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Writing Fiction

Katie Hanson

Katie Hanson is an assistant professor in English and education. She teaches literature and writing courses in the English department and teaches future English teachers in the education department. Her research interests include the pedagogy of teaching research papers in first-year college classes, young adolescent literature and literacy strategies. She has taught writing for 30 years.

In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband and three children. She also likes to read, write and cook.

Program dates: June 22-27, 2014

Program cost: $750

Includes lodging, all meals and any field trips. Students arrive on campus Sunday, June 22, and depart Friday, June 27.

Course description

There isn't much time to write fiction in high school, so come to Summer Academy and write prose poetry and short stories, movie scripts and plays, and more. Students will try writing exercises to get their creativity flowing and do activities to provide new experiences to write about.

Students will experiment with different forms and genres and by the end of the week will have a notebook of ideas, at least a couple of completed new pieces, as well as lots of fun memories and new friends. No prior experience necessary!

Tentative schedule

Sunday, June 22

  • Check-in
  • Welcome reception

 Monday, June 23

  • How to get started — pre-writing activities
  • Showing, not telling — writing with detail
  • Short walk with stops for writing
  • Mid point of walk — stop for Whitey's ice cream*

Tuesday, June 24

  • Writing about art — ecphrasis poetry
  • Strategies for thinking and seeing like a writer
  • Afternoon in the Figge Museum*, using art for inspiration

Wednesday, June 25

  • Writing about place and historical fiction
  • Afternoon at Hauberg Native American Museum* (outdoors and indoors) to gather ideas for characters from another time

Thursday, June 26

  • Writing scripts and plays, creative ways to combine genres
  • Watch a movie* and dabble in writing our own movie plot, movie scenes and rewriting endings
  • Writing time and time to practice effective revision strategies
  • Time to meet individually with instructor about student's writing

Friday, June 27

  • Writing and conferencing time in a local coffee shop
  • Conferencing on writing individually with teacher and with peers
  • Students share work

* Included in course fee