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Revising Fiction: Advancing Your Short Fiction to its Final Form

Revising fiction can be a daunting process—filled with uncertainty, monotony and missteps. After completing our first drafts, how do we locate and hone in on the story’s intent? How can we hone the voice that makes our stories distinctive and personal? How do we rework our stories in a way that makes them more compelling, suspenseful, precise? How do we streamline the process of our revisions? This class will focus on the process of revising and clarifying our stories with the craft tools at our disposal. We will investigate craft elements like character development, word building, POV, conflict/tension, plot/narrative structure and identify how these tools may improve or impact our revisions. In addition to strengthening our use of craft tools, we will read and analyze short fiction by authors like James Baldwin, R.O. Kwon, Yiyun Li, Edna O’Brien, Mark Richard, George Saunders, and more. This course will also feature intensive group workshops (in which we share our works-in-progress and offer insights on how we might revise our works) and individualized written feedback from your instructor. It is open to students at all levels, from those with a single short story draft they want to improve to advanced practioners, struggling to place stories with magazines.

Elysha Chang received an MFA from Columbia University; her work has appeared in/received prizes from GQ, The Rumpus, The Center For Fiction, FENCE, Bodega Mag, and others. She teaches at Villanova University and at the Kelly Writers House at UPenn and lives in South Philadelphia. Her work can be found at:

Tuesdays 6-9pm. 6-12 students, A Novel Idea Bookstore, 1726 East Passyunk Ave

$400 (Financial aid is available)

To apply, send an email to with a short summary of your writing experience and a sample of 2-4 pages of poetry or prose (corresponding to genre you’re applying in). To apply for financial aid, please also fill out this form

Deadline to apply: December 17, 11:59pm