Review Comment

Short Prose Forms

July 26, 2017

Ziegler, Alan Gold_nugget
Short Prose Forms

I am writing this because I noticed a lapse in reviews on this class and this teacher.

This was one of my favorite classes of the past year. I looked forward every Thursday evening to a rich discussion and a deep exploration of short prose. Often class seemed too short leaving many of us slowly making our ways home while musing over all the wonderful pieces Prof. Ziegler introduced us to.

Class size is intimate at a cap of 12 so you get to know your peers and their styles very well and vice versa. Most of our class became friends quickly; we met before and after class to talk about writing or nonsense.

The power Ziegler brings to his class is of Graduate quality. He's funny, witty, jovial, and inspiring. I certainly pushed myself to write at a certain level in this class. And that's the beauty of short prose - it's not that you have to write A LOT, rather, you do have to write well and with efficacy.

Workload:

Reading packets of up to 40 prose pieces (though he told you which 10 he would talk about the day before) with a week to get through it. Three written pieces to be presented in class and a final portfolio.

May 09, 2010

Ziegler, Alan Gold_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Short Prose forms is an amazing class. It's a hybrid between a seminar and workshop, so you get to read and submit. Even better, Professor Ziegler lets you lead your own workshop, so you get to ask the questions you really want, really get to the issues about your work that interest/bother you. This is the ONLY class in the undergraduate creative writing department that is taught by a Professor whose specialty is the content of the class. Professor Ziegler knows a ton about short prose, and now I know a ton about short prose. I couldn't be more pleased

Workload:

It's heavy, but worth it. 2 in-class submissions, lots of weekly reading, 5 exercises to be done on your own time (he gives you a list with about 15 options, you pick the exercises that speak to you), and a journal on the readings.

May 09, 2006

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I enjoyed my time with Leslie tremendously and a lot of the complaints many recent reviewers had, I didnÂ’t find throughout the class this semester. The class was well organized. She created a sheet that listed when each student would workshop, so there was no excuse not to know when you were going. The exercises were mandatory and quite helpful. I liked her feedback. She doesnÂ’t rip a piece a part in order to get her point across but she does give criticism in a way thatÂ’s easy to handle. ThatÂ’s not saying she holds your hand and doesnÂ’t want to damage your ego but lets get real here, more people are inclined to listen to someoneÂ’s feedback if itÂ’s not given in a confrontational manner. She always gave a lot of insight and for the most part, could always figure out what was making the piece work and what was making the piece suffer. She didnÂ’t tell the same narrator, character, writer story numerous times. In fact, I only remember hearing it once. And if she had to repeat it many times throughout the semester in the past, then clearly people werenÂ’t listening if that same mistake was made over and over again. I do agree that perhaps more comments could have been made on the drafts we handed in to her but I also found going to her outside of class was extremely helpful and she always made time for students. I canÂ’t say enough how much I enjoyed my time with her. I recommend taking any course she teaches.

Workload:

Eleven weekly assignments. Four pieces (3 are read in class; the 4th is just handed in with the portfolio.) Not bad at all.

May 22, 2005

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Leslie isn't a goddess, she's just a really bubbly mortal. And her class wasn't enlightening, it was just light. After reading all of the previous reviews, I feel like it's blasphemous to even criticize her, but it has to be done. There is this Leslie Woodard cult phenomenon that seems to be brainwashing everyone in the creative writing department. She's a very nice person, but there's a difference between a nice person and a good professor. Her class was fun, but not very challenging and not very constructive. A previous reviewer said that Leslie can make any piece of shit writing good, but the truth is that she just never gives any criticism, and therefore even the shitty pieces seem like they're great when in reality they just suck. And while ALL of her in-class comments were sticky sweet and positive, her written comments were extremely spare and not helpful whatsoever. I personally do not take workshopping classes to have my work praised, but to improve and grow as a writer, and I would have really appreciated it if I had received at least a little constructive criticism from Leslie. Yes, the class was fun; yes, Leslie was entertaining and animated, but I think that a writing class should be about more than just inflating your ego. And while her anecdotes were funny, they took up an incredible amount of class time, and we were never able to workshop everyone's pieces by the end of the semester (and she tells the same story about the relationship btw the narrator, the writer and the character over and over and over again). Maybe I'm losing my mind, but I wouldn't suggest taking this class with Leslie. There are a lot of other lesser-known professors in the writing dept that TRUELY care about pushing their students to improve their writing, while I think that Leslie is a lot of empty talk.

Workload:

3-4 workshop pieces, shitload of really specific exercises that end up being pretty lame (ie: piece about a "goofy thing to do", write a "letter to the workshop") - all included in a final portfolio + revisions of the workshop pieces

May 16, 2005

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I'm sort of mixed about Prof. Woodard. I think she's a great lady, very nice and animated and when people are workshopping she is pretty decent at making sure that everyone gets some criticism to work with (as opposed to just praise). While the class was definitely fun and there was never really a dull moment, I left the class feeling like she was overrated. We didn't get to workshop 4 pieces each as planned as we would often go of on tangents or she would tell an off-topic story, such was the whole idea of the narrator, the character and the writer seperation - 6 times! We kept falling behind schedule, and she'd forget to tell people who was workshopping, etc. Also, I was dismayed that she didn't give much of her own feedback on the pieces. Other (less high-profile) professors that I had gave paragraphs worth of feedback whereas she gave sentences here and there. Also, she was less accessible than most other Writing professors. This is not to say that she's inaccessible - it's just that some of the other profs in the writing program go leaps and bounds over their job descriptions. So take the class for the value of having the director of creative writing for a class, but don't expect that it's any better than another writing class.

Workload:

4 workshopped pieces (we only got to 3, so we handed in a first draft of the 4th), 11 exercises (about weekly). All handed in in a portfolio. She's a tougher grader than most of the other writing profs... B is good and from what I heard she doesn't give As (but I don't know what the grade distribution is)

April 30, 2005

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

You know that old saying, "You can't polish a turd"? Meaning, if a piece of writing is so horrible that there's nothing you can do with it but flush it? Well, not that she would, but if she wanted to, this woman probably could polish one until it shined. Simply amazing editor, professor, and advisor.

September 29, 2004

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Goddess. Diva. Inspirational speaker meets world-class editor meets muse. Bring a huge notebook to class, because you will want to write down everything this woman mutters and hold the statements close to you in bed on nights when the world seems cruel. She can draw the most interesting of conversations out of the worst of poems, and find room for improvements in pieces that already deserve Pulitzers. Plus, she dresses like nobody's business.

April 02, 2004

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Leslie is really great. When she talks, you really want to listen to what she has to say, which I can't say for some of my previous creative writing professors. She makes it a point to not forget that writing is supposed to be fun. Her class is usually pretty amusing and shockingly productive. She's laid back, drops frequent pearls of wisdom and tosses out phrases like "we don't want to put fur on the whale" that are just entertaining. Her class also fills up the first day of registration, so don't be late.

December 22, 2003

Woodard, Leslie Silver_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

It was an honor to take this woman's short prose forms course and then review her in the noblest of all such forms, the Culpa review. You've got a ton of choices in this department coursewise, and this one is delightful if only because writing short prose is quick, potentially a real challenge, and provides some damn fine stuff to workshop of your fellow students. Leslie is a real swell teacher, a woman young at heart with a penchant for rambling in a lovable way about the nuances of writing and the ins and outs of life. You get to spend a lot of time on each piece workshopped, meaning often you get through fewer pieces than planned in a given class period. Leslie is a great editor, capable of bringing out things in your piece you might have missed and helping you shine them to represent your best work. She's hands down the most approachable professor I have ever had at this school and always available to talk. A real winner.

Workload:

Assignments given weekly and checked once or twice throughout the semester. Four major pieces and revisions of them, along with an expectation that you'll carefully read and edit your classmates' work.

April 26, 2002

Ziegler, Alan Gold_nugget
Short Prose Forms

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Alan is an incredible teacher who knows how to lead a writing workshop in an efficient and constructive manner. Workshops are actually helpful, and he's very careful about maintaining a nice balance between student comments and his own. Not only does he know his stuff, he's also really laidback and very concerned about his students' writing, making sure that each student keeps to their own personal style. He is by far the best teacher I've come across in the Writing Department and if you have the chance to take a class with him, your writing will definitely improve and you'll have fun in the process.

Workload:

Five short workshopped pieces and five writing exercises

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
WRIT / CREA WRIT CREA W3308: Short Prose Forms Alan Ziegler 2010 Fall T / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
WRIT / CREA WRIT CREA W3308: Short Prose Forms Joshua Bell 2010 Spring W / 4:10- 6:00 PM 1
WRIT / CREA WRIT CREA W3308: Short Prose Forms Alan Ziegler 2009 Spring T / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
WRIT / CREA WRIT CREA W3308: Short Prose Forms Alan Ziegler 2009 Fall T / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3098: Short Prose Forms Alan Ziegler 2006 Fall R / 11:00-12:50 PM 2
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3098: Short Prose Forms Leslie Woodard 2006 Fall R / 2:40- 4:30 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3098: Short Prose Forms Leslie Woodard 2004 Fall R / 2:40- 4:30 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3098: Short Prose Forms Leslie Woodard 2003 Fall R / 2:40- 4:30 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3098: Short Prose Forms Leslie Woodard 2002 Fall R / 2:40- 4:30 PM 1