Reading List for Creative Writing 10 (Creative Writing for Beginners)

Last year at the Manila International Literary Festival I presented a teaching plan that was styled differently from the usual syllabi. Other syllabi usually when chronologically or by genre or theme. My plan took from those ideas (and it could be seen arguably as both chronological and genre-based still) but it focused on the output that the students would be expected to submit. As such, I went for different ideas, effects, and genres, all coming together. Students would be expected to deliver pieces in each category which would be workshopped by their classmates. That way, even though we are working in only two genres, they will still be producing a variety of stories.

I recently revised my syllabus for the start of the semester, and here’s my reading list:

Make It Fun (We start with the basics of writing, and how it all stars with a sense of fun in both the writing and the reading.)

“Let it Snow” by David Sedaris

Excerpt of High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Make It Interesting (I ask students to write about their field of study or their hobby, in such a way that would make others interested.)

“Why Businesses Don’t Experiment” by Dan Ariely

“Food is Good” by Anthony Bourdain

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (Pretty self-explanatory)

“How David Beats Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Secret Skin” by Michael Chabon

Make Me Cry (Tugging at the heartstrings)

“A Small, Good Thing” by Raymond Carver

“Firefly” by Haruki Murakami

Make It Fantastic (Fantasy writing, set specifically in the Philippines)

“The Impossible Life and Loves of Doc Duwende” by Angelo R. Lacuesta

“The Gyutou” by F.H. Batacan

Make Me Hypothesize (Sci-Fi!)

“They Toynbee Convector” by Ray Bradbury

“A Retrospective on Diseases for Sale” by Charles Tan

Make Me Scared (Horror!)

“Man Overboard” by Winston Churchill

“To Serve Man” by Damon Knight

Make Me Laugh (Comedy!)

“A Princess and a Guy Like Me” by Simon Pegg

“Possible Contacts with Alien Life”  by John Hodgman