Mystery & Crime Semester

1. Seminar: The History of Mystery and Crime

This ten-session course presents the evolution of the mystery and crime genres from Biblical stories through today. This course introduces what is both a wide-ranging and hugely popular literary genre using examples from a variety of novels, short stories, films and televisions series. A concise history from biblical narratives to the broadening of the genre into the gothic novel. We will explore key subgenres including 18thCentury crime writing, the Newgate novel & sensation fiction, Poe & Chesterton, The Golden Age, the Private Eye, Spy Fiction, The Thriller, Post-war American Police Fiction, Post-War British Crime Fiction, Crime in Film & TV, and Detection and Literary Fiction.

2. Genre: Close Reading

This ten-week course presents the evolution of the mystery and crime genres from Biblical stories through today. This course examines the primary texts within the tradition of the genre. We will read and deconstruct, as well as analyse, primary texts like: Moll Flanders, Newgate Calendar, The Woman in White, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, A Study in Scarlet, The Wrong Shape, The Little Man of Bartignolles, The Murder of Roger Akroyd, Red Harvest, The Big Sleep, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Executioner’sSong, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, Where are all the Children?, Moth, Death and the Compass, The Name of the Rose.

3. Toolbox: Crafting the Mystery

Discover the secrets to crafting an unforgettable mystery!To piece together the puzzle of your mystery novel, you need patience, resilience, a solid understanding of the craft, and a clear blueprint for combining the plot, characters, setting, and more. And while patience and resilience must come from you, the essentials of craft and the plan to execute them are right at your fingertips. This course features solid strategies for drafting, revising, and selling an intriguing novel that grips your readers and refuses to let them go.

4. Practicum: Writing Workshop    

In this course, you will produce your own pieces of creative writing for workshop review and feedback from your colleagues and instructor. We take a “fly on the wall” approach to the workshop in which the author of the piece being discussed is allowed to only listen. In other words, your writing stands on its own and speaks for itself; you are not permitted to explain or defend the piece. This approach to the workshop allows authors the rare opportunity to hear readers’ reactions to their own writing without feeling pressure to discuss their piece, inspiration, backstory, or offer further insight or defense of what they have written.

5. Business: Publishing Short Stories

There are no substitutes for talent and hard work. A writer’s first concern must always be attention to craft. No matter how well presented, a poorly written story or novel has little chance of being published. On the other hand, a well-written piece may be equally hard to sell in today’s competitive publishing market. Talent alone is just not enough. To be successful, writers need to study the field and pay careful attention to finding the right market. Students in this class will bring a finished, polished short story that is ready for publication. We will discuss how to identify the right publisher for your story; how to approach a publisher in a professional way; the value of entering contests & competitions; researching markets; promotion; writing a résumé, query letter, and keeping a submissions journal.

6. Language: Rhetoric & Composition I

This course consists of two parts: an introduction to Grammar and an introduction to Rhetoric and Composition. You will learn how to analyze texts, persuade an audience, organize an essay, format for MLA & APA. With its unique focus on source-based writing and writing across the curriculum, this class contains all the tools you need in order to read, write, and conduct research in the humanities.