Writing with Flannery O’Connor
june 4 –july 9, 2020

Writing With Flannery O’Connor:

A Six-Week Writing Course

Join author and teacher Jonathan Rogers as we 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.

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.

Intended Audience:
Adults and High-Schoolers

Date and Time:
Thursday afternoons, June 4 to July 9, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Central

Cost: $69

Weekly Workload

Required Texts:

Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners
Flannery O’Connor, Complete Stories

Recommended Text:

Jonathan Rogers, The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of Flannery O’Connor

Workload:

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.

Reading Plan

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”

About the Instructor

Jonathan Rogers is the author or the Wilderking Trilogy, The Charlatan’s Boy, The Terrible Speed of Mercy, and other books. 

He hosts The Habit Membership, an online library of teaching resources and gathering place for writers. He also hosts The Habit Podcast and teaches and encourages thousands of writers every Tuesday through The Habit Weekly newsletter. 

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