In case you weren't reading my blog the last two years, here's a recap of my graduate studies:
I'm enrolled in an MFA program in Children's Literature. It will take me about four years to complete the program and my thesis will be a complete draft of a novel (likely YA and hopefully a manuscript that will eventually see publication). This graduate program has been my own little paradise. I'm in love with the subject matter, the classes, the people, and the atmosphere. It's what I look forward to all year long. Here are the courses I've taken so far:
History and Criticism of Children's Literature
Craft of Writing for Children
Summer 2011 (Click to view course descriptions and text lists for these courses)
Genre Study: Forms and Boundaries
Genre Study: Fantasy
Young Adult Science Fiction
Fall 2011 (online course)
Special Topic: Newbery Books (text list)
Last summer was rough. The school doesn't recommend taking three courses, but I did it to speed the program along. My reading list for the summer was 28 books long and had to be read in 3 months time. I definitely learned a ton, stretched my comfort levels with certain genres, and kept my 4.0--but I have no desire to go through another summer of feeling overwhelmed.
This summer, as soon as I saw the text lists, it was sort of a no brainer what course I would be taking. I want an easier summer than last year and I really want to focus on writing and being creative. I didn't want a long reading list, and I wanted books I was already interested in. One course had 5 out of 7 books that already were on my read/to-read list and it's a creative course. Here's what I'll be taking:
Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children: Dystopian and Science Fiction
This course focuses on the fundamentals particular to the writing of science fiction short stories and novels. We’ll discuss various forms of science fiction and sub-genres with a particular emphasis on dystopian young adult fiction and read some outstanding (mostly current) books in the field. We’ll look at originality, world building, plausibility, where to get ideas, and how to set up unique consequences for your characters in an imagined future. All writing will be workshopped in a nurturing and supportive environment that will inspire growth and risk-taking.
Anderson, M.T. Feed
Card, Orson Scott. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game
Condie, Allie. Matched
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother
Pearson, Mary E. The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Revis, Beth. Across the Universe
The two books I hadn't heard of are The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Little Brother. Anyone read them? What did you think?
I'll also be taking an Advance Tutorial, which is essentially a writing workshop class. I'll be focusing on writing YA fiction, but I haven't decided which of my WIP I'll focus on this summer. But a 7 book reading list sounds so much more manageable than a 28 book reading list, don't ya think?
Next post: my review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Stay tuned!