Spring 2021 - ENGL 374 E100

Creative Writing II: Fiction (4)

Class Number: 4210

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Carleigh Baker
    Office Hours: Mondays, 3-4PM
  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100 division English courses and two 200 division English courses, OR formal declaration in the creative writing minor and ENGL 272.



A seminar-workshop in the theory and practice of creative writing with specific emphasis on prose fiction.


This course has been designed for its online delivery in January-April 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aspects of the course, including its online delivery and assignments, may change due to ongoing conditions. In this course, students gain an understanding of the craft elements of short fiction, including (but not limited to): structure, point-of-view, voice, and subtext. What makes a strong opening sentence? What are the strengths and weaknesses of first person vs. second or third person narrative? How is character voice developed? These questions and more will be addressed in weekly, short handouts you can read before class [approximately 230 minute classes on the Mondays when the class is scheduled, 4:30PM PDT to 8:20]. Questions arising from these readings will be discussed in class. Any assigned readings have been chosen to compliment the lessons on craft, and will be available on Canvas.

In addition to craft discussions, students will write, workshop, and revise a short story. Workshopping will also take place online, in small groups using the Zoom breakout room function. Extensive instruction on mindful, ethical workshop practices will be provided. Students are expected to come to every workshop having read and made notes on all the student-written stories, which will be discussed in the breakout rooms and then emailed to the student writer. Each story will also receive notes from me. You are encouraged to use the office hours to discuss these notes, concerns related to the class, or writing in general. You will also write a brief [500 words max] reflection on the workshopping and revision process, to be submitted with the revised version of the short story.


  • Attendance and participation 25%
  • First draft story submission 25%
  • Revised draft story submission 35%
  • Reflection on revision process 15%


Active participation is key in this course. In terms of in class participation, you are required to come to class having read the material, and also with a series of questions or observations to contribute to class discussion. Respectful, constructive participation in workshop discussions is mandatory. ***If you miss class on the day of your workshop, we will not be able to re-schedule, but you will receive workshop notes.***

Grading for this class is more heavily weighted on the revision process, to allow writers of varying skill levels an opportunity to apply the lessons discussed in class. You will be expected to complete thorough revisions based on these lessons, and the notes you receive in workshop. 

Stories should be 8-10 typed pages in length, and should be double-spaced, in 12-point font, with one-inch margins. Pages must be numbered. Please do not include a separate title page, but make sure your name and the title are on the first page. 

In the interests of fairness to all members who work hard to meet deadlines, all late assignments will be subject to a penalty deduction of 5% per day, including weekends. If you require an extension, please discuss this with me.



TBA. All required reading will be available on Canvas.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).