Archives for the month of: March, 2011

If on Friday, one of you lends me a hard copy of the first Harry Potter book, I promise I’ll read it over spring break.


If you look at the workshop schedule you’ll see I’m some sort of prophet or Devil or something. I already had a make-up day scheduled for next week, and so it stands to reason that all of those scheduled to workshop on Wednesday will shift to Friday. This is our last week of workshopping so let’s continue to be excellent. Keep giving me your typed responses in class, and in addition, look at the reading I have scheduled in lieu of class this Wednesday.

Week 3: (emailed by Friday, March 25th)

Monday, March 28th

Wednesday, March 30th – We will not meet for class on Wednesday. Here’s what I want you to do instead:

we’re going to take a brief vacation into the world of Hooorrroor. I’d like you to please read at least one of these three classic Edgar Allen Poe stories:

The Black Cat
The Tell Tale Heart
The Cask of the Amontillado

Then I want you to definitely read this Joyce Carol Oates story, which is a more modern horror tale.

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

On Friday, bring me a half page workshop treatment of everything you’ve read.

Friday, April 1st

ENCR Deadline Poster Fall 2011 Here’s the flyer for submitting to higher level workshops for the fall semester. The deadline is this friday, March 25th. There are boxes in the english department. Truth, I’ve seen them. I think the conventional advice is to submit to all the classes you might potentially want to take. Cast a wide net, as they say. Please don’t hesitate to email me/come see me during office hours if you want any help with your submission.

If your name is not yet hyper, please email me your story. And I apologize if this will be the third time you’ve emailed it – life’s bananas, what can I say. use molly.laich (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, March 21st

Erika – The Contest

Kari – Silent Streets

Tess – Unexpected Lover

Wednesday, March 23rd

Brooke – First Strike You’re Out

Jonathan/Tyler – Home Alone Ten

Torie – My Shadow

Friday, March 25th

Sofi – Sex and the Pity

Hannah – Secondhand Sweaters

Madison – Muddy Footprints

Update: Emily’s story should be good to go. Reminder to everyone being workshopped in week 2: be sure to email me your stories by this friday afternoon so I can get them up and operational on the site.

Also, not to condone this sort of behavior, but if you’re having printer problems, please just make sure you email both me and the author your workshop comments. Remember that this class is sort of a hippy collective, or a war, if you prefer a more bellicose example. It’s not about the grade or the over arching politics of this mad world; it’s about the guy in the mud next to you.


Please bring with you printed copies of these stories with typed comments for both me and the author.  And please do let me know if you have any trouble opening/downloading these. If yours doesn’t work you are likely not the only one.

For Wednesday:








Okay, so, for the weekend, I’d like you to read these. The first is my 4th draft of “We Did this to Him.” Note the changes in tone, perspective, event, etc. Then you can go through and note the final changes in the published draft. For your comment (due Monday please) discuss briefly the following:

1. How have the changes from the original I gave you last week and this final draft changed your perspective on the story? Do you believe one is better than the other? Can they exist separate from each other? Which do you believe is ultimately more successful and why.

A rough draft of We Did This To Him – with notes from the editor.

The final draft, now called “Stillwater” at Burnt Bridges Press.

Secondly, here is a brief story by Amy Hempel called “The Harvest.” It’s very short. Have it read by Wednesday and leave a second comment here. The question is: how has the writer broken the “fourth wall” as we call it in cinema? What I mean by that is that the story quickly becomes aware of itself as a story. Do you like or dislike that? Discuss this move in general. Let me know if it’s something you enjoy or if you think it’s lame.

You are free to do both at the same time, or comment on the first part and then come back before Wednesday to comment on the Hempel story.

I hope this post isn’t horribly confusing. Email me if you have questions.

P.S. I added a new section up top called “workshop schedule.” It is just what it says it is. If you are up for workshop on Wednesday or Friday of next week, please email me your stories by Monday morning so I can get them up.

P.P.S. We will be talking about Workshop a lot on Monday. It’s an important class day so try not to miss. Don’t miss any days of class. Class rules.

Here’s a word document of a very early draft of a story I wrote last year. This version is called We Did This to Him. That’s a word file, click on it and it should download onto your computer. Let me know if anything goes wrong or you need me to email it to you directly.

I want you to read this and comment on it the way we will one day do with each others stories in workshop. In the comments field, could you please: 1. Say at least two things about the story that you think are working. 2. List at least two things that you think are not working / could be changed / need improvement. There’s no need to be shy as I have already perfected and published this story. Do your worst.

Get these comments up by Monday, please. Note that I have made another blog post directly under this one re: conferences. Don’t not see that.

Finally, be sure to come back to the site on Monday for the next installment of this story to be read and commented on by Wednesday.

Does it all add up? Does everything make sense? Get to reading, kids.

We’ll be meeting in my office, LA229. Look in contact section of the syllabus for directions to the building. For the conferences please bring everything that you’ve turned in and handed to me, along with specific questions you have about my comments, your work, etc. In the conferences we will talk about what you’ve written so far and what you hope to write in the future. I’ll give you back your most recent assignments and you will sign up for your first Workshopping slot. I’ll tell you where you stand in the class in terms of a grade / absences, etc. It promises to be a fun time.

Here’s the conference schedule for next week, March 7 and 9th.

Monday / Wednesday

10:00 Ryan / Kari

10:10 Brooke / Tori

10:20 OPEN / Bill

10:30 Stephanie / Tess

10:40 Erika / Tiffany

10:50 Sofi / Angela

11:00 Hannah / Ford

11:10 OPEN / OPEN

11:20 OPEN / OPEN

11:30 Tyler / Michael

11:40 OPEN / Shannon

11:50 OPEN / Madison

12:00 Breanna / OPEN

please email me asap if you’re not on the list to schedule a time. Missing conferences counts as an absence. Make sure you know where you’re going and you’re on time.

For those of you lucky enough to be in class today – I don’t know what happened. One thing led to another and we just spent the whole hour trolling for babes on the Internet. I mean, sort of.

We looked at the missoula craigslist, mostly in the “missed connections” section for found, unintentional gems of literature. I thought we would write some craigslist ads of our own in class but we didn’t get to it. SO, for Friday, in addition to your Assignment #4: Character Story, (if you want particulars about this assignment please email someone from class) I want you to bring a fake craigslist ad.  Familiar yourself with “conventions of the genre” i.e. look at craigslist ads to see how they are written. Exploit them. You can use a found heading as your title or make up one on your own. You needn’t limit yourself to Missoula’s listings. There’s a wide world out there.