• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English

Contemporary literary stories and those written in genre draw on historical antecedents and/or current literary and theoretical movements. Fables and fairy tales, experiments with realism or magical realism are all present in various forms of the contemporary short story, and stem from writers being influenced by past narratives and/or by reacting to their peers. This course will encourage students to read a variety of classical and contemporary short stories and to experiment with different styles and genres which have developed over the past two centuries, and which are still being questioned or utilised by contemporary authors.

Students will be expected to write two short stories and/or a few chapters of a novel in this course. Draft stories will be revised. The final versions of students’ stories will be arrived at through discussion in seminars and workshops, and through the reading of published fiction. The course will include some consideration of the practical processes involved in publishing stories and longer works.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Create prose pieces in two different genres, drawing on or reacting to a published work or works.
  2. Experiment with and revise 2 diverse stories or chapters of a novel, integrating suggestions from writing workshops and/or utilising analysis of published or other students’ creative work.
  3.  Research, compare and contrast two stories, making a coherent argument about the relationship between these works.
  4. Describe, analyse and make editorial suggestions for peers’ prose
  5. Reflect on your own creative work in relation to its context, sources and formal qualities, and discuss your writing with respect to published work in a similar style or genre.

Indicative Assessment

Fiction Portfolio: two stories of approximately 4000 words in total, with drafts (60%) (LO 1,2,5)

Written and oral comments on peers' work (15%) (LO 4)

Essay, 1000 words (25%) (LO 3,5)

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3 contact hours and 7 hours of individual study per week, on average.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed at least 48 Units of total Courses including 6 Units of English (ENGL) courses. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course. Incompatible with ENGL6026

Prescribed Texts

Ebrick of readings, (indicative bibliography appears below):

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” (1968). Image-Music-Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977


Block, Francesca Lia. “Wolf.” The Rose and the Beast. New York: Harper Collins, 2000. 101-129


Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973


Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Lottery in Babylon.” Trans. John M. Fein 1959. Labyrinths. London: Penguin, 1964. 55-61

Carey, Peter. “The Chance.” (1977). Collected Stories. 2nd ed. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2001. 271-305


Carter, Angela. “The Company of Wolves.” The Bloody Chamber. London: Penguin, 1979. 110-118

Chekhov, Anton. “Grief.” (1885). Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories. Trans. David Magarshack. London: Penguin, 1976. 15-20


Cho, Tom. “Today on Dr. Phil.” Best Australian Stories 2006. Ed. Robert Drewe. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2006. 232-235.

Eliot, T.S. “Tradition and Individual Talent.” Authorship: From Plato to the Postmodern. Ed. Sean Burke. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1995. 73 - 80


Jennings, Paul. “Snookle.” Stories for Seven Year Olds. Ill. Tom Jellett. Ed. Linsay Knight. Sydney: Random House, 2012

King, Stephen. “1408.” (2002). Everything’s Eventual. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2007. 424-471

 “Little Red Riding Hood.” (Charles Perrault). Trans. Ashliman. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html


Mansfield, Katherine. “Bliss.” (1920). Bliss and Other Stories. London: Penguin, 1988. 95-110

Maupassant, Guy de. “Clochette.” (1884). The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003. 972-975


Mengestu, Dinaw. “An Honest Exit.” The New Yorker. July 12, 2010

Mitchell, David. Cloud Atlas. New York: Random House, 2004. Extract: 185-236


Rawson, Jane. A Wrong Turn in the Office of Unmade Lists. Melbourne: Transit Lounge, 2013

Saunders, George. “Sea Oak.” (1998). The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. Ed. Ben Marcus. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. 3-30


Takolander, Maria. “The Double.” The Double. Melbourne: Text, 2013

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Putnam, 1989. Extract: 267-288


Wallace, David Foster. “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.” (1997). The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. Ed. Ben Marcus. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. 349-370

Winton, Tim. The Bugalugs Bum Thief. Ill. Stephen Michael King. Camberwell, Melbourne: Puffin Books—Aussie Bites, 1991


Woolf, Virginia. “Kew Gardens.” (1919). The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003. 1421-1425.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2520
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4377 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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