That’s what we decide to call our end of semester project in the communications class I teach entitled Enjoying the Short Story.
This course is a hybrid course revolving around some of the classic literature of the genre -Saki, Poe, Fitzgerald, Gilman, Jackson, Chekhov – and exploring some of the great questions: Is meaning constructed by the author or the reader? Is the idea of a “canon” dead? How have modern short stories evolved? Does literature even matter….and if so, how?
We write too. Creating our own fiction from prompts and assignments, identifying the structural elements of a good story, sharing in small, safe groups.
The final assignment is always a class project that spans the final four weeks of the course. In past years, we have picked a story and themed our projects around it to end up with essays, video, poetry, plays, and analysis all related to the same subject (hence the somewhat unwieldy term Trans-Media Project). One year it was The Yellow Wallpaper: last year Winter Dreams. There is a certain beauty in mining the depths of a story like that.
But the first day of class this semester, I announced that I would like the class to try and write, edit, publish, and promote a book for their final project.
And to my delight, they were game.