Books open at various angles float beside a white wall.

Distinguishing Characteristics


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

Explore short fiction from around the world in this four-week class led by author Dipika Mukherjee (Ode to Broken Things, Shambala Junction). Throughout the course, we will focus on writing characters—including unreliable narrators—examining literary examples from Carmen Maria Machado, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ernest Hemingway, Saras Manickam, Margaret Atwood, Shiv Ramdas, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Millhauser, Ken Liu, Roxane Gay, and Lauren Groff.

Readings will be posted in advance and students will be encouraged to bring their own questions about challenges with characterization for discussion. Students will have time in class to craft different characters and workshop their writing. While writers with short stories or novels-in-progress will find this course particularly useful, writers of all levels are welcome.


Online registration deadline: Thursday, March 24, 5pm CT.