Course Expectations / Grading

Weekly Routine for Creative Writing: Fiction
Mr. Lally –            781-270-1877
     Office: Room 316

As this class is a portfolio-driven course, the portfolio at the end of the year is a course requirement. Failure to turn in a portfolio at the end of the year will cause you to fail the entire course, regardless of your grades in the areas listed below.

Homework Routine
: Write a new story, post it on Dropbox, and bring a copy with you to class. BOTH must be completed PRIOR TO CLASS to receive full credit, and you cannot simply photocopy something out of your notebook
Tuesday: No homework
Wednesday: Weekly Read & Response
Thursday: Copies of your peers’ stories with lots of helpful insights
Friday: As the year progresses, the Friday requirement will be a completed revision

In-Class Routine
Monday: Writing Prompts, Tips & Exercises – This is where students get the ideas for a lot of their original pieces
Tuesday: Computer Room for composing or revising (This is NOT time to complete the Read & Response)
Wednesday: Read & Response Discussion
Thursday: Workshop of student pieces
Friday: EITHER: A continuation of the workshop OR writing prompts & exercises

If you miss a day of school, you are expected to bring in the work the day you return. My email at school is and I will not accept any excuses for incomplete work (I’m looking at you, “broken printer”) unless I get notice the day before you arrive to class empty-handed. Good news though. My email address accept emails at all hours. It won’t wake me up.

Please note: You have complete control over what you can and cannot bring into your portfolio with two major, notable exceptions: No non-fiction and no poetry. If you want to write personal essays or opinion pieces, well, you’ve had that opportunity in your other English classes, and we have a whole Creative Writing elective dedicated to poetry. Anything else (stories, microfiction, plays/screenplays, chapters of a novel that you are working on) is fine with me.

You have four distinct grading areas. In each area, you have the opportunity to earn 10 points per week towards your grade.

1) Read & Response days. You must have read the story/stories/essay and completed the read & response assignment. You can earn up to 6 points for the thoroughness on your written response. The other 4 points come from your participation in the subsequent discussion

2) Workshopping each others’ pieces. In any writing class, this is the most important part, and so it is also graded the most heavily. Each class, I will take, at random, ONE of the markups you come to class with. How much time you have put into that piece will earn you up to 6 points (electronic notes can only earn TWO points). The remaining 4 will be earned in the discussion.

3) Homework: If you come to class on any Monday without a paper copy of a new story, you lose four points. If your piece is not on Dropbox, you lose four points. Other HW assignments will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

4) Participation: Any day that you do not have your notebook will cost you 2 points. Disruption or inactivity (especially in the computer room) will cost between 2-6 points. IMPORTANT RULE: In Creative Writing, you have absolutely no need to be on your iPad/SmartPhone/Google Glass/etc. Put away your instant messages. Shut down your Twitter account. Snap shut your snapchat. Stop Pinteresting on your Tumblr. Snarl at me right now, but then reflect, with a touch of sadness, at how infrequently we allow ourselves to live completely within our own minds. Dust off the cobwebs! Each time that you are using your iPad or smartphone during class, you get a 2-point deduction for participation. Seriously, I have had students tank their grade by 20 points because they are not smart enough to keep their smartphones in their purse/backpack.

Attendance is tricky, since so much of this class is in-class work. The easiest rule of thumb is this: You are still responsible for the work (e.g. distributing your feedback, handing in your read & response) whenever you come back. An absence will not lower your grade at first, but it will once you miss your third workshop or read & response day.

If you keep in mind that a writing workshop requires you to write and to workshop each other’s pieces (thoroughly and well), you’ll be fine. If you are confused, you must see me to clarify. Or ask me now, in class.


How critical I am of what I will accept for our written or in-class workshop / R&R comments
The number of pieces required for the final portfolio
The number of required styles that you must bring to a finished second draft (genre work)
The honors students must submit their original work to magazines outside of BHS


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