Eric Schlich

Writer, Editor, Professor

Young Adult Novel Writing

This Young Adult Writing class focuses on the drafting of the opening chapter(s) of a YA novel. For writing inspiration, students will read and journal about ten YA novels from the past 30(ish) years. A variety of genres will be covered: high school drama, coming out narrative, historical fiction, science-fiction/dystopia, fairy-tale/fantasy, romance, crime/mystery, camp adventure, etc.

Craft techniques (inciting incidents, POV, voice, etc.) gleaned from these readings will then be applied to the student’s own novels-in-progress. In addition to novel chapters and workshop letters for peers, students will draft a two-page synopsis of their YA novel and a cover letter to a literary agent.

Introduction to Literary Publishing

This is a combination studio and industry-introduction course. The class will learn about the phases of the publishing process by producing SUNY Fredonia’s undergraduate literary magazine, The Trident. These publishing stages include: selecting creative work (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) from the slush pile; editing and proofing; design, production, and promotion.

We will also devote time to studying the history and culture of literary publishing; each student will journal about the literary publishing readings, as well as research and present on a literary magazine of their choosing.

Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writing

Science-Fiction & Fantasy Writing is a creative writing course focused on the creation of original short fiction within the science-fiction and fantasy (SFF) genre.

Through-out the semester, you will explore various approaches to writing SFF, including (but not limited to): dystopias, magical realism, fairy tales, time travel or space adventure, monster stories, supernatural and ghost stories, portal fantasy, and speculative fiction.

Humor Writing

We’ve all read or watched something that made us laugh, but have you ever stopped and wondered: how’d the writer do that? What makes something funny? And how can you learn from what you find funny to cultivate your own sense of humor and write funny yourself?

In this course we explore various modes of the comic (such as humor, satire, and parody). Readings will include comedic short stories, interviews with comedy writers, short pieces from The New Yorker and The Onion, and sitcom scripts. You will also try your own hand at “writing funny” with short assignments, one longer piece to be workshopped, and a new media final project.

Form & Theory of Writing (Fiction)

In this course, students learn to "read like a writer" by examining the artistic choices made by an author with regard to character, conflict, plot, scene and dialogue, setting, point of view, etc.

In particular, we examine the techniques and constraints that create forms and genres by reading craft essays in the Tin House series. Students also examine what happens when those forms and genres are broken or challenged and then create new stories (and a craft essay of their own) informed by what they’ve learned.

What is a Text?: The Postmodern Novel

No, really, what is a text? And, more specifically, what is a novel? In this course, we closely examine a variety of texts (with an emphasis on the postmodern novel) in order to consider how the material elements of a text (and thus the form) affect the way we read—our experience of the text—and also inform (or alter) the content.

American Literature Since 1875: The Great American Novel

Broadly defined, the Great American Novel is a novel written by an American author that captures some unique aspect of American experience, culture, and/or identity. 

Because this is an oversimplification of a complex body of literary work, this course questions the notion—what do we mean by “great” or “American” or even “novel”? We also attempt to answer: how has the GAN evolved over the last century and, in turn, our concept of what it means to be American?

Intro to Fiction: The Time Travel Novel

This course introduces students to the analytical study of fiction through the reading of six novels—all of which feature the use of time travel. In particular, we examine how each author employs time travel in a unique way to tackle themes of technology, class, war, race, love, family, or identity… but also to tell a damn good story.

Time turners ready?

Fiction Technique

This course is for students interested in writing fiction, specifically the short story. The class is designed to help students improve their fiction by mining stories for techniques (i.e. learning to read as writers), practicing the craft with exercises, and, finally, with workshop and revision.

Article & Essay Technique

Like Fiction Technique, this course is designed to teach writing by mining reading, practicing with exercises, and with workshop and revision—only for nonfiction prose, specifically the personal essay.

Writing About Harry Potter

This composition course teaches students to write analytical essays using their favorite fantasy series—J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. Students read a series of case studies about the books and draft three essays: a character analysis, research paper, and post-Voldemort interview.

This interview is then adapted into a multimedia presentation using a podcast, video, blog, social media or an original website.