February 13, 2021 @ 1:00 pm EST - 3:30 pm EST
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The Literary Art of Pulp Fiction
On August 28, 1935, The New York Times published an editorial titled, “Fiction by Volume.” It begins, “There is another publishing world, little known and certainly officially unrecognized, in which volume of production is more important than literary quality.” The writer was describing “the pulps,” the cheap magazines with garish and colorful covers of mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and horror with sensationalistic titles like Black Mask, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, and Love Story Magazine. In a time before television, “the pulps” entertained the masses in the 1930s and 40s. Can modern writers learn from the 1930s “pulp fiction style”? Can new pulp fiction–a literature of formula and sensationalism–rise to the level of literary art? These questions will center our seminar. Students will survey the history of pulp magazines, learn about their distinct sensationalistic style, and try their hands at writing “new pulp”; students will compose flash fictions in the pulp style that they can later expand. Students will also receive information about current markets for short fiction in “new pulp.”
Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.