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Keith Jardim teaches writing course in T&T

Creative Writing Workshop: Prose Fiction (Adv.)

in Association with Friends of Mr. Biswas
February to May 2018

Instructor: Keith Jardim is a graduate of Emerson College, Boston, where he earned a Merit Fellowship for his MFA. His stories have won a James Michener Fellowship, The Paul Bowles Fiction Award, a C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship, and been shortlisted for an American Short Fiction Contest and a Glimmer Train Open Fiction Contest. He is a PhD alumnus of the University of Houston’s creative writing and English programs. His stories have been published in Denver Quarterly, Wasafiri, Mississippi Review, Atlanta Review, Short Story, Trinidad Noir, The Haunted Tropics: Caribbean Ghost Stories, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, and elsewhere. He has taught at universities in the USA, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Jardim’s first book, Near Open Water, a collection of stories, was a semifinalist for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature; later that year, it was included on World Literature Today’s Nota Bene list.

Course Description: An advanced approach to the craft of fiction writing (the short story, mainly), the course will focus on writing and revising short stories to a publishable level. Key to this is work-shopping them in class with particular attention to character, point of view, plot, setting, description, tone, narrative orchestration, meaning, style, and language – in an in-depth and rigorous fashion. The purpose of the advanced fiction workshop is to continue improving our fiction writing, learn as much as we can about the art of narrative creation, and to produce work that is worthy of publication. (Please note: Participants must have some serious familiarity with writing and studying fiction and be well aware of other literary genres to participate in the advanced workshop.)

Course Objectives Include:

1) To understand how and why a short story differs from the novel and other genres, why it remains a popular though troublesome literary form, know something about its historical development and its elasticity.

2) Address the work of other student writers with compassion and helpful critical insight.

3) Write effective dramatic action and exposition combined with character development and plot that shows the writer knows more than how to simply write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

4) Recognize the extreme importance of numerous revisions.

5) Address the work of established writers not only from the reader’s point of view, but also from the writer’s point of view.

6) Submit at least three short stories for in-class review.

7) When possible local writers will be asked to visit the class and discuss craft, criticism, the publishing industry, and the importance of fiction writing in a technologically frivolous world.

Suggested Reading (a few favorites, always close by):

Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page, Lynn Freed
The Garden Party and Other Stories, Katherine Mansfield
The Collected Stories, Ernest Hemingway
Ward No. 6 and Other Stories, Anton Chekov
A Day in the Country and Other Stories, Guy de Maupassant
The Love of a Good Woman, Alice Munro
Collected Short Fiction, VS Naipaul
Ways of Sunlight, Sam Selvon
Sans Souci and Other Stories, Dionne Brand
A Brief Conversion and Other Stories, Earl Lovelace
Collected Stories, Clarice Lispector
The Whale House and Other Stories, Sharon Millar
Four Taxis Facing North, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw
A Man of Mystery and Other Stories, Shiva Naipaul
Leaving by Plane Swimming Back Underwater, Lawrence Scott
The Interloper, Rabindranath Maharaj
Shape-Shifter, Pauline Melville
How Fiction Works, James Wood
The West Indian Novel and Its Background, Kenneth Ramchand
The Rhetoric of Fiction, Wayne C. Booth
The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
The Forgiven, Lawrence Osborne
Shadows Move Among Them, Edgar Mittelholzer
My Bones and My Flute, Edgar Mittelholzer
The Island Quintet, Raymond Ramcharitar

Attendance, Payment, Location & Contact

Attendance will be expected for every class. Regular participation by everyone will greatly assist an individual’s experience in the workshop. A deposit for the first half (2500.00) of the 3½ month workshop will be required before the first class. The final payment is required halfway through the course, at the latest. No refunds are possible once payment is made. Classes meet at 26 Nepaul St. in St. James once a week for 2 ½ hours 6p.m. Thursdays. There will be 14 meetings. Keith Jardim’s contact: saintpk@gmail.com

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