1,000 word flash fiction

Welcome to your first writing assignment for your literary magazine class.

You will receive your first prompt for a 1,000 word story and will read it to your classmates. This can be scary at first, but it is a very important exercise for a variety of reasons.

Sharing your writing will help you:

  • push past your comfort zone.
  • build confidence.
  • bond with your classmates.
  • understand you are writing as a staff member, not just as an individual.

The prompts were taken from or paraphrased from the NYC Midnight writing challenges.

I entered some of my stories a contest a few years ago. Here are the two I submitted:

As you write your story, here are a few pointers: (Make sure to click on and read the articles linked below and fill out the corresponding questions).

 

Have fun completing your first assignment!

Surrealism

Assignment:

  1. Write a surrealist poem. (Word count minimum = 150, word count max = 300)
  2. Create a surrealist piece of art. (Create using Illustrator–unless given permission–and upload an exported PDF to your submission folder).

Terms:

  • Surrealism
  • Symbols
  • Juxtaposition
  • Reversal
  • Transformation
  • Dislocation
  • Metamorphosis
  • Paranoiac-Critical Method
  • Double image paintings

Resources:

 

Mathematics in writing and art: cross-curricular connections and a focus on the sestina

Sestina resources:

“I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.” – Robert Morgan

Math and poetry resources:

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas” – Albert Einstein

Math in art resources:

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns…. The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test.” – Hardy qtd. in “Why Writers Should Learn Math”

Satire

Assignment:

Create written and illustrated satirical works (one each – written and art). The two pieces do not have to match. You will create a spread for your written and illustrated work.

  • Spread
    • Document dimensions:
      • Lit. mag.: 9 x 7
      • Newspaper: 8.5 x 11
    • Upload PDF into Google Folder
      • Make PDF: 1) File 2) Export 3) PDF (print–not interactive) 4) Save as 5) Upload file into Google Drive and put in shared file
  • Written piece
    • length: minimum 250 words and maximum 500 words
    • Must use irony, sarcasm and exaggeration appropriately in order to make your audience think–you must have a point and use wit effectively.
    • Submit as Google Doc
  • Art piece
    • Create a satirical illustration by using the Illustrator
    • Upload Illustrator file into Google Drive

“Building Shapes and Using the Pen Tool in InDesign and Illustrator” – videos 1-6

Terms:

  • Irony
  • Sarcasm
  • Exaggeration

Resources:

Suggestions for further reading:

Common Core:

*Standard descriptions may be summarized and modified to include assignment rationale/purpose in parentheses

“English Language Arts Standards” by Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • RI.9-10.8
    • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
  • RI.9-10.2
    • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RL.11-12.6
    • Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
  • W 9-10.4
    • (Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience). 
  • SL: 1-4 — Critiquing process and class discussions
    • ([P]articipate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions […] with diverse partners […] building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly)
    • (Present information […] concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task)
  • L. 9-10.5 — Critiquing process
    • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • (Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text).
      • (Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations).
  • W 9-10.5 — Brainstorming, revisions after critiques
    • (Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience).
  • W 9-10.6 — Using BPS Google Drive/Docs to store and submit work for publication
    • (Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically).

Song writing

Assignment:

Write a song using basic song structure, making sure to label the different components. You can choose to add music to it if you wish. You may also use a pre-existing song’s melody on which to base your words–however, you must cite the musician’s work.

Featured musicians:






I love playing the guitar and writing songs

Below are some past pictures and a very bad recording of recording of one of my old songs I wrote in college. It sounds like I’m underwater. 😦 I wish I had the original file.

My song (small piece): “Destructive Healing” (CAUTION: It may be loud! Turn down the volume if you are curious and really want to hear my singing).

Want to perform? Check out our events:

Resources:

Common Core:

*Standard descriptions may be summarized and modified to include assignment rationale/purpose in parentheses

“English Language Arts Standards” by Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • W 9-10.4
    • (Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience). 
  • SL: 1-4 — Critiquing process
    • ([P]articipate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions […] with diverse partners […] building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly)
    • (Present information […] concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task)
  • L. 9-10.5 — Critiquing process
    • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • (Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text).
      • (Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations).
  • W 9-10.5 — Brainstorming, revisions after critiques
    • (Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience).
  • W 9-10.6 — Using BPS Google Drive/Docs to store and submit work for publication
    • (Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically).

Flash fiction – six word stories

Assignment:

Write five flash fiction stories, but they can only be six words each!

(They do not have to connect).

Resources:

Common Core:

*Standard descriptions may be summarized and modified to include assignment rationale/purpose in parentheses

“English Language Arts Standards” by Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • W 9-10.4
    • (Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience). 
  • SL: 1-4 — Critiquing process
    • ([P]articipate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions […] with diverse partners […] building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly)
    • (Present information […] concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task)
  • W 9-10.5 — Brainstorming, revisions after critiques
    • (Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience).
  • W 9-10.6 — Using BPS Google Drive/Docs to store and submit work for publication
    • (Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically).

InDesign basics

SETTING UP YOUR DOCUMENT, BASIC SHORTCUTS, LAYERS, INSPIRATION, ETC.

  1. Opening Adobe Programs and create task bar short cuts 
  2. Making a new document (lit. mag. preset–this is different for other publicaitons) and changing units and increments
  3. Short cut (zoom in and out)
  4. Shuffling pages/making a double page spread
  5. Elements of a spread/page
  6. Pinterest/design inspiration
  7. Importance of layers/beware too much inverse type and dark backgrounds

WORKING WITH TEXT

  1. Text – headlines (changing text size, bold, kerning, and short cut “w” preview)
  2. Font combinations (sans serif vs serif, rules, tips, etc.)
  3. Columns for body text (preset margins/columns, connecting text boxes, using placeholder text)
  4. Text – kicker/intro, pull quotes, rotating bylines, using opacity

BUILDING SHAPES AND USING THE PEN TOOL IN INDESIGN AND ILLUSTRATOR

  1. Changing background color and layers review
  2. Adding color to shapes and making gradients
  3. Drawing custom shapes – using the pen tool (InDesign vs. Illustrator)
  4. (Continued) Using the pen tool, layers, and changing canvas size (Illustrator)
  5. Making art brushes and minimalist style (Illustrator)
  6. Using the trace option (Illustrator)

TBA on the following…

  1. Changing directions of shapes (rotating)
  2. Using pathfinder to combine and manipulate shapes
  3. Tying on a shape or path (pen and text tool)
  4. Integrating files (using Illustrator files in InDesign)
  5. Links (broken links)
  6. Comic book effect (advanced – using Photoshop and InDesign)