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How Writers Write Fiction 2015

Christopher Merrill, UI Professor
Angela Flournoy, Instructor
A free course from The University of Iowa
You have the opportunity to sign up for a certificate of completion for $50.00.
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The Course

Welcome! On September 24, 2015, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will open its fourth creative writing MOOC, How Writers Write Fiction 2015. This MOOC will offer an opportunity for the interactive study and practice of writing fiction. This course has been designed to welcome both beginning and experienced writers; video classes, writing assignments, and discussions will engage and challenge writers at all levels. How Writers Write Fiction 2015 will be taught by Christopher Merrill, IWP Director and University of Iowa Professor of English, and Angela Flournoy, author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Turner House. This MOOC is freely available to everyone in the world; there is no cost to register.

Course Structure

How Writers Write Fiction 2015 will be taught in English as follows: each week, instructors Merrill and Flournoy will post a new video class. In this video class, they will introduce two or three short video lectures given by successful authors of fiction. Featured authors will include Venise Berry, Edward Carey, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Bernice Chauly, Susan Taylor Chehak, Boris Fishman, Angela Flournoy, Paul Harding, Boaz Gaon, Andrew Sean Greer, Naomi Jackson, Leslie Jamison, Mamle Kabu, Jonathan Lethem, Margot Livesy, Stephen Lovely, Peter Orner, and Douglas Trevor, among others. Each week, the video class will be followed by a set of fiction-writing assignments based on the topics these authors presented in their lectures. These assignments will invite you to write fiction, post your work to the MOOC website, and engage in community feedback with your fellow writers. Supplementary readings will also be posted for your exploration.

Each week, a team of teaching moderators, all MFA graduates with substantial writing and teaching experience, will lead live discussions of the video topics and the challenges of the writing assignments around the clock in the MOOC discussion forum. Community moderators will actively support the participation of writers who are new to online learning, new to writing fiction, and/or writing as nonnative speakers of English. These community moderators will facilitate the formation of writing groups and support the vitality and inclusivity of your international writing community. Each week's video class will be followed by a "fiction fundamentals" video, in which a teaching moderator or guest author will offer an in-depth analysis of the week's writing themes; a discussion of the fiction fundamentals video will follow in the MOOC discussion forum.

MOOC Certificate of Completion

Again, this MOOC is freely available to everyone in the world; there is no cost to register. The University of Iowa will offer an optional MOOC Certificate of Completion for a fee of $50.00 USD. You are not required to pay this fee in order to register for and participate in this MOOC. Those who wish to earn the MOOC Certificate of Completion must complete a set number of weekly video quizzes, weekly writing assignments, and weekly peer feedback and discussion requirements. Please note: if you would like to earn the MOOC Certificate of Completion, you will be welcome to sign up for it when the course opens on September 24. You'll see an explanation of the signup and payment process on the course home page when we open.

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