Besides being a brilliant writer, Flannery O’Connor wrote quite a bit about the craft of writing.
In this six-week course, we will look at O’Connor’s essays about writing in Mystery and Manners, examine ways that she implemented her principles in her short stories, and implement those principles ourselves in short writing exercises.
My goal as instructor will not be to get you to mimic O’Connor, but to help you find your own voice–to help you write in your native tongue, just as O’Connor wrote in hers.
Though O’Connor’s wrote more or less exclusively about fiction, most of her principles are equally applicable to non-fiction narratives.
Adults and High-Schoolers
Date and Time:
Thursday afternoons, June 4 to July 9, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Central
Reading: One essay and one story from O’Connor (there will also be optional readings)
Writing: 300-500-word exercise
Watching: One live 90-minute lecture
Online Discussion: I will post several discussion questions each week. Hopefully they will lead to fruitful discussion in which you can participate as time allows.
June 4: The Nature of Narrative
Essay: “Writing Short Stories”
Short Story: “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”
June 11: Native Country, Native Tongue
Essay: “The Fiction Writer and His Country”
Short Story: “Greenleaf”
June 18: Using Metaphor and Symbol
Essay: “The Nature and Aim of Fiction”
Short Story: “Good Country People”
June 25 Unexpected but Believable
Essay: “On Her Own Work”
Short Story: “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
July 2: Mystery and Manners
Essay: “Novelist and Believer”
Short Story: “A Temple of the Holy Ghost”
July 9: Fiction and Faith
Essay: “The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South”
Short Story: “The River”