoretical and practical issues relevant to the craft of writing in the short story form
  2. analyse and discuss ideas relevant to creativity and creative/professional skills in their own work and in the work of others
  3. engage with the content of the unit through written skills, eg. in the production of an original creative folio (accompanied by exegetical writing) developed during the Study Period
  4. display critical judgment through reading and group discussion, eg. in an online discussion group based on unit readings.
  • Online Discussion (25%)
  • Portfolio 1 (25%)
  • Portfolio 2 (30%)
  • Review (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: what are short stories and what is writing process?
2How writing is produced and received: pre-writing/drafting/editing/the voice the audience hears/genre
3The short story anatomised: elements and history of the short story form
4How writing is narrated: narrative viewpoint
5How ideas are conveyed: theme, allegory and symbolism/action/the music, the beat, the emotion/imagery strands
6How writing is structured: structures for whole stories/structures for the prose sentence and paragraph/experimental structures/hypertext
7Breaking out! - Avantgarde writing: innovative and radical ideas in writing
8How writing uses setting: mood/atmosphere/symbolism/context for action/place, background, era, staging
9How writing creates characters and uses dialogue: the psychology of a character/the intimacy of dialogue/the pace and structure of dialogue
10New developments - graphic forms and design elements: history and development of the graphic story and graphic prose scripts
11How writing is researched and edited: observing/remembering/notetaking/reading/getting out from behind your desk/the process of editing drafts
12Breaking in! - The writing industry now: strategies for a successful short story writing practice/career

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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