Welcome to 139.329: Advanced Fiction Writing (Distance and Internal).

This year, 2021, the course will be taught by Dr Jack Ross (course coordinator), with the help of some of my colleagues from Creative Writing.

I'd like to invite one (or more!) of you to become a student representative for the paper. You can now register for this online at For further information, please contact your Student Advocacy Coordinator Penny Lyall.

Here's some official information about the course, from the Massey University website:

Paper Number:

Paper Title:
Advanced Fiction Writing

Credit Value:
15 credits

Calendar Prescription:
An exploration of the poetics – and politics – of experimentation and subversion in contemporary fiction and metafiction. As well as analysing the work (both creative and critical) of major practitioners and theorists, students will compose their own stories to demonstrate their understanding of the field.

Pre and co requisites:
Prerequisites: At least 45 credits from 200 level.
Corequisites: None

Semester 1

Auckland (Albany)

Internal & Extramural

E-Learning Category:
Partially Taught Online

Paper coordinator:
Dr. Jack Ross
School of Humanities, Media & Creative Communication
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Atrium Building Level L2.32
Albany Campus
Phone: 414 0800 x 43338

Teaching Timetable (internal only):
The timetable for lectures, laboratories, and tutorials can be found at

Learning Outcomes [LO]:
Students who successfully complete this paper should be able to:
  1. Compose fiction which draws on the theories and techniques of major contemporary writers of fiction and metafiction.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the larger role of subversion and experimentation in modern literary fiction.
  3. Reflect constructively on the social, political and philosophical implications of such models of fictional praxis both in Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally.
  4. Respond acutely and critically to published texts and to the work of their peers.
Please note: Learning Outcomes are subject to change until the beginning of the semester in which the paper is delivered.

Major Topics:
The course is framed around the classic Eastern story-collection The Thousand and One Nights. By examining the variations on story-telling contained within it, as well as the responses it has elicited from contemporary critics and fiction-writers, you will be encouraged to see the continuities within narrative conventions, ancient and modern. The focus throughout will be on adding to your battery of theoretical and practical skills as a practising writer, so you will be asked to compile a portfolio of creative work, as well as writing a short critical essay.

Assessment Proportions:
Internal Assessment: 100%.

Description of Assessment Activities:
  1. Title: Exercises (LO 1, 2, 4)
    Worth: 20%

  2. Title: Essay (LO 2, 3, 4)
    Worth: 30%

  3. Title: Portfolio (LO 1, 2, 3)
    Worth: 50%
Please note: Assessment weightings are subject to change until the beginning of the semester in which the paper is delivered.

Due Dates / Deadlines:
Specific dates for assessments will be finalised in information provided on Stream at the start of the Paper.

Penalties for late assignment submission:
Two percentage marks deducted per day. After one week your marker may refuse to receive it. It will receive no comments if it is more than a week late without prior arrangement.

Assignment turnaround:
Three weeks.

Any specific requirements for passing the paper:

Principal Textbooks:
Heller-Roazen, Daniel, ed. The Arabian Nights. The Husain Haddawy Translation Based on the Text Edited by Muhsin Mahdi: Contexts, Criticism. 1990 & 1995. A Norton Critical Edition. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Departmental Book of Readings, available online from the course Stream site.

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