LITR 3731 Creative Writing
expectations regarding presentations:
Every poetry and fiction presentation has two leaders:
the “Author” and the “Discussion Leader.”
Each student will participate in leading one poetry
presentation and one fiction presentation, once as Author and once as Discussion
As with all presentation assignments, assignments of
Author or Discussion Leader are decided partly by choice, partly
The Author and Discussion Leader for each presentation
must work together before, during, and sometimes after the class at which they
Combined duties of Author and Discussion Leader
The Author and Discussion Leader will cooperate
before, during, and after class in presenting and leading a class-wide
discussion of a required draft.
The Author and Discussion Leader may cooperate more
extensively before and after the presentation in terms of reviewing and revising
the manuscript, but such additional collaboration is not required.
Specific duties of Author and Discussion Leader:
The Author is primarily responsible for preparing an
appropriate draft manuscript that is edited, copied, and ready for the
Discussion Leader and the class to read and review.
Make copies of draft manuscript for class. (App. 21
copies; instructor can help.)
Leader reviews manuscript before class, then leads class discussion after the
Author reads the manuscript aloud.
Read manuscript (or portion) aloud to class to begin
presentation. (Author may preface with context or other issues.)
Share manuscript with Discussion Leader at least an
hour before class and preferably a day or two before class, either by email or
Author may send manuscript to instructor for posting
to course webpage.
Author answers questions from Discussion Leader and
class in discussion.
Author may comment and ask questions of class
Author concludes by summarizing discussion, previewing
Discussion Leader's in-class duties:
Before Author reads, Discussion Leader reminds class to
make notes on copies
Immediately following the class reading, the Discussion
Leader signals "Open Discussion" by inviting student input.
Ask something like, “Any questions or comments?” Wide-open discussion may
After Open Discussion finishes, the Discussion Leader
asks questions of the author and class.
Tone of questioning should be friendly, constructive, not
Some questions are standard, but the Discussion Leader
must also ask a few specific questions based on the draft.
Besides staying open for input of any kind, the
Discussion Leader must also ask the class some standard questions and some
questions special to the draft.
Some questions may be anticipated by Open Discussion, but
asking them again or re-applying them may lead to additional ideas or
Discussion Leaders may use their own words to frame these
Standard questions for Author (Leaders
may use their own words)
How did you go about drafting this poem / fiction
scene? How many drafts did it go through?
What part(s) seemed most successful to you? (Why?)
What part(s) presented you with problems? Where or
what kind of help would you like?
2-3 questions specific to the manuscript's content or
Standard questions to the class.
What parts worked best? What was most appealing?
What parts seemed awkward or confusing? (Why?)
Any technical issues? (Larger stylistic issues to
1-3 specific questions based on manuscript content or
Overall format of presentation
Discussion Leader are announced by instructor.
point in the presentation, Author and / or Discussion Leader must connect
questions or discussion to either class readings or course objectives.
1. distribute copies of manuscript
students to mark or write suggestions.
3. make brief introductory remarks
and preview highlights. For a poem, Author may
identify whether it’s free-verse or fixed-form, + any issues needing help. For a fiction scene, identify
if it’s part
of a larger story + context.
reads manuscript (or parts of it) aloud.
Leader follows up
1. "Questions or comments?"
2. Call on
students, and mediate between students and author. Instructor may help.
Summarize, redirect, refocus on text.
may take over at any time.
Leader asks 1 or 2 broad questions for Author and students to respond to. (see
4. Discussion Leader may ask editing questions (i. e., spelling, punctuation) but
later in discussion.
answers questions. Discussion Leader leads any discussion, though
Author may intervene.
6. Discussion Leader asks
students questions. (see above)
summarizes input, previews possible changes.
marked-up paper copies are gathered for author.
presentation, but before final submission of manuscript
1. Author is
expected to make changes to manuscript in light of discussion.
Instructor will be unpleasantly surprised if the exact same manuscript appears
as the final submission.
contrast, some serious experiments with change (+ explanations in “revision account”)
often distinguish outstanding work from standard work (with considerations
Discussion Leader emails instructor a summary of questions for posting to the webpage. (These may be sent
before the presentation.)