Writing Workshop: Modern Fantasy

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Writing Workshop: Modern Fantasy
Writing Course
Course CodeMFAN
Year Opened2006
Sites OfferedALE, GIL, LAJ, MSA, SAN, SPE, WDS
Previously OfferedNRS, NUE, OMS, STP, WIN
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Course Description

From the CTY Course History (2006):

Novelist Caroline Gordon once said, "A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way." As readers of modern fantasy, we are transported into magical worlds where people, places, and things are often not what they appear to be, nor what we expect them to be. Animals speak, toys come to life, and eccentric characters perform seemingly impossible deeds. Worlds are turned upside down, and the familiar becomes the unknown.

In this course, students learn to identify the traits that characterize modern fantasy. They venture into extraordinary places such as Narnia in C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and witness battles between good and evil like those that take place in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Students may read Cornelia Funke's Inkheart and experience what might take place if characters could come alive from the pages of a book.

The course's workshop approach affords many opportunities to engage in close reading, participate in informed discussion, and reflect upon what these fantastic worlds tell us about our own world. In addition, students respond to modern fantasy texts in a variety of written assignments, including literary analysis and reflective writing. Armed with their newly developed understanding of the genre and an appreciation for its nuances, students then craft their own original pieces of fantasy.